Thursday, 17 July 2014

Start Up Your Creative Business Workshop

As the July workshop for Start Up Your Creative Business is full, we have added a new date for August which will be Saturday 23rd August 2014. This is the last Start Up workshop I am teaching before the Kick Start workshop at The Decor Cafe in Putney in London. 

Spaces are limited to 6 people so if you would like to come, please click here to book your place online. We have had a great track record with this workshop and it has helped to inspire and motivate people to start up their own businesses doing a variety of different things. This workshop is ideal for people in the early stages of their business, whether you have launched your business and would like help to move it forward or it is still just an idea.

Previous participants have included people who are setting up businesses to sell their sculptures, painted furniture, import products from abroad to sell in the UK, provide garden, interior and lighting design services, create a community venture as well as people who are still exploring their ideas but want to learn more about what’s involved before they get started.

It has been so exciting to see the success that previous attendees have had already and include luxury interiors brand Nicky Heard who said: "I attended your inspiringworkshop last year on starting your creative business which I found really helpful. I have now started a handmade furnishings business with handwoven ikat fabric and other collections, both knitted and linen/cotton. I wanted to send you the link to my website as without your workshop I'd probably not be up and running! So thank you!" Nicky,

During this one day workshop, we will be discussing all aspects of starting up a successful business from my own experience – you can learn from all my mistakes and I will share my top tips for success. Plus, you will be among others in exactly the same boat as you – something I wish that I had had before starting my business.

Date: Saturday 23rd August 2014

Time: 9am - 5pm

Location: West Egg Studio, The Old Barn, 8 Park Lane, Blunham, Bedfordshire MK44 3NH. Blunham is just off the A1, the nearest train station is Sandy which is approximately 40 minutes from Kings Cross Station. We can collect and drop off to the station if required.

Outline of the workshop:

* Learn the biz side – all the practicalities of starting up.
* Create a vision board for your brand and guidelines for communication.
* Find out what sort of website is best for your business (e-commerce or service) and how to set it up.
* Discover the secrets of succeeding online.
* Get great tips for marketing on a budget.
* Learn the basics of how to use social media to build your business.

Price: £150 includes all materials, notes, lunch and refreshments, plus a one hour follow up Skype call.

To book your place please click here. (Don't forget to use the code EGG10 to get 10% off).

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Oak Console Table with a Limed Oak Effect

We have a lovely antique oak console table in our store currently (take a peek here). Lots of people have asked me recently how to create a limed oak effect on a piece of furniture so I thought it might make a useful blog post although we also cover it in detail on the Paint Like A Pro weekend course.

I think it's really interesting that the technique we use today is designed to create an effect that harks back to a bygone era of the highest levels of quality and craftsmanship. In the 16th century, ceruse - a derivative of white lead - was used originally in cosmetics and highly favoured by the rich and famous including Queen Elizabeth I.

Snow white skin was absolutely de rigeur for the nobility classes and was thought to reflect the delicate femininity and wealth of those who attained the lofty heights of clear, pale and unblemished skin. The reality was that pox and skin problems were all too commonplace during the 16th century so women in particular resorted to a variety of slightly mad concoctions to pale the skin. One of the less brilliant ideals was to mix ceruse - a highly toxic lead substance derivative - with vingear and then apply it to the neck and face. As one can probably imagine, smearing your skin with such toxic substances is only going to go badly wrong and the end result was that users were left grey and shrivelled. Oh dear. The detrimental effect of using ceruse in this way became apparent and those in search of the clearest, palest skin soon moved on to other wacky remedies such a paste of alum and tin ash, sulphur, and also foundations made of boiled egg white which were apparently also very popular.

Although ceruse fell out of favour as the make up of choice, it became hugely popular with furniture makers who used the ceruse to fill the porous open grains of oak planks. Today we use a mixture of chalk white waxes and specialist liming wax to create this effect.

 This particular type of oak is known as tiger oak which has a really distinctive grain produced by quarter sawing, a specialist milling process reserved for fine furniture and architectural details. The stripes that are produced are highly regarded although the costs of milling in this way are much higher than normal due to the additional labour and time required.

In these closer up shots you can see how the waxes have settled in the grains giving it a really smooth and attractive finish.

Antique Oak Console Table available from West Egg.

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