Last year was a whirlwind of activity for this very green woodturner. I started off blogging strong through Lumber Jocks and participating in community forums, posting images of my works in progress, and making new friends here.
And then something happened. I began to consistently get orders for my spindle work from wonderful men and women in the international fiber arts community who helped direct and shape a new business for me. Simultaneously, I also lit off a gasoline fire of a topic by starting a forum topic that explored the existence of a gender bias attitude (by retailers, class instructors, and even some fellow LJ contributors) that favored men as being more practical than women in the woodworking community.
I received both positive and negative responses to that topic in public and in personal messages, and appreciated all comments (because it clearly showed my concern to be valid). However, I decided that for myself, I wanted to spend time in online communities that inspired me to focus on craft and less on the demographic of the community. So, I sought those places out… found them. And have been active and happy since. So, that whole experience has long since been put behind me and I am happier for it.
I have been woodturning more than part-time for a little over a year and have built up a small business around custom lathe work. Last year, I created and sold more than 300 spindle pieces. This year, I am adding some metalwork to them, and have sold a little over 70 pieces since the beginning of the year. So the small business is growing, I’m growing in skill, I love the work.
Last year, I worked with about 30 wood species. My goal was to try a new wood species every other week. This year it seems to be continuing.
In summary, I am turning 4 out of 7 days a week, about 20 hours a week, and spending 10 hours finishing, and the remaining 10 hours in business administration… so I have been quite busy, very satisfied, and very much looking forward to this new year.
I hope everyone is doing well for themselves, and I expect I may stop in from time to time to say “Hello” and admire the fine works by fellow craftspersons.
-- Lisa Chan, custom cafts and yarn accessories, http://www.grippingyarn.com