Tuesday, September 15, 2009
This summer has been a one of experimentation. We have cast tree buds, leaves and most recently Hydrangea flowers. We cast two different sizes. A teeny tint 5/8" one and a bigger 1 1/4" one. Both have amazing details. You almost don't even see all the details when just looking at the flowers. That why casting is so darn amazing. I have designed the tiny flower into a necklace and earrings with posts and the big one into a necklace as well. We sold our fist one just this weekend at the Design Hive in Cambridge. That makes us happy.
See them on our website or come on down to stART on the street this Sunday in Worcester.
Handmade in Boston...wicked cool.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
My sister and I are trying to win a grant to build a all GREEN metalsmithing studio. We are in the Boston area, but it would be open to all to take workshops, and learn about how to green your own workplaces.
There already is a movement of artists who are practicing environmentally friendly techniques and we want to be able to take it to the next level. We only have three days to have 50 people register and endorse our story.
This would be such a great thing for all of us! Please take the time to read our story, look at our work here on our website and help us GREEN the craft world.
Thanks for supporting art and craft in Boston- Handmade is awesome.
Thank you kindly. Here is the link.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
I have always wanted to have a bigger collection of earrings but I spend a lot of time on my twig necklaces and birch rings. It was something that was put on the back burner time and time again. But this summer I set a goal and achieved it. With the help of the lovely Silk Tree in my neighbors yard, I began my work on the Twigs and Heather earring line. The buds on this tree were my inspiration (please see previous blog post). They cast beautifully. I also molded two of my favorite maple seeds...a Japanese maple seed and a Spring maple seed. Also a beautiful lilac twig. Now I have four new designs to show at my Autumn shows. First one will be September 13th at the Design Hive, a great show in Cambridge MA.
Come see them at the Design Hive or check out our new earrings on our website www.twigsandheather.com.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
There is an amazing tree that grows in my neighbors yard. It was the last tree in my neighborhood to bloom this year. I almost thought that it wasn't going to. But when it did, it was worth the wait. It is called a Silk tree. Its beautiful blooms look like delicate feathers changing in color from white to pink.
When I took a closer look I was so intrigued with what I saw. The buds to this tree look like star bursts or teeny tiny fireworks. I had to cast one...or ten.
The results, perfect castings. Great for earrings and rings. I cast many sizes and I just don't know which I like best. Here are some pictures of these beautiful buds. Stay tuned for the new pieces to show up on our Look whats new page on our website.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
We were just featured in one of our favorite blogs, The Daily Candy. Being Boston girls we were honored to be mentioned in their fashion edition. Kerry Alice and I both loved what they wrote about our jewelry. They described our jewelry as "a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll". Perfect!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
For the most part Kerry Alice and I work on our own pieces. I am the earthy crunchy twig girl and Kerry Alice the Punk Rocker- brooding sea glass collector. Our pieces definitely show our personalities. But sometimes our unique styles come together and boy is it nice.
We have made a few of these over the years and they are so sweet. It is our land and sea necklace. We use birch bark cast in sterling silver and add a beautifully bezeled piece of seaglass. One of these pieces found a good home in the Berkshires this weekend...so of coarse we had to make more.
Look for them on our website www.twigsandheather.com and Etsy.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Kerry Alice and I started Twigs and Heather in 2000. We opened our studio and started doing local craft shows in New Hampshire and Boston. We were also lucky enough to have an amazing web guy...my now husband, Jason. In 2000 there was not an awful lot going on in the world of craft on the Internet. Sure things were going on there, BIG THINGS, but as far as selling your art on line it was minimum. We were lucky enough to have a good website and be able to email other websites and shows about our work. Things like The Switchboards and Indieshopping were very helpful and informative when it came to learning more about what other artists were doing and how they were doing it. I really feel as if that is where I started to find "my community".
We were also lucky enough to be part of the Indie community when it was, well, still Indie. Twigs and Heather has been part of the Renegade Craft Fair, Handmade Arcade, Bust Craftactular and our beloved Boston's Bazaar Bizarre. These were and are the big Indie shows. And because of these shows as well as our online presence over the years we became known for our kick ass designs.
Fast forward to now. Indie is well, in my humble opinion, not so Indie. Selling online is so gimmicky. (See Kerry Alice's previous blog post). The Internet is over saturated, no SUPER over saturated with people selling their crafts. We are lucky that we have loyal customers who love our work. Plus they come see us at our shows. We love our town of Boston. We are know for what we do around here and have a few stores that promote us and our jewelry.
This year we are really looking forward to our shows. We just participated in the Design Hive Market in Cambridge MA. We sold a bunch of things including a awesome birch bark bracelet. We will be back there on April 5th.
We are also really looking forward to the Twist Fair in Northampton MA. It is May 1 and 2. It was one of our best shows last September and we are psyched to be doing it again. And we are also trying a new show this year. The Brooklyn Artists and Fleas. Brooklyn's fine residents are good to us. We get many customers from there are we are happy to go check this one out.
So Kerry and I are really looking forward to doing our 2009 shows. There is nothing like putting our whole collection out for everyone to see. Some of these pieces never make it online and can only be seen at a show. Plus we are really proud of our displays. We are having 3 more of our freaky town houses built right now.
It's funny, these days it seems like the measure of an artist's success is measured by the number of sales found on their Etsy page. (our is 36). But to us it is so much more. It is the ten years of experience that we have had. It is all of the happy customers over the years that have come to our shows just to buy as special piece for someone. It is all of our custom work we do. These projects mean so much to us.
Honestly, I need to get away from the computer and be around people again. Participating in craft shows is where we started and it is where our business began. It is where we shine. Plus, it helps me remember all the reasons why I love what I do.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
WOW! There is a lot of advice flying around these days when it comes to marketing your craft business, or should I say MY craft business.
Every time I go to a forum, there is another person talking about their "steps to success".
Twittering is BIG. But don't just twitter about what you do or what you have just created, that would be spamming or shameless promotion.
Twitter about your dirty dishes, or walking your cat for the first time.
I have just come across yet another blog article about "finding your nitch" "your demographic" "your brand".
Yawn....When I read things like this, I can't help but think "What do you know about me and my business!!!" Honestly, when people say to me "you know what you should do..." I stop listening.
I started my jewelry business with Heather over 10 years ago. Heather loves the organic objects, I love to make, really, what ever tickles my fancy. I make what I WANT and hope people will love and see the beauty in it.
OH NO!!! Am I confusing people with a blurry sense of my brand? Will people not see the cohesiveness in our different product lines??? Will I miss the mark on my target market?? (I DO make things that I like AND sell consistently too, BONUS!)
I love what I do. I love to create new pieces. I never look at my work and say to myself, "self, have you considered how this will fit your demographic, brand or nitch? Are you screwing yourself Here? You are all over the map when it comes to your inspirations with these new pieces, ya know!!!"
When people ask me what advice I have for other crafters, I always say "DON'T follow other people's advice. Do what YOU feel is right. Go with what YOU know and follow your heart (awww).
Sean Combs (P Ditty) once said " If you don't take risks, you may never get anywhere." Smart guy (and SUCCESSFUL too)
Monday, February 23, 2009
I spend a lot of time looking up at the trees. This time of year is especially fun because the buds are starting to grow and they get bigger every day. I just cast a bunch a sweet twigs with big and bumpy buds on them. If you take the time to look up you will notice these twigs on many, many trees throughout the Boston area. These will grow into big green leaves...amazing.
Plus some of my favorite twigs are found right along the coastline. This bumpy little twig is from a flowering bush. These are great for earrings. Perfect little skinny guys with petite buds all around. These turn into little pink flowers...wow.
The change of seasons always amazes, thrills, and inspires me. But, I am so ready for winter to end.
You can see buy these pieces on our Etsy page www.twigsandheather.etsy.com.
And see more really cool twigs at www.twigsandheather.com.
Twigs and Heather, always handmade in Boston.
Monday, January 26, 2009
One of the first things I wanted to work on this year is my Sacred Heart collection.
The idea of eternal love is so romantic, I can hardly stand it! (in a good way)
I love to make my heart have a lot of definition. They are never just flat or round. They swell...
The largest one in the middle has a spiny heart feel to it. I could see Ozzy wearing this one. It is almost 2 1/2 inches from top to bottom and the heart itself is over an inch long and wide.
The one on the left is the first sacred heart that I used LOS on. I finished off most of the oxidization, but gave the flame a kind of smokey look. This flame is more abstract than the others. I like it because it almost looks like a flower of some sort.
Heather actually made a flame look like this one a few years ago, so I can't take the credit for the rockin' design.
(A funny thing about Heather's waxes, she rarely works with the wax, but when she does, the designs always are sweet, silly and wicked cool.)
The last one on the right, I think, is my favorite. This one may not make it out of the private collection. The flame on this one really has movement. Pictures can't show how this heart has that subtle swell that I was talking about, that the flame dips in places, like it just got caught in the wind. Yea, mine all mine....maybe...
Well here they are. My first 3 sacred hearts of 2009.
They are BIG and shiny and will hold on to your secrets of love for you.
Check out our whole collection at www.twigsandheather.com
Handmade in Boston.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
We often have requests for more jewelry for the guys in people's lives. We make birch bark rings in bigger sizes and I have always thought that men should be enjoying the twig necklaces more. My husband wears twig wedding rings and a birch necklace.
Our plan is to to make cuff links and tie tacks as well as some more chunky necklaces. We made our big brother the first piece for his birthday. It is an original design carved from wax and cast in sterling silver. We do not know what to call it yet though. I like that it is organic in shape. It reminds me of a thorn and it very natural looking and earthy. Kerry Alice likes that it is kind of goth and rock and roll, part fang... industrial. It is one of a kind. Lucky fellow isn't he!
Here it is. Kerry oxidized it to make it dark. And we like it, hope he does too.
Handmade in Boston.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
We are very excited this year. Kerry and I are designing new pieces every day. We are going to try new things too.
Heather and the Twigs- My first new pieces in the Ginko leaf. I often wondered why people are so inspired by this leaf. We get people asking us every year if we make them too. This autumn Kerry and I notices an amazing tree. It was in full autumn color...bright yellow. Being the tree hugger that I am ,I just had to check it out. To my amazement it was a Ginko tree. I must have walked by this tree a thousand times. I was luck enough to collect a few leaves before them all blew away in a storm just the next day. I am thrilled with the result. It cast beautifully. Now I know! This leaf has amzing detail. A sweet, strange shape and it just just so darn pretty all silvery.
Up next- A men's line. Tie pins. cuffinnks. Big chunky rings and bracelets. I can't wait to start it. We are casting every weekend.
Kerry Alice's designs- I love LOVE and all it's pleasure and pain.
This new year, I am starting to work (again) on BIG, AWESOME sacred heart pieces.
I am also going to expand my Day of the Dead collection. I am really looking forward to incorporating some color and also experimenting with Liver of Sulfer to bring out some of the details of my flower rings.
I don't know why I have been so imtimidated by LOS. It's a great thing!