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NOTE: I’m a dumb ass and my boyfriend just informed me i’ve been mixing my metaphors. Like booze and sleeping pills, it could be dangerous. The title of this post was supposed to refer to the phrase “Wet behind the ears” but I confused the saying with someone being “green” as in “new and young to something”. So alas a new phrase, “green behind the ears” is born meaning: to have not yet participated in one’s first ecologically conscious craft show…

My set-up

My set-up

Well, I did my first big craft show! I’m so proud! It took a lot of work and preparation, and today, I chill out a bit and don’t really want to look at my press (my print pulling hand still has some blisters that need to heal, for reals).
Left End

Left End

Right End

Right End

The crowds were alright for the show. I don’t really know too much about what to expect this time of year, during that weather etc etc in regards to turn-out of attendees, but its seemed like there was a good flow of people.

I am a little disappointed in the amount of sales and such though. I’m pretty sure its not my fault (I Am good enough, people like me!), as a few other vendors where wondering where all the sales were too. But, really, I suppose we should have expected it in this economy…

One thing that really killed my sales was my table location. See, I picked a nice corner spot, thinking that I’d be right by the doors where everyone came in. I guess The Powers That Be decided those doors were Emergency Exits only, so instead the main entrance was at the exact opposite corner, putting my table at the end of the very last row. Unforeseen switch-a-roo there… BAH and FIE!

The other things that I hesitate to complain about because they were pretty awesome, were the Fashion Show, and the Bands. The Fashion Show went on for almost 2 hours, and while it was very cool and participants got their work show cased, it literally blocked off an entire aisle of vendors from any traffic at the busiest time of the day.

The last thing I’m going to have to keep an eye out for at other shows, is : Do Not choose a spot directly in front of the band stand. While I had a front row seat for several great acts including Raw Earth and Red Card Royale, it was hard to converse with customers, and I think a lot of shoppers avoided that corner because of how loud it was. Also, there were belly dancers that accompanied Raw Earth. They were EXCELLENT. I loved it! (One gorgeous woman even asked me to dance with her but I was so intimidated I couldn’t. She was too beautiful and I was unworthy…) But anyway, awesome as they were, it created a bottle neck in front of my table. Lots of people hovered to watch the dancers, but no one wanted to walk in the narrow space between us end cap vendors and the dancers.

Belly Dancers

Belly Dancers

I’ll hand in these observations as notes for next years Green with Indie.

All in all, for this show being the first show in the area of its kind to focus on sustainable goods, up-cycled art and craft items and be billed as a No Waste Event, it was a complete success! April Tate of Miss Lemon fame of the STLCM did an amazing job organizing the whole thing and booking the entertainment. (I don’t know when that woman sleeps.)

Webster U was gracious and we had no problems that I know of with the event being held in the gymnasium. Hooray! They’ll let us back next year?

I also got to meet some pretty kick ass fellow Craft Mafioso, like David from Cranky Yellow, Kate of Red Anvil Art (she traded me a necklace!!!), Katie from Scarlet Garnet, and Shelah of Destroyed by Design.

I met some other great crafters (and colleagues I hope) like Sparrow Studios, Chef Jeff, Secret Leaves Paper Works and lots of others who are linked on this page.

Next big shows coming up are the Big Ass Indie Art and Craft Show July 31 – August 2, and the Cherokee Street Cinco de Mayo Art Fair. Also, check out some of Lock and Key’s printed Ephemera for Sale at Cranky Yellow, on Cherokee Street at Nebraska in Saint Louis Missouri.

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The book plates are done. Have been for some time, but I’m lazy and sometimes the internet is a jerk. Here they are in their purposed application:

Modern Bookplates

Modern Bookplates

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Come Craft Your Guts out at the STL Craft Mafia‘s first traveling Open Craft Night!
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On Thursday Feb 19, at Soulard Art Market, from 6:30 to 8:30, we’ll be hanging out and making stuff – this is our first traveling Stich ‘n Bitch ‘n Drink (bring your own drinkies) and everyone is invited.

Bring whatever you want to work on and chat with your fellow crafters. There are plenty of outlets, so sewing machines are welcome! We’ll be knitting, scrapping, beading, sewing, gluing and more…

Tell your friends, bring some drinks and snacks. This is a free and open Craft night. See you there!

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The Soulard Art Market is on the corner of 12th & Russell in Soulard, it’s very easy to find.
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Third week of classes and they are going well. Everyone is working hard on their personal projects.

Letterpress Fundamentals, with only two students, is really cooking. They learned to lock u a forme, and register two colors, from which we printed a collaborative broadside.Forme lock-up
Students printing

The Digital Letterpress class made a bunch of photo polymer plates of their unique art work, and are working on printing their projects. Polymer plate making
Arranging Negatives for making plate.

These back-to-back classes wear me out, but its a lot of fun. We’re starting a Student Collection of prints created by the individuals who take classes at Firecracker. Its growing steadily and is full of beautiful pieces of art! i’ll take some pictures next week.

The first classes went well over at Firecracker Press. The Digital Letterpress class was full plus one, the letterpress fundamentals class only has two students, and the one-day Letterpress Techniques had two people.

The workshop went well, but it was a long day and I didn’t eat lunch so I was getting pretty loopy by 5 pm. The 2 students were very good at what they were doing after the initial demos. I’d do few things differently next time, such as limit the materials available, encourage interaction between students, and really push the experimentation aspect of the class. With only two students who weren’t interacting very much, the class felt, well, dry. They came up with some good stuff, and one boy left with maybe 25 mono prints. The other gal produced a snarky greeting card with an text and image, and figured out registration pretty well too. All in all, it was a great day. I felt those two students took their money’s worth from the class for sure!

Next week we’ll have another full Saturday with the Digital Letterpress in the morning, and then Letterpress Fundamentals in the afternoon. I am always impressed by what people produce in these classes. It’s very inspiring!

Green with Indie!!!

This week I was accepted into the Saint Louis chapter of the Craft Mafia! I think this is very cool, and it will be very good for Lock and Key Press. I hope to be networking and craft fair-ing with all the members for the duration of my stay in Saint Louis. To see who’s who and who makes what, check out the newly added tab above titled Saint Louis Craft Mafia. All the members will be listed soon! Their are some incredibly talented people in this group and I’m proud to have been chosen to work among them!

Also, I have received my Membership packet from the Amalgamated Printer’s Association. I’m quite excited about this, as I’ve been asked by many of the printer’s I admire “Are you in the APA?” Now I can say YES! I am! Number #843! They even sent me a little tiny logotype that says “Amalgamated Printer’s Association MEMBER”.

member!

member!


All I’ve got to do is print up 200 copies of my “prop card” and send it in to make my membership “official”. So that’s what I’m doing today, as well as writing up the last bits of class materials, and making some color proofs for wedding invites I’m printing.

Maybe this momentum will continue and I won’t feel so much pressure about finding a full-time job…

Firecracker Press is offering the following courses for Spring 2009 Just in Time For Valentine’s Day!! Instructor is Yours Truly of Lock and Key Press! (Except the woodcuts class, which I’m probably going to take.) Call (314) 776- 7271 to register!

LETTERPRESS FUNDAMENTALS
Letterpress Fundamentals is a comprehensive five week course focusing on the traditional methods of letterpress printing. Students will learn the tradition of setting metal type, by hand, using our collection, make proofs and corrections, operate a Vandercook printing press and our antique platen press, mix ink by hand and learn the ins and out of paper. Each student will create an editioned piece of their design to exchange with all students, so everyone leaves the class with a small portfolio of fine prints! No prior experience needed.

Course schedule (5 weeks):
Saturdays from 1pm-4pm
Jan. 24th – Feb 21st

Cost: $245.00 all materials included
(Additional type deposit of $25.00 is required.
Refunded barring no damage to equipment.
Separate check please.)

LETTERPRESS TECHNIQUES
Letterpress Techniques is a loosely structured class focusing on exploration of composition, inking, finishing and creative thinking with letterpress tools and equipment. This class will consist of several demonstrations with lots of time for students to apply their own ideas and interpretations of the techniques learned while creating fine prints using wood type, metal type, and antique printing blocks. Students with their own woodcuts or linoleum blocks are encouraged to bring them to class. No prior experience needed. This class is a great precursor to Letterpress Fundamentals, and can be a fun addition to the Woodcut or Digital Letterpress classes.

Course schedule (1 day):
Sunday from 11pm-5pm
Jan. 25th

Cost: $125.00 all materials included
(Additional type deposit of $25.00 is required. Refunded barring no damage to equipment. Separate check please.)

DIGITAL LETTERPRESS
This course is a great way to combine old technologies and new ones. In this class students learn how to take their own computer based digital images and create photopolymer, relief plates that can be printed on our Vandercook printing press. Students will learn how to create a digital file, make a film negative of from the file, and then make a photopolymer plate using our platemaker. The Firecracker Press provides materials to get students started. The cost of specific project needs is up to each student and all additional materials can be purchased through The Firecracker Press. No previous experience necessary, but Letterpress Fundamentals or Letterpress Techniques is strongly suggested.

Course schedule (4 weeks):
Saturdays from 9am-12 noon
Jan. 24th – Feb 14th

Cost: $185.00 + $45.00 materials fee
(Additional equipment deposit of $25.00 is required. Refunded barring no damage to equipment. Separate check please. )

WOODCUT BASICS CLASS
Introduction to woodcut tools, materials, transfer methods, woodcutting techniques, inks and inking (brayers and press), paper, printing techniques. Students will dive into woodcut production using supplied materials and printing using supplied woodcuts, with self-guided projects to come. In addition to unique prints each student will create an editioned piece of their design to exchange with all students, so everyone leaves the class with a small portfolio of fine prints! The Firecracker Press provides materials to get students started. The cost of specific project needs is up to each student and all additional materials can be purchased through The Firecracker Press.

Course schedule (4 weeks):
Tuesdays from 6:30pm-9:30pm
Jan. 27th – Feb 17th

Cost: $185.00 + $45.00 materials fee
(Additional equipment deposit of $25.00 is required. Refunded barring no damage to equipment. Separate check please. )

So the last few days I’ve been figuring out this Alchemy thing on Etsy… Have you heard about it? its a fantastic feature and I’m REALLY liking it! i started exploring it when someone sent me (through Etsy) a request for a custom item, some business cards. I got a notice with a request, a desired price, a deadline and a brief outline of what they were looking for. What a great idea! Someone wants me specifically to make them something! We began discussing details and hopefully I’ll get them their cards by the end of the month. yay!

Now, what I discovered is aside from being able to request a custom item or commission someone directly, you can also place a public Alchemy Request. Its the almost same, but the public request is open to anyone who bids. There’s pages and pages of people looking for quotes and estimates to make everything from wedding rings to wedding invitations, journals to articles of clothing. If you see something that you think you can make for them to their specifications then you “place a bid”. Just like real businesses! Whee!

So I started looking around and saw a few Alchemy posts for printed and/or letterpressed items. A few of them seemed a bit out of my league and the prices they request (and I assume would expect) were too low for letterpress, unfortunately. I did bid on some of them but gave them a more realistic price, so I don’t know if they’ll like that. But a few others I put in some bids for along with an explanation that the price they requested would probably only get them the most basic of features and to contact me to talk more about the other options available. Then I started pretending I was going to do the job and began drawing up ESTIMATES.

Yes Estimates, the bane of my existence. I’ve been really wishy-washy about giving estimates, because I didn’t know how. A few weeks ago, I posted about it on the LETPRES listserv, and got some excellent responses. The folks who troll that list really helped me to outline a process of pricing, recommended reasonable mark-up percentages and labour rates. Now, I think I have it kinda figured out. At least, I’m satisfied with the method I’ve derived. We’ll see as I make these jobs (if my bids are accepted) if my estimates panned out correctly or not. I’m pretty sure that I was able to cover my costs and create a profit as well, without stiffing the client or myself. I’ve just got to remember to keep accurate time records and materials purchases!!! (ugh, so much math. I went to Art Skool so I wouldn’t HAVE to do math.THing is I’m good at it but I don’t like it. Like mucking stalls. I can do it, but who’d want to?)

I’m feeling a bit more confident and less over my head now. I’m gaining experience, learning and applying my knowledge. Its good.

So, bring me your jobs! I’m open for business!

What Day is it Anyway?

November 2017
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