Although I don't have a store devoted to selling my work online please don't hesitate to contact me if you've seen a piece you like at a show or anywhere here on the web! I'll happily package gifts and post worldwide. Here's a picture of how I presented my scarves and wraps at the Glucksman, Kraft boxes, a hand printed gift tag and tied up with natural coloured linen or twine.
As a guideline, gift boxed naturally printed silk chiffon or ponge/habatoi scarves cost €45 each, etamine (finely woven merino) or silk/wool blend scarves cost €65 and large printed nuno felt wraps are priced at €120 upwards depending on size, all excluding postage. Simple nuno felt scarves start from €40, simple saree silk nuno scarves from €80 and more complex mosaic nuno scarves and wraps start from €120, again all prices excluding postage. Hopefully the SumUp attachment for my phone and iPad will arrive this week (similar to Square in the US) enabling me to take credit card payments over the phone or in person, I can also bill via PayPal for those who prefer.
Anyway, I'm now debating taking the rest of today off! Emma and I arrived home from Cork at lunchtime and I'm definitely a little tired now. I'll collect some sloes while out walking Rex (for sloe gin), then I'm going to put a stew in the oven, while that's cooking I'll have a bath and wash my hair. I had been planning to felt another saree silk scarf this afternoon, at this stage I think I might leave that until tomorrow!
I've decided to have a spur of the moment blowout sale at Borris Food and Craft Market tomorrow morning! In my efforts to update stock at the Duckett's Grove design shop and my current ongoing attempt to wrestle my house into some kind of order it's become apparent that I have some lovely smaller items of felt that have either been hidden away unwittingly or haven't sold from the shop or studio for one reason or another. It's tempting to have an extended post mortem as to the reason for this, are they priced incorrectly, is the quality not good enough, did I felt too many of the one item, have they not been displayed well, how did I manage to hide them away in my spare bedroom etc., etc., the questions could go on and on.
Anyway, rather than spend days pondering the answers I've decided to have a blowout sale at Borris Market tomorrow then bring whatever's left to display at my stand for the Creative Carlow pop up shop for the rest of the weekend. This shop is part of the Pan Celtic Festival, so far we've had a variety of local and foreign visitors come to check out our work and I was lucky enough to sell several of my pieces yesterday so I do have enough space on my table to replenish with more stock. The picture above shows two embroidered phone/camera/change purses and three beaded bracelets, I'm letting all of these and many other similar pieces go for the bargain price of €10 each, please come along if you're in Borris tomorrow morning and pass the word on to all your friends!!!
Dawn and I have had a busy time of it since Chrissie Day and Nigel headed home on Tuesday morning. We’ve taken loads of pictures, I finished a lot of stitching while Dawn caught up with emails and facebook, we delivered my felt to Duckett’s Grove yesterday afternoon, collected mum’s car (because with Danish friend Kirsten arriving we couldn’t all fit in my pick up truck!), got up early again this morning for the official opening of the new craft and gallery shop, felted in the studio for the first time, was interviewed for the paper, filmed and interviewed for today’s RTE News, collected Kirsten from the bus and then headed home to Clasheen in time for an early supper and to watch the slot on the 6 o’clock news!!!
Dawn in front of my vessels at the opening of Duckett's Grove
It really was a case of being in the right place at the right time. Edel Galvin from Carlow County Development Partnership had asked me if I would do a little felting demo in my new studio after the speeches and before I knew what was happening the footage was shot and I had my short moment of fame. The invited guests at the opening really seemed to appreciate the quality of the work displayed and it’s wonderful to finally have a local Co. Carlow venue to sell high-end craft from.
The fact that I have just secured a studio in the complex is really, really exciting. There may well be more workshops available in the future but currently there are 4 local artist makers who will be working from Duckett’s Grove and I feel privileged to say that I am one of them!!! I did think that I would be getting the keys today but there is still a bit of paperwork to complete so although I did get to felt inside the space for the first time today it will be another week or so before it is officially handed over to me! If you’d like to call in and say hello before I head to teach in the US I’ll be there all day on Sunday 6th May and hope to have a workshop schedule prepared for the rest of the summer, there will also be a big craft market in the grounds of Duckett’s Grove and all the studios should be open to the public!
Having fun felting for the first time in my new studio at Duckett's Grove!
Check out Dawn’s facebook page for loads of images of the buildings and the opening, she was snapping away and has some lovely shots.
Well I’m home, fed and watered now, so is Rex! It was a beautiful but icy day when I headed in to Borris this morning to set up my stand, luckily the heaters were working overtime in the hall so it was nice and warm inside even if the fish man was freezing outside.
Setting up my stand beside Emma Jane Champley
The dynamics of our potential customers appeared slightly different today, almost without exception everyone who came to the market was primarily interested in stocking up on seasonal food, the people who also had a look at the various art and craft stands only purchased if they were totally sure that they needed the items. It’s very obvious that there are no snap descisions being made or impulse buys as would have been commonplace a few years ago. For this reason I’m happy with the descision I took a couple of weeks ago to offer good value on felt flowers, rings and brooches, today I extended the offer to include my latest phone/camera covers and needle filled cases too. I did sell a handfull of these during the course of the morning but no sales totalling more than a collective E30 for 3 items, I don’t think this way of selling product can be classified as a get rich quick scheme, do you? Overall however, I still feel it is a good local venue to promote my workshops, sell some stock, meet friends and enjoy a warm drink while munching delicious home made cookies. Next week is the last Friday before the big day itself, will we have a big rush of last minute buyers looking for some artisan stocking fillers? I for one, certainly hope so!!!
On Saturday Mairead and Sharon really knuckled down to create beautiful pieces of flat felt in the morning and both felted wonderful vessels in the afternoon. It’s always interesting sharing techniques with other artists because once I demonstrate the basic skills I love watching how participants use the creative process to get stuck in and bring their own experience to the felting table! Sharon had never felted before and although Mairead’s art practice is often textile based wet felting is not a technique that she has had much prior experience in either. I’ve posted images of their work to my mobile uploads on Facebook, have a look and I am sure you will agree they both did a wonderful job!
Jacob's sheep bag
I certainly enjoyed the day and I think that they both did too, in fact I was really fired up after they left and started a raw wool bag which I then had time to finish this morning. The locks that I used were local Jacob’s and the inside is a rich raspberry coloured wool which I bought at Felt in Focus 3 years ago, it just seemed to be a perfect marriage with the rich chocolate and creamy white Jacob’s fleece! I added a leather strap (an upcycled belt) for the handle and a cool vintage leather button for the closure. In fact, I think that the button graced a sheepskin jacket yonks ago (isn’t yonks a great word???) so how much more appropriate could the button be than that?
Large autumn coloured felt bowl
The weather has been dreadful here for the last 48 hours. It is so wet that I haven’t a hope of getting outside to photograph my new framed landscapes, I wanted to get them uploaded to my Big Cartel shop but the light is so poor inside (because it is LASHING outside!) that I am going to have to wait another little while. I did however decide to upload the large autumn coloured stitched vessel that I felted for the rare breeds show at Gosford. It’s available for $120 at the moment and if you put the code OCTATCLASHEEN in at the checkout stage you get a 15% discount until the end of this month. This is a BIG felt vessel!!!
Finally I had a query about a video record/nuno felt scarf tutorial which I uploaded to YouTube a long time ago, here’s the link again for those of you new to this blog and who just might be interested in the info it contains!
Today I managed to take some pictures of the nuno felt scarf and wrap I felted using some of Kool-Aid dyed merino and ponge silk from the weekend.
Peaches and cream nuno felt wrap
No, we don’t have Kool-Aid here in Ireland but I am lucky to have a good US friend who knows I love it (NOT to drink but to dye with!!!), thanks Kristi! It’s also on my ‘to buy’ list when I visit Jamie and Blas, Sharon and Emma, Dawn and Jan, the special friends who are so good to host felting workshops on my amazing trips across the water.
Incredibly, not only have I taken pictures of the two pieces but I also managed to revisit my Big Cartel online shop and get them listed earlier this afternoon. Woo hoo, finally I have some items for sale again and not just languishing in my wardrobe! I am also just about start a new page to update all my links and let you see which websites and blogs I follow, for today however enough is enough, I need to cook some food now and have a tasty supper!!!
Exciting news, at least for me! Although it is going to take a couple of weeks hard work felting new summer stock, photographing work already completed and uploading everything to my new exclusive boutique online store CLASHEEN, as of last night the store is live and I have already made my first sale!!!
After a lot of soul searching and research, I decided like my good fibre friend Chrissie Day that Etsy is not really the market place for my one off designs. Big Cartel offers a much more boutique shopping experience and if I were quite honest customers who appreciate hand felted designs are the demograph that I am aiming to attract. To this end, all my felt wearbales and new interior/exterior design range will be exclusive to the new store although I will still be offering a limited selection of supplies from the middle of May on Etsy. These will include an interesting nuno felt scarf kit complete with silk/cotton fabric, merino, silk fibres and an instruction video! For the next week only I have a selection of experimental felt accessories avaiblable at a discount of 40% off their original price as a stock clearing excercise so if you want to snap up a bargain head over to Etsy now, these items are sold as seen and anything left after Friday 7th May will be de-listed and not offered for sale again.
I also have two nuno felt scarves/wraps on special offer at my new store and look forward to having regular specials and seasonal items as we progress through the year. It is going to take a little getting used to but the system as operated by Big Cartel appears to use a simpler way of uploading items than Etsy (not complaining about Etsy, it served its purpose for me). I discovered this afternoon that once an item sells it is still visable to the public although it does say sold out if you click through to the description. This is something I need to keep an eye on but once I get the hang of things I think that it will be a lot quicker and easier to maintain the store as well as having a much more luxurious and individual look about it although I’ll let you all be the judge of that!
Lastly the power of the internet is a wonderful thing. When the boutique store finally went live late yesterday afternoon I posted a quick tweet for all of you following me on Twitter, congratulations to Olwyn who is now the proud owner of this gorgeous felt vessel!