It is warm and very windy outside today, July is often a strange month of weather here in Shetland. Today I should have had a group of visitors to my art studio and garden, for a tour. However this is not possible due to the risk of catching a troublesome virus. Our country came to a standstill for a while, picking up again now. ‘Strange times’ is a phrase I have heard a lot! Each persons experience of lockdown is very individual depending on circumstances, some almost unaffected, some lost their lives.
Personally I had to adjust to homeschooling my son, and survive a massive financial loss from 2 businesses. Luckily it was not the only income to my home so I see myself as very fortunate on the whole. Determined to use any ‘free time’ in a positive way, I was able to look at improvements that could be made to both businesses. My Art/garden business and also our accommodation business and found loads of things that could be worked on, given this new time! To make 2021 better than ever, not just from a financial point of view, but for customer experience. The garden has never had so much attention, finishing off areas that have just been skimmed over previously, and is looking better than ever, my 9 year old son can change his own bed and cook! Things we would never have spent time on before! I have been in the sea!, something I have always wanted to try but never had a spare second to attempt. I am now planning to start on a new body of artwork, inspired by under the sea. There is still a possibility that the local Arts & crafts fair may go ahead during November? Maybe see some of you there.
What new thing have you done during lockdown?
Having spent the last 3 years dabbling in resin I have tried many kinds. There is a huge variety of resins which is a bit confusing. I often get asked what resin do I use!
For my artwork I only use Epoxy resin. But within Epoxy resin there is also a large variety of brands! Some cheap some very expensive. Not to mention shipping to the Shetland isands!
I have found the brand Art Resin to be the best if you wish to clear coat a painting for example. It has all the properties (which makes it expensive) such as UV stabilized (so wont go yellow) and easy mix ratio e.t c but can be very bubbly and slower to dry than others.
For casting into molds I have found Eli- Chems master cast the best!
It is very quick drying compared to most, crystal clear and not too bubbly! Also easy equal parts mixing. Some resins have to be weighed to calculate complicated ratios for mixing.
For making coasters or place mats, Eli-chems ultra cast is definatly the best as it is heat resistand to 90 degrees!
All can be bought easily online.
I have been delighted to have my artwork feature on the front page Eli-Chems facebook group of 20K members!
As an artist and creative business owner, promoting my work online and on social media is a key part of my business. And as a keen Instagram user, I was really excited to attend a workshop by writer and photographer Jessica Rose Williams, held recently in Lerwick.
Jessica came to Shetland with Promote Shetland (you can read her blog post on her time in the isles here) and while she was here, ran a workshop on getting the most from Instagram for small business.
It was held at The String, a cafe and restaurant which opened in Lerwick in the summer, and is one of a handful of exciting new businesses to bless “da street”.
The workshop gave a really good overview of the things to focus on to maximise the platform for a small business, and it was nice to connect with other creatives and small business owners at the same time.
Thank you to everyone who likes and comments on my posts of Facebook and Instagram!
Find me on Instagram – sarahkay376
As you might know, recently I’ve been working with resin, a new medium to me. I’m really enjoying using this, and am delighted to have taken some orders for my work.
A new stockist for 2018 is the Scalloway Museum. Opened in its current location in 2012, the museum is fantastic and well worth a visit.
There are collections relating to various aspects of Scalloway and Shetland’s history, including the fascinating story of the Shetland Bus: a Shetland based resistance movement which took place during the Second World War and involved boats travelling to and from Norway. This is a really amazing story and something worth checking out if you haven’t heard about it before.
The museum is very popular choice for locals and visitors to the islands, so I am very happy to have my work for sale there.
The resin work has been very popular so far, which is lovely. I use beach finds from around Shetland, including sea glass, shells, crabs claws, sea urchin shell and dried seaweed and have made keyrings, buttons and ornamental cones.
Each piece is individual and handmade and a chance to take home a real piece of Shetland.
Agricultural Show time –
Summertime in Shetland sees the local districts hosting their annual Agricultural shows. Starting with The Voe show, followed by The Cunningsburgh show, then Whiteness/weisdale host an indoors show of crafts, baking and veg/flowers. These are good fun which attracts thousands of people. Vos show was for people who live in that district only to enter, but this year they have opened it up to any Shetland resident, which is exciting. I always enter the Cunningsburgh show, as it has always been open to the whole of Shetland. So this year I was spoilt for choice and entered a mixture of items onto both. I enter approx 20+ items in Art, field and garden categories. Last year I won 1st for my painting of Scalloway. Which I have now sold to a couple from Sussex, England.
This year I won 1st for a painting at Voe, and a 2nd at Cunningsburgh. The cunnings burgh was held on the 8th August. The whiteness.weisdale show is due to be held on the 9th September which allows time for later flowering plants and veg to mature, often necessary as Shetland has a later growing season for some veg. I plan to enter paintings, photography and possibly a decorated cake this year. The shows is another opportunity to showcase my artwork as well as admire the talents of others, with outstanding examples of knitwear, embroidery and woodwork.
My 7 year old son came home with a trophy for his mixed media picture of our pet cats! Due to be featured in the next edition of the II Sheltand magazine!