Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Dreaming Textile Dreams
In addition to the last two shows being successful enough that inventory is getting low in certain items, I also have the sample warp for the designer in Vancouver to weave and a special order for 3 table cloths for a customer in Calgary.
One thing about doing shows in person is that you get all sorts of validation. Weaving - like most traditional crafts - is done pretty much in isolation, making your best guess as to what people might like enough to actually purchase but never really knowing until the hall doors open and the people start walking by. Or in to your booth.
While compliments are great and provide food for the ego, it is the actual purchases that pay the bills.
Yesterday was spent trying to clear up critical things - like bank deposit, paying bills, dealing with questions via email and phone regarding upcoming classes.
Today I had cleared enough little grey cells that I could begin to think about the yarn I needed to order. I also realized that my iPad has become an actual tool not just a toy as I was able to spread out on the dining room table (which hardly ever gets used for dining) and still have access to the internet via my iPad in order to check emails, websites and so on. Once I get the 'remote' email situation sorted out, I think I am going to become very enamoured of the iPad!
One of the challenges in working with the designer is that she knows what she wants and will recognize it when she sees it. She doesn't have a grasp of how colour interactions happen in a woven structure, which means some angst in terms of choosing the actual colours for the sample warp. So I have agreed to do some extra work and use both of the greens in the warp so that she can see exactly how they will work in the cloth. I'm gambling hard that this relationship is going to mature into something that will benefit both of us, and that she will come to trust my colour choices in terms of what she is telling me she wants. But it's a gamble and a risk for her, too, to work with the weaver and not just buy something already made that she likes. Working with the thread, she doesn't have the foundation of knowledge in terms of weaving to be really confident that she is going to get what she wants. So, I am making the sample warp in such a way that she will be able to see the colours as they will look once they are woven.
I also need to place an order with Silk City for more Bambu 7 and 12. They were out of stock of some of the fine #12 colours on my last order so I'm hoping they are in inventory now. The new 'scarves' went over quite well - I sold about half of what I'd managed to get made in time for the shows. In terms of price points, that is huge acceptance and I'm going to go ahead and make more for next year. But I need a better, larger, colour selection as I only managed to get 5 different colours made up - and no blue as such. But the dyer doesn't seem to have dyed any actual blue, just the teal blue/green that I started with. However, I can get around that by using the really dark navy blue as the base for the variegated yarns.
But I really want to get the orders in today and hope that the yarns don't get too bogged down in the Christmas mail rush.....
Currently reading Cold Case by Kate Wilhelm. I just found out that her new Barbara Holloway title is only available in audio or ebook formats. I may be forced to buy the ebook version for my iPad. Then I'll have it to read on my trip in Jan/Feb....