I’ve always liked to keep myself busy and 2015 so far has been one of my busiest years ever so far! I’ve opened a shop, taken up two more artistic disciplines and am producing more videos than ever before. Phew!
Sometimes I wonder why I never settled into a ‘normal’ job earning a regular wage. Well, I did once. No, twice actually and then I had to go out self employed when that employer went bust, and I’ve been there every since.
To say it’s hard is an understatement, but I am of the firm belief that if you enjoy what you do, then you never do a days work. How true that is. I totally love what I do in both the wood turning and other arty pursuits as well as what I do with the shop, and the idea of working for someone else fills me with dread.
So, back to December 31st, 2014. This is the day I made the announcement that I was going to open a shop called Martin’s Bazaar. From then on, I have been flat out sorting the shop, opening it and manning it, much to the detriment of this site and this part of my work. You can see what’s been going on in the shop over on the website at www.martinsbazaar.co.uk and Facebook page www.facebook.com/martinsbazaar.
Since the middle of April though, things at the shop have calmed down a bit and I have been able to get into more regular woodturning and keeping up more with this site too.
I’ve been turning new items for the shop regularly but have missed trying out new techniques and turning more complex things and documenting the process by filming it. There are only so many pens you can turn before you need a change, so some of the more recent items I’ve turned have been big and complex…and I have very much loved turning them. You can see the items and videos in the woodturning category here.
I thought I’d give this a go at the same time I made the announcement of opening Martin’s Bazaar at the end of 2014 and discovered I could actually do with some degree of success, and have been going from See more pyrography.
There are a number of items with designs on at Martin’s Bazaar as well as a selection of designs I’ve done that will be available for download from this site.
Plus, there are a some commission only items that, in my opinion at least, are just gorgeous and would make perfect engagement, wedding or anniversary presents. You can see those Celtic Hearts here.
Yes, that’s right, painting!
I love ink and the idea of dip pens, so I made one a little while ago out of 5000 year old bog oak and started playing with it…and loved it a lot! And then, whilst trying to add colour to some pyrography pieces, someone on Facebook (sorry, I forget who) suggested I try watercolour pencils, and then that lead to putting them on paper too.
The first two pieces I did, the first of which is on the left sold through the Martin’s Bazaar Facebook page, much to my surprise and delight!
Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined that I would be able to paint to any sort of decent level, and even though art is a very subjective thing, to sell two pieces on the same day is very pleasing.
But, being an artist, there is the rough with the smooth, and I dare say that I may not sell another piece, ever…but the fact that those two pieces sold is testament to the fact that somewhere out there, there are two people with the same kind of mindset as me!
As well as all that, I video a lot of what I do, particularly creatively so you can join me on the journey. I film many projects that I post onto the Facebook page and onto my YouTube Channel too.
There is generally one video each week regarding wood – mostly woodturning at the moment, but am planning pyrography ones too in the near future, plus there is one roughly weekly for the shop.
Roughly speaking, especially for the shop videos, they take ten minutes of filming for one minute of finished footage…so a 7 minute video will take 70ish minutes to shoot…and then you need to add the editing time on top of that too, and that is about 7 minutes per one minute of finished film…and then uploading and sharing.
It all takes up a lot of time!
I try so many new things and discover that I can mostly (luckily) do them, quite well gives me confidence in my ability as an artist and creative person…and by using the world of Facebook and other social media to share my work and creative explorations around, adds to that with the generally constructive and positive comments one receives.
Where to Next?
I think, for now at least, I have enough on my plate, so I am going to concentrate on honing my skills on the artistic disciplines I have chosen to partake in and continue to run the shop as I do now, and do my best to promote it far and wide and hopefully increase the sales too.
Some things need to change though, and you may well discover what they are if you follow this blog!
I appreciate you reading this article, and I appreciate you following me on Facebook, YouTube and other social sites…so…thank you. Thank you for you support – there’s lots more to come!
My work is available to buy from my real-world shop in Hampshire called Martin’s Bazaar (see map below), or you can order it directly online from the Etsy shop, as well as work from other talent artists who sell through the shop.
Find Martin’s Bazaar and Garthowen Garden Centre and Coffee Shop on Google Maps
Thanks for reading and watching,