Its been very cold at the Centre, The ducks have been walking on ice quite a bit. There are being fed as the Silversmith Jeff thinks its not fair when the visitors are around they get fed but when its quieter then they don't, seems good to me.
As visitor number are low, then its been a time for preparation, Liz the potter who had a sell out Christmas, is busy filling shelves again and so is Romy the handbag maker, who is working on bags ready for the wedding season.
Sue in studio 2 has been setting up a wool exchange and a group for knitting teddybears for charity. Emily is going to be the new owner of my old studio and is starting to make preparations for her opening on March the 10th . She is going to be doing felting and textile work.
We also all met to discuss the advertising for 2012 and arrange a couple of events that will be coming up later in the year, it all went vey well and looks very positive for the rest of the year.
In my studio, its been quiet busy. Not huge numbers yet but regulars coming every week which is great as I get an almost guaranteed income. I have some great people who are working hard and have had quiet a few beginners who have done fabulous work, and hopefully they will continue with me.
I now do regular groups on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, also Saturday afternoons when I don't have a workshops. Bookings for my spring flowers workshop are just about at maximum and in April I will start doing an evening session on Thursdays. I am currently taking a few Sundays off to recharge my batteries as although I generally have Mondays and Tuesdays off I need to use Tuesdays for my own work and I am visiting my Dad alternate Mondays ( with my sister) as he is needing a bit more support. As the summer comes I wont be able to take the time off so I am making the most of it while I can.
I have also sent all my work to the states that will be licensed. I now have to do a biography and fill in some US tax forms ( help!) and then I am sorted I hope. I will continue to send work as and when I have more.
I am also working on a landscape commission. It has a long deadline on it but I want to get on top of it, as I know if I am not careful it will get forgotten. I have done a sketch and am waiting for feedback to see where to go from there.
I have a project that I am starting to try and work out. At the back of my studio I have a empty wall ( see the photo) which I have been given permission to paint. I have been thinking of running a competition ( maybe through local schools) for a design that represent 2012, so they could use the Olympics or the Queens jubilee, its really up to them. There will then be a display in the school holidays for all the entries and hopefully it will bring families in during the holidays. I am not quite sure how to organise it yet or what age group to aim it at, so any suggestions please let me know. I really have to get a move on if I am going to get it off the ground in time.
I still have to work out my sign. I have had some great offers from other crafts people but I am not sure what I want. I think my brain needs a bit of a break to make a decision, so I will sit on it a bit longer as long as I get it up by Easter I will be happy.
Generally I am pleased with progress. If I can keep up and if January and February are anything to go by , then the rest of the year should be good. I am glad I moved to the larger studio, I have never worked so heard in my life. although I don't feel it in the same way as I really enjoy every minute. What is it they say, "If you do a job you love, you never do a days work"