Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What a year

Wow, what a year! I have had so many new experiences and have learned a lot about running my little business.

Since the beginning of the year I have participated in art shows around Colorado, usually a few each season. In 2014 Mud Whimsy participated three the entire year, so it was a big step up. It was wonderful to meet clients, connect with other vendors, and to develop the visual display of my work. I learned something with every show. I have plans for new displays and have a better idea of what items to bring to future events.

This year I have had the pleasure of creating many new mugs, porcelain creatures, planters, and have also been dappling in porcelain jewelry. I especially enjoy carving out designs and textures of the surface of my functional work. With the time and energy that I was able to put into developing new ideas I came up with more than I imagined. I am very proud of everything I have done this year and am looking forward to continuing for a long time!

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Happy Spring!

Happy Spring! I'm cranking out new work, filling orders, and selling stuff like crazy. It has been an exiting few months!

I have a few events coming up. The first one is next Friday, May 15th, at TESORO Gallery in Denver starting at 6pm. My friend CJ Troxell will be showing his amazing paintings that he collaborated on with the fabulous Heidi Bickelhaupt. The gallery is located at 918 W. 8th Avenue off of Santa Fe Drive in the the arts district. I will be selling my air plant wall pieces there starting that night (including a few that haven't been listed in my Etsy shop)!

The other event is the Taste of Louisville on Saturday, June 6th. I am still getting the details (I believe it is from 10-4) but it will be in downtown Louisville. I will be focusing on functional work made specifically for dining but will have other whimsical pieces as well.

Other news:
I restocked Alpine Modern with little planters last week, but they sell fast, so get there quickly!
Trident Booksellers and Cafe will receive a few new tea cups tomorrow, and more soon. Each one is individually made and glazed differently (I love that about them!). If there is a custom color that you would like special orders can be placed through Trident Cafe.
Willow Artisan Market  in Lakewood, Colorado is now carrying my wall planters and little creatures.

A good way to keep up with my latest news is to is to like my Facebook page and follow me on Instagram (@mudwhimsy), and check out my shop at

But enough jibber jabber. Here are some pictures.... :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Asking for help

In my last post I wrote about taking a giant leap and pursuing ceramics as a full-time endeavor. It started off great- I was getting orders, catching up, cranking work out. As my dad said on a studio visit, "Wow, you're going gangbusters!" Of course I was! This is my dream, and I'm finally in a place where I can pursue it.

Then I had a major setback. I had a glaze firing that was huge. It included orders placed in December, Trident cups, a prototype for a potential client, LON Little Shop (now Alpine Modern) planters, and work for Spring shows. In the morning after firing I went to check on the kiln and it still hadn't gotten to temperature. Which was ok, I figured maybe it needed a little more time. Glaze firing is the highest possible temperature that the work gets fired at and sometimes it can take overnight to get there. But a few hours later it still wasn't there and by the end of the day I determined that something was wrong. My kiln was not getting as hot as it needed to. My kiln was broken.

I tried really hard not to freak out. I tried not to think about how I would produce work in the future. I tried not to think about how the ruined glaze firing would impact my business. Without a kiln I simply could not produce work in an efficient and economic way.  All of the glaze work was worth hundreds of dollars.  Without a kiln I could not have a pottery business. I started freaking out.

My friend said something about how maybe this negative experience could be turned into a positive one (when I told him about it he said, "Ahh, how annoying of me!"). I thought a lot about that. I did things that I have been meaning to do but have been too busy working on pottery to do anything else. I made a list of things I could do that would help my business besides producing work. I brainstormed ideas to raise money for either a new kiln or for kiln repairs. I received some support from friends in the forms of ideas to raise money and paying for their future orders that I hadn't made yet. And from the very beginning my dad asked if I needed help.

I HATE asking for help. I don't know if it's because I have to admit that I can't do it on my own, or if I feel uncomfortable imposing on somebody, but probably that and more. I especially hate asking my dad for help because he already does so much for me, and has my entire life. There are times when I think I am a totally crappy grown up!  Actually I know I am a sucky adult sometimes. Like when I have to ask my dad for help because I don't have enough money set aside for emergencies, and when I dive into a business without having some safety nets.

Over the course of a few days I had at least one meltdown (WHAT AM I GOING TO DOOOOO?!), a few power moments (I can get through this. I can rock this!), and a lot of hustling. I sent out invoices, created a lot of new listings (with finished work only) on Etsy, and came up with some ideas. One idea that I figured is worth a try is selling cards as a mini fundraiser... Here's the listing if you're interested in finding out more:

And then I asked for help. My dad gave me a loan. I cringe admitting it, but the only way I could recover was to be able to be able to produce ceramic work again. So that's where I am right now, in debt to my father but hopefully on the road to being able to repay him soon!
 If you are interested in helping me here are some ideas:
-Of course you can purchase my cards
-Any other purchase in my Etsy shop would be awesome!
-Help spread the word... Like my Facebook page then like lots of posts and pictures (that's how FB feeds into other people's pages- the more 'likes' the more exposure). Tell anyone that might be interested about my work.
-Kind words go a long way. Leave a comment!
-Come and visit me at my Spring shows- I'll be putting up a list of where I'll be soon.  
 Even when something like this happens, I am so thankful to be able to create my art and learn from my setbacks. And I am SO grateful for all of the support that I receive along the way!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Taking a Giant Leap

 It's been a busy few months. I found myself going to work at my other jobs, coming home and then going straight out to my studio and working until I went to bed. I spent all of my free time trying to catch up and I just wasn't getting enough done. Something had to give, so I resigned from my beloved job as a nanny. It was very difficult and very sad, but also absolutely necessary.

I have now been a full-time artist for a few weeks! It's sometimes frightening but so far the universe has given me a few high fives. About a week after I resigned from my nanny job I learned that my wall planters were published in Better Homes and Gardens DIY magazine! It's out right now if you want to pick up a copy for yourself! It's the Spring 2015 edition, page 55. Whoop whoop!

 (And just FYI, the headline makes it seem like they are encouraging creative thievery, but the caption underneath it reads "Want to learn how to copy Emily and Aaron May's smart, uncomplicated style in a small space (or any space)? Here's How:" /// The caption with my wall planters reads, "3. Wall art- A petite matte clay wall pocket planter with a glazed interior is great for growing herbs or housing easy-to-grow air plants. $22 each (including air plant)")
It has been so great to have the time to catch up on orders (almost there!), receive new orders, and develop all of the ideas that have been percolating around my brain. Since this is now my full-time job you can expect more shop updates, a quicker turnaround time on custom orders, lots of new work, and a happier me! Also though, since this is now my main source of income, I need your support more than ever! When you are looking for a gift, an item to update your home, or anything you think I might be interested in making please don't hesitate to contact me. I love making custom creations.
 Check out my Etsy shop tonight- I am in the process of creating new listings and will have them live in about an hour. 
 If you would like more regular updates on what I'm up to be sure to check my social media:
Instagram:  AnneBrownyn or #mudwhimsy
Twitter: MudWhimsy
And lastly,  I will be a vendor in the 2015 Spring Firefly Market! It's happening may 2nd and 3rd at Twenty Ninth street in Boulder. It's perfect timing for Mother's Day;  I'm working on lots of things that will make special gifts!