Welcome to my blog. Let what you see stimulate your imagination and inspire your own creations.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Professional photo shoot

I had the really neat experience this week of having process photographs for an upcoming magazine article taken by a pro. It was actually a lot more work than taking the shots myself, since I needed to have the project ready to shoot in various stages of completion.

I'm pleased to say that although my own shots are not as photographically polished as the pro's, I think are just as clear for teaching purposes. Since I now have all the work done for the new box book, (33 projects proposed, with 10 to 25 shots per project) I feel confident that my very low-budget photos (often taken with one hand on the wood and the other on the camera) will do the job.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bowl class at Norwalk, CT Woodcraft store

Well, yesterday was my all-day bowl class. Of my four students, one had never used a scroll saw, one had a little experience, and two were beginners. I am pleased to say that by 4PM, everyone had completed and sanded a decent looking bowl, including the brand new scroller.

I was exhausted by the end of the day, since except for the 30 minutes I took for lunch, I was constantly helping someone with one thing or another, and I'm not used to being "on" for such a long period of time. But I'm glad that I did it, and would do it again--but not for a while!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Preparing for class

I'll be teaching an all-day bowl-making class at the Woodcraft store in Norwalk, CT tomorrow. Although I've done demos, this will be the first group I've taught where they will be doing the work, not me. I have no idea whether anyone in the group has tried making bowls, so it's sure to be an interesting experience for all of us. I even washed my shop apron for the occasion!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Watching the grain

When you make bowls that use two, or even three sets of rings, be sure to keep the grains in alignment. This is particularly important if there are differences in color from one side of the board to the other. This piece of padauk was used for the second try at a stacked ring box. For the first attempt, I accidentally switched sides on one of the pieces. This resulted in a box that was darker on top on one side, and lighter on top on the other side. It was an interesting effect, but not at all what I had in mind, so I bought some more padauk and did it right this time.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

How do you price your work?

Last week, while visiting friends in southern Vermont, I brought some of my bowls to the owner of a really high end crafts store in Brattleboro. I've not yet sold any of my work, but my house is getting very crowded, and something will need to be done pretty soon.

I took home all their paperwork, which gives commission rate, policies, etc., and there was nothing there that was objectionable, but my biggest stumbling block is how to price my work. Since pricing ultimately depends on what people are willing to pay, I've always been stumped by how to figure this out. Sometimes I'm tempted just to give things away to people who like them. That's why writing books and articles is so pleasant for me--I can make stuff, get paid for my work, and don't have to worry about sales.

It can't be rocket science, and obviously other people have done this, but it's always been an issue for me.