Monday, 21 December 2009

Looking forward

So what do I hope to do in the new year? First thing is to separate the day dreams from the realistic ideas. The daydream is of a workshop / studio where I can have both my work and other turners on display and for sale as well as have a lathe running so that people can come in and see things actually being made. Not likely to happen. No capital for renting a place in a sensible location (or any location come to that) and the overheads and the paperwork involved would be more than I could handle. Doing demos and teaching, writing articles. Sort of daydreams but things that I need to work towards, certainly not something I could get up and running any time in the near future.
So what are the realistic ideas?
1 Get organised and start making sure I have a good stock of those things that seem to sell well. Added     advantage is that the more I make the quicker I will get without compromising quality
2 Get my time organised. Start treating it as a job as well as a passion and doing the things I find less inviting such as making multiple batches in an organised way.
3 Get my head around promoting my on line shops and working on them
4 Get some decent photos taken instead of just taking snapshots on the dining table.
5 Focus on two main areas....the bread & butter work such as treen and fabric crafting tools and my own signature work e.g. rustic bowls, goblets etc
6 Stop daydreaming and get realistic about it as this is my career now so I need to treat it as such In othwer words get my finger out and start working at it instead of playing at it.

I am sure there are a lot more things as well but if I am going to make a serious, money earning go of this I need to get cracking. A break up until the New year and then in for real

Happy Christmas everyone and a prosperous and fulfilling New Year to anyone who deigns to read this

Pete (Bodrighy)
Start my New Year off with a smile and check out my shops at Etsy, Misi or Folksy or have a look at my website

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Commission complete

I apologise for the photo. I had to get it shipped out ASAP to get it to the recipient in time for Christmas.

It's made of hawthorn and stands 12" tall and roughly 6" wide. Quite pleased with it.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Been doing these for someone. Little and large mortar and pestle and rolling pins. Could be a his and hers as well. Beech, sycamore and mahogany handles on the pins.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Joined together forever?

I was asked to make a pair of my wedding type goblets for someone who wants to give them as a Christmas present to someone else. I decided to be a bit silly about it and made them joined together. As the joining ring will need to be broken in order to use them it is only finished roughly with a sealer to make it the same colour. Hope they enjoy them.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Exhibition over

Well the exhibition has finished. I sold two pieces which I am happy enough about as all the things I put in were higher end.. Curiously the organiser said it would be good to have more pieces under £20 there so next time I'll do that.

Also just finished a commission for a pair of goblets which I'll post pictures of soon. Have a 1/2 doz. orders to get out as well so things are better than they have been. Got a long way to go to that first million mind LOL

The sale in town on Friday wa as bad as the others despite being closer to Christmas. Well not strictly true as I did cover my costs this time. Must learn to sell. Making things is so much easier than selling them. I am not a salesman and never will be but just posting things and hoping sopmeone falls in love with them and buys them is not going to do it.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

I have been making things for sale for weeks and decided to make something tht I personally like. This is sycamore, turned wet and has an ebonised foot. The edge has been touched up by burning to match the foot. It stands about 8" tall and is max. Dia. of approx 6 1/2"

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Goblets finished

I was asked to make a pair of goblets the same but different . These will be sent to a pyrographer and a design put on them before going on to the cuastomer. Nice bit of collaboration. Could do with more.

A site that is different. This one has jewellery that is specifically made for children. Worth checking out for something for those awkward to please brats. Every parent has one LOL

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Blog worth looking at

Check out the things on Extra Special Touch's blog. Some lovely things there and she will do commissions as well. All hand made. She's doing a treasury of wedding things that she is researching from other people as well at the moment.

Rustic pendant blanks

I was asked to make 20 pendant blanks with the bark still on them and sort of got carried away. Ended up with 70. Anybody want any they are 20 for  £5 plus £1 postage. I can do more or less if needed with financial adjustment up or down as appropriate

Friday, 27 November 2009

Additions to the family

Not totally complete, some need a few facial features but here's the first generation. Dad, Mum and some of the kids

Thursday, 26 November 2009


Well that's it! I have 30+ pieces deposited at the exhibition. The other things I saw being brought in all looked like quality work and the exhibition has been going for a few years now so hopefully I will see some sales and get my name out there. It's on for a week so there's a reasonable chance. One of the potters couldn't put a large bowl I had down, kept picking it up and oohing and aahing over it. Bit of luck she'll come back and buy it.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Big day tomorrow

I have to take 30 pieces tomorrow for a 5 day exhibition at Crowan Crafts. I haven't a clue how well I will do sales wise but at least my work will be there being viewed for a week. Hopefully engendering interest. Most of it will be the more expensive things but there will be some lower end work as well. Wish me good fortune

Christmas is just around the corner

Looks like we are having a do it yourself Christmas this year. I have suddenly got a list of things that seems to be growing by the day. Also getting a few orders in so I am at last busy busy busy. Need to get myself organised and remember that this is no longer just a hobby !!!!!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Busy day

Managed to get a fair bit done today. Started making a load of these little fellas for a stall in a week or so. This one is the prototype. and stands about 6" tall.

Some more pencil / pen pots

and a couple of hollow forms

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Christmas presents

I have been making some of our Christmas presents this year and am making some wierd things. A Bar skittles set for two of them and a cookery set for another grandson. Don't ask, he's 6 and wants a rolling pin, a pestle and mortar and a honey dipper. He also wants a kitchen knife but I don't think so. Bar skittles should be fun. I've done the 9 little skittles just have the base and spindle to do. Might cheat on the ball and buy a large wooden bead instead.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Strange the way things work

I made the card holders for myself and then ended up selling several. I have been making wands for sal for some time and not sold many. I put up a picture of one I had made with a certificate for one of my grand daughters and immediately was contacted by someone who wanted to know if I could do one for them with certificate. Perhaps I need to start thinking of things to make for myself and then they will sell.LOL

Click on the certificate if you want to read it

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Pleasing myself

I have an exhibition coming up, a 5 day one end of November, into Decmber. Good shop front if no sales though hopefully there will be some. It is for the higher end, 'rustic' work I do. Things I really love doing as you never have a clue what the end product will be like almost until it is finished. As you cut away the wood you need to be ready to adapt your ideas as flaws and faults appear in the wood. This piece is laburnum and was an offcut from a crotch (where the branches meet) It was a pig to do and flew off the lathe twice before I finally got it to stay. Worth it in the end though IMHO. Lovely grain, bark on the outside and a natural fauklt running through it whuch ended up with a hole. I love the contrast in texture in these pieces and when you get crazy grain and figuring like this it is an added bonus

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Bad weather and good advice

Well the RNLI sale was sort of called off. It was in a little village that gets the worst of the winds when we have weather like the last few days and so getting there would have meant travelling a round 50 mile trip with the risk of getting stuck as the ferry was closed due to the winds. Never mind. Even if I had got there I doubt if many people would have braved the weather to attend. Now I just need to get my work soorted out for the exhibition at the end of the month. Whether I will sell anything or it is going to be just a showcase I don't know, we'll see. Very flattering to be asked to exhibit at all anyway.

Been reading an article in the latest woodturning magazine regarding 'Making your name' and some of what the author (a well known turner) was saying made sense and surprisingly coincided with my thoughts to some extent. He pointed out that the best known turners were well known for signature styles. Up until now I have had a go at anything but have been wondering about specialising. I see two main areas where I would like to do this. One is the making of crafting tools and equipment perhaps on a more production basis and the opther is developing my skills with goblets. I love making these and they can be both purely decorative and practical (sometimes both at the same time. ) I need to think about this and sort it out in my head. Expecting to be able to make money straight off has always been a daft notion and I was aware of that. Getting known as a quality turner and perhaps specialising is more likely the way to go and that takes time, not an overnight thing.

Slide show

Just added this slide show. Nice little freebie application online. This is of a selection of my work over the last 12 month

Friday, 13 November 2009

Christmas Rush?

I am sitting waiting for the promised Christmas rush. Is it too early or do people just not like my work :-( I have sold a few pieces lately as said previously but nothing like I either need or want to. I am not too sure what I am doing that isn't working. I have revamped my web site making it simoply a showcase and directing potential buyers to my online shops. Whether that will make a difference we have yet to see, I have a small RNLI sale tomorow which mau reap some rewards but who can tell. Come on all you customers over here !!!!!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Nice little earner

The card holders are becoming popular. Must have hit a little earner with them albeit accidently. Someone suggested adapting to hold other things so watch this space for ideas .

This one was sent off bare of any finish and the owner pyrographed thir name around the bottom. Looks good. Better not show their photo

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Large bowl

At last with this lathe I can do something a bit bigger (if I have the wood) Here is my biggest for a 12 month. It's 12" diameter and turned down to 5mm thick. It's a opiece of mahogany and very glossy with a beeswax polish. Hopefully someone will like it and buy it.

Also done some more tops and some pen holders for a sale coming up in St Mawes on Sat. . Let's hope people are starting to buy gifts and stocking fillers.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

also on Folksy now


More sales

Woke up to another sale on Misi

and a request on Etsy. 4 sales in 24 hours...looking better

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Just thought

I made this up for myself for use at craft markets etc to hold my business cards instead of just dumping them onto the table. Hadn't thought of selling them. Duh!!!

Put them up as a possibility on a forum and one sold immediately so Etsy & Misi here they come.

Broken MISI duck

At last, after 3 months I have broken my duck on MISI. OK it won;'t make the bank manager dance with joy but it's a start. Probably my own fault as I have been focussing on Etsy and ignoring MISI up til now. Here's hoping for a Christmas rush

Monday, 2 November 2009

Finally succumbed

That's it...I have ordered the bits and pieces to do pens. I have resisted up until now as I really haven't wanted to do them but they seem to be a good seller so econoomics rule over personal choice. If they arrive quickly I might be able to get a few done for the market on Friday.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Which direction?

OK, I am not fooling myself into thinking that I can make a fortune with my woodturning but I would like to sell enough to make a dent in the housekeeping. I have several different directions I can go in and am not really certain which would be best.
1:  Making for other crafters. This would involve making tools such as crochet hooks, lace bobbins, drop spindles, 3D felting rubbers (or whatever they are called), hatstands, jewellery stands, blanks for pyrographers and other 'artists.' It also means getting known (the really hard part) and being open to suggestions such as replacement bits for spinning wheels and maybe lots of one off items for people.
2:  The arty stuff. This is involving galleries and my experience so far is not too good. Wood doesn't seem too popular in galleries and isn't seen by many as an art form anway. In America it's a different scene with dedicated galleries for wooden craft.

3:  General treen and so forth. This includes things like bowls, rolling pins, honey dippers etc. Strange as it may sound this is a market that is difficult to crack as there are so many cheap imports.
If I were to sell things at the price you can get them for in a supermarket I would be unable to pay myself any kind of a wage at all so it has to be the more discerning market that likes handmade, individual stuff.

4: All the above. This is more or less what I am doing at the moment but am finding that I am selling very little either on line or in the few craft markets that I have done.

I suspect that a major problem, for me, is the marketing and I am aware that somehow I need to get this sorted out. If anyone is reading this and has any ideas please comment as I really need to get it up and running properly. Even finding craft fairs or markets to sell in seems impossible though I am probably looking in the wrong places. Where do I look? Here in Cornwall I just can't find many at least not ones that I can afford.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Well the hat stands arrived and the customer seems happy with them, putting them in use on her blog here

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Chantrell & Natural edged goblets

Did a few more of my chantrelle goblets and made a couple of larger NE ones experomenting with the design a bit. Love the fact that you never really know what shape the rim will be until you have turned it.

At the back we have Rhododendron, apple and hawthorn. The two chantrells at the front are both pittisporum. vary from 4 - 6" tall.

Friday, 23 October 2009

A friend of mine, another turner, has just started blogging so have a look at his blog and feel free to leave comments. He's new to all this (blogging, not turning) so be nice. His blog can be seen here

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Made a couple more of these today. I call them Chantrelle goblets as they remind me of the Chantrelle mushrooms. Totally useless to drink from but really pretty little things. I have cheated and this is one I did before. I'll post some pics of the new ones as soon as I take them.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Finished hat stands

Managed to get these finished, now have to sort out postage as the Royal mail is on strike.

(Ignore the carpet, hadn't noticed the dirt until I saw the photo. Now where does she keep the vacuum cleaner?

Monday, 19 October 2009

Something different

I am slowly becoming an expert on crafts other than my own as I am asked to make different things.

This is for felting with and is instead of using knuckles (which get sore) or the stones (which are too awkward to handle for a lot of people

It is made of mahogany as that is pretty resistant to water, and is 3" diameter. The handle is a bit small for me so should be OK for a woman's hands. Any one who wants one please contact me

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Southern States style pottery

I have always liked the pottery made by the pueblo, zunni and hopi indians of the southern states so decide to try and emulate them. I have done three so far and am not too sure. Probably be better if I decorated them as well.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Still not buying

Well tha's another craft show done, this time in Fowey. Plenty of crafters but very few sales. A fair number of browsers and several people took my card unbidden which may produce results but i won't hold my breath. Everyone seems to find that people just ain't buying at the moment so I know it isn't just me. Be interesting to see how the 'exhibition' goes in Nov. - Dec. More upmarket and closer to Christmas.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Good experience....lousy sales

Well the Friday sale has come and gone and though I have gained from the experience and will go back for the other two before Christmas, I am glad it was only a tenner for the table or I would be crying over my red bank account. I sold 2 finger tops and a light pull. Long way to go to my first million. All the other people there reckoned it ws the worst they have seen with hardly anyone around. Hopefully they are all saving their pennies for Christmas.


Wednesday, 7 October 2009

My latest creation:

These are handmade each with a colouring dependent on the capability of the user. Black and purple are for the fully qualified wizard,red and burgundy for the intermediate and green for the novice. The snakeskin patterned ones tend to be favourite for followers of you know who (copyright forbids mentioning names) They are each 11" long and made of ash to give that strength needed. Finished with an easily maintained wax they should last the wizard a lifetime with sensible useage

Monday, 5 October 2009

Practice makes perfect...we hope

Been having a practice at laying out a display ready for Friday. Quite pleased so far and have got some good criticisms from others so will be making a few adjustments.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Heaven is a pile of dry wood

I have just got my grubby little hands on a nice big bag of offcuts from a fellow turner bless his heart. All big enough for light pulls, crochet hooks etc so now I have no excuse whatsoever for not stocking up for the stalls etc. Watch this space for further developments

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Catching up at last

Got plenty of T Light, should have enough bowls and things. Could do with a few more goblets to at least show examples. Plenty of light pulls and the crochet hooks are coming on. Trouble is I keep thinking of other things I could make. I'm determined not to be like so many stall holders I have seen with the same old bowls, ear ring stands and Pot Pourri jars.
That's it, I am now officially self employed. Guess I had better stop thinking of this as a hobby and get my act together. Anyone want any wooden Christmas presents out there? LOL

Still trying to build up a stock ready for the coming stall. Did these yesterday, all 1mm hooks. Had some walnut which looks classy.

Now all I need to do is get some dry wood. All the wood I have is green and not ready for using so anything I make is likely tio split. Looks like I will have to break a golden rule and buy wood. :-(