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March Meet the Maker 2023

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

Every year I take part in Joanne Hawker's March Meet the Maker Instagram hashtag. It's a fun way to get to know makers and I really love taking part and also seeing other people's posts. This year I thought I would turn them into a blog post. So these are the images and captions from March Meet the Maker. Each day there is a different prompt and the weekends are days off. I hope you enjoy it!

It’s that time again for Joanne Hawker's #marchmeetthemaker!

Day 1- Brand Origin.

I started Abby’s Art Atelier when I finished uni and was looking for full-time work. I had a lot of free time and I wanted to explore different creative pursuits drawing, painting lots of different crafts and mediums as well as sewing and designing. I set up a website to show what I had been making and maybe sell some of it. That’s where the Art part comes from in my brand name. Then I realised I love website design and that fusing a full-time job in my field was going to be impossible. So I decided to be going to try and make this work as an actual business focus on one area. As much as I wanted it to be clothes and fashion it was expensive to start, I had recently found clay and resin and all the possibilities it came with and I fell in love and it was still somewhat connected to fashion. I still hope to expand into clothes someday. But that’s how I came to be and it’s been such a fun journey so far!

Day 2- All About You.

Hi there, I’m Abby and I run Abby’s Art Atelier. I started Abby’s Art Atelier in October 2019 channelling my creative energy into it.

When I’m not working on jewellery or my business I am probably hanging out with my dog or doing some drawing I’m trying to teach myself and improve. I’m very shy and socially awkward but I love to do a market to step out of the comfort of my studio and meet some lovely people… but you might have to say hi first! 😂

I guess that’s me!

Day 3- Snippet

This is a snippet of my making process and a snippet of my upcoming collection. Lovely pieces of clay on a tray waiting to be baked.

Day 6- Start the Day

I am a creature of habit this is how every morning starts…

💜A cup of tea in my animal crossing mug, in bed and the dog joins me 🐶 While I scroll Instagram

💜Then breakfast; I have a cup of tea in my doggy mug with a bowl of cheerios unless it’s Thursday or Sunday then it's tea and toast! ☕️🥣

💜This is a very new edition to my routine but I defrost some fruit for my fruit smoothie🍓🍌🥭🍊

💜Then it's back to bed with the dog to do my morning admin; email Instagram posts and the books and give the dog his morning brush! 💻

💜That’s my morning the next thing I do is take the dog for his morning walk.

A lovely chilled but productive morning once I’m back from my walk it’s studio time!

Day 7 Learn

I love learning. I love to learn new techniques I like learning about business and marketing. But the big thing I have learnt in the last few months is to slow down.

My mind runs a mile a minute I want to try everything right now; a technique an opportunity a new product and I want to get to the next milestone so can do the next thing. But I have learnt to take a breath and think I will get there eventually I will be able to try that technique or new product expand or get opportunities and there is time to enjoy the moment and what I making and doing right now.

Day 8- Finishing Touches

There is a couple of finishing touches I like to do one is UV resin. Usually to enhance the look of the clay offer or to protect the details like in this one printed glitter pattern needs to be protected to help with longevity and also give it a nice glossy effect.

The second finishing touch I like to do is add a link just to give a bit more interest and detail to a piece like the one in this picture a gold link compliments the green jewel tones.

Day 9- Trial and Error

There is a lot of trial and error when designing and making products. But the one I want to mention today is product photography. I am terrible at it. And over the course of the years, I have tried so many different things. And I feel I get slightly better every time but there is lots of trial and error and a lot of frustration sometimes but I keep going trying things and hopefully improving.

Day 10- Recharge

Nothing recharges me better than spending time with my dog especially walking my dog. Getting some fresh air and watching my dog have the time of his life really makes me happy and if I am feeling low or unmotivated this really gets me out of my funk and re-energises me. So enjoy this little compilation of my dog having fun in his walks.

Day 14- Planning

I love to plan. I feel I have perfected a method that works for me.

💜 I write a list of monthly goals including at the beginning of the month. I will add to it throughout the month also

💜I write on Sunday a list of that week's goals using the monthly goals list to make sure to include a couple of the monthly goals, and I will write even the smallest of tasks in this list to make sure I really know what my week will look like and to plan.

💜Then on Sunday I wore a to-do list for Monday and Tuesday and maybe Wednesday. I don’t plan the whole week so if something comes up or changes it doesn’t though me off too much. I then plan the Wednesdays and Thursdays on Tuesdays, Friday Saturday, and Sundays Thursdays. I again include even the smallest of tasks and make sure I’m ticking off the week's goals and some of the monthly.

I will use * marks on a task which I see as a bonus if that gets done on all three types of lists this way I can still see what I need to get done but it takes the pressure off and I can move that task to the next week or month depending on the list.

Thats it. It works for me and keeps my mind calm and clear. I can see my month, week and days clearly but it’s still fluid if something comes up.

Day 14- Big and Small

I love to do big statement earrings and smaller dainty pieces too. These are similar but one is big and one small.

Day 15- Idea to Product

This is my process of making. I have a brain dump into Procreate and get my ideas down and choose which ones I want to do so when I among I know what I am aiming for.

This is a fairly new process because I would just get my clay out and make and that is how I end up making 200 one-of-a-kind designs brigades my mind runs and ways from me. This way it’s a lot more measured and this has worked well for this lasted collection.

Day 16- Highs and Lows

In business, there are a lot of highs and lows.

A high for me from last week was getting a sale on the launch day of my new collection the first time that has happened. Other highs are when I get a nice review of a sale it always makes my day.

And I’m proud of my latest collection so that’s a high too.

Lows are when weeks go by with no sales or when I don’t get an opportunity I applied for the doubts and worry creep in. And trying to push them down and keep going is easier some days more than others.

Day 17- Creative Space

I had the urge to find a tidy corner and take a photo but I thought I would be truthful!

This is my creative space a chaotic desk with lots going on. Things I’m making, equipment two screens one for watching YouTube and the other for spreadsheets. I have lots of inspiration on my art wall from Baylee Jae, Pypah Santos and Emily Harvey Art.

Pegboards on the other wall bursting at the seams with all sorts of fun things like paint and glitter.

I love my creative space I love being here with my dog making creating and enjoying myself and my space. It makes me happy!

Day 20- Glow Up

You may have noticed I changed my logo and spruced up my website. It was a big change as you can see just simple adjustments and sticking to a clearer colour pallet. It was a bit all over the place before.

So that’s my little brand hollow up not an if change but I’m happy with it!

Day 21- Favourite Process

My favourite process probably changes a lot but at the moment it’s screen printing. I love the whole thing of drawing a design creating the screen and then using it to print into clay. This is a pair I screen printed on it’s a very simple design for the first real screen I made but I love how it came out and I’m looking forward to doing more.

Day 22- Decision

My decision was last year and was deciding to take the leap and go full-time with my business.

It wasn’t an easy decision I liked my job but my business is what I really wanted to do. Things were going in the right direction and it was hard to do markets when I worked weekends. I was definitely thinking about it for a long time and when I saw if not now when written on the board at work as that week's quote I thought yeah if not now when.

It was scary and it hasn’t been easy there is definitely ups and downs and time I thought was it a mistake. But I’ve really done a lot of great things and I have a supportive family which definitely helps. So yeah that was my decision I think it was the right one!

Day 22- Reality

My reality is even though every year my business is doing better most months I still spend more than I earn. On Instagram, I show the good things because I want to be positive but in reality, it’s not easy. But I love what I do and even though it’s hard I wouldn’t choose anything else!

Day 23- Colour

I love pastel colours I love using them in my designs, especially pink purple and blue. But I love colour, in general, that's why I love polymer clay and resin so much the colour options are endless!

Day 27- Tools

There are so many tools for jewellery making and for me they are in two categories. Rolling pin, cutters are the most used for polymer clay after it’s baked and assembling time. It’s pliers and wire cutters. The safety goggles came after an unfortunate incident ending with a piece of chain flying into my eye so now safety goggles are on when cutting chains. These are just a few of the tools I use when I’m making jewellery.

Day 28-Adapt

There are two main ways I have adapted to my business recently. The first is with planning. Having this system for the last year or so has helped. I like to have a rigid schedule and to get things done in the order I want but I have learnt I can’t always do that. And using this system helps me plan and adapt throughout the week. So that’s pictures of my to-do list.

The second is adapting my goals and expectations for my business and where it is going and being able to go with it a little and adapt my plan. So that’s why there is a map background because so times I’m going to take a different route or even change my destination.

Day 29- The Best Part

The best part is making jewellery. I love the freedom of being able to make what I want when I want to try new things and be able to get creative to make jewellery. I love what I do.

Day 30- Kind Words

There is no better feeling when you run a handmade business than getting a review notification. These kind words from an order a few weeks ago just made my day, thank you for the kind words and for taking the time to write them! To see my other reviews or leave me one if you’ve made a purchase I have a trust pilot page.

Day 31- Coming Soon

A few things are coming soon.

The first is an exclusive mini collection for @wildthing which I was meant to post at the beginning of the week but after having a week of things going wrong they are finally out the door today, so keep an eye out for those.

The second coming soon is some new elements to my jewellery. I’m having fun learning about some new techniques and skills and hopefully, you’ll see that in upcoming collections.

Well, that's it for March Meet the Maker 2023 I hope you enjoyed following along here on Instagram and I hope you have learned some fun things about me and my business!

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