Friday, January 30, 2009

Etsy Artisan Interview - Islandgirl

I have always been in love with glass, so it was a real treat for me to interview this week's featured artisan. I am just amazed after spending an hour or so, looking at Lynne's website, blog and flickr account. She has created all sorts of objects, from stained glass to lampwork beads, and I am absolutely in LOVE with it all. I bought one of her Christmas tree beads in December; hope I can do it justice next winter.

OK - let me introduce you to the Fireball Beeds Studio, better known to the Etsy community as islandgirl:

  • What's the name of your Etsy shop?
(note: if you go to Etsy, her banner says Fireball Beeds, but Lynne's Etsy name is registered as islandgirl. Yes, very confusing!)

  • What types of products do you sell?
Mainly lampworked glass beads and some sterling jewellery made by me from my beads… but once in awhile a felted hat sneaks into the store…

  • What is your favorite item in your shop today?
My favorite item at the moment is my jelly fish pendant. I’m sure there will be loose jellyfish beads floating around on there soon!

  • How did you find out about Etsy? Where you a buyer before a seller?
I bought a book on felting little animals in Japanese about 3 years ago… It has great pictures but I’ve never actually tried to make anything from it!
  • Are you involved with any of the Etsy teams?
Just one team so far LEST (Lampwork etc street team) although I’ve thought about joining more.

  • Over the years, what materials and mediums have you worked with? What's your favorite?
I started knitting when I was 12. I’ve also woven, spun, blacksmithed, done both stained glass and fusing... actually there are very few mediums that I haven’t tried once! I think I like forging metals the best, although I don’t do that much as I’m still building up the equipment.

  • Are selling your products a full-time job, or do you have an additional occupation, outside the home?
(note: this piece is called Manitou Winds.
It's over the front entry of the 'Manitou Beach Bath House,'
Manitou Beach, SK. Photo by May Bowland.)

I’ve been a full time glass artist for 20 years… I ran a commercial stained glass studio in Saskatchewan from 1988 until 2001 then when I moved here I switched over to mainly lampwork/flamework as my stained glass studio here would make a good dungeon in a medieval castle… complete with a ‘moat’ actually it’s really a river that flows through it whenever it rains.

  • Are there additional venues where you sell your work?

Yes I own/run a seasonal gallery on the small Island that I live on and I also sell my finished jewellery through 6 to 10 other galleries on the Eastern seaboard and in Canada.

  • Everyone knows images are important when selling on the internet. What's your procedure for taking photos of your products? Do you have any tips on taking better photographs?
I have a photo cube, but in order to take a picture I have to boot the cat… It’s his favorite bed… most of my pictures come complete with cat fur… my tip would be to get a camera that takes good close ups!

  • We are all looking for good marketing advice. What's the best tip or trick you can share with us?
So far I haven’t found anything that works on Etsy…or any other online venue… for general sales get your work out so that people get to know you… Always charge the same price if your selling something yourself as you do in a gallery!

  • Do you have an online photo storage site, where we can see more about you and your surroundings?
I have a flickr site but it’s not a pro site so isn’t very well organized!

  • Where can people find out more about you - do you have a blog, website, instant messaging account?
"I sell as fireballbeeds and yes beeds are misspelt... on etsy not sure why I signed up as Islandgirl . I think it was because I was a buyer originally and it didn't occur to me to use my 'beed' name... if you google fireballbeads you get a cheap plastic bead site... My gallery is called fireball gallery and studio... if you google fireball gallery you also get a line of Australian sailboats as well as the red mitts that firemen wear.."
(she also has a newer blog, called islandgirlinsights)

  • My turn! What's storybeader's favorite?
Well, it's hard to say, since there's so many I love. I think my favorite style are the landscapes and seascapes. Here are two of my favorites.


TiLT said...

awesome interview - she sounds pretty amazing! And her work is beautiful!

Patti said...

Such beautiful work! I really enjoyed your interview!

BeadedTail said...

What a wonderful interview and beautiful work!

Tulip's Talking said...

Yes, enjoyable interview. Nice work and LOVE the photo's of the snow...I only dream of living in a place like that....

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