New Commission complete!

New Commission complete!

I was delighted to be chosen to design Shetland inspired product by Shetland Arts – to be sold in their 3 retail outlets in Shetland. After a lot of though and research, I came up with the idea of using shell sand collected from beaches around Shetland and setting it into clear resin – my medium of choice. I decided to make something useful, instead of ornamental clutter! – My coasters were born. Shetland arts were pleased with the design idea and ordered 100! Making that quantity all the same was a challenge.

I have heard they are selling well form the 3 outlets which are – Mareel, Lerwick. Sumburgh lighthouse gift shop and Bonhoga Gallery, Weisdale. Shetland Arts own the exclusive right to selling my sand coasters for one year. What a great project to design an original product for a specific outlet, if you own a shop, get in touch!

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.

 

What resin do I use!

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!

 

Instagram for Art

Instagram for Art

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

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.