Wednesday, 25 March 2015

100 items!

Well, I got to 100 items listed in my Etsy shop so now all I have to do is wait for the deluge of views and sales. Yeah right. Anyway, it's a landmark of sorts so I shall allow myself to feel smug about it for at least twenty three minutes. . . and counting. . .

My 100th listing. Another set of my groovily distressed cufflinks

It does leave me with a possible dilemma. I keep making things so I guess I should keep listing things, but it feels a bit like throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. A bit uninformed and random somehow. Still, if you don't list it you can't sell it, and you can't get feedback on it either, and it's nice to get likes on things. It can indicate which things are more popular and confirm your own gut feeling that something is good. (or indicate just how delusional you actually are).

I have several earring sets all ready to list. . .

I just bought some Cernit polymer clay, on recommendation, as I want to make some more buttons but don't want them snapping in half like my first attempts. That was embarrassing. So far, tests have gone well and it is very strong stuff. Even quite thin buttons are practically unbreakable. It takes texture nicely too.

Cernit buttons, about 3cm in diameter. Featuring some new textures too

I got the porcelain version without realising how see through is was, so I got some opaque to mix in with it and to use for image transfer stuff. It works really nicely. So now I am set up. . .

A couple of cernit image trans beads, only mildly distressed

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Getting there slowly. .

Nothing terribly exciting to report over the last week or so, though I sold some beads which is always encouraging.

I have been making stuff however. Like these cufflinks, using small image transfer beads, greviously aged with sandpaper and inks etc. I really like how they look. I've had a good reaction from those who have seen them so, I will see how they fare on Etsy. I should probably wave them at some shop proprietor or gallery or something. I need to find the right kind of venue.

I've also been making a series of textured earrings, using some old stock of coloured polymer clay and the usual surface treatments. I'm going to try some stud/post earrings soon. I've ordered some sterling silver findings for that, as a lot of people do seem allergic to copper and nickel.

As all my disk beads had sold I figured I had better make some more, so I've been doing that too.

I am aiming to get to 100 items in my Etsy shop, but every time I get within reach, somebody buys something ;-) Listing stuff is a bit tedious if you do it according to good SEO practice, you have to find various ways of saying the same thing as Google punishes text that is too similar, apparently, and you don't show up in searches. (not sure I show up in searches anyway to be honest, but I have to keep the faith). So if I post ten similar earrings, I have to vary the wording in subtle ways, while keeping all the keyword phrases in place, and making it read as though it might just be english as we know it. . . Not much fun. I hope it's bleedin worth it, that's all I can say.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Image Transfer mutterings vol 300. . - So much for Dye Sub

Well, after meaning to get round to trying out my dye sublimation heatpress on baked polymer clay for ages, I finally tried it out today. 'Disappointing' is the word. For a start, the poly clay stuck to the top 'platen' of the heat press and had to be hurriedly scraped off. Then the paper stuck to the clay during the dye sub process and had to be soaked off. And once everything had dried out from that it all looked extremely dull and uninteresting.

I tried Renaissance wax on top but that wasn't much better. I tried fine sandpaper, to see if I could sand down to something stronger, as the image would be part of the clay, but it was only fractionally better.
The left hand one is sanded and waxed and buffed. It's sort of OK, but not really worth the effort.

I was perplexed because on the right substrate, in this case an mdf coaster coated in a special pvc related substance, the image is bright and pretty clear. Polymer clay should have the right chemical make up to take dye sub inks. . .

So, forget dye sub, says I. I might try cutting up an mdf coaster and dye subbing onto the bits in order to make small image tile things, but that feels a bit like cheating, as I wanted to find ways of getting better images onto Polymer Clay. . .
Oh well. . .

At least the mice in the garden were on my side. Look what they left for me to find under the damson tree. These would be fun to incorporate into some kind of jewellery I think.

And these, they left were left under the cherry tree.
Thanks mice ;-)

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

About time I posted something - Apologies - Various updates

Just a pretty pic without much relevance to this post, but at least it's something new. Image trans bead with some rustic spacers as a possible earring. A bit too derivative in style though maybe (?) and there is a lot of it about. . . Not entirely comfortable with it.
Shop stuff - Well, I'm still getting my head round SEO and Relevancy. . I've attacked about half my shop's content and 'optimised' it, to my understanding anyway, which may be flawed so I might have just wasted my time. .
It seems to be working. I get about 40% more views, which is nice. And the keywords in my stats now resemble the ones in my listings. Still F all from Google though. hmmm.
Was that boring? sorry. . . sigh. . . What is happening to me? ;-)

Image trans beads as described below, antiqued up. Maybe good for stud/post earrings, or rings. I need to get some blanks to play with. The learning curve steepens. . .

Image trans stuff - I refined one of the techniques I use a little bit more. You can get a slightly dull, not ever so sharp but perfectly usable (for my purposes) image transfer from lazer copy paper by laying the image onto the polymer clay and leaving it for at least an hour, (less might work fine) until the image is visible through the back of the paper, like the paper has soaked up the oils from the clay somewhat. Then bake for the normal time and peel off the paper. A slightly crisper image can be obtained if you coat the clay with a thin layer of clear liquid clay first and lay the image onto that.
It's less work than rubbing the paper away with water and your finger, and it doesn't distort the clay, but then it's not raw clay anymore so you can't wrap it round anything.

I'm going to try cutting up a dye sub tile blank if I can, into small squares and transferring onto them, to get a really crisp image. Or smashing a tile into shards and transferring onto them. . . and then seeing how I could 'antique' them.

I need to get back to making some texture sheets and textured dangle beads and stuff, SEO and image trans has been engrossing me and I need a break.

Onwards and upwards.  . or at least, not downwards.
J x

Oh yeah, and I'm on Instagram, in a tentative way  @jonburgessdesign
Not quite sure what to do with it yet.