Thursday, 26 June 2014

Dreamers Spotlight: Ask Ed Designs

Tell us something about yourself? 

Most importantly, I am a mum our darling boy Edward, who is almost 10 months. He has obviously been the inspiration for the name ‘Ask Ed’! I’m an artist and high school Art teacher. I adore teaching but am trying to focus more on my art.  I have two partners in crime. My Husband Matt and my twin sister Amy. Both come along to all the markets, help me set up and give me advice.



What are your sources of inspiration?

 Mother Nature! I know it’s a little cliché but there is just so much diversity and variation in what nature provides. From the neon colours of the Great Barrier Reef to the muted and dirty palette of the scrub, I just haven’t ever had a need to look elsewhere. Colour is just the beginning! Then we have all sorts of shapes and textures. If I want to do an abstract piece, rockpools at the beach have such delightful forms. Organic little blobs in the vast sea scape. 


Where and when did you learn your craft?
 Who taught you? 
I always drew as a kid and loved art class at school. My year 10 Art Teacher who has sadly since passed really lit the painting fire in me! Beautiful Mrs Ward….she was kooky and yet so classy. Some people pay you a compliment and it’s nice to hear but it doesn’t scratch the surface. If Mrs Ward said your work was good, it was! She gave 100% for my year 10 major submission and from that moment I have had the confidence to believe in my skills as a painter particularly. 



Aside from your craft, what else do you enjoy doing?

 Getting out into the bush with my hubby and baby is always a treat. We love bush walking or going for drives out of the city. Eating is also fun! My husband is a terrific cook so I love to stay in on a weekend and help him with a roast.

What piece of advise can you give to other artists?
 I am constantly telling my students that practice really does help! I wasn’t necessarily born with painting skills, I have been at it for years and have been experimenting, evaluating and trying again since I started as a child. Find a handful of mentors or artists who inspire you and try to really observe their work. I love the idea that I think came from a Picasso quote that in order to break the rules you have to learn them first. Learn the rules then don’t be afraid to bend or break them!




What are your plans for the future?

 I will keep painting till I can’t hold a brush and while people want to buy my work I will sell it. I really enjoy teaching teenagers to express themselves and look to the world for inspiration so I will keep teaching too.  My plan is to teach a few days a week and look after Ed and paint the rest of the week.

Ask Ed designs will be at the Dreamers Market on August 9, 2014. Riverside Theaters. 9-2 pm.


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Feature Interview: La Divina Designs

Tell us something about yourself?
I am the mother of two beautiful children and I work part-time as a Water Quality Sampler. I love yoga and music and food! If I did not meet the love of my life when I did, I believe I would have succumbed to wanderlust and become a gypsy.

What are your sources of inspiration?
All that I can see! Everything I interact with in my daily life somehow influences my craft. When I am completing a product I visualize the person I believe it was meant for, in a way each piece is custom made. Hopefully it finds its rightful owner.
Most of all my inspiration comes from my children and the colour and life they have breathed into our family.

Where and when did you learn your craft? Who taught you? 
I am self-taught in what I do, however I believe I have my mother to thank for my creativity. My grandmother also loves to paint portraits and landscapes on canvas. I guess it runs in our family.
Aside from your craft, what else do you enjoy doing?


I love to shop, especially at handmade markets. I love trips to the beach and reading a great book. Spending precious time with friends and family would have to be at the top of the list!

What piece of advice can you give to other artists? 
You will always be your worst critic, but don’t be so tough on yourself! If you love what you do and it makes your soul happy then do it I say. Also don’t ever let it stop being fun. If you try to make your craft a job at the same time, be sure it doesn’t loose that fire it lights inside of you…
What are your plans for the future?
Hopefully I can continue to make cards and paper stationary through La Divina Designs. If everyone else enjoys my products as much as I do then perhaps I can continue full time.

I wish to expand the products I offer and maybe even design my own paper in the future.

La Divina Designs will be at the Autumn Dreamers Market on Saturday, April, 5 at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Dreamers Spotlight : Celestial Soy Candles

Tell us something about yourself? 

Both Greg and I work at full time jobs but were looking for something creative we could do together. A friend inspired me to try candle making and Greg making the candle holders just followed on from there. We decided to share our products with others, hopefully to be able to have a small business we can continue into retirement. 



What are your sources of inspiration?

  Inspired to create something not only which makes our house smell heavenly but also something which can give enjoyment to lots of other people. 
Where and when did you learn your craft? Who taught you? 

I taught myself to make candles with advice from a friend and lots of great info from the internet. Greg has been working with metal all his life so designing and making candle holders has flowed from those years of experience. 
Aside from your craft, what else do you enjoy doing?


  Checking out second hand shops for unique containers to turn into “limited edition” candles What piece of advise can you give to other artists? You need to be really passionate about creating beautiful products for others to enjoy as well as yourself. 

What are your plans for the future?


  To continue enjoying making our products and building up our business, both wholesale and retail, and being able to continue it when we eventually retire. 

Celestial candles will be at the Dreamers Market on April 5, 2014.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The Dreamers Market Autumn 2014

We're back for our 6th and first market of 2014. 

The Dreamers Market Autumn market will be on Saturday, April 5th from 9.30am to 2.30pm at the beautiful Riverside Theatres in Parramatta.

Save the date!



Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Parramatta Artisans' Market

We are excited to announce that the Dreamers Market in collaboration with Parramatta Council is curating the Parramatta Artisans' Markets this December.

It will be the same high quality Australian handmade market that you've come to know and love!

Applications are now open for the following twilight markets:

  • Friday, Dec 6th
  • Friday, Dec 13th
  • Friday, Dec 20th

The markets at a glance:
  • Will be held at the Church Street Mall in Parramatta from 4pm to 8pm.
  • All products for sale must be handmade in Australia. No imported items allowed.
  • The stallholder fee for this event is $70.15 (GST inclusive).
  • All stallholders will have access to a hi-top white fete stall
  • Stallholder sign for the event.
  • A large marketing plan has been put in place to attract plenty of visitors to the market.

To apply, you can download the application form here.

All applications must be returned to: dreamersmarket.parra.artisan@gmail.com

Applications Close: Friday, 22nd November 2013

Monday, 14 October 2013

Dreamers Spotlight: DM Pottery


Tell us something about yourself?

I’m 40-something, married, a potter, an aunty, and live in the Sydney suburb of Randwick. I’ve also lived in Melbourne and in various parts of England. I lack patience but have great powers of concentration. I’m left-handed and proud to be right-brain dominated.



What are your sources of inspiration?

All sorts of things; found objects, ceramics from antiquity, and especially the colours and textures of the Australian bushland (particularly geology and eucalyptus bark) and Australian flora. I’m also inspired by the making process itself - ‘happy accidents’ that can lead to whole new bodies of work. Much of my current work makes use of an Art Nouveau design of Australian flannel flowers sourced from a Federation period (c1912) pane of pressed glass.
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Where and when did you learn your craft? Who taught you? 

I completed a Diploma of Arts (Ceramics) in 1996-97 at Holmesglen TAFE in Melbourne. Then I worked in a number of production potteries over many years including Dartington Pottery in England. Then I worked as an assistant to a studio potter in England before starting up my own workshop in 2010. I should also include in my education the countless demonstrations and workshops I have attended over the years given by professional potters - always so illuminating.


Aside from your craft, what else do you enjoy doing?

I love photography and have been doing that for ...gosh is it really more than 25 years? I used to have a darkroom and print all my own work before the digital age came along and now everything is so easy on a computer screen - I can spend hours in Photoshop. I also love bushwalking, fossil hunting, beach combing, and traveling. Still so much of the world to see.

What piece of advise can you give to other artists? 

Get a proper job! Just joking (well kinda). I worked in a bank for 7 years between those pottery jobs I mentioned earlier, so my advise would be to hold onto the dream even when it seems unattainable and make it happen. Be market aware - the idea is to sell work so you can sustain what you love doing.

What are your plans for the future? 

I’ve never been very good at making plans for the future. I want to continue doing what I’m doing right now. I want to continue to grow creatively so that my customer base grows and I stay interested. I’ve recently been working on a couple of restaurant commissions. I’d like to do more of that. 



DM Pottery will be at the Dreamers market on October 19,2013.
Riverside Theatres, Parramatta
9:30-2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Dreamers Spotlight: Mandy Kopelke Art




Tell us something about yourself?

I LOVE colour! My life is colourful, my kids and hubby are colourful and my paintings are colourful :-) My studio is portable and moves between the lounge and the veranda depending on the weather.
You will often find me on the veranda singing and dancing with paint covered fingers and brushes.


My Veranda Studio

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What are your sources of inspiration?

The natural world is my biggest inspiration - I love the amazing colours, shapes, textures and patterns and the tiny details that our eye often overlook as we rush, rush, rush around this busy world.


Blue Gums

Where and when did you learn your craft? Who taught you?

Growing up was an arty experience, from art projects at home with mum to art classes throughout school. As part of my maths and computers degree I also took a year of art... great combination! After uni I embarked on a career in IT which took me to some fabulous places around the UK and Australia and photography became my creative outlet, with the odd art class here and there. Since starting my family in 2005 I have regularly attended a variety of painting, drawing and mixed media classes at community colleges with some fabulous local artists such as Cilla Davies and a variety of weekend and online workshops with Intuitive artists such as Flora Bowley (US) and Tracy Verdugo (AU). There’s always something new to learn and inspiration to soak up.

Aside from your craft, what else do you enjoy doing?

I love to spend precious time together with my young family, cycling, camping, exploring and learning how exciting life can be and living it to the full !!

What piece of advise can you give to other artists?

Never stop believing in yourself and your dreams. Paint from the heart and keep that inner critic in its place. Keep creating no matter what... practice, more practice and determination are the keys to success.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan for my art to continually grow and evolve, for me to be part of an artisan community showing my craft at specialized artisan events, and to exhibit in art shows.
My aim is to enhance your your home with colour, make you smile every time you pass by my painting on your wall, or stop and spot something new in it that you hadn’t seen before. For you to feel happy when you rest your cup of tea on one of my bright little quirky stools or coasters and for you to feel love in your heart when you give or receive one of my colourful hand painted cards.
Thank you for taking the time to read more about Mandy Kopelke Art! 


Mandy Kopelke Art will be at the Dreamers Market on October 19,2013.
9:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Riverside Theatres
Parramatta

Monday, 30 September 2013

Dreamers Spotlight: Arjay Creations


Tell us something about yourself?
Sam & I are two good friends, who have both found sewing and crafting to be our creative outlet for many years and now found we are able to create a range of items to sell at markets. We enjoy collaborating together, yet working within our area of strengths.


What are your sources of inspiration?
We are inspired by the very pattern, colour & design of a piece of fabric that often ‘speaks’ to us of the need to be made into a particular item. Meeting needs of friends with young babies & children in colourful & creative ways or wanting to produce items around the home that encourage sustainability & are environmentally friendly. Sam is also exploring new ranges that up-cylce vintage items.

Where and when did you learn your craft? Who taught you? 
We both have memories of sewing & knitting from a young age with our mums, aunts & grandmothers. Both of us studied Textiles & Design during high school.


Aside from your craft, what else do you enjoy doing?
We always enjoy checking out local tea rooms (under the guise of business meetings), travelling, cooking & spending time with our church community.


What piece of advise can you give to other artists? 
Relax, trust your instincts & enjoy what you do. Also that it’s OK to refine your product range & realize different locations & market goers may find different items more appealing.


What are your plans for the future?
To continue crafting together & to explore further opportunities to create, share & promote our crafts.

Arjay Creations will be at the Dreamers Spring Market on October 19,2013.
Riverside Theatres ,Parramatta.
0930-2:30 p.m.



Sunday, 29 September 2013

Tips to Make your Market Experience Successful

If you are doing markets and shows, this article gives you helpful hints and tips to make your experience succesful. We've included in this post, only those topics that are commonly asked.

Below is just an excerpt from the article, "Doing Craft Shows: Simple Tips to make your experience successful". You can read the whole article here.

Written by Patrice Lewis for craftreport.com 

Sales Psychology
Okay, you’re at the show. Now what? How do you bring customers into your booth?

It goes without saying that your booth is attractive and not sloppy. You are wearing appropriate clothing that is neat and professional. You have a nice, friendly smile.

Selling takes a certain psychology, as any good salesperson will tell you. When customers are browsing, the last thing they want is to feel pressured. Don’t act like the stereotypical used car salesman, talking constantly and trying to force a sale.

Offer a browser a friendly, but neutral, greeting (“Good morning!”). You’ve acknowledged the customer’s presence without making any additional demands. Don’t start peppering them with unwanted or unasked-for information. If you do that, I can almost guarantee that the customer will back-peddle out of your booth with a mumbled excuse about meeting Cousin Bob somewhere else.

Naturally, you’ll be available to answer specific questions about your product, but answer in such a way that does not imply that you now expect them to buy something (“That knick-knack is made out of solid walnut…so, can I wrap it up for you?”). A little humor sprinkled in makes the customer feel more comfortable. But don’t talk too much; customers generally want to be left alone to make up their minds.

It’s a fine balance. Being friendly with your customers improves your chances of making a sale, but trying to make them your best friend by nagging them will damage sales.

And, of course, most people will walk into a booth, and then walk out again. Most won’t buy anything – at least, not yet. It’s up to you to make their brief browsing experience so pleasant and unpressured that they’ll feel free to come back later and buy.

Booth Layout

Booth layout is difficult to discuss, because every product is different. Some items need to be behind glass with bright lights shining on them (such as jewelry). Some items need to be dangled from above. Some items need to be displayed on tables.

But, in every case, the key ingredient is visibility. It may seem obvious, but if the customer doesn’t see the product, and see it quickly, then it doesn’t exist.
Consider the power of a vertical display. Items that are displayed where the eye can sweep over them at a glance – and see the entire selection – are far more likely to result in higher sales.

Keep your shelves full. It’s a strange element of show psychology, but customers who see half-empty shelves are not impressed by how well your product has been selling. Instead, they will glance at your nearly vacant display, and walk on. It doesn’t matter how many pieces you still have on display. Half-empty shelves equal “no selection” in the eyes of a potential customer.

So, if you sell one piece, replace it with another piece. If you run out of replacement stock, then either reduce the number of shelving or display units you have available, or have something on hand to act as “fillers” for empty displays (silk flowers, driftwood, roadkill; anything is better than nothing).
 
Miscellaneous Tips

•     Bring a friend. Always try to work a booth with another person. Not only is this helpful during bathroom breaks, but it’s important to help deter shoplifting.
•     Do a dress rehearsal. If you are going to an event with your own booth, make sure you have assembled it at least once, in advance, at home, preferably blindfolded and standing on one leg in a rainstorm in the dead of night, to reproduce all the difficulties you’ll no doubt encounter at one time or another. It’s called a dress rehearsal, and theater or dance companies do them for good reason.
•     Keep a sense of humor. Cultivate a sense of humor. Display a sense of humor. Humor relaxes people, it makes you seem less “predatory,” and it creates an instant bond.
•     Sometimes you’ll get a person in your booth who looks and looks and looks, and then leaves without buying anything. This person is valuable to you. To a passing browser, there is safety in numbers. People are more likely to enter a booth when someone else is there ahead of them. So don’t lose patience with the person who spends a lot of time looking and then leaves without buying; they’ve provided you with a service by attracting other customers to your booth.
•     Know in advance what the show producers will provide. Some shows supply booth, tables, skirting, and signage (these are usually the more expensive shows). Others provide nothing but a square of grass. Be clear in advance what you’ll need to bring so you won’t be caught with your pants (metaphorically) down.
•     Never, ever leave a vacant chair available in your booth. A vacant chair means you’re a captive audience to anyone who wants to sit down and relate Great Aunt Martha’s gall bladder surgery.

Love the Life

Selling at craft fairs should be – and often is – fun. You’ll meet new people, see new places, and hopefully make some money.
But, craft shows can be frustrating, as well. Despite the best preparation, you never know how much – or if – you’ll make enough money to make it worthwhile. It’s important to understand that a show could be a bomb. That’s why, hopefully, the information in this article will help steer you in the right direction.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

How to Distress Wood

Here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to distress a boring wooden object. 

For this project, we used a wooden crate we found at the $2 store. This was meant to hold plastic fruits but we thought it would be good as props for the market. And for the price of $2.50, we'd be crazy not to take it home. 

To turn this crate from boring to interesting, we decided to make a distressed wooden crate. You only need 2 different colours of acrylic paints, light and dark, which you can also get from the $2 shop, a paintbrush and sandpaper. You can also spray finish it but this is optional.

Step 1 - If your object is not new, clean and remove dust.


 

Step 2 - Paint with your choice of light coloured paint. In this project, we painted white. Then let it dry.



Step 3 - Paint over with your choice of dark coloured paint. We use dark brown for this crate. Then let it dry.




Step 4 -Sand the wooden crate to as much as you want depending on the effect you want. Spray finish if you wish but this is not necessary. In our case, we lightly sprayed with a glossy finish.

Step 5 - Voila! A cute market props!