Woodturning (rec.crafts.woodturning) To discuss tools, techniques, styles, materials, shows and competitions, education and educational materials related to woodturning. All skill levels are welcome, from art turners to production turners, beginners to masters.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 575
Default Musing about the importance of sizzle

My son and grandson are "professional Scots'. Pipe & drum band. Scottish
dancing. Kilts, badges, and a skean dhu (small knife) in argyle socks.
Selkirk Grace before meals. A grand daughter is named Skye. They
actually eat the haggis at Burn's Dinners ....You get the picture.

A hilarious 'scottish situation' occurred at Dave's wedding. The
screeching and scrawing of the pipes was awful when Tampa's June
humidity did a job on the reeds when the piper came into the dry air
conditioned church from the humid yard outside. Then there was the time
when he stopped by a liquor store in Atlanta wearing his kilts. Two
prostitutes walking nearby were heard to murmur, "man that's some cool
threads!" But I digress even when I'm musing. Sorry.

Anyway, I've turned several batches of spurtles for the grandson to sell
at Scottish games. They were fair sellers as most Scots want to buy
something, just not something too dear. For the recent games I wrote up
a little brochure about how thistles, spurtles and porridge are
interrelated in Scottish lore. (mostly cribbed from Derek Andrews'
excellent Seafoam website with his permission) This time the spurtles
sold like oatcakes. So when your 'rent payers' aren't selling remember
to add a little 'write-up' and wild flowers to your weed pots, candles
to your candlesticks, fruit to your bowls and hotcakes to your platters.
They will sell like oatcakes.

Moral: ITSS, It's The Sizzzle, Stupid!


Turn to Safety, Arch
Fortiter


http://community.webtv.net/almcc/MacsMusings



  #3   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,407
Default Musing about the importance of sizzle


"Arch" wrote in message
...

A hilarious 'scottish situation' occurred at Dave's wedding. The
screeching and scrawing of the pipes was awful when Tampa's June
humidity did a job on the reeds when the piper came into the dry air
conditioned church from the humid yard outside.


How was it you knew the difference...?

  #4   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 833
Default Musing about the importance of sizzle

On Fri, 6 Apr 2007 17:55:50 -0400, (Arch) wrote:

My son and grandson are "professional Scots'. Pipe & drum band. Scottish
dancing. Kilts, badges, and a skean dhu (small knife) in argyle socks.
Selkirk Grace before meals. A grand daughter is named Skye. They
actually eat the haggis at Burn's Dinners ....You get the picture.


Oh, haggis isn't so bad. It just sounds awful.

Anyway, I've turned several batches of spurtles for the grandson to sell
at Scottish games. They were fair sellers as most Scots want to buy
something, just not something too dear. For the recent games I wrote up
a little brochure about how thistles, spurtles and porridge are
interrelated in Scottish lore. (mostly cribbed from Derek Andrews'
excellent Seafoam website with his permission) This time the spurtles
sold like oatcakes. So when your 'rent payers' aren't selling remember
to add a little 'write-up' and wild flowers to your weed pots, candles
to your candlesticks, fruit to your bowls and hotcakes to your platters.
They will sell like oatcakes.

Moral: ITSS, It's The Sizzzle, Stupid!


There's probably a lot to that. While I never really thought about it
too much, now that you mention it, most things do sell quite a bit
better when you explain something about it. I know in the case of my
woodworking (when I sell it) "hand-carved" or "hand-made" are usually
the words that seal the deal. It doesn't hurt to give a little spiel
about the stuff they can't see, like the internal joint work and a
passing mention of the fact that the wood is actually wood (in the
case of common stock) and/or that it is extremely rare and expensive
(in the case of the materials I've been carving pistol grips from.)

Deviating from the turning just a tad, people also seem to like the
fact that my stuff usually doesn't contain any metal fasteners. In a
world full of pocket screws and injection-molded plastic parts, that
seems to capture the imagination of most folks.

I would imagine a little bit of lore makes all that even more
appealing to the average customer!
  #5   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,004
Default Musing about the importance of sizzle

Great point - and good examples of

It's ironic that art schools focus on mediums, techniques etc.
and almost no attention to preservation AND presentation.

There may be a subtle distinction between sizzle and presentation.
Lots of turners who perfect their shapes, turning techniques
and finishes and overlook the additional things they can do
to educate potential customers. A signed and date piece says
"this piece was worth putting my name on and it's worth noting
when I made it". A tag with the wood, a little info about the wood
if it's not something the average person would know anything
about and maybe a title and a little about the inspiration gives
them something they can't get at Ikea or Pier One Imports.

If you're going to sell your work providing more than what's
available at a store will go a long way to increasing sales.

charlie b


  #6   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,287
Default Musing about the importance of sizzle

Couldn't agree with you more Arch.

Around '98 when I picked up turning again, the pen kits hit the
market. About 2000, they finally came out with some good kits and
reliable mechanisms. Hand turned pens were not common in back then but
certainly not unusual.

Somewhere around that time they started making the finish for the pen
kits so that it actually stayed on the metal. There were a lot of
names for it, and some of the finishes were actual gold. Now we had
something, but soon pens were everywhere. WoodCraft was shoveling the
pen kits out the door.

I decided to use the sale of my pens to finance some other tools I
wanted to buy for the lathe, but at the onset had problems selling
them. So I decided to make just one kind of pen, the "Classic
American" or something name similar to that. The boys (in their
minds, "the experts") at WoodCraft were selling those pens finished
for $25 - $30. I sold mine for $65 - $75 all day long. I made so
many pens I was sick of them.

I outsold them many times over, and a couple of times bought all the
kits they had in the store. How?

They also sell a little presentation box that retailed for about $1.29
or so. Buy 12 and and they were a buck. I took the inside bottom out
and made a little cardboard card on my laser printer in fancy script
that had an ear on it like you see in the jewelry stores. On the
little ear, I would put the type of wood and country of origin, and
"pull out for instructions" in script underneath it. When they pulled
it out, there were instructions on how to take care of the pen, how to
clean it, and what kind of refills to buy when needed. It looked
professional and worked great.

So the next step was to offer engraving. I found a guy that had an
older engraving machine that he wasn't keeping busy. He offered to
engrave the pens on the upper barrels for $5 a line. I sold the
engraving for $12-$15 a line. So you could get a curly maple pen with
your name on it and a sentiment of acknowledgement of award for under
$100.

I sold to companies as inexpensive awards (think of one engraved "To
Tom Smith - Thanks For Being #1 in 2002" or something along those
lines). Personal pens were made up for office birthday gifts,
anniversaries, you name it. The people almost always took the
engraving. And you should have seen my ebony pen engraved with
someone's name and "10 year anniversary" when the engraving was
backfilled with gold dust acrylic.

I made pens for the baseball club guys out of a broken bat taken from
the last game that took them to the pennant. the hickory cut on a
bias looked great. Engraved with the team name and the "Texas League
Champions", they looked great.
Inside the box was a card printed with the W/L record of the team for
the year, including the coaches roster.

I made a pen out of piece of wood taken from a lady's childhood home/
house (she was in her 70s at the time) as a gift from her kids.
Inside the box was a brief history of how the pen came to be. She was
really tearful when she got it.

When I "commissioned" a pen, I always took a sample printout of what
went with the pen. People were much more interested in that aspect
than they were the pens.

I actually made so many pens that I was sick of them and quit after I
paid for my Jet mini, a VicMarc scroll chuck, a grinder, and wayyyyy
too many tools.

Like you said, it was the sizzle. Everyone that I sold wanted their
pen personalized for them, and also wanted my name and contact
information (as the "craftsman) which just happened to be on the back
of the "About your new writing instrument" card. It was fun until it
overwhelmed me. I haven't turned a pen in about 4 years, and still
have about 200 or so blanks. Thinking about using the more plain ones
in the smoker...

Robert



  #8   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,287
Default Musing about the importance of sizzle

On Apr 7, 12:37 pm, charlieb

snip of a lot of great ideas to
- presnt the piece
- educate the customer
- personalize the piece
- create memories for you and the new owner

were you in marketing by any chance? if not,
you should be.

charlie b


Actually spent a great deal of time selling my companies and their
services as well as some time training sales people selling money. I
enjoy selling if it is providing something useful or needed.

My newest pocket money project is starting its run, and I am having
some good luck with it, too.

I am buying the lamp fit ups from Craft supplies to make their
"confetti" lamps. Hoever, I am making mine in one or two styles that
accent the wood and shape more. I raid the woodpile and find some
crotch wood, or some kind of twisty mess that would be interesting to
turn. So they don't look to "craftsy", I turn low and flat designs.
After a lot of experimenting I find I like that shape the best.

This shape with a flatter top/table shows off the wood, and when lit,
the light to reflect off the finish. Think of a kind of Egyptian
influenced shaped oil lamp. The other is a classic early american
shape, again with the wide, flat top, but taller and a little fuller.

I was in my accountant's office and noticed that she had a couple of
candles burning there as they have musty smell problem in their
office. I had bought a fwe of these fit ups to play with as they
looked interesting, so I made her a lamp for her office and gave her
some scented oil. It was a hit. So much so, that she bought 5 for
her staff. My SO bought the rest of them and gave them to the ladies
in her office for gifts.

I kept a few samples in the truck for a while to show them as
needed. I was telling a buddy of mine about them, and asked him if
he wanted to buy some for the ladies he worked with. He bought one.
However, when he gave it to her (you know some women and candles) she
liked it so much he bought 5 more for the rest of the ladies in the
office. And of course... each lamp had the type of wood, instructions
on how to fill it, trim the wick, and my contact info should they have
questions or need a replacement part.... or another lamp!

I noticed that the lamps burn about 2 hours when filled and properly
trimmed. Hmmm.... that is about the same amount as a devotional
candle.

So I was talking to a client of mine that is just starting to turn,
and told him he should make these as they don't take too long and you
can make them any way you want out of anything you want. He thought
that would make a great project for his upcoming church fundraising
auction hosted by the church woodworkers. I made up the cards
identifying them as devotional oil candles that were enjoyable for
everyday use. He was a happy camper.

I will probably be selling about 5 more of these this guy for his
fundraiser as he never got around to making them himself. HE was
supposed to make something himself to auction, but never got around to
it. I even went to his house and showed him how to make them, but
still, he never got around to it. So he will no doubt be buying some
(I'm sure) to cover his butt and sell it as a devotional oil candle.

No telling where that will go.

I am experimenting with some new designs to have the lamp extend
beyond the table of the lamp. That way when you put colored oil in
it, say red or green, you can see the colors. Anyone see Christmas
in that? I sold and gave as gifts about 20 last year, and I am
thinking I will do at least that this year as they not only sell well
but indeed make great gifts.

If anyone wants to see any of them let me know here and leave a valid
email (mine isn't). I will burn of a zip to anyone that wants them in
the next few days. You will have to excuse the poor photography
skills, but you could get a better idea of the project.

Robert


  #9   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,287
Default Musing about the importance of sizzle

After a second or two of thought, for anyone that wants to contact me
but doesn't want to leave a valid email address (like me!) out in the
open, you can contact me at



Just take out "thegarbage" and "thetrash".

Robert

  #10   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 622
Default Musing about the importance of sizzle

wrote:
After a second or two of thought, for anyone that wants to contact me
but doesn't want to leave a valid email address (like me!) out in the
open, you can contact me at



Just take out "thegarbage" and "thetrash".

Robert


Robert ... brain fart on this end, too. I emailed you but forgot to ask
for the zip file. THAT was the ulterior motive behind my missive. ;-)

Bill

--
http://nmwoodworks.com/cube


---
avast! Antivirus: Outbound message clean.
Virus Database (VPS): 000731-0, 04/06/2007
Tested on: 4/7/2007 5:53:08 PM
avast! - copyright (c) 1988-2007 ALWIL Software.
http://www.avast.com





  #11   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 329
Default Musing about the importance of sizzle


Can anyone tell me what the connection between Scotland and thistles
is? On the traditional spurtle, the ornament on the handle end is
supposed to be a thistle.

robo hippy

On Apr 7, 2:53 pm, Bill in Detroit wrote:
wrote:
After a second or two of thought, for anyone that wants to contact me
but doesn't want to leave a valid email address (like me!) out in the
open, you can contact me at




Just take out "thegarbage" and "thetrash".


Robert


Robert ... brain fart on this end, too. I emailed you but forgot to ask
for the zip file. THAT was the ulterior motive behind my missive. ;-)

Bill

--http://nmwoodworks.com/cube

---
avast! Antivirus: Outbound message clean.
Virus Database (VPS): 000731-0, 04/06/2007
Tested on: 4/7/2007 5:53:08 PM
avast! - copyright (c) 1988-2007 ALWIL Software.http://www.avast.com



  #12   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,407
Default Musing about the importance of sizzle


"robo hippy" wrote in message
ups.com...

Can anyone tell me what the connection between Scotland and thistles
is? On the traditional spurtle, the ornament on the handle end is
supposed to be a thistle.

robo hippy


National symbol. http://www.mcgrorty.com/thistle.htm

Bit like geese and Rome, I should say.

  #13   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 510
Default Musing about the importance of sizzle

Hi Reed

Here's a link, saves on the fingers and keyboard, ;--)))

The traditional spurtle, way back, would be a "stick in a kettle
filled with oats and water/milk, hung on a haul, above the open fire,
used to try keeping the oats from sticking to the kettle bottom, and
to break up the lumps while stirring.

I don't think you should make them as big as those where, and yes
adorned might make them more attractive, even though mine sell well
without it, just a little write up to go with them, it does help in my
experience.

http://www.scotshistoryonline.co.uk/...e/thistle.html

Have fun and take care
Leo Van Der Loo




On Apr 9, 1:01 am, "robo hippy" wrote:
Can anyone tell me what the connection between Scotland and thistles
is? On the traditional spurtle, the ornament on the handle end is
supposed to be a thistle.

robo hippy

On Apr 7, 2:53 pm, Bill in Detroit wrote:

wrote:
After a second or two of thought, for anyone that wants to contact me
but doesn't want to leave a valid email address (like me!) out in the
open, you can contact me at




Just take out "thegarbage" and "thetrash".


Robert


Robert ... brain fart on this end, too. I emailed you but forgot to ask
for the zip file. THAT was the ulterior motive behind my missive. ;-)


Bill


--http://nmwoodworks.com/cube


---
avast! Antivirus: Outbound message clean.
Virus Database (VPS): 000731-0, 04/06/2007
Tested on: 4/7/2007 5:53:08 PM
avast! - copyright (c) 1988-2007 ALWIL Software.http://www.avast.com



  #14   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 389
Default Musing about the importance of sizzle

"robo hippy" wrote:


Can anyone tell me what the connection between Scotland and thistles
is? On the traditional spurtle, the ornament on the handle end is
supposed to be a thistle.



National Weed.
  #15   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 329
Default Musing about the importance of sizzle

thanks, I had heard the story about the night time invasion, but
didn't know the specifice. One bit of sizzle that I didn't know.
robo hippy
On Apr 9, 2:59 pm, Lobby Dosser
wrote:
"robo hippy" wrote:

Can anyone tell me what the connection between Scotland and thistles
is? On the traditional spurtle, the ornament on the handle end is
supposed to be a thistle.


National Weed.





  #16   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 296
Default Musing about the importance of sizzle

Lobby Dosser wrote:


: National Weed.


That seem like a *great* name for a band.


-- Andy Barss
  #17   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 389
Default Musing about the importance of sizzle

Andrew Barss wrote:

Lobby Dosser wrote:


: National Weed.


That seem like a *great* name for a band.


It Does! )
Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Steam radiator vents "sizzle" [email protected] Home Repair 1 December 6th 06 04:38 PM
Importance of going into every room in your house Eigenvector Home Repair 24 July 16th 06 03:04 AM
OT / Humor - The Importance of Good Communications Morris Dovey Woodworking 2 March 4th 06 03:10 PM
Unimportant musing about the importance of turned vessels Arch Woodturning 1 January 13th 06 03:20 PM
Musing about our importance Arch Woodturning 6 March 10th 05 12:41 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:59 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2024 DIYbanter.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about DIY & home improvement"