I might be a little be in love with these new tiny Vancouver Special House Necklaces. 3D printed in plastic with a sterling silver bail and sterling silver chain.
Artists build beautiful things. I started loving instagram because it gave me a platform to share my art and connect with so many other wonderful creatives. I love seeing the new projects that you are working on and I love the instant feedback I can get on my new work.
In early 2018 Instagram has implemented a bunch of algorithm changes that are hugely affecting users like me with under 1000 followers. I want us to help each other survive these changes so I've done some research and I want to share it with other artists in hopes that I will see more of the posts I want to see.
Here are the changes as I understand them and my suggestions on how we can help each other stay relevant on Instagram:
- You already know that Instagram is no longer all that instant. But the most recent changes have meant that they only show your post to about 10% of your audience. Like Facebook, they are testing out the engagement of your post. If the 10% they show it to like it, engage with it, post comments, click to read the full text, click on your profile, or save it to a collection, then they will show it to more people.
- Apparently, a number of people formed "pods" when instagram first changed it's algorithm to not be chronological. Pods, are groups of people who agreed to like and comment on each others posts to increase each others engagement. I'm not sure why I was never invited into a pod!? ;) But whateves, because apparently Instagram is onto pods and they are detecting them as spam, so they no longer are the best idea.
- Instead of using all the hashtags, they are saying it's best to only use around 5 hashtags because otherwise instagram will see you as a spammer.
- They are also saying that you should use your hashtags in the main caption of your post, not in the comments section. Apparently hashtags in the comment section will no longer be recognized.
- Mix up your hashtag use, if you are seen to be using the same hashtags over and over again Instagram may view this as spam.
- You can now also choose to follow hashtags. Instagram apparently likes it when you use their new features, so go and follow a few hashtags. Maybe you want to follow some of mine? #patsykayjewelry #vancouverjewelrydesigner #handmadejewelry
- If someone comments on your post, you now need to respond within about an hour or instagram will slow down your post exposure. They want to see that you are real and engaging with your people.
- Obviously, Instagram loves the new stories feature. I've been dragging my feet on stories, possibly because I'm still hanging onto my iphone5! Gasp! But I guess that's not the best idea. People who are posting and engaging with stories will apparently get more traction.
So, here are my suggestions on what we can do to support each other:
- Let's all like and comment on each others posts, especially when you see that someone just recently posted something. You're in their 10%! So throw them a like or a comment or a click!
- When you see a post that you like but that doesn't have that many likes yet, comment on it, throw them an emoji and like it. You will be helping them get seen by more people, you will be helping artists get more exposure and business!
- Let's share this information with other artists and small businesses!
- Let's follow each other's hashtags!
- I've noticed that when I'm scrolling through instagram most of the posts I see already have a high number of likes, and usually they are accounts with fairly big followings. I miss seeing the accounts of all of the smaller businesses like mine and I want to get that back in my feed!
I know that creatives were the early adopters of instagram and made it a beautiful, vibrant place to be. I'm hoping that we can work with these new changes and continue to have a thriving artists community.
Jewelry Designers get to spend the winter trying new things at the work bench. For me my heart jumps straight to enameling. I've been experimenting with new colours and new shapes. Here are a couple of photos taken at my bench. I'm not sure what all of these pieces will become yet...
At the end of 2017 an idea that I've been working on for a while finally came into fruition. My architect partner and I had been talking about collaborating on a creative project for a few years now, and I finally pushed to make it happen. Our problem was that we had too many ideas...if you've ever spent any time with architects you will know that they are capable of doing many many things and that sometimes this can turn small simple ideas into bigger and bigger ones. I'm a big fan of Seth Godin's phrase "ship it", meaning just get it done. You could tweak an idea forever but at some point you have to ship it. So, I thought about how an architect and a jeweller could collaborate at the most basic level...why not make house jewelry? And we started with the Vancouver Special House. They are all 3d printed, and it was my first foray into the world of 3d printing. I have another version which I'm building into a ring, so it's still on my bench. I also want to print a few more colour options to see which I like best. I'm hoping to develop these into a mini limited edition line this year.
All of the items on this list can be purchased online and are either made in Canada or sold by small Canadian businesses. They are also all items that I either own and love, would love to get, or would love to gift. Please click on the images to find out more information on each of their websites.
Thank-you for supporting Canadian Businesses and Canadian Makers!
Come visit me in my studio for my favourite weekend of the year!
The Glass Onion Studio Building is located at 1103 Union Street.
I've been playing with some new shapes in the studio. I've been very inspired by my summer of container gardening in Vancouver and my jewelry designs and my photos have been filled with flowers.
Welcome to the refreshed website! After a week of very annoying technical things, like transferring domains, EPP codes, cpanels and pointing things places, we have two live websites that have softly launched into the world. Please read my previous posts if you are interested in the rebranding process.
I will spend the next week or so having a handful of people test everything out, giving me feedback and making final adjustments and then I will hard launch them. However, I know that a website is never actually finished and that I will be tweaking them for a while.
If you have thoughts you'd like to share with me, they are most welcome! email me email@example.com with your tips and suggestions.
When I first started at the Vancouver Community College's Jewelry Art and Design program, I entered school wanting to make jewelry and when I graduated 2 years later, I left school wanting to make art. I have done a balance of both of these things for the past 10 years. What do I mean by this? I'm going to explain with the help of some pictures....
I make pieces like these Fine Wooden Rings which I made for a ring exhibition in 2015. They are wearable, but they are not really for everyday wear. I know that there are some people that embrace wearing art jewelry, or more avant-garde jewelry everyday, but most of us have to go to work, or to the studio and wearing jewelry that isn't the most functional becomes difficult. But these pieces are fun, experimental, and I love the madness of the art jewelry world.
And I also make pieces like these Copper Dangle Earrings. I wear a pair of these myself all the time. They are some of my favourites and everyone who buys a pair says that they quickly become their favourites too. Oh, they are $55 and you can buy them here. I think they are beautiful and artistic, but I recognize that they are not one-of-a-kind art works. They are great for everyday wear, and are a really good seller for me.
This balance of making jewelry art pieces and jewelry for everyday wear was the catalyst for my jewelry rebrand. I have a body of work under each of these umbrellas and I wanted to be able to showcase and promote them individually. So, I had to figure out a way to separate them but keep them connected at the same time. Tricky stuff!
For the past 10 years I've been using Patsy Kay Kolesar Design as my business name and this was my logo. I've really loved this logo and when I started out I was only making enamel jewelry and this logo really fit the pretty, feminine, vintage feel of my enamel line.
As much as I've loved this logo, it was time to refresh my brand and give it some new clarity. After many conversations, lots of research, and working with the amazing team at This^ Digital Agency I decided on using two versions of my name, one for each of the lines. Patsy Kolesar for my art jewelry and future art projects and Patsy Kay for my everyday jewelry line. I liked the idea of keeping them similar, I have been building this little business for 10 years and didn't want to completely shake up what I've built with two very different names, but I wanted to be able to give them each a different identity. A little drumroll please........and here are the new logos....
Two new logos means two new websites and a whole lot of work to get there, but we are almost ready to launch them. Part III to come very soon!
Since January I have been in the process of rebranding. I've been running my jewelry business for 10 years now and I felt it was time for a refresh. I'm not quite ready to launch the new website, but I thought I would share my inspiration for the new branding and a bit about the process.
I wanted the new branding to feel more modern, unique, light, and artistic. We used these beautiful images to guide us with the new look.
I wanted to keep the colour palette fairly neutral, using black and white with pops of copper, red, and gold tones. I met with a branding and marketing expert who helped me to flush out my full plan and I talked to my my mastermind group and did some branding exercises on my own. Like anything with running a jewelry business, it's taken much longer that I thought it would, but we're almost there and will be sharing more details soon.
We are cleaning up the studio and clearing out some of our seconds, samples, and older stock!
I'm delighted to have two of my one-of-a-kind earrings in this year's Earring Show held at Craft House Gallery on Granville Island!
To say thank-you for such a fun jewellery filled year I'm happy to offer free shipping on all orders for the month of December! Enter the code "beloved' at check-out. Click through on the below images to shop.
I'm excited to invite you to my 6th Culture Crawl! This year marks the 20th anniversary of the crawl and our studio building has been a part of the crawl since the beginning, so it's a pretty great reason to celebrate! I will have brand new work this year and some popular favourites. We will have our pretty much famous "Seconds and Samples Sale" on the Thursday and Friday night.
At the beginning of 2016 I started to plan the new work that I would make for Hammer, Cut, Stitch, Repeat. I decided to look to part of my heritage, my Slovakian side for some inspiration. I researched Slovakian embroidery patterns. I went to the library and took out some beautiful books and I became infatuated with this tiny Slovakian town called Cicmany, where they have painted decorative stitches on all of their houses. I found patterns I loved, I burned them into a new silk screen, and I sketched a handful of new neckpieces.
Then life took over, and I went to Europe for a two-week adventure. I rekindled my heart connection to the Netherlands and met my new great love, Paris. I meandered around canals, ate pannekoeken, admired colourful flower displays in windows, and was charmed by the white and blue of Delft. I drove through old medieval villages in Belgium, waltzed through the streets of Paris, and joyfully exclaimed that I was getting boozy in Bouzy while in the Champagne region.
I returned to Vancouver filled with new inspiration that I thought I could shelf while I got back to work on my original plan. I like to follow a plan. I started enameling and silk-screening these lovely gridded cross stitch patterns on metal and I liked the results...but i wasn't sure about them. I kept going...and I got a little stuck. I continued again...and I became more stuck. I pushed and then I hit a wall. I wasn't happy with the pieces I was making and I wasn't sure where to go.
At the same time I was getting stuck creatively I was in the middle of moving to a new home after living in the same space for 12 years. A big move for me, so it makes sense that my creative process was also moving. The move meant many trips to Home Depot and being someone who is obsessed with tools and trinkets, trips to Home Depot mean that I wander through aisles touching things and wondering how they would look turned into jewelry. There were a few pieces I found that I couldn't leave behind.
I decided that instead of shelfing my new inspiration, I needed to shelf my original plan. My world had been so swirled around in the last few months that I needed to listen to where the pieces were landing in me. I opened my sketchbook to start drawing and a postcard that i've been carrying around with me for two years fell out. The Guggenheim Museum covered in random patterns by artist Mukai Shüji. This image and and the lovely curves of the building have been in my heart since visiting the Museum in 2014. I have been sketching various pieces inspired by these shapes for the past two years, but hadn't realized them in jewelry yet.
I sat in my studio one morning with my Guggenheim postcard, my Home Depot trinkets, and my images from my Europe trip in front of me and I started sketching. I spent the next month in my studio enameling and soldering teeny tiny wires, figuring out how to get the shapes i wanted, the textures i wanted, and how to make these industrial materials work in wearable pieces.
I'm excited by the results and happy I shifted direction. The pieces pictured below and a few more new ones will be on display and for sale at Circle Craft Gallery September 8th 2016 - October 11th 2016 for the exhibition, "Hammer, Cut, Stitch, Repeat".
Hammer, Cut, Stitch, Repeat - an exploration of repetition to achieve pattern and form in fine craft. With an emphasis on wearable art, Hammer, Cut, Stitch, Repeat will bring together artists working in metal, paper, and textile. Individually, each artist's practice has a focus on repeating one action over and over; something that would drive most people mad. For this group of artists, repetition becomes a vessel for creativity and it is within that place that they push themselves further to explore their craft. Hammer, Cut, Stitch, Repeat will show the work of Rachael Ashe, Nell Burns, Su Foster, Patsy Kolesar, and Simone Richmond.
September 8 - October 10
Opening Soirée Thursday September 8th 6-8pm
I spent three days in Paris in April meandering through little streets and stumbling upon little gems like the Swedish Institute. We saw a sign with a picture of some highly patterned textiles and it drew us further in to this quaint little courtyard where we had a beer and some lunch at the Swedish cafe and then went into the gallery space to see the exhibit. It was an exhibit of rag rugs - beautiful, colourful, contemporary rag rugs.
Re Rag Rug - An exhibition of 12 rugs made entirely from waste and excess fabric from the textile industry by Studio Brieditis & Evans. They spent 12 months making the rugs using 12 different textile techniques. To learn more about their amazing work and this exhibition please visit their website here.
I had the pleasure of teaching my first enamelling class last week! Teaching is something that has been on my to-do list for a couple of years now and I finally had the right opportunity to try it out. I had the honour of teaching a pretty amazing woman, Salem has a business in Ethiopia called Salem's Designs. She employ's other artisans who make jewellery, textiles, pottery, and basketry. She has a large space in Addis Ababa where people can go and watch the artists work and also purchase one of the beautiful pieces. Salem is invested in the art of handmade and in offering skill teaching and employment to artisans in Ethiopia. She's pretty inspiring to talk to and caught on to the enamelling techniques really quickly. Below is a photo of the pieces she made with me.
If you are interested in learning some enamel tricks with me please send me a message info at pkkdesign dot com and I can let you know more details.