Ultimate Sea glass from Shetland.

Ultimate Sea glass from Shetland.

Having been fascinated by treasure hunting around our Islands since a very small child – I though I would share some of my favourite pieces of glass with you. This is my Ultimate Shetland sea glass collection!

Sea glass is glass found along a sea or shoreline. Sea glass can be fragments, shards and remnants of glass pieces that, for a variety of reasons has ended up naturally tumbling along a shore or beach. How these pieces of glass ended up on beaches has many explanations – Humans around the world have been discarding refuse glass: tableware, bottles, window panes, dishes etc into the sea from ships and onto beachside land fills for hundreds of years.

You can see my prized and only red piece in the picture has now been identified by a vintage car collector as a piece of headlight! The car collector was able to tell me which type of car it was from!

The 2 marbles I found at Vidlin (next tot he Whalsay ferry) are worn down to half their size, you wonder if it was children playing at the beach who lost them? or were they used inside Codd bottles? (Hiram Codd invented the Cold bottle i 1872, which used a glass marble to block the neck of the bottle and keep a soft drink carbonated.) Codd bottle marbles are green in colour and are highly prized, I love mine!

Living on The Shetland Islands there are plenty of beaches and cost line to check out. The weather is friendly to sea glass hunters as well; frequent storms stir up the waves and rain to keep other beachgoers away!

Rare coloured glass includes- Lavender, turquoise, pink, gray and black. Super Ultra rare includes – Orange, Yellow and red! Also collector favourites are the bottle stoppers, I have a few but not many. My own favourite glass finds are beads, as I love to imagine what the necklace would look like and who wore it, when! I also love to use my sea glass treasure in my own jewellery with resin – for the full collection visit my webshop – www.sarahkayarts.com

Please let me know your favourite sea glass find!

Explore the Shetland shore!

Explore the Shetland shore!

Explore the Shetland shore –

When you walk along the shore line, your never sure what you are going to find! Perhaps nothing different or maybe the most beautiful nugget of worn sea glass you have ever seen! Or a rare sea bean?

Having been exploring the beaches around Shetland since a toddler I thought I was familiar with most shore finds, creatures, seaweeds and shells. However it is only now that I have experienced spending time IN the sea that I have really been able to appreciate and admire all of the sea creature, how they interact with each other and how they are perfectly adapted to the environment.

As well as a huge learning journey, being in the water also provides a visually stunning experience every time, as you can see from my photos it is amazing under the surface!

I love to share these photos using social media as I can’t believe how few people think about looking underwater, when we are surrounded by the sea on Shetland.  Days when it looks cold, horrible and grey on land, it is stunning in the water.

My plan is to use the photos for creating artwork over the winter. Although time is running away as it is nearly December! I will get there.  The aquamarine colours are addictive to me.

I also love to use the any bits of seaweed, shells, sea pottery etc to make jewellery which is special from Shetland, each piece original and handcrafted by me. Each one unique and meaningful from a small business. Thank you everyone for your support with purchasing my jewellery!

 

p.s I also highly recommend watching The Octopus Teacher movie.

 

How important is an online presence for Sarah Kay Arts homemade business success?

How important is an online presence for Sarah Kay Arts homemade business success?

As you are probably aware, a website is a very important part of showcasing a product and connecting with customers. So, now that my website – www.sarahkayarts.com is a year old – I thought it was time to take a fresh look at it!

 

I have decided to redesign the homepage, possibly to include a 360° video. My website also includes a shop and sold page to show what is currently available to buy and also show what has sold (there may only be one of a certain style, but I can make similar pieces if someone loves one in particular.)

 

Having a good online presence can be a vital tool when trying to sell a product and advertise what you make. Creating a worldwide possibility for customers also requires a commitment to post regularly, have high quality images and be consistent.

 

Most importantly, it is necessary to select the most suitable social media platform to suit your product and focus on that, as it’s unlikely that you would use them all effectively. I use Instagram, where you can find me as @sarahkay367  and Facebook – “Sarah Kay – artist” as well as an Etsy shop – Sarah Kay arts and my website and blog.

I hope you enjoy my efforts as much as I do following other artists and interesting people, who always inspire me to think up new ideas.

 

One of my favourite artists to follow is Hope Blamire. She paints landscapes, mainly of the Western Isles, and her Facebook page is full of colourful photos of the scenes that inspire her, as well as her work.

 

 

 

 

Craft fair weekend!

Craft fair weekend!

 

It’s been busy few weeks preparing for Shetland’s annual Christmas Craft Fair, which is this weekend!

The craft fair is a hugely popular event in Shetland – it attracted over 4,000 visitors last year. It’s also a special event for Sarah Kay Arts, as it was here that I first tried selling my artwork, two years ago. I had such a great time and got such a good response that I haven’t looked back since!

The fair is held at the Clickimin Centre, in Lerwick. The restricted parking there can cause a bit of a headache but hopefully it won’t be too much of an issue!

It is a wonderful event: the halls are packed out with a huge number of stall holders displaying a diverse range of products, with everything from knitwear and textiles to pottery, art and fashion. It’s a great opportunity to get some extra special, locally made Christmas gifts, too.

Having a stall is a brilliant experience, and great practice for anyone thinking about taking part in trade fairs off the isles.

2017 will mark my third fair and, following feedback from previous years, I’ll have a range of work on display priced from £2.50 to my higher end pieces, at £250. Items under £25 were sought after so I tried to accommodate this.

Using sea glass and sea pottery in art has become quite popular, so I’ve had to be careful that my new items are original and not too similar to anything else. I double checked with two other crafters just be sure, and they were grateful for my enquiry. Shetland is a very small place, so it’s important to work together and support one another.

Sarah Kay Arts will be at stall number 59, so come and say hello. See you there!

Art in Orkney!

Art in Orkney!

New outlets for my art: Orkney

There have been some exciting developments going on lately, which I’m excited to share with you!

Sarah Kay Arts has expanded into two outlets in Orkney.

Both are in Kirkwall, Orkney’s capital: Judith Glue, a well established gifts, knitwear and homeware shop on Kirkwall’s man street, and Mirrie Dancers – a brand new Shetland based chocolatiers which recently expanded, opening a new shop on Albert Street.

I had been aiming to have my work stocked in Orkney at some point, and while this is a bit sooner than i had expected, as a hige fan of the isles I’m utterly delighted.

I’ve been visiting Orkney for years and adore it. We regularly take weekend breaks there, usually out of the summer season.

I enjoy collecting seaglass and pottery from the beaches there, and only use genuine Orkney beachfinds in the artwork I sell there. I really hope people like it – I’d love to know what you think!