It's that time of year!! Every year I try to complete my holiday shopping by supporting exclusively small handmade businesses. Normally I'm vending at markets so it ends up being pretty easy! But this year is obviously very different with no in person markets. So a gift guide will not only help me with my online shopping, but maybe you'll find something great to get for a loved one (or yourself!)
This list can be used beyond the holidays. Random gifts (especially in the colder upcoming months) I find to be even more special when it's unexpected :) Each category is someone I have to shop for, with maybe a few bonus categories! I'll update this blog post as I discover more shops on my holiday shopping journey.
If I include their instagram, that means they typically sell out within a day or two of their shop updates, so you might have to keep an eye out if you want something. I also made sure to make this list is diverse; more than half of the shops listed are owned and operated by people of color.
On to the list!
The great outdoors
A little bit ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Randell, host of The Dope Show on my experiences growing up as a black nerd, and how that influenced my career as an artist!
The Dope Show is a new podcast aimed at chronicling the experiences of BIPOC in the nerd community at large. I'm so fortunate to be a part of this! I can't wait for more from this cast. If you're a BIPOC nerd looking to join the conversation, you can find Randell on twitter or comment below, I'm always looking for fellow blerds <3
This podcast is also available on Spotify, google podcasts, radio public, and pocketcast.
I get this question at least once a week, so I thought it best to write all about it here! I use Duncan Ceramics 22k Gold Luster. It's a teeny tiny 2oz bottle, but it goes a long way. This is applied and fired after the glaze fire, anywhere between cone 020 to 018, depending on what else I got going on for an overglaze fire. The luster takes on the texture of whatever glaze it is applied on; so if applied on a matte glaze, the gold will also be matte.
Some best practices:
I think that about does it! Lusters are a great way to add a truly special touch to any pot or sculpture. I would consider this an intermediate product/technique, since basic understandings of firing a kiln are required, and it's an expensive product that requires a delicate touch. But don't let that intimidate you; who doesn't love shiny things?
If this article was helpful, let me know in the comments. Happy luster-ing!
Lately I've been getting quite a few messages and inquiries about my Etsy shop. Why do I still have it? is the same stock on your site also on Etsy? Should you shop here or there?
Last year I made the big switch and upgraded this site to include e-commerce. This was sparked by recent changes in the way Etsy markets products to buyers, prioritizing products with free shipping in search results. That's all fine and dandy, but free shipping is not something I can reasonably offer without feeling grimy about raising my prices by $15+. Since I was driving all of my own traffic anyways, this turned out to be a cost effective move too!
So now all of my shop updates, current stock, and anything else I make will be primarily listed here. NOT Etsy. My Etsy shop will not carry the same inventory either; that would be a back end nightmare!
Why still have an Etsy? It's a great way to be found by new customers thanks to their massive search engine and growing customer base. However, as a potter who makes mostly bespoke pieces it's a little tricky to take advantage of their SEO. So I decided to keep it for items I have a high quantity of (like prints and stickers) and the occasional ceramic piece to draw in new clients. I'm still experimenting with what to list there to gain new customers, but for now I have no regrets!
I hope that clears up all the Etsy mysteries. If you were used to shopping there and have recently found my site, welcome! If you have any thoughts or questions on the matter I'd love to hear them. I'm always down for some business chatting.
I'm teaching a bullet journal workshop at Craftivate! I've been using this system for about 5 years and it is the only planner/journal thing that has stuck. Believe me when I say I've tried SO MANY planners! What I love most is you can fall off for some time and hop back in and you didn't waste half a notebook/planner because of the dates. There is so much value in taking the time to handwrite your thoughts and plans. Personally, I remember it more, there's satisfaction in crossing things out, and it's one less thing to keep track of through a screen.
The class is January 29th from 6:30pm to 9pm at the Craftivate Studio. The class is $48 and includes instruction, a printed bullet journal guide, and a pencil case full of stationery to get you started on your bullet journal journey!
Do you set goals for the new year? I set goals big and small all throughout the year, but I do love the feeling of goal setting in the new year. It fits so well within a maker business since the new year is right after the busiest season for gift giving! Some goals I have:
Hey I'm on youtube now! It was one of my 2019 goals that I'm finally following through on. I'm posting new videos 1-2 times a week! You can expect chats on business topics, a little about my process, how I business, and studio vlogs. I think this is such a great way to share how these muggos come into being. And if my rambles help out a new maker/artist? even better.
I recently made a sale through Redbubble and to be honest, I forgot I had one se t up from all those years ago! I decided to upload some of my new paintings and doodles to be printed as prints, totes, and all sorts of fun things. Check out Frida, Yayoi, and a few other dreamy blobs on my red bubble!
Over the next couple of months, I thought it would be fun to take some of the #marchmeetthemaker prompts and expand on them here!
How I started
Going into college I knew I wanted art to be a part of my career, and I knew I wanted to eventually work for myself. 6 years and 7 major switches later, I graduated with a BS in studio art, concentration in ceramics and a minor in Art History. Graphic design, media studies, art education, and metalwork are a few of the majors I've tried/considered. It’s been a windy twisty road since graduation, but I wouldn’t change a thing!
I officially started my business after finishing a post baccalaureate program in 2016, right when I joined the Nutmeg Collective. I've done a handful of shows before that, but 2016 is when I took this seriously. I was working in a friend's garage, trying every fair and market that came my way, and reaching out to any maker/artist community I could find. The best thing I've learned in this stage of my super tiny business is that community is everything. It's basically how I learned to business.
For the past few months, I've been working for this amazing craft studio aka Craftivate. It's been so cool to work for a small business that I truly believe in! Now that I've got the basics down, I'll be running a few of my own classes and workshops. The photo above is for the Modern Mug sgraffito workshop; carve a handmade mug made by yours truly!
I'm also teaching an intro to clay class where I'll go over all the basics of hand building with clay through four projects. I've got so many ideas for ways to bring clay to the masses! I'm thinking ceramic jewelry will be up next.
Artist and maker discussing art and making. Peeks into my studio life, professional tips I stumble upon, and discussions about contemporary art and craft.