Tag Archives: bowl

Refreshing an Older Piece

I’ve had one bowl that I have taken from show to show. It just wont sell. Similar pieces have sold, but this bowl just wont budge. When I’m brutally honest with my critique, I would have to say that it is probably because the design wasn’t executed very well. It was one of my earliest pieces. The lines weren’t consistent.

After much consideration, I decided to sand off the finish and give it a refresh. I redid the simple key design around the rim and added a stylized bird in the center. The old design is on the left, new on the right.

Key Before After CKester

What do you think?

Well, back to work for me. Part 2 of my Tools, Tips, and Safety series will be coming soon.

Advertisements

Collaboration

I love getting the chance to work with other artists. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I recently got the opportunity to work with a local woodturner. Ken Gadway, aka. The Adirondack Woodturner, was kind enough to give me two cherry bowls to burn on. He kept one and I have the other. Here are the final pictures.

“Odin’s Bowl” is inspired by the Norse god Odin and his two ravens.

OdinsBowl_Ckester

OdinsBowl_Ckester2 OdinsBowl_Ckester3 OdinsBowl_Ckester4OdinsBowl_Ckester5

“Winter” is a celebration of the beauty of trees in all seasons, even in their naked winter form.

Winter_Ckester

Winter_CKester2 Winter_Ckester3 Winter_Ckester4 Winter_Ckester5

Holidays

It is the holiday season. I am finished with craft fairs for the year, so I have some time for special orders. I just updated my ArtFire store with some of my new items and several of my ornaments. I’ll continue adding more in the next week. I’m also working on my first gourd. I’m pretty excited to see how it burns.

Here’s a peak of my latest work.

20141106_102514 20141106_102553 20141116_103914 20141116_104007 20141116_104025a 20141116_104208 20141116_104223

FireOakStudioHoliday - ArtFire.comFind Gifts on ArtFire

Update 10/19/2014

A lot has changed in the past year. I have slowed down on the production of art. It’s been harder to find time to fit it in with this new addition to my life.

Fire Oak Studio New Addition

Currently I am working on two bowls that are a collaboration with Ken Gadway. He turned the bowls and I am doing the pyrography art on them. All of the artwork is original, hand drawn and burned. I’m very exited about the project. I’m planning on debuting the bowls on October 23rd at the Artists Supporting ARC show. Ken will be selling one of the bowls and I will be selling the other.

Here is a peek at them –

Fire Oak Studio Winter WIP Fire Oak Studio Odin's Bowl WIP Closeup Fire Oak Studio WIP Closeup Fire Oak Studio Odins Bowl WIP

Update 2/9/13

After my holiday shows, I was in a bit of an art slump. Things have picked up a little recently. I am working on some character concept designs for a story I may or may not get to writing. It is good practice for drawing people even if I never finish the writing part.

Melora hairstyles_CKester2

I’ve prepped two more letters (J and K) for my long time Celtic Tree Alphabet project.

Here are some of my commissions, gifts, and new pieces that I can post now that the holidays are over –

A private commission –

copyright Christina Kester

copyright Christina Kester

A gift –

Some new pieces (all sold except the bear) –

copyright Christina Kester

copyright Christina Kester

copyright Christina Kester

copyright Christina Kester

copyright Christina Kester

copyright Christina Kester

Update 11/1/2012

Fall is my busy time of year. All of my big craft shows are in the fall. It leaves me with little time for anything else and as such I have neglected my blog. Never fear, I am still here and still plugging away at my art.

I finished my giant bowl just in time for the Artist Supporting ARC show last week. I think it turned out pretty well.

copyright 2012 Christina Kester

I’m currently working on upping my holiday ornament stock for upcoming shows. I have the SUNY Plattsburgh Craft show this weekend. It is one of the bigger shows in the area and was a good venue for me last year.  Here are some recent magnets, ornaments and a square bowl in progress.

 

In my spare time, I have also been working on my digital painting skills.  One of my goals for improvement earlier this year was to work on more dynamic figures and backgrounds. The following two sketches are a start to that.  For the first, I referenced stock photos by Chonastock on Deviant art for the pose. The second sketch was inspired by Brom.

copyright 2012 Christina Kester

 

copyright 2012 Christina Kester

 

The Making of a Bowl

I often get asked how long it takes me to finish a piece. It really depends on the design and the method I am using, but pyrography is a time-consuming craft. It takes a steady hand and a lot of patience. With a normal day job and a young child, it takes longer.

Take this bowl for example

I have been working on it, when my schedule allows, since the end of last year. It is a large bowl, 15 inches. It took me probably 2 hours just to draw the inside of the bowl and 1.5 hours to draw the design on the outside of the bowl. After drawing in pencil, I go over my lines with my pyrography tool. for most lines I use a writing tip.

This goes quicker than the original drawing, but it still takes a while. All together it was probably 1-2 hours. Next, I make adjustments to the lines, making some thicker than others. Then comes the really time-consuming part. Shading. It involves burning layer by layer. To avoid burning to deep or getting an undesired darkness, I keep the temp fairly low and just build up the burn.

I have put in another 6 hours of shading and I am nearly done with all of the inside designs. I still have the knotwork on the outside to shade, so there is probably another 6-8 hours of work left to do.  But because my larger pieces are slower sales, I have to find time between working on magnets, tiles, and pendants.  Here’s my current progress –

Thoughts from a Meeting with the SBA and New Work

A couple of weeks ago I had a meeting with someone from the local Small Business Administration (SBA). I got a lot out of the meeting and would recommend that any artist who is having trouble with or just needs some advice on the business side of art give it a try. My meeting was specifically about writing a business plan. It is something you have to do if you want to get funding, but my goal  is to be able to provide myself with a road map with some clear goals.

I went in concerned that I was crazy to want to dive into a full-fledged craft business in a rocky economy. One of the first things that the counselor told me was that the art and craft market is a little different from other sales markets. In part, this is because people buy the connection with the artist as much as they are buying a unique item. So one suggestion she gave me is to make myself, not just my product, stand out.  A bad economy is not necessarily a bad time to start a craft business.  Planning and hard work can make it viable.

Another suggestion the counselor gave me was to go over my prices carefully.  She said artists and crafters tend to undervalue their time. I am certainly guilty of not tracking my time very well. It can be difficult to do when balancing working at home and caring for an exuberant young child. But I have started recording the time I sit down to work and the time I get up, even if only for a moment. It has been an eye opener.

Finally, the counselor gave me some great general advice on craft fairs. She said that each craft fair is a different market. What sells at one may not sell at another even if they are close geographically. It can take some trial and error to figure out what to bring to each fair. She also suggested bringing a portfolio of my work that includes items that I have sold or that I didn’t include in the fair. With this customers can see the full range of what I can do. If I advertise that I take commissions and do custom work, I may be able to get more sales.

My first craft fair is coming up soon (Applefest in Peru,NY on Sept 17 and 18). I hope that I can use what I have learned and make it a successful and enjoyable experience.

*****

As for new work, I have a lot of it. Here is a sample of some of my most recent.

copyright Christina Kester 2011

 

copyright Christina Kester 2011

 

copyright Christina Kester 2011

Wood Pendant Preview

A friend cut down a small oak and gave me some of the wood. I am planning to do a whole bunch of pendants and maybe rune stones with the wood.  Here’s a preview of the first two –

copyright 2011 Christina Kester

I am still deciding how I want to finish them and how I want to handle the cord (bead or no bead). I may be drilling a larger hole so I can hang them differently. I’m looking to sell these around the $7 to $15 range (depending on the design).

A Busy Bee

I have a lot going on right now, not the least of which is getting enough product together for a craft show. So, I apologize for my recent and continued (for a while longer) silence. Here are a few photos of some of my new work –

copyright 2011 Christina Kester

 

Copyright 2011 Christina Kester

copyright 2011 Christina Kester

 

copyright 2011 Christina Kester