Friday, October 23, 2009

Work benches, slow sales and new fun with clay

I have spent the last three weeks carefully tending to my back -- despite injuring my neck somehow in my sleep one night - and I am now back up to snuff, as long as I don't overdo things. Good thing, as I go back on ambulance call tomorrow night for a week.

Business has been extremely slow (only one customer in the door in the whole three weeks) so I have been slowly building up inventory in prepration for Christmas.

I ordered some CopprClay and some BronzClay as they are more affordable than PMC (for me and for my customers) and I played with it a bit this week. I made some beads and a belt buckle from the copper version and then made and fired a buckle blank from the bronze version.

The copper came out great! The bronze, however, had some issues. The buckle came out all bubbly and rough. I called my supplier and they told me that even though it was thin, I should have fired it like a thick piece because it is so big. Okay, back to the drawing board on that one. It did come out with beautiful colors though! I love the patina that gets fired onto it, and if you polish it up, it is the color of spun honey -- gold with a hint of autumn.

I can't wait to make some pieces that combine all three types of clay!

After waiting over four months for my neighbor to build a workbench for me (I have been getting by with a sheet over a plastic folding table -- much to rickety to do much with and I can't bolt anything down) -- I decided to design my own. It was going to cost about $100, so the project was on hold.

Today my hubby and his dad surprised me with a workbench! It is shorter, narrower and far less fancy than the one I designed, but since my father-in-law donated all the materials from stuff stored in his barn, the price is more than right!

The formica may be orange, but it is certainly easier to clean a mess up from than that darned sheet!

I can hammer away and not worry about it collapsing either, and I can finally bolt down my vice. Yea!

Now, if the customers will just come!

Better get to work on some more inventory -- Christmas is just around the corner, I need stuff for a storefront in a mall about an hour away and there is a craft show just about a month away.

I also need to work on my prototype for a colored pencil painting pin to commemorate the Bike Ride Across Nebraska stop in Thedford next year. The pin would be given to each of the riders that stays in Thedford when they stay overnight next June.

So much work and so little time! Happy creating!

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