Saturday, October 6, 2012

Studio Saturday with Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry

Welcome to Studio Saturday! 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 free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
This weeks winner is Renetha of Lamplight Crafts.  
You have won a pair of recycled aluminum can earrings from Tari at Creative Impressions in Clay.
Send Tari an e-mail with your address and she will get it right out to you.
This week we visit the studio of Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry.
This past week I had my one and only show that I do each year, A.R.T.S. Night (A Reason To Shop).

I spend weeks working on jewelry (I had a goal of 5 new things per day. Didn't quite make that, but I did have new things!) Since I only do this one show a year, I don't have a huge booth and I don't spend a lot of time on it. But I do want to make an impression with the clientele that come, even if I don't sell much at this show. What I did have for display was feeling a bit drab and tired. I do prefer booths that have interesting displays, varying heights and a cohesiveness. I don't care for just throwing all the jewelry in a big heap so that it just looks like a tangled mess. And the display has to be something that I can easily do all by myself. I also believe that my booth is an extension of my branding, like walking into a store with my name on it, so I wanted to do something that felt more like me.

Pinterest has been a constant source of great ideas for me. I have a Pinterest board that is specific to displays and I invite you to follow me there. I took little bits of this and that to make this booth feel like my own. After some thrifting, repurposing, and many cans of spray paint later, I now have a cohesive design that feels earthy, classy and whimsical, just like me. (I apologize for the poor pictures. I took these on my phone and they looked great at 3 inches but not so much here!)

I started with a Pinterest display idea that has made the rounds.

{The inspiration courtesy of Pinterest}

Isn't that clever? But I knew that I wanted to make it my own. And it had to be portable.

I bought up all the clipboard packs that my Walmart had. The original inspiration had burlap under the clips, and I thought of just adding scrapbook paper as a backdrop, but found that too busy for what I do. 

Then I spied a can of chalkboard paint. 

{Close up of my clipboards}

It took several coats, and because I am lazy, I sprayed right over the metal, but found that the metal did chip away if I wasn't careful. I tried spraying a clear coat on top of that, but it just crackled it and made it worse. So I might be repainting, or figuring out something that I can brush on to make it more durable (but remember, I am lazy ;-) I love being able to draw on the boards with little details and the name of the pieces.

{Long shot of my booth set up.}
I needed it all to be portable and found these louvered bifold doors at two different consignment shops. I got them for $20 and $22. Considering that new bifolds would be upwards of $65-75 each, this was a steal. One had a little condition issue, and they were slightly different, with one raw wood and the other stained walnut, but similar enough. Spray paint unifies anything! I might add a little latch to keep them closed and a handle for easier carrying, but I was able to do it myself. With a cart loaded up and these two doors, it only took me 2.5 trips!

The biggest problem was how to make the doors freestanding. I thought about making bases for them out of shelf brackets, but that would be far too much work. Then I saw another idea on Jewelry Making Journal for a booth by Wired Orchid. I solved that problem by busting out the bottom louvers and inserting a standard shelf. Voila!

I found that I could use them separately as I did here, or backed together for a cube like presentation or even in a row for a whole wall. I used simple S hooks through the louvers to hang the clipboards.

I recently got lost on the way to Galena, IL for Heather's trunk show... in the Hobby Lobby in Madison! ;-) But my detour was fruitful in that I scored this metal frame that was on clearance because the center was scratched. Chalkboard paint to the rescue! Oh, and I painted the lower portion in chalkboard on one side for added signage in the future.

When I was figuring out how to hang this, I somehow got it wedged in the door. Aha! Yes...the tension is all that is holding it there! (Spoiler alert: that necklace on that bust is my Bead Soup Book piece! You can read all about my inspiration on Sunday, October 7th on my blog and comment there to get a special bead soup I am giving away!)

Since I had many cans of hammered copper paint from the doors, I decided to see what else I could redo. Again, back to Pinterest!

The inspiration... resin molded ornate frames with fabric inserts and cool hat pins.
{I like the look of these resin frames (but not the price!) and pinning the jewelry makes it special!}

On my many thrifting excursions, I found two of these wickedly ugly plastic 70s picture frames at Goodwill. I picked up some wooden easels that fit them perfectly from the Hancock Fabrics next door. Carefully popped out the glass and the faded prints scrubbed the grime and dust off them, added some batting and beautiful upholstery fabric that I got at 70% off. Again, the hammered copper paint to the rescue.

{Before...good deal at $1.49 each!}
{...and after...a cool display!}
Recently I went into a new boutique in my town called Girls With Pearls (I am working on some jewelry that will be perfect for there). All their display busts and bracelet bars were this yummy copper color. Copper is my signature color. I remarked on them and she gave me the link to the company she bought them from. I briefly considered ordering some, but then decided that I would try the left over spray paint. After all, this is the only show that I do ;-)

Krylon Fusion Hammered Finish in copper for plastic worked the best to transform some of my tired black leatherette neck busts into shiny copper displays that unified my booth. I tried another brand and it left the fabric tacky (I was going to say it left my busts sticky but that sounds like a personal problem ;-) , so I would recommend using the Krylon.

{Tired old bust before...}

{...and after! This one is on the back left.}
All my thrifted displays look cohesive without being boring since there are different tones. Wood display cubes and a leatherette suitcase provide heights. A good mix of copper and black... A thrifted candle tray that looks very much like my cheap sign worked perfectly for earrings with my earring cards that stand up by themselves (you can read how I did that on Earrings Everyday). Now I see that I need to clean the mirror. Doh! I am thinking of spray painting that copper to match.....

My last aha moment came from my trip to Galena and Trish Italia's new store Rustic River Finds. In the front window of this charming new store, Trish has all these old steamer trunks displaying jewelry. Over the summer I was looking for a new photo prop at a local antique store. I wanted a piece of weathered wood or an old pressed tin ceiling tile. I found this rickety old trunk outside in the elements rusting perfectly! The owner went to open the top and the whole thing came off and released a hornet's nest! He gave me the detached top at no charge. It is a might bit large to photograph in my studio, so it has just been sitting around. I put a metal easel underneath to prop it up, wedged a few cup hooks in between the warped wood and rusty metal (I didn't want it to be permanent) and it was the perfect display! For free!

My booth was the talk of the show. The organizers mentioned that if they had a prize for booth display (they don't), I would win it. Other vendors couldn't help but come over to see (including those I would consider my 'competition' ;-). And my whimsical chalkboards captured the attention of the passing patrons and even did some of the 'talking' for me! 

All in all, I like the direction of my new booth and could see setting it up at other shows if I had the opportunity! Now to try getting some trunk shows and home shows added to my schedule... I think I look like I am for real now!

 Don't worry, spiders,
I keep house

~Kobayashi Issa

Recently, I made a pendant for a winner in a giveaway that I had on my blog earlier this summer. I created a Simple Truth pendant using the winner's input from the most delightful story of this poem by Kobayashi Issa. I made two. She chose the one she wanted and I will giveaway this extra special little Simple Truth spider pendant to one random comment to this question:

What do you have in your lying around that you could add a little spray paint to or just use in a different way that would be the perfect display?



EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Erin your booth is gorgeous! You sure are ingenious with your thrifty finds!!!! I seriously love the idea of the clip boards! Mom and I want to refurb our neckstands and I have found some tutorials on Pinterest I want to try and I really really want to spray paint the screen we use for outdoor shows to match the color scheme of the table cloths. We also have a window we want to use for display that we need to add legs to the back for it to stand on its own plus I am trying to talk mom into painting flowers on the window. There is so many ideas on Pinterest and from other bloggers that get my thinking of ideas. You have just shown your thriftiness so I need to get out there and give it awhirl. I hope you had an awesome show!!!

Lois Moon said...

Embroidery hoops of all sizes. Add mesh screening or fabric, spray paint, and hang to display. You can also add a block or dowel to the part that tightens the hoop so that the hoop will sit up off off a table.

m.e. said...

Every element looks wonderful.
Your booth is Practical,Pretty and Personalized !
the blackboard paint on clipboards.....GENIUS!
m.e. :)

Alice said...

What clever displays, and on the cheap too! I've been wanting to change up my displays as they have been the same since 2007. I love the clipboard and the louvered door displays. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas.

Your spider pendant is darling and I would love to win it!

peacockfairy said...

Oh Erin.... it is so fabulous! I just love how the entire look turned out! I too was thinking about spraying some of my older busts. Love that little spider charm!

Anvil Artifacts said...

Your booth looks wonderful! Really enjoyed this delightful post.

KayzKreationz said...

I'm not sure, but after your inspiring post, I'm going to have to start looking around. I love that copper hammered paint. Haven't ever tried the chalkboard paint.

Cassi said...

I bought a k-cup holder when I bought a Keurig Coffee Machine. It was made of hammered bronze, with a scroll design and could be sitting on the counter or hung on a wall. It ended up being kind of awkward to have on a kitchen counter underneath other cupboards. Turns out, it makes a great display for earrings! And now we have a more typical carousel holder for the k-cups :-)

Erin said...

I've found Lots of necessary information from your blog. Just bookmark your blog for more explore! I will definitely share this post with others. Thanks for sharing.

Gale said...

It's ME who could use a little spray paint, I'm afraid! You've done wonders with it, anyway.... And I've always loved that haiku--it makes for a great pendant, especially during spider season.

Anonymous said...

I'm always admiring all those creative display ideas out there and like gazing at them almost as much as the jewelry on them... These are some of the best I've seen! The chalkboard is a brilliant idea... I'm pretty sure that I don't have anything at home that would make a cool display, but then I don't really have a need for one - which I regret right now, I want to grab a bottle of spraypaint and cover everything that crosses my path ;) I might have the corner of someone else's booth this christmas, but that doesn't leave much room for display... I really want something more cretive than a piece of velvet, though. Maybe I can find a nice branch for bracelets, and a small picture frame for necklaces... I need a yard sale NOW!

lamplight crafts said...

I have a small end table that belonged to my grandmother. I stripped about t coats of various paints including the red white and blue my mother used in 1976! After that I painted it lambs ear pink and mint green. Turned out great. Now I might strip it and go with some copper. Might be spring before I get to it, but it needs something new.

Marie Cramp said...

Wow! You really made it your own! I love to add new things to my displays. I do the thrift shop things when I can get out of the house and I try to make things look like they belong together, much like you have done :) Spray paint is a woman's best friend! lol I have two of these doors myself, but they are so heavy I have not been using them much. I need to repaint them too. Done once, but needs to be more like my other displays now. Hope you did well at your show!! <3

Cece Cormier said...

Beautiful display. Display work is a talent and art form all on it's own and you should be very proud of your efforts.

Val said...

I love the chalk board paint and copper paint - what great ideas, and the black and copper look gorgeous together!

I opened most of your links in new tabs and can't wait to read them, and check out your Pinterest board. I've only done one small sale so far, but would love to do more. And create a strong brand image, as you have. Thanks for the tips!

Brandi Hussey said...

Gorgeous, Erin! I love how every display feels so cohesive despite being from different sources!

SoulsFireDesigns said...

Erin, I love the chalkboard spray paint! BRILLIANT! I have two or three picture frames I've been using with corkboard in them... now I'm wondering if I could spray paint the cork board... I also had this idea for a chest display deal to make everything more portable... yup, time to pick up some spray paint and get to work! (oh and that pendant is adorable! :) )

Tanya said...

Your displays are awesome. I would never have thought that such beautiful things could come with just a simple coat of paint.

Lately, the kiddo and I are making a Halloween village with the $1 birdhouses, a coat of black spraypaint and a coat of glitter paint. The kiddo loves glitter. :)

Kat BM said...

really clever stuff in your displays.. thanks for letting us see them. I love that trunk top!

Mary McMahon said...

Another helpful and artistic post--you and your work are amazing! Spray paint and I used to have an acquaintance, but with the 9 to ? job taking more and more time, beading is about all I get to for fun. Haven't coordinated any booth ideas, but you have lit a fire under me and I believe Mr. Spray Paint and I will become good friends again. You have inspired me to hunt for treasures (well reworked finds that become treasures) and so the hunt begins......

Anonymous said...

I have started thinking about displays as I am hoping to set up a stall at a school market in a couple of months. One thing I have that I am contemplating is a wooden hinged box, kind of like one of those artists boxes that hold a mini easel and paints etc. I found it on the side of the road recently. It's very "clean" pale wood though, definitely needs to be scruffed up a bit ;-)

Elaine said...

Your set up looks great Erin! I've used spray paint and cans of paint a lot. Most of my risers are pine boxes from Ikea, my "trees" are all cut outs from plywood and so on. Paint ties them together.

My new year plan has me getting all of the last items for my shows and finishing them up. I do 8-10 shows a year so my booth gets a lot of changing up.

Syl said...

I made a tree out of copper pipe and copper coated steel wire, now rusted with garage storage. Copper spray paint here I come and a renewed display for my earrings. Your clip boards are very clever, can we borrow?

DESPINA said...

I have got some old square cheese grinders, that I will paint in pastel shades and in black and red, and use them to display earrings!!


Erin S said...

your displays are awesome!
I've been thinking about doing some metallic spray painting and then some random gold leafing to regular old garden variety rocks. Not covering them completely, but just enough to add interest. Also, spray painted pinecones are pretty cool.

Liz said...

Wonderfully creative! Fantastic product display! Love the chalk boards too!

Unknown said...

Erin, your displays are so creative and wonderful, I'm sure you got many complements on them. I hope your show was successful.
Thanks for sharing your ideas for displays with all of us.
You are a very talented artist, and it shows in all that you do, from your work, your packaging and displays.
' wishing you continued success.

swopemelmel said...

I found a great mirror at a yard sale and the seller said her son handmade the wooden frame. It is very rustic and perfect the way it is. It is huge and it was $8.00 !!
swopemelmel at aol dot com

Paula Lee M. said...

Oh I love the booth displays! The door idea was precious. And painting old busts is a great idea. I have a few that are a bit tired, just have to get out the spray paint.
I have used everything from old wooden handbags and hat boxes to baskets and picture frames. I am constantly looking for unusual display ideas especially inexpensive as money is tight. Thanks for sharing your booth ideas.

Stories They Tell said...

Erin, your finds are so cool and you have showcased your wonderful work in such a creative and special way! I was just lately working on my ArtBliss display so I know what fun it is to "dress up" your work like this.

Here's a tip for the blackboard: Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint. Any of the colors can be used for a blackboard finish and you can apply this on metal, plastic, wood, brick, etc. and there's NO prep! Great for us lazy people! Great post-- thanks!