After what seems like an age and hours of work , frustration, trial and error Julie has finally got our on line shop working on the web site! For some this may not seem like a big deal but for us it is a major step forward, to be honest it all leaves me miles behind. Give me an axe or turning tool and I am fine, give me a computer screen and I am like a rabbit in headlights.
The COVID pandemic has changed the World and we have to change with it to keep viable. All of the sales over the last few months have been made via social media and by word of mouth. I am extremely fortunate to have a great set of friends on social media who have supported us and helped us by sharing what we do. To these friends we are extremely grateful.
Part of the future must include selling more products over the internet. I miss the social side of the events I do and I am sure these will come back in due time but we have to move with the times.
In the future I am also hoping that by utilising the website more it will give me the time I need to continue to develop my work with Windsor Chairs. The interest in these is growing quite quickly and the enjoyment I get out of making then is second to none.
Part of my new routine in my working week is also to allow me a certain amount of time to keep the website up to date and changing, putting on new posts which chart our exciting and never dull lives doing what we love.
No photos today but next weeks blog will highlight an exciting opportunity for our woodland.
There is no such thing as a typical week or even a typical day for me. even before the lockdown and its implications life has been a right mixture.
At the moment I am trying to fulfil orders as they come in, plates, yarn bowls, jewelery boxes have all been ordered over the last few days and as I am not doing any demonstrations or shows I can give some relatively quick lead times which is not always the case an I am relying very heavily on the Post Office who it must be said are really coming up with the service.
So apart from making orders, this week has seen a day chopping firewood with my mate Chris ; preparing the charcoal kiln, delivering some bean poles to a friend and then yesterday we had a day in the wood where we spent most of the day tidying up the around some deer fences and trying to control the ever rampant bramble! This plus a large amount of bacon cooked on the fire led to a really lovely day
Just as we arrived in the woodland we heard a massive tearing and crashing sound in the "new wood". After a few minutes of searching we came across the massive oak limb which had fallen of a tree. It was an eerie thing, although we were nowhere near the tree it certainly makes you think what would have happened if we were closer.
The next few days will continue with the interesting mix, more yarn bowls tomorrow followed by the jewellery boxes, I have four meetings to attend via Skype or other such technological means which i find freaky but a neccesary part of life.
Despite the use of modern communication methods I do miss the social side of what I do. The interaction of people at events is very stimulating, interesting and often very ,very, funny. I am hoping things allow some of the events to open up towards the end of the year but my fear is that it may be next year before this happens.
Time will tell
After a long delay I have finally got round to re starting my blog. The World has changed considerably since the last one, I am having to change with it. Computers, Blogs and all the rest of this sort of stuff does not come easy to me but I just have to man up!
The late winter was spent coppicing the area we first worked when we bought the wood, its the end of the first coppice cycle and is extremely rewarding. Hopefully the wood will kick on again now. The woodland just gets on with growing and becomes even more beautiful every time we visit.
The rest of the winter and early spring has been devoted to improving my chairmaking skills. A good friend of mine and chair making Master Craftsman Jim Steele invited me to his workshop to help me develop. His help has been immeasurable and since the lockdown our regular phone calls have been an inspiration.
Making chairs, good chairs is a skill hard won. The chairs I made before were OK, some would say good, but after making a few changes here and there and learning to be less prescriptive and more "free" in the making process has led me to make a couple of chairs far better than previous, in fact far better than I would have imagined possible.
Taking all of this into consideration though, they are time consuming, they test you, but the feeling of getting 20 plus hand made components to fit together to make the final chair, for it to be comfortable and look nice is something else! Going forward I hope chairs will become a much larger proportion of my sales but time will tell and people will soon tell me if they like them.
All of the events I do are being cancelled one-by-one way into the future. I miss the social interaction, the laughs with customers, friends I meet regularly at the events and the public who come and watch me on the pole lathe when I am demonstrating. Everything will return back to normal soon enough, in the meantime I am trying to keep in touch with as many people as I can either through this Blog, Facebook or Instagram so if you see me about on one of these platforms please say hello.