March came marching in the other day and I didn’t even notice. The days tend to blur into a lazy haze throughout the winter months. My mum came to visit for a month and it went by quickly in a whirlwind of eating, drinking coffee, doing Yoga and Nia and working in the studio together. Mum is also a potter (visit her website)and she made me a bunch of mugs for me to sell in the shop this season. It’s great because I do get quite a few people who come into the shop looking for a mug, bowl or some other piece of functional pottery. They are sometimes confused when they look around and see all of the raku sculptures that I make. Many of them end up buying something however, now those people who hover at the door and then flee in terror when they realize they aren’t in the kind of pottery shop they thought they were in can have something to look at! I still have to glaze and fire the mugs, but thanks to mum the clay is out of the bag and mug shaped!
I have been working on puffins the last few days. I looked at my sales from 2008 (haven’t totalled up 2009 yet…taxes…ugh) and I sold over 80 of the same type of puffins that I’m working on now! That means I’ll have to make at least 100, probably 120 of them to have enough for the tourist season this year. They are such popular little guys. So…about 2o down…only 100 more to go! Yikes! I probably need to make at least 100 or so of each of what I call my 3d pieces to have enough for the season. Those are like the owls that I posted in my previous post (and the puffin pictures at the bottom of this post). 3D because they are round, not cut from a flat slab of clay. They all start out with 2 balls of clay that I make into “pinch pots” and then join together to make “eggs”. For some reason the egg making is one of may favourite parts of the process…I guess because it is so repetitive, I kind of get into a nice rhythm while I am making them. So for the puffins I make 9 or ten “eggs”, let them harden under plastic (sometimes overnight) then pinch out the cheeks and tail and sort of shape the wings, add on the beak and the eyes and then put in the balls of clay that make them rattle. I make seals, bear boxes, chickadees, hedgehogs, sheep and other animals like this too. So sometimes my husband Paul asks me what I’m working on and I can say “seal eggs!”
It’s Here It’s Here, It’s Finally Here!
Another thing that has been occupying my time lately is my new online shop at zibbet.com. The shop can be found at www.zibbet.com/wildfirepottery. What is Zibbet you are now wondering?
If you think of the word exhibit it will start to make sense (ex-zibbet…get it? Of course you do, I know you are all so erudite!). Zibbet is an online site for retailing handmade items. If you are familiar with Etsy it is pretty similar. If you are looking for a place to sell your art or if you are just interested in how the process of being a seller works then read on for my endorsement of Zibbet! (Otherwise you might want to skip this next bit) Right now Zibbet is smaller than Etsy but it is getting larger fairly quickly and I am finding it exciting to be involved in the growing process. The site admin are great, I sent a question and the CEO Jonathan got back to me almost right away.) Also because the site has fewer sellers than etsy it is easier to be found and newly listed items stay on the front pages of each category for longer. I’m pretty excited about my shop. There are two types of shops at zibbet.com, one is totally free, you can list up to 25 items free. (Yes, she said FREE!) I started out with the free account, which is actually pretty good, but there are of course features that the free shops don’t have. So eventually I upgraded to the Premium account. Right now premium accounts are $7/month (As I write this there are 313 accounts left at that rate, the price will go up when they sell out. When I bought mine near the end of January there were about 1800 available, so they are selling fairly steadily ). If you sign up now that is all you will pay per month for ever, with no listing or commission fees. The admin are trying to spread the word about zibbet so they have added an incentive. For every person who signs up through your personal referral link zibbet takes $1 off your monthly fees! If you are thinking of signing up you should try out the free account if you want, it only makes sense to see if it works for you before you commit.
The premium account has more functionality, you can change the colours of your shop, make coupon codes and gift certificates, move listed items around in the display and add widgets and outgoing links in your shop (your blog, etsy shop, whatever!). One of my favourite things is that you can upload all of your photos at once! There is an Etsy importer coming soon too, which will be a nice tool for those who have hundreds of listings on etsy they want to put in their zibbet store. SO, if you want to sell your art online check it out. And if you are going to check it out do me a favour and click right here which will take you through my referral link, if you sign up for a premium shop down the road you’ll save me $1 per month! I actually have a promotion in my shop right now, if you sign up for a premium account through my link I will give you $10 off any purchase in my store once you show up in my referrals. Plus there’s a coupon code (see below) so you can save even more!
Get 10% off!
So, now everyone start reading again. If you want to check out my shop at click this link www.zibbet.com/wildfirepottery. Now here’s the fun part, if you purchase something use this coupon code at checkout: G3HKL3 for 10% off any item. This is only available in my zibbet shop.
Nuff said! Stay tuned for my next posting which will be about my upcoming trip to North Carolina (in less than 2 weeks!). Now I have to go count puffins…here are some for you to count.