It’s a time of making plans, isn’t it? New year, new start and all that.
My plans for 2013 have started with trying to make life a little easier and more organised…
One of the problems I have is that when I make something to order, it can take quite a while. Here’s an example of what I do for just one plaque:
- I paint the front and edges of the plaque with a background colour and leave it to dry.
- I paint the back of the plaque and let it dry.
- I sand the front and edges and give it another coat of paint – again I let it dry.
- I sand the plaque again (very lightly this time, just for smoothness)
- I draw then paint the image on the plaque. You guessed – I let it dry.
- most images get a second coat and a second lot of drying time. Some need extra details on top of this, too.
- I add the wording and the outlines, all in pen. Ha! It dries almost immediately, which makes me happy
- I finish the plaque with string, sticky pads or whatever else it might need.
- I wrap it in a cellophane bag and post it to its new owner.
It sounds a lot – but the longest part is all that drying, especially the background colour. So, this year I’ve set myself targets based on last year’s sales: I will paint the backgrounds on a certain number of plaques, clocks, money boxes, canvases and chalk boards every week, and the first 40 weeks of the year are when I’ll do the most (which should help me cope more easily with pre-Christmas sales).
I’ve made myself a table with three targets a week on and pinned it on my studio wall. The theory is that being on the wall will make it hard to miss…
It will be interesting to see how far it helps, and whether I can stick to it. I so hope it makes life a little bit easier and customer orders a little bit quicker from the customer’s perspective. Up to now the speed factor has been a bit hit and miss – and although most people say they are happy, it’s always good to improve. I know the times I’ve managed to post things next day are the times I’ve wowed the customer on the speed front!
If you want a blank version of my table, so you can do one for yourself, there’s a free download over on Handmade Harbour - it’s nothing fancy but may just help organise things a little bit. Enjoy!