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ABS Inside the Studio


Inside the Studio with Michelle McCarthy

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a prize each week to encourage you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries. And here are the results from last week!

In our last Inside the Studio post, Mary Harding asked, “What kinds of textures do you like to use in your work and where do you find them?”

There were all kinds of wonderful answers.  I used random .org to choose lucky #4
Malin de Konig.  Malin has won a sea shell textured set of charms from Mary.  Please contact Mary to claim your prize!

This week my studio activities have been all about making beads and marketing them.  I am so excited to be going on Heather Powers Bead Cruise 2016, which sets sail May 1st.  I have been donating goodie bags to the cruise participants for a few years now.  So I decided to make ceramic stick earring sets for the 65 cruisers this year.  I glazed them in a beachy color combination of brown, teal and specks of black.  OK…black is not beachy, but I love this glaze!

This is what they looked like before they went in the kiln.  Not so pretty….

But after the heat of the kiln, the glaze turned these sticks into this…..

I paired them up, placed them in a bag with my business card and they are now ready for goodie bags!

The next thing I have going on this week is making the kits for my second Firefly Design Studio Designers Challenge.  There is a Facebook group to join if you are interested in learning more.  The timeline is pinned at the top of the group, and there are a few kits left.
Summer means beach time, so I designed a starfish on the beach pendant.  Everyone will work with the same pendant, but they can choose side beads in sandy brown or sea blue.  Here are the 2 kits…

Designers will make a necklace, bracelet and earring set with any beading technique.  They will add whatever else they want from their personal stash.  Cory Tompkins is my guest artist for this round. She made a fun polymer clay component that must be used.  It’s a mystery component, so I can’t show you it yet.

So all these beads will be introduced to new and existing customers of mine.  Marketing yourself can be challenging, but it’s necessary for success.  For an artist, getting your beads in the hands of a designer is the best marketing out there.  Hopefully everyone will enjoy their earring sticks and the challenge beads!

This weeks question is this…what kinds of marketing activities have you tried with success?  It’s OK if it is a tip from a different business other than jewelry design.  The winner will receive a set of earring sticks…and I will even throw in a business card and free plastic bag.  WooHoo!