Friday, May 29, 2009

Something new

I have been quiet for a while, but believe me, I am busy!

Here is some images of my new design, I hope you like it! This one and it's mate will stay with me. The ceramic base and top part is hand build and a bit on the wonky side. I have since made some mould to be able to replicate the design evenly. I will add different coloured ceramic bits to future candle sticks to compliment the glass beads. I also plan on making them in different heights.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Student life, and travelling by train ...

I started with my year long course, that is focused on the Entrepreneur in the Craft sector, this past week. It's like being back in school with homework and sticking up my hand in class when I want to ask a question ... But at the same time a lot of fun and totally eye opening. We get horrible (LOL) assignments, like having to make contact with NGO's and Government agencies that deals with the craft sector. And all assignment content have to deal with each student's own emerging business. The biggest advantage is that I have to do 'stuff' that I knew for years that I had to do, but always shrunk away from. I mean - it is much more fun to be creative, right? If there were good fairy godmothers out there who could take all that I made and turned it into hard cash, I would not need this course, but of course the fairy godmothers were just stories made up by Hans Christian Anderson ...

So now I have some appointments set up with said Government agencies, got information about a workshop on Exporting products in 2 weeks, and more local selling opportunities.

And I also made contact with the most amazing bunch of people. Fellow students, most in their thirties and older, all trying to make their business as successful as possible in the present economic climate.

To avoid the dreaded rush hour traffic, I have opted to use the train service this week. Monday I could not use the train, as my darling Father came to Cape Town for a visit to his mother and sister, and I offered to collect him at the airport after class. But since Tuesday I was doing the commuting thing by train. Quite fearful of being robbed, thrown off the train by hooligans, and what not, I parked my car in the lot and asked for a ticket. The price was SO good compared to the petrol that my car would have used and the price for a parking spot. Actually it was cheaper to use the train than to park my car in the lot close to the CCDI!

Today some of the other students were also using the train, and since we travelled in the same direction, travel together. The only snag was that they travelled 3rd class. Originally in the bad old days of Apartheid this was the coach used by any person of colour. And us whities never set foot in it. And here is me, virgin train commuter pulled between fear of the unknown and sitting with my new friends. I decided to be brave, and took the 3rd class coach, never mind the fact that my round ticket was 1st class ...

While sitting on the train (it just left the main station) I noticed a woman throwing her empty tin of soda and pie papers on the floor. She saw my expression, and responded that there was no bin on the train. I asked her why she did not keep it till she got of the train and then deposit it in a bin. Before it became ugly my friends interjected and asked her if she threw things around on the ground at home. 'No', she replied. But why here? 'This creates a job for someone ...' was her laconic reply . I got up, and fetched the rolling tin and scrunched up oily paper.

We started to chat, and I told her that I was so proud of my country, how this is an offense and that you could get a fine overseas, and how I see the reaction of foreign tourists when they see such stuff happening. And since the tourist market is a huge segment of my income, I want them happy and in a spending mood. Not disgusted by our poor manners.

Later she moved closer to us, and started asking us questions. I could see that she was intrigued by our little collective of different cultures. Then one of my friends got up and left the train. At the next stop a bunch of young (about 8 - 13 year old) glue sniffing kids entered the train. Sniffing glue out of empty chips packets. And sat next to me. Believe me, I was holding onto my bag as if it was gonna fly away any minute. I moved over to the seat with my friends, and just stared at these sad street kids. Wise beyond their years, high as a kite.

Suddenly some men walked towards the kids and grabbed them, removing the crisp bags filled with glue from their pockets. A scuffle broke out and I was petrified. Most times these kids have weapons on them, even illegal fire arms. At the next stop they broke free and ran off the train. My friend also got off, but he told me to stay put. Told me not to be afraid, there are good people in the couch that will help me if there is a problem. So I sat, chatting to my new friend, the dropper of garbage, till we reached my stop ...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Artifire articles

Hi all!
I have started to stock up my Artfire shop. Over the next few days I will add more ceramic and Lampwork articles. Please visit it!