Tuesday, 30 August 2011

I Can Sing a Rainbow...

After a summer break, I decided it was time to re-open my Etsy shop; I've had a few weeks off, and the Frit Happens Forum Etsy Street Team have been working hard to promote our group, with members making lots of lovely treasuries.

I've never done a treasury myself before, but it was really very easy and great fun to do - the hard part was restricting my choices!  I was spurred on to giving it a go by the knowledge that once I'd done four links, I could save it as I went.

I certainly am not the first to make a rainbow treasury, but it brightened my day!  It's not ALL FHF team members, but there's a couple of lovely pieces featured by street team members... click on the big image to go straight to the Etsy Treasury.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Eggs & Networking

Eh, what have eggs got to do with networking I hear you ask?  Probably not that much really, but a recent offer for a bit of publicity about my classes prompted me to have a little ramble on the subject.

Holly at Hatchd Magazine, recently offered to feature my fusing classes - Hatch'd is an online magazine and network (run by volunteers) to support creative arts in Derbyshire, and uses the power of Twitter to share information - and we're mutual followers. 

- If you don't tweet, you might wonder what it's all about - some people think Twitter is just a lot of streams of consciousness and ramblings that "I went to the shop to buy milk" and so on - but it's so much more useful than that.  Etsy sellers use it to promote new listings.  Events organisations use it to share dates and times.  Arts organsiations spread the word on opportunities.  Where as when I blog, the only way it gets seen is if you follow me, stumble across me or I am in someone's follow list and you decide to click through - when I tweet, albeit a short line gets sent out immediately to my followers and often, one or more of my followers will re-tweet - imagine how many people that might reach?  If only two people re-tweet, and they have a couple of hundred followers each, my one little line of information has been seen by hundreds, potentially thousands, of people in one easy go.

Obviously I have blogged about the classes, Facebooked it too, which auto-tweets, Holly picked up on it and messaged me to offer to feature it in the magazine, and here I am, currently on the front page of the website:
Hatch'd Magazine screen capture

Good eh?

Checking out the website, I happened across Hatch'd Out, which is a monthly networking event at Derby Quad, organised by the folk at the magazine.  I haven't been to one yet, and probably won't actually manage the next one, but it did make me think about the usefulness of networking events.

I recently did a course about how to promote your creative business, and we discussed networking, which is a important part of what we do.  We talked about whether different types of networking events, and someone commented that creatives networking events (such as this) are perhaps not all that good as it's mostly other creatives, trying to get the business up and running, who haven't got the money to buy your work.  And yes, there's an element of truth in that of course - however, look at it another way - suppose I'm talking to a graphic designer who, at some other event recently, had been talking to someone who wanted some glass wall art.  Mr Graphics doesn't do it, and having recently left university with a course full of other graphic designers and illustrators doesn't actually know anybody who does it because he never mingled with the crafts students on another site.... but now, having chatted over a coffee and biscuits, Mr Graphics now *does* know a glass artist who he can put the enquirer in touch with...

So, no, networking with other creatives probably won't get you that sale - but it might get you a contact, or perhaps a collaboration that you can use in the future.  Maybe I might go along after all!

Anyway, thank you to Holly at Hatch'd for featuing my classes - you can follow them yourselves here: Hatched on Twitter, and if you don't already follow me, here I am: Dawn's Twitter Page

Saturday, 6 August 2011


I updated my website just before I went away, but I forgot to share!  I've pencilled in some new dates for glass fusing workshops at my studio in Derbyshire ...NEW WORKSHOP DATES.

During my one day taster sessions, I will show you how to cut and handle glass safely; we practice with clear window glass first - most students create a small wall hanging in the morning, and later we move onto using Bullseye Glass - a brand of fusing glass that has the most gorgeous range of colours in sheet glass as well as 'accessory' glass such as frit and stringer, as well as using inclusions and other methods.
I show you various methods of assembling coloured glass to produce a small range of glass pieces for pendants, brooches, cufflinks etc, or perhaps a coaster, as well as explaining a bit about the technical side of things - you'll get some advice notes to take away, and I can talk you through related products such as kilns, cold-working equipment and so on.

At the end of the day, your work is loaded into my digitally controlled glass kiln to be fired overnight - your work will be annealed for strength and durability, so the pieces you make are suitable for practical use either for yourself as as gifts for others.
On a standard day, I do not show you now to make anything specific as I prefer to let you explore your own creativity whilst learning the new techniques, although I occasionally will be running themed workshops.  Of course if there is anything special you'd like to make, then we can look at this too!  Normal fusing days are for groups of 3 to 5 people, so lots of time to help you get things right.  If a small group of people want a class tailoring to specifc needs, please get in touch and we can work this out.
Prices for 2011 are only £50 per person, per day - this includes tuition, access to tools and equipment, firing costs, and supply of glass and accessories to make several pieces to keep.