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Sunday Studio Visit – Valentines Day

It has been a while since my last Sunday Studio Visit – Christmas and the New Year and holidays threw me completely out of routine!! But I plan to get back on track as of now – famous last words!

During the past week I have been preparing for Valentines Day¬†– I did leave it a bit late, it seems that no sooner is Christmas marketing over than Valentines marketing has to begin – its just a bit hectic for me at times…

But I have been trying to create and list new jewellery items in my ETSY shop and have been rejigging some of my MADE IT shop items to reflect intimate Valentines dinners with unique handmade tableware. I still have more new items to add which I will continue over the next few days.

In the ETSY shop this includes lots of unisex jewellery, as well as designs specifically for her. I also have unique original art gift cards which are ideal for framing after gift giving.

And to top it all off I have a Valentines special in both of my shops – use coupon code VALENTINE at checkout to receive 10% off storewide.

So, without further ado, here are some pics of some of the handmade gorgeousness you can give this Valentines Day ūüôā

 

 

Sunday Studio Visit – Custom Orders

Today in the studio I am firing the kiln …. it is a student firing full of stoneware works.

While the kiln has been bubbling away, I am putting finishing touches to some custom orders I have received through both my ETSY and MADEIT shops.

Custom orders occur if a buyer likes a certain product but want it in a different colour, or if a customer wants something specifically made for them.

Today, for example I finished a custom order on MADEIT where the customer liked a tapas setting but preferred a different colour…

It is fun making custom orders, but can be at times scary when it comes to ceramics – there are so many variables. But (knock on wood) I do tend to have a low attrition rate. When I make custom orders I tend to make two of the item in case there is cracking, warping or a glaze fault, and if both products pass muster (which they usually do) the spare gets listed in my shop. If not, the ‘second’ ends up in my own kitchen, much to the pleasure of my partner – who does 90% of the cooking!

As well as finishing the custom orders I also made a couple of handbuilt vessels – since I was rolling out clay anyway – one vessel will be part of my¬†MADE BY NATURE series, and the other was a little experiment…. just for fun!

Dawn Whitehand work in progress_003

 

So, I will leave you with some pictures of the custom orders I finished off today ūüôā

If in Australia you have until December 12th to place an order which you should receive before Christmas…. international orders should be placed by December 5th. Orders can be placed after this date, but there is no guarantee they will reach their destination before Christmas.

Buy Handmade for Christmas

OK, I am going to do the annual bang on about buying handmade this Christmas – but it is really important!!

We live in a world of mass production and mass consumerism, and this can be an alienating influence on how we see ourselves in the world!! Buying handmade helps to heal some of the disconnect we feel from society and ourselves. How? Because¬†a handmade product comes directly from the maker…. it contains their passion and emotion, and this flows through¬†as the product is used in our everyday lives – whether it be jewellery, tableware, sculpture, drawings, journals, clothing….everything…. we touch it and it touches us.

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This is why I am so passionate about being an artist and a maker.

In this post I am going to concentrate on my MADE IT store. I joined Made It a few years ago, out of curiosity and to check it out when I began designing tableware and jewellery under my brand DeeDeeDeesigns. I began stocking my shop earlier this year, only with my tableware, wanting to concentrate on promoting this range.

The thing I like about Made It is that is all about handmade, and is a platform only for Australian sellers. While purchases can be made internationally, the product you are buying is 100% Australian made – this is great for the economy and great for Australian makers.

It just so happens that this week I¬†am a pick editor on Made It…. so click HERE to view lots of great Aussie gift ideas just in time for Christmas!

In the meantime here are some pics of some of the handmade tableware available in my Made It store – bowls, coffee cups, tapas sets, condiments dishes, candle holders, trinket dishes – all great for Christmas gifts, including secret santa and teacher gifts, or even to adorn the Christmas table!

 

Sunday Studio Visit: Playing with Product Photography

Product photography for Etsy & MadeIt

This Sundays studio visit is all about product photography….

As some readers may know I have online stores on Etsy and MadeIt featuring functional ceramic tablewares and jewellery. In these stores I¬†have a clean uncluttered look which focuses on the product, especially in the main shop image. When a buyer clicks through to the product I do have shots of the bowls with foodstuffs in them, necklaces around necks and rings on fingers to give¬†the product some scale and provide a more ‘real’ context for the¬†potential customer. These images have previously also been on white backgrounds…. until recently…

Going back ten months…. In the lead up to last New Years Eve I took some images of a few statement¬†rings within the context of dressing up for the occasion…. but since then had not explored the concept further.

Recently I have been¬†thinking about re-approaching this idea, and have begun by staging some of my tablewares in a ‘real’ kitchen environment.

A limitation is the size and format of the images you can have on these online platforms…. for example MadeIt images fit into an exact square… I want to feature the product, so a fair bit of the background needs to be cropped out – the upside though means I need less of a clean kitchen….lol!!

Then there is the question of depth of field and which images look better? I’m not super happy with either of these images, so will do a bit more playing around with my aperture settings….

So thats about it for this Sunday – the kitchen has become the studio!! (I knew it had to be good for something)

I’ll leave you with some of the other in situ images i have been experimenting with…. have a great week ūüôā

Buy Handmade for Fathers Day

Fathers Day Gift Guide

If you live in Australia or New Zealand, or have dads, grandpas or fathers-in-laws who do, Father Day is 7th September and I have some great handmade gift ideas in my Etsy and Made It stores… plus a few more suggestions – read on!

Of course, all of my gift ideas are handmade and range from tableware for foodie dads, to coffee mugs for coffeeholic dads (or teaholics or miloholics or soupholics), to funky jewellery and gift cards.

I also have, in both my Etsy and Made It stores, gift vouchers which dad, hubby or grandpa can redeem for something he likes in my stores or he can ask for something custom made.

But wait there’s more!!

Regular readers¬†may remember a while ago I posted the sculptures I made from the pit firing I did at the Lorne Sculpture Show: you can view images & prices here ¬†– some of these are still available for dads who love art!! If you are interested message me via the ‘contact’ link at the top right of this site.

BUT wait there is even still more!!

If you have a dad/hubby/grandpa who is into pottery and ceramics why not give him a copy of my book Pit Firing Ceramics¬†AND he can also be a history, anthropology or archaeology enthusiast – this book covers all of these topics from a pottery perspective … ¬†info about purchasing the book can be found here.

Pit Firing Ceramics: Dawn Whitehand

Pit Firing Ceramics: Dawn Whitehand

So, hopefully I have given you lots of gift ideas for Fathers day, and over the next couple of weeks I will be continuing to add to my Etsy & Made It stores – so stay tuned ūüôā

In the meantime here is a selection of what is available now in my stores-

My New “Made It” Shop

Recently I opened another online shop, this time on Made It, an online marketplace for Australian shops.

At this stage I am keeping the Made It shop for functional ceramic wares only, and the design line is different to the wares on Etsy Рso you can shop from both stores with no overlap!!

As with the Etsy store all products are unique, and custom orders are welcome. Being a shop stocking tableware custom orders can include table settings Рfor example four bowls, a set of coffee cups or a set of condiment bowls.

Why set up another store? While Etsy generates huge amounts of traffic it is also highly competitive, which is not a bad thing,  but it has made me consider the worth of having multiple online presences Рwell its worth a try, right?

So, without further ado here are some images of the works I have in my Made It store, and I will be adding more over time.  And, of course, some of these beautifully crafted wares would make great Mothers Day pressies! And postage is free Australia wide! I do try to keep international postage at the minimum, and lower postage is calculated for multiple orders.

http://www.madeit.com.au/deedeedeesigns

So, go check out my lovely handmade tableware and feel free to spread the love ūüôā

 

Latest Kiln Offerings…

These bowls are the latest offerings, courtesy of the kiln god, and are destined for the Pop Up Collective event at Backspace Gallery, Ballarat running from 29th November till the 8th December.

There will be feast of handmade local goodies to buy as Christmas pressies which is great for sustainability and eco friendliness.

buy handmade

I will also have my ceramic jewellery and Japanese inspired tableware available for purchase.

So if you are in or near Ballarat over the next week or so, “pop” in for some unique gifts that you will not find at Myer or Ikea or Target or well … you get the drift!! ūüôā

Studio Days

I have spent the last few days in the studio making coffee cups based on the design of the bowls I have been recently making, and so far I am happy with the outcomes. These works are being made specifically for the Pop Up Collective at Backspace Gallery in Ballarat from the 29th December till the 9th December – just in time for Christmas pressies!

But don’t despair if you are not in Ballarat… I do take custom orders, through this blog or through my Etsy store – but get your order in quick for Christmas!

My ceramic jewellery and Asian inspired tableware will also be available at the gallery, and surplus stock will then also be available in my ETSY shop.

Stay tuned for the glazed results ūüôā

Handcrafted Christmas Gifts – buy from small business and individuals this year!

There is only five weeks till Christmas, so shopping time quickly passing by. The simple solution may seem to go to a large department store, and buy everything in one frenzied spree, but why not consider buying from small business and/or self employed people this year, rather than from multinational companies?

Shopping online is a great way to accomplish this. Not only is it a time saver if you are feeling the rush of festive season, but it also provides easy access to a whole assortment of small businesses, individuals and artists that sell online. An added bonus is that usually these business are more sustainable and more ethical. These are people who are interested in customer satisfaction, and your goods are delivered to your door – what could be better?

My online store is on Etsy, along with lots of other artists and crafters that make a wide array of handcrafted goods.

As some regular readers will know my speciality is ceramic jewellery and tableware, but I also have upcycled button jewellery, ceramic buttons, and original artwork blank greeting cards. And I hope to be introducing a new line of tone jewellery in the next day or two.

To ensure Christmas delivery orders must be placed in my shop by 26th November. This is because I am going overseas to exhibit in Florence, but also because the post can be pretty swamped at Christmas, so the more delivery time the better.

Below is a small selection of items from my store. To view the full range of my products, visit me here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DeeDeeDeesigns

New Retail Space – Incube8r, Fitzroy

So, I set up my retail space at Incube8r in Smith St, Fitzroy last week with¬†ceramic¬†tableware, ceramic buttons and small ceramic¬†sculptural¬†pieces… fingers crossed!!

For those of you who don’t know, Incube8r is an initiative that features only handmade goods by local artists… clothes, jewellery, paintings, bags, sculpture, craft…. you name it… if it’s handmade it’s there!!

So, if you are in Smith St drop in, and get yourself something unique, quirky and handmade!!

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This work by Dawn Whitehand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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