This was a long thought out and difficult decision that Eve and I had to make, and we've been getting a few questions regarding the details.
What a lot of people don't realize is that the experience at a so called "transformational festival" as a vendor is very different from the experience as an attendee. I know that there are a lot of avid supporters of this venue, and I want to first make it clear that these are our personal experiences with the festival as vendors, and nothing I am about to say is intended to invalidate the positive experiences of others. Festivals are hard work. Unfortunately, the cons outweighed the pros for us.
This is probably the first time we aren't rushing like crazy to finish up masks; our current count is 40, and we're aiming for 50. I think we can do it!
Eve is working on the bigger, bolder masks like the peacock [and I think a firebird will be after that], while I'm churning out a bunch of the smaller masks that require minimal tooling. I feel so much more efficient and in love with our work when the time stress isn't weighing heavily on our shoulders. It's resulting in some very adventurous adaptations on our usual works! Such as eyeball dragon:
And this complex cluster of detail:
It's so much fun!
Oregon Country Fair will undoubtably be our biggest festival to date, with an attendance that has reached over 50,000 in the last few years. The cost of attending is already significantly lower than FaerieWorlds ever was, with the added bonus of low competition, strictly handmade only, and none of the panic inducing things that plague us at FW. Oh and we won't have to haul up most of our equipment either- no pop up tent, no, table, no tapestries, no booth decorations... just the masks, stands, a mirror, and our transaction supplies. The switch seemed obvious, really.
I feel so blessed that the skilled & talented Maeve Callahan offered to share her sacred booth space with us. Our masks will be displayed on the walls, surrounded by her fantastically creative dolls and puppets. They will definitely compliment each other; I'll post pictures after the festival is over!
As always, thank you to the thousands of people who support us on Facebook, etsy, Pinterest, YouTube, and offline too. You folk are truly what makes this career so enjoyable.
May was full of surprises. This is usually our off season! On top of which, we've been almost completely out of stock for several months, which usually dulls interest considerably. Nevertheless, sales are high and mighty. Just in time too, as we prepare for all of the expenses involved with our yearly big Oregon festival. Thankfully, Oregon Country Fair is costing us half as much as FaerieWorlds did.
We've started selling large hauls of scrap leather, as well as a tutorial on how to craft leather masks, as well as our usual leather masks and key chains. I'm considering posting a few quick tooling patterns too. :)
Lately I've been fantasizing about commercial selling space. Our masks decorating the walls, workshops and classes, leather and tools, etc. Oh man, that would be nice. Something like that wouldn't be possible until after I finish art school, but something like that would certainly be fun.
Kind of an odd ball update, but I felt it time to check in. Cheers!
I figured an update was in order, being as we've been mostly silent for several months now. Apologies!
Production has slowed significantly, mostly due to a lack of reliable transportation. Many of you have probably noticed that our etsy shop is minimally stocked with only what we have available, instead of our usual handful of in-stock items and the rest of the designs up as made-to-order. This is because we can work, if we are lucky, once a month! And it would be unfair to promise items within our usual time frame.
Custom design orders are closed indefinitely as well. A good number of people were under the impression that Eve and I functioned much like a large scale corporation (to the extent that many people assumed that rude behavior would yield better results in their design, or expect us to read their minds). Plus, again, it's impossible for us to make an accurate time estimate with our inability o get to the shop. :(
On the bright side, as soon as possible, we will be working remotely. I'll take home as many designs as possible that are ready to paint, while Eve will be tooling and cleaning edges from her home.
April 20th and 21st we'll be at the Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival! It's only $10 to get in, and a wonderful event with local foods and drinks, tons of artisans, and plenty of activities. Saturday morning there will also be a parade! Eve and I both attended this fest during our childhood and its an event very close to our hearts. We hope to see you there!
And the last little update: I (Ashley) will be going to the Academy of Art University next fall, and possibly interning at Pixar this summer. YAY! But this also means production probably won't pick up for a long while :( Still, we'll do our best.