Monthly Archives: December 2015
I was recently invited to provide the catalogue forward for an exhibition coming up in london. This is what I wrote.
The Millinery Works has a history closely associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. Many of these makers exhibiting here have a similar association if not direct inspiration. The Arts and Crafts movement was a movement of political and aesthetic revolt. They were against a Victorian urban industrialism led by inspirational socialist thinkers of the calibre of William Morris and artists like Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rosetti.
The makers in this room can certainly be regarded as a movement, though many would not share my assertion. But what they are revolting against this may be less clear. The web forum that has enabled this exhibition to be staged contains a loose association of rugged individuals. Each supporting a myriad of different causes, ideals and creative directions. Most are deliberately working far from the centres of cultural power and influence. They inhabit small isolated workshops, some in urban but many in rural settings often creating work inspired by land, wind and weather. Makers in this room will have had to become expert at providing an exceptional customer service. Listening carefully to their clients and returning with a sensitive and creative response. Again and again they will have exceeded their customers expectation and made something that was truly extraordinary. The best will have the support of genuinely creative patronage.
If these makers, like those of the Arts and Crafts period, are in revolt, today it would be against the lack of quality in our culture. They would be against poor standards, sound bite journalism, the cheapness of our thinking, and the sheer lack of genuine quality in our lives. I am now 60 and I have spent most of my life looking at Art, waiting for an artist to come crashing through the walls of galleries with the creative power of a Matisse or a Picasso. Sadly what I have seen, time and again, has been just shabby and thin. Branded with skill but with little content. I have reasonably expected to be moved by the culture of my age and I now believe that I’ve been let down. The Salon Culture of Conceptual Art is what we creative individuals have to live within. I believe that many of the creative beings within this room may have stepped aside from that context and have chosen creative furniture making as an acceptable way to them of coexisting with an unacceptable art world. A market described by the critic Robert Hughes as ” The second largest unregulated market after the market for heroin and cocaine.” Yes, that would be something worth revolting against.
Do you have a passion for arts and crafts? Do you regularly find yourself making gifts for family and friends? Whether you make handmade birdhouses, wind chimes, or anything in between, there is the potential to make money. Don’t just use your creations as gifts, but use them to earn a living or extra money on the side. How? With the help of the popular classified website, Craigslist.org.
To actually list your arts and craft projects for sale on the website, you need to create a listing. Visit the Craigslist website, select your state and then your city. From there, you can click the “post to classifieds,” link in the upper left-hand corner of the page. Follow the step-by-step guide to create your listing. Although easy, there is information you must include to make a sale.
Pictures. Consumers rarely buy items without first seeing pictures. Increase your chances of making a sale by taking a few pictures of the item you are selling. Don’t use stock photographs, but a picture of the actual item. Accompany that picture with a detailed description.
Fair selling price. It is tricky to sell arts and crafts. Your goal is to make money, but a low selling price virtually guarantees a sale. Unfortunately, you aren’t a mass production line, meaning your supplies and time cost more. That is why a fair selling price is important. It ensures you make money, but is low enough to generate consumer interest. When setting your price, consider the cost of supplies and the time spend to make each item. Go from there.
Customization. Since you make your arts and craft projects by hand, you have a unique opportunity to offer an additional service to your buyers. That is customization. Whether an interested buyer would like a different colored wind chime or their name painted on, you can do it. In fact, state in your listing that customization and personalization is available for either free or a small fee.
As you can see, it is relatively easy to make money selling your arts and crafts online. Since the popularity of Craigslist has increased and it continues to grow, now is the best time to use the website to your advantage!
Religious arts & crafts
Religious arts & crafts allow artisans and crafters the opportunity to showcase the symbols of their faith, and the opportunity to craft an expression of their faith into tangible form. In this manner, religious arts & crafts provide a way for the faithful to proudly acknowledge their beliefs, and profess their love for their god or gods. Religious arts & crafts usually do this by referring to their religion’s main textual tenants or predominant symbols.
Which religions use arts & crafts to express belief?
Religious arts & crafts, as commonly thought of in western society, is concerned primarily with Christianity. For this reason, the common symbols of Christianity – the cross, fish and loaves, angels, Jesus Christ, etc. – are commonly incorporated into American arts & crafts. Another popular theme is to incorporate scripture quotations. Of course, Christianity does not have a monopoly on religious arts & crafts; arts & crafts are well known within the Jewish tradition, for instance. Jewish arts & crafts typically focus on the most widespread symbols of Judaism, and include the Star of David, menorahs, and other icons of the belief. Jewish sayings are also frequently featured on Jewish arts & crafts.
Ideas for religious arts & crafts
Religious arts & crafts are designed to serve as decoration for one’s home, office, vehicle, or church. Although religious features could be showcased in virtually any type of arts & crafts, these are some popular ideas for religious arts & crafts used for decoration:
- Beaded Crafts: With a set of beads and string, pipe cleaners or safety pins, the devotee can create cute, creative religious arts & crafts. The possibilities for these crafts are almost endless, and are great for the whole family. These beaded crafts can be designed as jewelry, decorations, and other adornments. Virtually any religious symbol is possible with this versatile craft idea, from the Star of David to the Shroud of Turin.
- Paint Your Own: Try to let your creative side out and paint your religious items for decoration and display or even for use in a religious service. Special ceramic paints are great to use for painting, decorating, and personalizing ceramic crosses, angels, and even scenes from the Bible. Personalize these paintings with names, birthdays, and scripture to make wonderful personalized gifts.
- Cross Stitch & Embroidery: While it may take more skill and expertise, with a bit of practice most devotees can become experts and creating needlework arts & crafts. Religious needlework is especially noteworthy as it can combine both graphical images of crosses, angels, doves, and Bible scenes, as well as scripture, Bible verses, and other words of inspiration. Some more popular options for religious arts & crafts using cross stitch and embroidery include religious pillows and Bible covers.
- Stained Glass Arts & Suncatchers: Stained glass art is popular for religious arts & crafts since stained glass is usually associated with churches and places of worship. This does not mean that you need to be a church to afford stained glass art. Far from it, inexpensive stained glass kits are readily available in most hobby and craft stores, and can be used by those without any previous experience.
- Ornaments & Window Hangers: Ornaments and window hangers are often quite simple to create – in the absence of specialized skills, all you need is some imagination and a dash of creativity. Ornaments may be designed specifically for the Christmas season, or may be year-round crafts that can be hung anywhere, even from your rearview mirror. Look on the Internet for some fun ideas for religious ornaments, hangers, and other crafts.
- Handmade Jewelry: Most religious people will happily wear the symbols of their faith as a personal reminder of their faith and devotion. Handmade religious jewelry is very popular, and can include anything from resin angel earrings to homemade metal crucifixes. Brooches, necklaces, and bracelets are also very popular, and while they are generally designed for women, men are becoming increasingly comfortable wearing fine handmade crucifix necklaces.
Looking for resources for making religious arts & crafts
Many arts & crafts shows will feature quite a bit of religious crafts and artwork. While there are rarely shows designed specifically for this niche market, a very high percentage of artisans & crafters feature work that includes a religious focus. If you are not able to attend any shows, do not give up hope. When looking for other ideas for religious arts & crafts, head to your local Christian bookstore or specialty shop. These stores will almost always maintain special sections dedicated to arts & crafts supplies of a religious nature. These stores also typically have arts & crafts ready for purchase and gift giving. If you are more adventurous, go to a hobby and arts & crafts store and convert a secular hobby kit into a testament of your faith.
Interested in crafts? Hobbies are truly a beautiful way to add value to your everyday life. Not only do they add color and excitement to your everyday life but are also great stress-busters. Crafts and hobbies also keep you mentally active. With the internet it is possible to learn and interact with so many more hobbyists and make it truly worthwhile.
There are several hobbyists today who are turning their passion into full-fledged profitable businesses and are able to work flexi-time and make a significant contribution to their family income. Turning your craft and hobby into a commercial venture offers numerous options.
Moving on from being a hobbyist to an entrepreneur can be a very exciting and fulfilling experience. Doing what you love most is definitely the best thing to do. If you have your heart in it and are in love with it you can be sure that your efforts will definitely pay off. There are however, a few things that you need to pay careful attention to in order to make it a successful venture.
- Know what you wish to do:A little introspection would do a lot good here. Knowing what you wish to do is important. Identify the specific craft or hobby that you wish to take up commercially. It is vital to zero in on the specific craft and hobby so as to stay focused and make the efforts worthwhile. The next step is to decide your approach. You have several options with your craft and hobby and so you need to make the final decision. You may decide create the product and sell it, provide consultancy services for the same, start an art & craft store or wish to start classes to teach your craft and hobby. There are also many other opportunities in this chosen field. You may decide to write books on crafts, contribute crafts for books by other authors or publishing houses or start an art and craft supplies store. Identifying the purpose and aim is vital. With so many opportunities that technology offers it is possible to now turn those dreams into reality.
- Do your research: Equipping yourself with information is essential. You need to undertake a complete market research before you set foot in the commercial world. Understand the market, the different companies and individuals who operate in your chosen niche, the functioning of the potential competitors and last but not the least the demand for the products. Get all the data you can and be open to suggestions. Your family and friends can prove to be extremely helpful in this regard. You may also decide to take help from an expert.
- Hone your skills:Once you have made up your mind, pay attention to honing your skills. With tough competition out there you need to ensure that what you have to offer to your potential customers is the very best. Taking up a professional course, if required, is a good idea to add that required finishing touch.
- Finances:Get your finances in order. Having a hobby and running a business are two different things when it comes to finances. Make a good financial plan and make sure that you have all the money you need to get the business going smoothly. Starting small is the key and expand and make additions as you achieve the different targets and milestones you have set for yourself.
- Make a smooth transition: It is important that you have everything in place before you finally make the transition. If you already have a day job, start your business on a part-time basis as this will help you understand the hurdles to a commercial venture and also keep you financially stable. When you feel you have all that you need for a great venture make that smooth transition to running your business full-time.