It’s been a crazy summer. I am participating in the 50 song in 90 day challenge. as of this moment I have a meager 14 songs, I am super busy, I knew that it would be tough to juggle everything, and I have 30 days to catch up, Jess and I went to Clayton, NY for a wedding (Congrats again to David and Lara you’re both awesome.) The Southern Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival starts tomorrow and I will be setting up my space in a few hours. Am I ready? Absolutely not. Will I be? Absolutely. Today is also My dad’s birthday and Slade’s Birthday. Happy Birthday guys and thanks for dedicating time on your birthday/birthday weekend to help me set up and sell my stuff. My mom is leaving work early to help organize my merchandise. Jess is in the living room turning business cards into magnets and I am working on trivets and hoping to get one more table in before Saturday. Which looks less and less likely as the hours tick by but I am still stubbornly optimistic. Which is disturbingly out of character. The silo that Jess and I lived in was directly across the street from the garlic festival grounds. I have to admit that the prospect of standing there for 8 hours staring at the hole in the skyline where the silo use to be is not very appealing. My mother, ever the planer has looked at the map and, has informed me that there will be a bounce house in the way but I think the silo was taller than a bounce house. In non garlic fest news. Jess won’t let me use the washing machine to spin projects for spin art painting, I can’t imagine why. . . but I have come up with a plan to use a broken record player instead. It beats using a coarse thread screw and a wood block. I found a cool power pole in the woods by the hospital this week. I want it. It’s been cut up a bit already but it’s still too big to drag out of the woods, but with a chain saw, a drill, an ax, and a reciprocating saw I could cut it into more manageable pieces. I know poles like this are coated in creosote so that might be an issue. Anything else? Etsy shop will be fully stocked again soon. Have a fun and safe labor day and if your anywhere near Southern Vermont this Labor Day weekend check out Garlic fest.
What a crazy summer. I can’t believe in a few hours it will be August. I have a lot to do this month. I am the August artist of the month for the Bennington Arts Guild. I should be set up but I am not. I will go in and do that on Tuesday. If your in the Bennington area Friday, August 5, 2016 stop the Guild from 5-7 for my artist reception. We are a month away from the Southern Vermont Garlic Festival. I have a lot of work to do. I have been playing with the barn board. I managed to make a cool table. The picture sucks but it looks cool in person. I have been experimenting with different edge techniques. I tried to use roofing nails. It was an interesting idea that took way too much effort and would require hundreds of nails. Sure It did not work out so well, but I am going to try to use really thin sheet metal as an edge cover instead. When I use pine sometimes the finish is absorbed unevenly or sap leaks and you need to cover that or it looks unprofessional. Speaking of unprofessional i have decided that I will name my pieces instead of numbering them. I am lazy so I will be naming them after songs I have written so I don’t actually have to come up with new tittles. Like i have a crazy red and black splotched thing with lots of holes and a few burn marks, it’s called “consequences have consequences” which happens to be a song I wrote a few weeks ago for 50/90. I am calling this scrap wood enterprise “The Furniture Remix Project” because I am using lots of different pieces of furniture and what I do is a kind of tactile remix. It’s giving a new identity to old pieces of wood. it’s a fresh perspective on old and damaged pieces. Onward!
I have been busy in the workshop trying to build inventory, find new places to sell my work, and come up with new and fun ways to get my business noticed. I took a big step and submitted my work to the Bennington Arts Guild. It was a simple process and I was able to pass the jury process. I left 3 pieces in the gallery to display and one has already sold!. I brought in 7 more items on Sunday when I went in to work my gallery shift. I am excited to have my stuff in a proper shop again. Now when a potential customer at a show asks where my stuff is available I can tell them that my stuff is available in the Bennington Arts Guild Gallery store or my etsy shop.
Bennington holds an annual art/crafts fair every year called Mayfest. I have always wanted to rent space to sell my work, but it was over my budget so I never got beyond researching the possibility of setting up. The Arts Guild had a space for the event and one of the cool things about joining the guild is that I got to sell my stuff in their Mayfest booth as long as I helped set up and take down the Guild space. It was hot but it was fun! I talked to lots of people about my process and how I got into wood working. I handed out a ton of business cards,and sold raffle tickets for a guild fund raiser The guild is open Thursday-Saturday from 11-5, Sunday from 12-4. The Guild is located at 339 Main Street Bennington VT 05201
This week I have been looking for craft shows to sign up for and working on ornament ideas. I cut this primitive nativity scene out of a piece of scrap wood I found. I am not sure what kind it is? It’s the same piece that I made the tree and the maple leaf with. It might be lace wood? Or a species of mahogany? I like it and wish I had more. I find primitive ornaments are a great use for scrap wood. Much of the scrap is already distressed so it really is a great fit. Not all of my scrap wood is distressed of course and I can make ornate pieces work too. That’s one of the many great things about working with wood, it cleans up well. all it takes is some sand paper, elbow grease lemon oil and time. I am also working on My Garlic Festival Application while making and perfecting a garlic ornament. The Southern Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival. It’s a two day event that takes place over labor day weekend each year In Bennington,VT . It is primarily a celebration of garlic and food but there are lots of cool crafts for sale too.It’s a big event and it would be great if I could get in. Reading the application I learned that even craft vendors have to have something garlic themed in their display. That makes sense but I have been thinking about what I could make to celebrate garlic? Originally I was going to make a box to be used as a garlic keeper but that would use a lot of wood. I want to make something that less complicated. I am working on a garlic trivet. It will have a garlic shape in the center and I will use the same shape to make a garlic ornament. I had been having trouble drawing garlic but I have improved and will unveil my garlic trivet and ornament sometime over the next 3 weeks! Do you know of an interesting craft show, festival, flea market or event In New England or New York? Pass on the details in the comments or on my facebook page.
January was a bit of a drag but February was a busy month and March is almost over. F.A.W.M monopolized most of my February creative time but I worked in the shop too. I cut out some small snowflakes, peace signs, and stars.I tried to rearrange parts of my workshop, unfortunately with limited success. I had an ETSY special order for a wall hanging, well it would have to stand on an easel not a wall hanging, but you know what I mean. It was suppose to be Celtic inspired and use more natural wood and little to no painted scraps. I wanted to post pictures of the order but it was a birthday present for a person who follows my shop. I did not want to risk posting about it and having the recipient see. I experimented with shapes on the special order and I think I am going to mix up my pattern execution and be less rigid in terms of shape structure. I am making some progress sanding my shutters down to get the flaking latex paint off the oil paint. Once that is done I will put a clear coat on them prevent the rest of the paint from flaking. That should be the end of the prep work, I am very excited to move on to the construction phase of the shutter shelf project. That’s it for now, and if you can correctly guess the origin of the tittle of this post you get 10% off your next purchase in my etsy store!
Had a great time at oktoberfest last weekend. The weather was great, the leaves were pretty and there were lots of people out having a good time. Pumpkin puzzles were my big seller. I also sold peace puzzles, and dog puzzles. I got some leads for upcoming events, which is great. I handed out a ton of business cards and did a lot of networking. I am not good at networking but I am getting better. It’s all a learning experience. All and all it was a great day, I saw old friends and made new ones. Our booth neighbors were Touch of Peace Farms from North Bennington. They were great neighbors and they make an amazing maple syrup.
Tomorrow, September 26 I will be in Arlington,VT from 9 am to 5 pm for the St. James Episcopal Church 2015 harvest festival. Stop by, say hi and check out some of my work. I have a few puzzles, wall hangings and tables to sell. The weather is suppose to be great, it should be a fun day. The festival takes place on the church grounds and the arlington village green.