Branding for Fibre Artists

Branding for Fibre Artists

I recently made a blogpost on the Fiberygoodness blog on my thoughts about how we go about branding our fibre art works. I think that as artists and crafters we are naturally most focussed on our creative projects rather than how the rest of the world might see it, and in fact I see that as one of the keys to successfully branding what we have made when we do take it to market. In my eyes, what makes your work different from mine, or anyone elses, is the culmination of who you are, what you have done, the things you have experienced, and the way you view the world. The goal of branding is to make that obvious, to create something that is recognisable as ‘yours’, so when people see it they know you made it. And then, like me, you might wonder what makes your beautifully spun natural coloured Merino from a commercial top prep any different from the next persons. How about this.. it is the way you feel about it that makes it different. It is the wheel you spun it on, the room you sat in, the people around you while you spun it, the love you felt for the fibre in your hands, the place you got that merino from, and your own enjoyment of your final skein. These are all difficult abstract things to try and embody into a single photo of your yarn when you put it online to sell it! In my blogpost I have started with some ideas on how you can start to identify and pinpoint the things that shout ‘this is me’ in your yarns and fiber, and the next post will be about how to highlight those things in your product photos. I hope you find something useful! Head over to the Fibergoodness blog for the...

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Half-Assed Yarn

Half-Assed Yarn

First I want to talk about pre-conceptions, or as the Dutch would say, voorordelen – pre-judgements. Something that fascinates me about people in general, is the multi-facetedness of individuals, and the communities we create. Because there are communities inside communities, micro-cultures to which we either gravitate to or are repelled from. Its part of how we find our places, how we feel belonging, and how we reciprocate with others. It seems to be a natural order within most modern societies and an important part of how we structure our understanding of the world and the people around us. I also find it fascinating to apply these thoughts to the fiber community. I see that there are many levels to this. Firstly the overall, global population of spinners and fiber artists, all the people who spin and create with fiber. We all have this in common and can identify ourselves as being part of this community Inside this global community, there are many  sub-communities, each with their own culture, beliefs (about fiber) and what they consider to be, to put it simply, right and wrong. I can make some basic divisions here. A straightforward one is traditional spinners, and ‘art’ spinners. And this is where I come to my observations about preconceptions. Something I have noticed during workshops and spinners gatherings, listening to discussions and opinions, joining in the facebook groups, is that these two communities have quite a few preconceived ideas about each other. I prefer not to generalise, however some assumptions can be made when hearing or seeing the same ideas and opinions expressed regularly, so this is what I am doing, generalising based on things that seem to commonly take place within the fiber world. Why am I thinking about this? Well one of the overriding reasons is that I am looking at directions for myself in spinning. I am looking at what people are doing, what has been done, what people are enjoying. I notice stuff 🙂 I have noticed that within this culture of ‘traditional’ spinners, there is  a sub-culture who tend to look upon ‘art yarn’ spinning as something of a low-skill activity, as only big bulky ‘beginner yarns’ or simply thrown together fibers that are far too random and chaotic to be considered either good or well spun. I am sure that in some cases this may be the case. But from my own experience, I can say with much conviction that I put a huge amount of thought, planning, and design elements into the yarns I create, which are clearly not ‘traditional’ yarns and fall much more fittingly into the art yarn category.  In my search for new things, I have moved...

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Spinning Textured Unicorn Barf

Spinning Textured Unicorn Barf

Spinning for texture! That was the mission of todays workshop, and I can confidently say that we nailed it! Just look at this! There were crazy textured batts full of sparkle spun into big and lofty textured yarns, thread plied with gold.. there were fine spun loopy plys, coilplied corespuns, and some stunning lockspun mohair! We finished with a quick demo of spinning objects into yarn, and then the day was over far too soon. We had some real gems though, check out this amazing skein Karen made (who is such a fun person to hang out with!) Honestly, between Karen and Inge, there was much hilarity and at one point, spinning loopy overtwist yarn I suddenly hear Inge commenting on how fun it was to spin all the little piemeltjes as her loops were ending up quite like well, lets just say the part of a male anatomy that my 5 year old is currently cracking himself up mentioning.. and I’m like, OMG Inge youre a crazy woman, as the discussion went on and I was working hard not to collapse in laughter 😀 and now, you know, whats been seen cant be unseen, so, thanks for that ladies 😛 Spinning takes on a whole new dimension sometimes doesnt it, depending on the company you keep. I apparently keep the BEST kind of company! You ladies rock. We also had some more serious discussions, about fiber preparation, the kinds of yarns you can make from different preparations, about finishing the yarns, and we also focussed on some pretty tricky techniques, there were certainly some more reflective, concentrated moments too where only the sound of whooshing wheels could be heard. I think we covered about four or five different spinning techniques and everyone made at least three yarns. Speed demon Corneel flew through the fibers and made some really gorgeous creations, including a fantastic Navajo plyed lockspun yarn! Everyone did really well with the corespinning and coil plying, Carin made a really amazing loopy yarn, it looks almost ethereal, and so light and floaty, and Karen made a delightful corespun that also looked fantastic as a necklace! Meike found herself in the colours and produced a lovely plied yarn in reds and pink, Saskia created a really beautifully spun coiled yarn, and Jessica totally found her groove in the lock spinning. Laury just did awesomely on everything she spun 🙂 Here are a few more pics:       And of course, there was cake:   Thank you everyone, for making this such a fun and memorable day, I hope you all enjoyed yourselves and left with some new ideas, inspiration, and motivation! Nu aan de slag – oefenen oefenen...

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