Monday, November 8, 2010

Diva of the Month - Amy Hall - Part 2 (Ten Things Glass)

Welcome to Part 2 of this month's featured Diva - Amy Hall (which happens to be me!) Here are "Ten Things Glass":

1. Attraction to Glass - I started working with seed beads many years ago, and that got me into the bead shop, which got me addicted to beads in general. Then one day, my mom signed us up for a beadmaking class as a Christmas gift. I was completely hooked! Mom didn't stick with lampwork, but she got into fusing and slumping instead. We have a glasswork business together where we combine our two respective glass arts and sell at local craft fairs. It has been really fun to do together, and a great source of extra income for us both!

2. Training - Many glass artists have training in other mediums. I think I have a pretty diverse artistic background. I was a musician for many years (I suppose I still am, although I am not currently pursuing that right now – no time!) I play several instruments. I also love pretty much any sorts of arts/crafts in general. I knit, I do cross stitch, I occasionally draw and paint. There are loads of other things I would love to learn too, but I've only got so much time. Both of my parents are artistic (my dad a successful painter, and my mom more recently getting into glass art as she approaches retirement), and I grew up with many chances to express my own creativity, which I think has influenced me a lot.

3. First Beads - I had these great rainbow bumpy beads that I made a necklace from. They were some of the first beads I made, definitely pretty early on anyway. And I was SO proud of them! The stringing ended up breaking (this was before I started using the good stuff I do nowadays), but I remade it slightly differently with the same beads (I still love that necklace).

4. Inspiration - I love colour, and I think that colour is my biggest inspiration. I love finding new colour combinations, and I love very bold colours. I will often get inspired just by a single colour alone, and work around that to create a set of beads.

5. Ideas and Planning - I write down notes quite often but I hardly ever look at them when I'm at the torch. I think writing the notes down does help to focus my thoughts. Sometimes I have too many ideas, and it can feel overwhelming. Other times, I have no ideas at all and so I just try to pick up the glass and come up with something. Often I will end up starting with one idea, and having it take me somewhere completely different, which is part of the fun. Although sometimes it is frustrating too, when I can't make an idea work quite the way it was in my head.

6. Photography - I have an Olympus camera, it's not a digital SLR but it's a pretty good one. It has a super macro mode. I have a light box I built using a tutorial that I found on the web. My cats sometimes attack it and I have to make a new one or fix it up, but it has worked out pretty good for me. I think if I added a second light source, it would be even better. The one difference from the photo here is, I started using a white ceramic dish (a very flat one) as a backdrop for my beads, and I think that has improved my pics a lot.

7. Money - I don't really think about what will sell or not when I am working. However, if you asked me what I would make if money was no object at all, I would probably work a lot bigger, and with a lot more of the expensive materials such as the silver glasses. I would probably make a lot more elaborate jewelry as well. Finding the money up front to buy supplies can be a challenge at times, especially the more expensive components. I try to make it a priority to do things "right," as in to not cheap out but go for it when I can. No f'ing around, my dad would say.

8. Personal Style - I don't wear a lot of jewelry generally. I sometimes wear my Pandora bracelet full of my beads. I do wear earrings a lot, usually bigger, dangly style ones. If it is a special occasion, I often wear jewelry that is sentimental to me – like a necklace my husband gave me many years ago when we were dating, or a pair of amber earrings my late grandpa gave me. I try to wear lots of my own jewelry when I am selling at markets, and I do wear my own jewelry sometimes but to be honest, not too often - the jewelry I make is usually a bit dressier than I am. For my wedding, I did wear a pair of my own earrings, but also a classic pearl necklace that I borrowed from my mother in law.

9. Skills - The skill I wish came easier to me? Definitely my people skills when I am selling at our local market or craft shows. I think I am getting better, but I am shy, and I have a hard time bringing that extraverted type of energy with my customers. I feel like if I was more personable in that way, I would be better at selling.

10. Marketing

As for what I love about marketing my business, I love being a part of the Fire Divas, and doing social networking and blogging, etc, to market myself. I do find marketing very challenging, as I think most of us do. Mostly I feel like I wish I had more time and energy to invest in it. I think if I branched out more, that I would be able to increase my presence both as an online seller, and as a local seller in shops and such. But I just don't have the time to really get my stuff out there, not to the extent I would like to anyway. I probably do pretty well considering how busy the rest of my life is.

And, we'll leave it there until next week - stay tuned for "Ten Silly Questions!"

Amy on Etsy ~ Two Glassy Ladies Website ~ Amy on Twitter ~ Amy's Glass Blog ~ Two Glassy Ladies on Facebook

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