Monday, January 26, 2009

Improvements to my work

In an never ending attempt to make my work the best that I can, I've discovered that when I take my clay the extra mile, it sells. Well, not all of the time, but I have a better chance at selling it.

For instance, I just had a few sales on eBay. The clay that sold had extra details giving it that little punch!

Sometimes it's hard for me to get that through my head as I'm making something. I made a gingerbread with a cupcake. Looked pretty cute to me. But it sat on eBay without many views and no bids.

Instead of re listing it, I took a look at it and re-designed it.

Above is the original and below is the redesign. I added a few more cupcakes to her.

Here's another clay baby I tried to sell.

I added another monkey and put it on etsy. I only increased the price by $1.00, making it $7.00, which is a good price.

I'll see if that makes a difference in sales. I think I'm going to look at several of the items I have and see if I can liven them up a bit. It can't hurt.

Indie Crafters

You no doubt have either heard the term, Indie Crafters or you are one yourself.

I have been trying to find a definition of Indie crafters, because when I see a site that offers Indie crafts, I'm confused. Other than the occasional pink skull and crossbones, or odd looking hand stuffed toys, most of the items look like "crafts" to me.

According to the Urban dictionary Indie means the informal use of the word independent.
"Also, for many, it has come to symbolize originality and forward-thinking, especially in music and design.

By this definition, indie is any business or designer that is not associated with a large company. Indie can also define the consumer who chooses to support small business, independent record labels and handmade items rather than shopping at big-box stores."

By that definition, I guess that anyone who has made things by hand is an indie crafter.

Sometimes though, that name implies the younger generation. I once tried to get into an Indie/urban craft show in Detroit and was turned down. My first reaction was that I was insulted. My second was that I must be too old. Of course, they didn't know how old I was, but that was my reaction.

When I first went to etsy to check it out, I thought to myself, I think I'm too old to be here. But, I didn't let that deter me. I'm still trying to build some success there and I'm sure my age has nothing to do with it. But whenever I see a profile where I think the artist/crafter is close to my age, I feel a little better.

In your opinion, what do you think Indie crafts or crafters implies? Leave a comment, I'd like to better understand.


The bottom line is that it doesn't really matter about the age issue. Or if a person calls themselves an artist or a crafter or an Indie crafter. It's more curiosity on my part. It's very exciting to me to see the interest that younger people have in crafting. (My daughter was knitting the other day, and I was ecstatic!)

Sometimes I wish I was 20 again, only in this decade. How valuable the Internet would have been to me when I was younger and more ambitious and when I could stay up till 3 am crafting and had the stamina of a horse!

When I first found out about Polymer Clay it was 1982. I was at a craft show and a lady had made fruit from colored clay. Now, I had seen white clay in the art stores, but colored??
She was kind enough to tell me it was from Polyform Products. I found a package of white at the art store, and wrote down the address of Polyform. I called the operator, who gave me their number. I found out they could sell me colored clay, but I had to have a sales tax license. I had to go downtown, get a name for my business and get the tax license. I finally ordered a box of clay, (8 or 10 colors, 10 colors each)..That whole process took about 6 weeks.

No stores in Michigan sold colored Sculpey in those days. In fact, when I had a little gift shop in 1987 through 1989, I sold Sculpey III and taught classes. The UPS man would deliver my clay on Thursday and there would be two or three customers hanging around the shop to grab up their favorite colors. Look how easy it is to buy clay now!

I guess you could say that I'm a pioneer in crafting. Or at least claying. Plowing the way for others, making their journey a little easier. Hey, I like that idea. I think I'll use that term to describe myself.

Debbie Garrity, Pioneer Crafter.

1 comment:

Aloquin said...

Hi! What a post! First of all, I don't think age has anything to do with it. I would have no indication of your age save for the dates you mentioned in the post.

That's the definition of Indie that I've always gone with, someone who does their thing and stays away from the big companies. Once their idea is purchased by said big companies, they are no longer indie. That is how I've always taken it.

I also fell in love with Polymer clay, and am very grateful for Michael's and Joanne's and ACMoore for carrying them. That's great that you had classes, you may very well have inspired some current etsians without even realizing it!

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