Culzean Castle grounds were absolutely stunning today, and the drive along the coast road with views of Ailsa Craig were magic. Scotland in sunshine has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world (I’m not Scottish, and I don’t think I’m biased…)
I had lots of visitors at my table today, many of whom didn’t realise that the beads I have for sale are all Made By Me (MinMade, hah) despite notices to that effect. I usually have to explain it very clearly, and even then I can see the cogs turning before people actually realise what I am telling them, ‘You make all these? They’re lovely!’ (I like that comment of course) or the one that amuses me most, ‘Well, it’s nice to have a wee hobby’. Er…hobby?! Were it only so simple!
Eventually there will be more glass-bead makers in this area, meanwhile, I know I’m fortunate to be one of the few here on the west coast of Scotland, and I hope those about to launch themselves on the public will benefit from my endeavors. Mind you, I explained so often today, more than I have ever had to before at any other fair, light headed because there was no time to snatch a proper bite to eat (all together now…aw…!) demonstrating with mandrels and ends of glass rods, that I felt like having a collection tin on my table for donations for my efforts. I could give the money to the cat’s protection league…or buy myself some Strepsils maybe.
A lovely customer of mine wasn’t happy with a recent New Improved and more Grown-Up bead display, and was good enough to let me know that she would prefer to be able to rummage through my beads and ‘discover’ one she likes, so I have transformed the display to something with which even I am pleased. I had some trays just waiting to be painted white, made some dividers out of excess window blind slats, organised the beads into the compartments, and off I went to the fair yesterday with my beads displayed in a more fun and accessible way. I really don’t want to spend any more time on displays than I already have in the time I have been selling them, I hope this is It, enough already!
Making and selling beads involves far more than melting glass. Creating a website requires being able to take decent pictures of one’s work, quite nightmarish at first and my first efforts are still visible somewhere on here. Last week I was working with wood and power tools, not exactly to high standards of finish, but sufficiently well enough that no-one will get a splinter while looking for beads. Then there’s business card design, I would not like to use any other programme than Adobe Photoshop for my artwork, I’m so glad I didn’t have to learn how to use that as well, luckily I’ve been using it for years. Being able to make basic jewellery is a useful skill of course, as well as lugging heavy bags to and from fair venue’s, not to mention being able to drive to them. It’s surprising how much time the whole business can take up, and I applaud anyone who manages it on top of full time work. Now that I have settled on a display method I will have more time and no headaches over it, and I’m so pleased that I don’t have to go through yet another re-think before next weekend, instead I can focus on what I’m really interested in. What with all the peripheral occupations, I’ll be glad to get back to the torch, which brings it’s own niggles, as well as therapeutic value, but more on those another day…
I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s fair at Langside Hall in Glasgow. As usual it was fun to spend time with the stall holders around me. Becky Wilson’s photo’s are beautiful and would grace any home, see them at www.bexphoto.com, Jacqueline Graham’s jewellery is delicate and pretty (no website!) what’s more, she uses lampwork beads made by bead makers here in the UK, which I appreciate. It was lovely to have Sean and Gillian present too, from www.hamiltontaylor.co.uk, kind, funny, generous people. I wish I hadn’t forgotten the names of other people I met, I want to give them a mention too, but all the crafters are listed on the fair website if you want to have a look.
www.craftfairsscotland.co.uk is a well run organisation, all their venues have been pleasant to be in, plus which, their crafters/artists are of a standard which means that it is a pleasure to make that detour and come in to see the works on offer.
I was very much struck by three customers yesterday, they were more fascinated by the tactile nature of glass beads than by their colour, shape was very important to them too. I even had several customers who didn’t want me to make beads into jewellery, they had findings at home and were excited about making themselves something. I loved that. I’m very much looking forward to the next Glasgow fair!