Thursday, August 2, 2012

(4) Dreaming Tree Studio

I will include the info here as well since postings do change and I need to remind folks of this;

I guess every so often I need to repeat some vital information to all my perspective clients, as well as the current ones;

I have to deal with environmental conditions when the resin is curing, as well as the final sealer curing, since humidity variations can effect the outcome. This is why I do not like to take orders during the summer because these issues can occur. If I pack your order too soon, the surface could become pitted or deformed being sealed in a plastic bag, and be subjected to transit conditions. Please try to understand. I am doing my very best. I really do not want to send you a bad product, especially for the cost incurred by an order.

Resin is finicky. It may appear fully hardened on the surface by touch, but the inside may not be. I have my methods for accelerating the process, but even that is no guarantee that all is fully cured 100%. I am not a manufacturer with technical equipment to measure the chemical properties of such materials, I am only an artist who does this as a hobby, to help out my fellow peers worldwide to have a more affordable source for beautiful eyes and irises.

(4) Dreaming Tree Studio:

'via Blog this'

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Follow Up from Last post...

FOLLOW UP to My previous post:  (I copied this from my email conversation with a peer)...I have been crying a lot this weekend over this. 

I started this up so long ago because there was a need for a resource such as this. When I was making sculpts, I really wanted special eyes for my pieces. At that time, the only available sources were taxidermy shops, or Asian glass eye markets. I knew of the company in CT, and another in California, but even their options were limited, and the prices were outrageous! I actually invested in a couple of pairs from Masterpiece, and they took over three months to arrive, and for the huge price I paid per pair, they came, and I was disappointed. I was so angry, that I took them apart to see why I paid so much for such shoddy work...I figured out that there HAS to be a better way to get nice eyes for my sculpts.

Then I started browsing the internet for materials, and did my research. I began to experiment. The first trials were epic failures in many ways. I refined, simplified, and tried even more materials until I found a consistent outcome. Unfortunately the best, and most reliable material to use was Polyester Resin. In its un-cured state, it is very hazardous to inhale. Once it is cured, it is inert. I do not use a gas mask, but make sure there is ample ventilation. I have damaged my health, i'm sure...but it is a small sacrifice to make. I figure the toxins cannot be any different than what most artists come in contact with making their various Arts anyways.

The idea of trying to expand into tutorials is a good one, and I think I will consider it over the off season. Some of the materials I use  can be made available for individuals via shops, but some of the equipment can get pricey. I think the most important tool in my arsenal is my Dremel. Without it...Production would be impractical, at best....even impossible. If most clients have one, that is a major cost cut. The second most expensive material is the silicone needed to make the molds needed for eye casting. The molds do break down, no matter how well one can take care of them. The truth is, the cheaper types do not last at all. I can only afford to purchase 1 Lb quantities of the higher quality putty used. So, I am meticulous about the care of my molds. I would think the hardest items to mass produce for "Make your own" castings, would be the lacquer I use for the semi-metallic treatments. Most of them are all hand mixed from pigments, micas, and powders, into a solvent-based carrier. Usually Acetone being the main ingredient. 100% Acetone is harder to find than one would think, and does not ship well at all. Water based items do not re-act well to the resin, or the coated papers I use for the base. Pigments are expensive too. Storage of the lacquer is tough. I use recycled Nail polish bottles. They seem to be the only way to store the mixed colors without the Acetone evaporating out. 

I think I could supply the dry mixes to the public, but they would all have to use their own solvents, and carriers. And keep their empty nail polish bottles!!!! 

As far as the studio issues well...We really need professional contractors to finish the renovations needed by law in our town. :( I think for the next year, or so I will still be stuck in my congested 12X12 space.

It feels re-assuring to know that you all are here for me, and I accept all the support I can get. Thank you so very much! <3

Saturday, July 14, 2012

CAUTION! Long Narrative is ensuing. ......

Feeling Overwhelmed.<__> I think I took on too many orders this last month. They were all the usual 10 I take on queue every month during the season, but, This time, they were all large quantity....exactly like the month prior, which I am still struggling to catch up on. I love my sis, but she wasn't around as much as I would have liked to help with the workload from Junes orders, and I am still feeling the congested Production backing up. Besides... the the unexpected re-casts because of negligence of the Postal Service doesn't help either. :(  I should have been done with this season by the end of this month, but it looks like it will overflow into August too. 

The joy of eye-making is rapidly disintegrating week, by week. I am AN ARTIST, NOT a manufacturer! I am inches away from stopping eye casting. I thought I could have Kristin take on the responsibility of production, but I cannot seem to get consistent attendance. I cannot hire someone "off the street" to do this, because the studio situation is not ideal.  NOTHING is ideal 'round here, Our House is in shambles, there is an entire 2 LEVELS being unused, and becoming a catch all for all sorts of "Overflow" It is supposed to become my Real Studio! Hubby can only do so much, and nether can I do anything about it either. Money is an issue, labor is an issue, Time...Is a BIG Issue. I simply cannot take this casting business to a more productive level until these issues can be resolved. 

I am so frustrated, and disheartened...We need some sort of cash windfall, or some sort of grant, to get things in order. I do not know now, if it will ever be possible. I am saddened that I cannot give everyone the attention they need, and I really enjoyed offering my peers such an affordable supply option for all their creative needs, I really do not want to let every one down, worldwide. It took 5 tough years to get things to this point, and now...This "concrete wall". I need any ideas, suggestions, Tips, connections, ANYTHING, to save all this hard work I've done! I really do not want to throw it all away. I feel so helpless.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dreaming Tree Studio News for the Off-season:

I have begun training my sister in the craft of eye making, she will be mainly in charge of inventory orders this season. I will make sure she keeps a good variety of sizes and colors available in the shop. She has good attention to detail, and will maintain the quality standards I have put in place. She may even do some Wing making too if she would like to.

I myself, need to shift my focus to my other arts. FyreFlytts will continue to be made, but in Cold Porcelain instead of Ultralight. Turbles too, will also eventually be made in this new material. But, I will use up all my exhisting ultralight on the Turbles first. 

I have begun production of Wings both in finished state as well as blank state, (for your own embellishment). They will begin appearing in my Etsy shop. Blanks will be priced starting at $5.00 per pair, and can go as high as $25.00 per pair for the large ones.

They also will not be sealed, or coated in any way, and will shrink, and contract when heat is applied. (Even after I hit them with my heat gun to tighten the surface to smooth out the wrinkles). There will be no holes, or lacing, nor with there be any coloring, or glittering. 

Finished wings will begin at $10.00 and go as high as $75.00 for the Larger Steampunk wings.( supplies pending ) These pairs will be finished completely, and will include or combine, Holes, lacing, paint, glitter, enbellishment, crystals, etc. 

All Wings will be bendible to a degree, as the wires within are flexible, and will be listed in a flat manner. 
Some particular wing designs MUST NOT BE BAKED! And those particular types will be noted as such, because they will be made of heat sensitive materials, if not highly flammable ones indeed. 

Felted Soft sculpts (No Armature) In the size range of 4-8" will run Between $40.00 - $90.00, And are all OOAK. I am willing to make custom commissions based on a Photograph, or digital jpeg. of a pet, for a starting price of $100.00. I have found that my prices are in competitive range for this sort of labor. Most rovings used are of higher quality, and can get expensive. But it is the time envolved that really makes up the bulk of the costs.

Art Cats are a new fiber-based art I will be working in. The pattern is a  Primitive, pillow-style form that will be used as the 3-dimensional base for artscapes done in roving and other media like Beadwork, Embroidery, and Swarovski crystal, on a felt backing. These pieces are in the Fine-Art category and will be priced accordingly. They will range in size from 8-14" tall. They will cost at minimum $200.00 are are gallery quality, Fine Art.

FattCatts come in three sizes Small, Med, and large.The Blue Scottish fold one I did for Mothers Day, was a medium one. Each Sculpt is OOAK, and individually painted. Smalls are $25.00, Mediums are $45.00, and Larges are $65.00.  

Tatzelcats are indeed Fae cats, and are about 3-4" tall, (not including the wings). They will most likely run around $25.00 each.

All Art works will not be listed on Etsy, but in Artfire. Or listed on my website. 

If you would like to place an order, for starting in August, I will be happy to to take a commission. Payment always needs to be made in-full before production. Shipping costs have not been included in the above quotes, That will have to come later when an order/commission has been placed.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Checking in...

All this week I have been struggling to find the time to update here. 

I cannot wait until the casting season ends! I have expanded my sculpting skills to felting, and shifting my sculpting media from polymer clay to various air-drying clays. I tend to sculpt on a larger scale that most polymer clay easily allows. I still need to fix up poor baby Winter, but I really do not like Lumina.  He was originally sculpted with Premo pearl, but he is too big to fit in any conventional oven, now. Paper clay, and Premier stone clay will not do...(simply not compatible). I am thinking possibly CP? (cold porcelain) I found a microwavable recipe online, but I am open to any suggestions. 

I have experimented with crayolas "model magic" because I had originally liked the texture. The trouble is, that it is not really intended for artistic use by professionals, let alone experienced sculptors. "Too bad, because it really has a soft velvet feel even after it has dried out completely." I tried to use it on my "FattCatts" but it cracks badly if the material is too thick. (I have been patching one I was planning to give to my mom for Mothers day, all week!)  Maybe I still have a chance to finish it in time....

Felting has turned out to easier, and faster than I had originally expected. I made a model of my recently passed "Furkid" cat Zoe. I managed to get her done in two Saturdays. I found a great short-cut by filling the larger cavities with polyfil stuffing. It actually makes the 'feltie' more "huggable" and allows me to work on a larger scale. The Zoe plush is about 6 inches in length and about 4 inches high; not bad for use of sample sized wool roving. I still have plenty left over! ^_^

Although I enjoy casting doll eyes, and irises for the world, (quite literally) I am getting tired of it! I really miss working on my own art. Breaking my production down into seasons has helped, But I still need to maintain inventory for my shop, year-round. :phew: The income is welcome, But I would much rather focus on selling my OOAK art instead.

I am waiting on my new digital camera to arrive, so I can get all sorts of Photos of these new projects. Hopefully it comes soon! 

 Bye, bye, for now! :D 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Shipping Notice

I have been getting feedback from clients regarding shipping issues...I'm not really sure what is going on, but some orders are getting lost, or delayed, regardless  whether they are from overseas or local. There seems to be a sort of ebb, and flow with the post services. First class post is most often as fast, or even faster than priority. The issue keeps coming up every two months or so. I do the best I can, trying to keep costs to a minimum, but if I change shipping services, It will inevitably cost even more. I am trying to keep my price-points at wholesale costs, for the benefit of my client base. Just this week so far, I have customers contacting me regarding ETA's from orders, and purchases placed as far back as in February. Sometimes it is an international customs issue, but there should be no real excuse for the same delays to occur here in the continental United States. I wish I had a solution. The best I can offer, is if a client still hasn't received their packages after 3 weeks of shipping notification, I can either re-cast your items for free, and re-ship with delivery confirmation,....or refund the SUB TOTAL (before shipping costs).  I am sorry for any other inconveniences.  I will include this message in my other sites as well.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Back up running!

...Back in Business! The Dremel part came yesterday, and I am again up, and running! Inventory is low in my Etsy shop. I am trying to finish some popular sizes to list. There will be 4, 5, 6, 8, and 11 mm sizes listing soon.

Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 season report

2012 report on casting orders:

When you are placed on a casting queue... unfortunately, you have to endure the waiting period; regardless of how small or large your order is. I have to state that it can take up to a maximum of 60 days.
You are free to get onto March's Casting queue. It will not start production until February's queue has finished. Waiting periods begin upon Opening announcements. Every year, gets more and more hectic, and I have to place more, and more restrictions just to maintain some sort of "Keep-Up" In demand. I have hired my sister to help me to keep up, but I still am the sole caster and that takes time.And now..since I am waiting for my replacement Dremel parts to come in, I am helpless. I am forced to suspend all orders until I can resume work again.

I wish I had a more "Rosy" report to give you, but I am in the very thick of the season, and I see no let up in sight. At least with my queue system, you can reserve your right to get your order made during this years casting season.

'via Blog this'

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New for 2012!

Here is something new for 2012! Transparent, and translucent Irises and AD Eyes! Prices per pair are $1.00 Less than the Metallic price points. These are great for those who have settings with lights, or want a "see through" look. These all were snapped on top of my light table so the light shines through.
These will be available here: 
within the next month or so. They will be available in most sizes ranging from 3mm up to 3 inches.