Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Interview Series: Week 1 - Purple Cloud Studio

Hello! Yes, yes, it's that nutter promoting hand-made stuff again!

Not long ago, I put out a call on Zibbet for Crafters to come forward and share a little of their stories, a little of their lives with you all. Zibbet got such huge interest that I put the call on MadeItMyself, and have also gotten a few people responding in only a day or so!

I was going to wait a week and put in another filler for this week, but I have gotten responses to the questionaire I sent out, and I saw no reason to delay further. I will be putting up the "interviews" in the order in which I received them.

So now we begin.
The first response I recieved was from Michele of Purple Cloud Studio on Zibbet, "The place that takes gift giving to a whole new level..."

Michele Palenik

Metal and Glass...mostly

Favorite material (or medium, whatever you want to call it!):
I really love every medium I try. Each material brings something to my table. Currently, my glass work is keeping me the busiest.

Most Popular Seller (whether it be online or at shows):
definitely my bowls and dessert sets

I can certainly see why!

What got you into your craft?

Necessity! My husband and I were starting our family and I wanted to be home to raise our children. I needed something that was environmentally friendly and a material that I could take from start to finish.

How did you learn your craft?

I got a 5 minute tutorial from a local glass blower! I pretty much took it from there!

Five minute tutorial..? Wow...

What about YOU? Who is the artist behind those wonderful items?

Hmmm, me, that is an interesting question...Marine Biology degree, lover of the esoteric, a lover in general, really into my family, I love a good play on words, we have an artsy and musical home (everyone plays an instrument, except me...I play the radio!!) I am pretty simple. Everything boils down to love anyway...

What is a typical "working" day for you? How does it usually start and end? How many hours do you spend crafting? How many hours do you spend on other things? What about distractions? I know we all have them! Do you usually accomplish all you wanted to?

It starts with seeing the kids and husband off to work, and then I hit the gym three days a week and bike ride or hula hoop the other days. I come home and check my list for the week. I have a list that I love checking things off as I go. I usually wake up with a color in mind to start my work for the day. This time of year, I am gearing up for shows and events and filling custom orders. I love having a home studio because I can do laundry in between getting a load of glass together. It runs pretty smoothly actually and I make sure to schedule time away too. If I spend too much time in "Michele-land", then my family suggests I make a lunch date with friends!! I feel my work day ends when I turn the dishwasher on and head off to bed. It is a long and happy day. I love what I do.

I'm sure you're not the only one who loves what you do! This stuff is awesome!

What happens when you Oops? Everyone has them. Do you get frustrated and destroy/start over, or do you go with the flow and see what comes out in the end?

"Oops" is part of my creating process!! I go with it. If something does not work, then it has some message for me to learn something new.

Does that really say guitar string? That's wicked cool!

What is your design process like? How many tries does it take to be happy with the final product?

If I am working with a client, then I start with sketches and take it from there. Usually, I freehand my work and the end product is just what it is supposed to be. I have had a few occasions where a hammer is necessary...haha, the great thing about my glass is that it is done when you say it is done!! It is very re-recyclable. It is a great lesson in patience though!

What is your greatest roadblock, be it government regulation or that little frustrating thing that just likes to sneak up and stop you in your tracks? Broken needle? Jump ring jumping out of your pliers? Yarn knots? Cats? Dogs? The family hedgehog rolled about in your yarn basket?

Ewwwww, paperwork.

These are adorable, and I love the asemetrical aspect!

The all important pricing... Do you have a formula? Do you wing it? Do you feel your work justifies your prices?

I do feel my prices are correct for my skill level. I work from an hourly rate for the work involved and it varies from metal to glass to leather to whatever medium I am using. Far from a beginner, I spend frugally on materials, but always the best quality. I never skimp on materials! My formula for pricing is materials (including shipping costs), creative time (sketches, samples), packaging and marketing time and actual work time on the end product. Believe me, when you purchase my work, you are getting quality.

These are cups? They look tasty enough to eat as they are!

And of course, is there anything else you'd like to say to our "viewers at home"?

Please visit my website and my Zibbet store . I am custom-work friendly and I will make you the greatest gift-giver on your block!! Thank you Geri for featuring my little workspace!!

You're very welcome, Michele, and thank you for your willingness to show us all a little insight into your life as a hand-crafting artist.  With the things in your shop, I wouldn't doubt anyone purchasing your work as gifts becoming a favorite!

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