Friday, November 20, 2015

Inside the Studio with Humblebeads

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a prize each week to encourage you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries. And here are the results from last week!

Congratulations Kathleen Thompson
You have won a £10 voucher for either Songbead or The Curious Bead Shop.
Contact Rebecca to claim your prize!

Well I'm short on words and long on pictures today. In my studio this week there have been a few jewelry making marathons squeezed in during a some late nights. I have a show this weekend, my only in-person one of the season. I'm really looking forward to a fun weekend.  I had some things in stock from a recent art market, like the collection above.

One thing I wanted to do for this show was to create jewelry inspired by the projects in my new book, Beautiful Elements. The oak leaf pendants featured in a chapter of the book and I think hands down it's one of my favorite designs - although I love all the projects in the book. The oak leaves just make me happy. I paired them with Humblebeads disks and ceramic rounds from White Clover Kiln that were transformed into acorns.

The new book focuses quite a bit on a technique that I call Metal Sketches, were I use different mark-making techniques to create images on metal like the evergreen bracelet below and the birch bark cuffs.

 Must make more of these after the show - and one for myself.

It took me a few trials but I was determined to create a holly leaf using the metal sketch technique. I used a patina to create a the green and green/blue hues. Feeling very festive.  I also did some large holly leaves as ornaments too.

And these cuties, I've been making these tree pins for a few years now. Actually I designed them and taught Jess to make them - so they are actually his handiwork! I decided to do some in bronze and silver this year. I also make earrings that go with these, not everything on my table has art beads. Some are simple beaded pieces that work with the rest of my jewelry but I can offer at a much lower price point. Sometimes you need those under $25 impulse buys!

And at the opposite end of the spectrum are these amazing lampwork butterfly wing beauties from Kim Snider. Mixed with Humblebeads and White Clover Kiln ceramic beads.

And these fun ones, I keep things simple and create the same designs using variations with different beads, much like Rebecca shared last week.

And more simple pieces to vary the price points on my table.

And there are lots of earrings, but most of them are simple designs with slight variations. I also do a lot of metal work with tiny leaves and birch branches made from wire.

And then these guys - always best sellers. Probably because they make a great gift since memory wire can fit any size.

There are so many more pieces. Tomorrow I will have  a few hours to set up my display and edit my offerings to keep things simple and easy for buyers. I don't put everything out because I think too many choices are overwhelming.

After my show I'll be selling what I have left online. My question for you is where is your favorite place to sell/buy handmade online - Etsy, your website, Facebook or some place else? Leave a comment and a random will be picked next week for a $30 gift certificate to


baymoondesign said...

I sell on Etsy and buy on Etsy. I try to support handmade and handmade in United States.

Unknown said...

Wow! So many inspiratioons! I love love those simple but beautiful ceramic beads! Those butterfly wings are spectacular too! You are a busy bee!

Unknown said...

I have used Etsy to buy handmade. I use my Facebook page to put up pictures of my own creations so people can buy them from me! I'm new to this but I hope to set up an Etsy store after the first of the year and make it official! I love your beads and the creations you make with them! Thanks for the chance to win! ��

Anonymous said...

Love your collections, Heather...just shows how great your handmade components look paired with other artisans work or on their own. Inspired! I don't do many holiday markets, but it's always fun to meet customers face to face and get to know what they like.

Erin S said...

Very cool stuff, Heather! I prefer both buying and selling on Etsy. I don't have a big enough following for anybody to find my own website, and I don't enjoy pitching my wares on FB at all. But then, jewelry is more a hobby for me--I don't even try to make a living at it.

Elizabeth said...

No doubt, I'm an online shopper, for beads and anything else. I like the ease of online: jammies, coffee, middle of the night, etc. As for selling, I've done in person, but would like to do just online going forward.

Heather, I'm loving those tree pins. What a subtle Christmas touch that can work from the first cool breeze of fall through to April 1st.

Have fun all.

DespinaV said...

Maybe I'm used to it, but Etsy is still the first place I search whenever I want to buy something.
I often buy from eBay as well, mostly chinese crystals and gemstones.
Your display sounds dreamy, good luck with your show!

Despina Veneti

Deb said...

Beautiful pieces Heather. I like the interaction with customers at a good show but also sell on Etsy. Making different color versions of favorite pieces and having some nice inexpensive pieces in your booth is good advice too, thanks!

Denise said...

I sell on Etsy and mostly buy handmade items No one from Etsy. I've also bought handmade online on personal shop websites if I know the site from following blogs (thank you for showcasing so many wonderful artists here) and from magazines.

Unknown said...

Long on pictures is great when everything is this beautiful! I enjoy buying on etsy, but lately I've been buying in Facebook too. There is something personal and fun about it - like an event. I used to be a bit skittish about it, but I've gotten very comfortable. I hope you had a great, fun show!

Karen Z said...

I sell only local, in a themed gift shop now. Buying takes me all over; I still haunt Etsy...but have joined several Facebook groups and follow artists as they set up their own sales web sites as well. Following blogs like yours help me find what I'm looking for too!

Unknown said...

I sell on Etsy but it's a lot of work! My favorite place to sell is really on Facebook because it is so much more organic. I like showing a new design on my page or in a FB group and having someone say "I want that"...can't beat that feeling!

Carolyn said...


I buy mostly online through Facebook and Etsy. I have also bought directly from the artist themself.

I have sold in person and hope to sell online in the future.


Sandra Pendragon said...

I always love Etsy to sell. It is so cool to sell all over the world. Ireland, Saudi Arabia, France, Indonesia, on and on. Some places I actually had to look up. I have met so many people all over and so many I still write to and I would call my friends. I just sent all of the women i met through my store a copper feather brooch I made and we decided to name ourselves The Women of Peace. I do a lot of trunk shows in my studio/cottage also.

Unknown said...

I sell at a wonderful Saturday market in Edmonds, Washington. I sell/buy on Etsy (such variety to shop from), and get a lot of my focal pieces there. I also shop during my travels in the United States and around the world, looking for unique beads, fibers and findings. Love your beads and books, Heather.