This week, though, I’ve been focusing on the “brick and mortar” business world. Lately, I’ve been making tsuru, otherwise known as folded origami cranes designed to be garden ornaments. Here’s a picture of one in our garden, which has been sitting atop a bamboo pole, which a clematis vine has climbed up.
I took the picture on a rainy day, and those white spots are actually rain drops; the crane is solid red. Since she has been there long enough for the clematis vine to grow around her neck, I’m thinking it’s time to give this crane a name.
I folded the cranes from 36″ squares of aluminum screening and then painted them with outdoor paint. Folding large sheets of screening is a change from paper, and has its own special challenges, but also special possibilities. Today I started showing my cranes to local garden stores to see if the stores will carry them.
I’ll have to see how it goes, though one crane is already on sale, along with other pieces of my work at Artspring, the wonderful craft shop and gallery in downtown Silver Spring associated with the Pyramid Atlantic Center.
For a number of years, I’ve spend most of the summer teaching full time. This year, though, I’m concentrating on making art, writing and (hopefully) selling more of my work. I’m getting an education in the business side of being an artist, and all the new opportunities that the web has opened up for artists. Not to mention the opportunities for people who are interested in art to follow the progress of their favorite artists and craftspeople.
I do not think that in years past, arts and humanities councils would have been offering workshops for artists like one I attended recently. It was organized by the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County – a great outfit, by the way, worth checking out whatever your interest in the arts. The workshop was on the business of being an artist. Among other things, we were advised that a portfolio includes your web page, and maybe a flash drive with pictures of your work. So much for those fancy folders they sell in art supply stores.
I myself, feel like I’ve just put my toe in the water of the internet and am in awe of the work and business savvy of other artists and crafts people. But I’m making progress. I do have a shop on Zazzle, where people can buy (or even design their own) products using my photos. If you want postage stamps with a picture of a lovely violin on them, my shop is definitely the place to go. At least that seems to be the opinion of a number of violin postage stamp buyers.
And I’m working on setting up an Etsy shop where I can sell my unique origami papers, as well as unusual papers for scrapbookers and collage artists.