Any Norwich Designer / Makers Out There?

7 01 2010

I’ve got a problem. It’s an interesting problem, so having the problem is not a problem, but I’m having trouble figuring out why none of the approaches I’m using is working.

You see, I’ve got excess studio space, and I can’t use all the equipment I have in it at once, and neither can Ruth Solomon or Marion Steele, who are already associated with the incubator.

I keep talking to individual local designer / makers (as I come upon  them) about the incubator, about what it has to offer in terms of studio space (light, warmth, water, equipment, collaboration, etc. etc.) and about putting their work in the sales space of the incubator. But they aren’t coming by, and they aren’t putting their work in the space, and I need to find out why and fix it.

All through December, I thought they were probably out and about doing shows every week and too busy with that and the holidays to come over and check us out. But the first week of January is almost over, and I have e-mailed several designer makers (OK, not all the ones I originally contacted….yet) and …nothing.

I need to know where to look to find enough of them to fill up the space and to really stock the sales space with a variety of work. I tell everyone who comes into the space, and they all know someone appropriate. I’ve heard of people doing all kinds of work I would love to have in the shop, handmade paper, screen printed fabric and home furnishing, marvelous hand-tied dyeing, felting,… the list goes on and on.

What do I need to offer and who do I need to offer it to? Obviously, I haven’t come up with the right answers so far. Would you all please consider offering me a suggestion? Tell me a designer / maker I should talk to, tell me someone who is looking for studio space. If you work from home, tell me what you would be looking for if you decided to get a studio space. If you did shows before Christmas and have work left over, why is putting it at Pocktorian not something you’re motivated to take action on?

Amended: It’s amazing how writing on this blog inspires me to take actions I probably should have take a long time ago. I just wrote the Costume and Textile Association to join (after knocking myself on the forehead several times while saying “Duh!”).


Card Weaving, spinning, and a New Member

17 12 2009

First of all, I’d like to welcome Marion Steele to the incubator. She’s a person with considerable costuming and sewing experience, including everything from historical costumes you can talk a kid into wearing to Napoleonic uniform trousers (which there is reason for any female to wish men still wore). She’s also a first year textile student at Norwich University College of the Arts presently working on a project involving card weaving.

This is why, after years of owning cards for card weaving, reading instructions for how to do it and coming up puzzled and thoroughly confused and confounded by the Z’s and S’s and “thread from the back” or “thread from the front” and ABCD’s which, if you believe the Z / S bit, could turn into BACD and ABDC, and so on and so on, I decided to sit down and puzzle it all out once and for all.

If you, too, happen fo find yourself confused and confounded by all this, let me give you a link that actually integrates all these to each other and gave me a clue as to where the heck the threads head from to go through the appropriate holes and where they head to afterwards. Once you read this one, you’ll be able to make a lot more sense of all the rest. Thank you SO much Pam Howard and Weavezine! Ready for it:

I’ve now got a 19-card project going. It won’t be the best card weaving anyone has ever done, but it’s my card weaving, and I’ve got a new skill I reall do understand to add to my repetoire.

I have another one as well, spinning with a drop spindle. I taught myself that one with the help of instructions included with the spindle and roving from Norfolk Yarns

(I will definitely go to them to learn how to spin on a spinning wheel.) And then after struggling for a while, I consulted on twitter with SheepMama

who told me just what to do to get better. It may be a while before I’m drafting as I spin instead of parking, drafting, and spinning in turn, but the results really do pass muster as yarn worth using in a project once I ply it, or maybe even as singles once I research whether that is all right or not and under what circumstances.

Meanwhile, life at the incubator continues as it has been, a few more names on the mailing and contacts lists for classes, lots of wishing us luck, and no sales. I’m hoping that will change when we achieve what I call a “critical mass” of stock to sell. I always knew marketing would be the challenge for me