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Personal Redirection

It is no real secret that I am looking for a new job. Something to take me away from tedious manual labour in a frankly bitchy hetero-male dominated environment.

I really respect my immediate boss and the company directors but the rest of them are…well I think personally they are frustrated in many ways and that is why they are unpleasant. The kind of people who are quite personable to your face and then you over hear how they speak about you between themselves. Or indeed who are very friendly on a one to one basis and then indulge in manful one up manship once grouped together.

Being the lone artistic homosexual in the workplace has not always been fun.

That leads us onto the point of this post. It is my 2nd anniversary at Job 1 on the 19th. For two years I have been intending to find something better. I have sustained work related injuries and it has not been positive for my mental health.

However there are many things the job has taught me. My abilities of task management and independent working have been exercised. Manual handling and loading plus lateral thinking came into direct usage also.

The most important thing is that since going part time in November I have had the opportunity to develop all the skills that Job 1 did not allow me to use.

Lets break it down, hey?

Purky Productions and Products do not just happen.

    I have learned to prioritise tasks and then execute them to create specific outcomes often using very limited resources.
      • For example, booking studio time and administration time in order to create a new range of distinct products for the First Purky Party and create interest in a short time frame with limited financial resources.
      • Working full time and at one point working two jobs totalling 80 committed hours per week has led to very precise planning skills being nessasary in order to achieve all outcomes.
      My networking skills have been important for researching venues, booking and ordering stock items, equipment and locations. 
        • Many of the venues Purky uses are small businesses and as such I aim to benefit them with increased publicity and footfall as a result of hosting a Purky event. This has translated directly into negotiating power for venue services and the genuine altruistic intent of cross pollination between small businesses have resulted in financial growth on both sides.

        Careful development of products and services tailored to the customer and end outcome
          • For example Purky is currently developing a range of Altar accessories for a shop on Glastonbury high street. The items need to be of high quality bronze, copper and ceramic with very specific end uses. The range includes bowls, candle holders, incense stands and athames. Each piece needs to created in a manner sympathetic to pagan ideals but usable across a range of spiritual paths. This has led to interesting challenges of design, manufacture and packaging.
          Personal relationships  nurtured and developed with clients and service providers have allowed me to punch far above my weight in order to pull events together into unique experiences. Budgeting and negotiation in order to deliver services and events.
              •  For example for Arcane Encounters I negotiated a very reasonable rate for the venue that allowed me to invest in set dressing (glassware and candles) so I could create a perfect atmosphere. The event was then publicised using social networking to reduce costs and increase the personality and intimacy of the activity.
               The creation of marketing materials including press releases, point of sale, advertising copy, posters, flyers, soundbites, videos, photographs and portfolios.
                  • The First Purky Party had a press release to the local paper (Western Gazzette) which resulted in an interview, plus photographs which promoted the venue and the event. 
                  • The Magnificent Maker’s Market uses  paid advertising in the local free paper. Intriguing characterful language is used to evoke interest in the reader and stand out from the average craft market.
                  • Purky Productions has gained a reputation for using high quality and well designed posters and flyers. This allows the events to stand out and appear professional and inviting to potential clients and attendees.
                  • Purky Products has recently branched out into using Youtube as an advertising platform to offer a slideshow portfolio of the Gearpunk collection. 
                  • Purky attends many events other than the ones it organises itself, I have learned how to use crisp soundbites to deliver information to clients in a clear and engaging manner. This has helped develop customer relationships and network with other professionals.
                  I have organised multiple events including repeat events. These include performances and retailing opportunities.
                    • Purky Party (April 2012)
                    • Purky Productions Presents – The Goblin Tailor (May 2012)
                    • Spring Fling Makers Market  (May 2012)
                    • Grand Purky Tea Party (August 2012)
                    • Arcane Encounters (October 2012)
                    • The Dark and Curious Market (October 2012)
                    • Purky Productions Presents – A Quintet of Dark Tales  (November 2012)
                    • Hogswatch Maker’s Market (November 2012)
                    • The Magnificent Maker’s Market (December 2012)
                    • The Magnificent Maker’s Market (February 2013)
                  Skill development? Essentially if I want to do something, I do it. I may spend a very long time researching the subject but I always look to expand my skillbase and tap into new markets.
                    • Examples include Purky Glass and Purky Gearpunk.
                      • On the glass front I have wanted to work in the material for a long time and so collated my research on techniques and technical aspects, including current and historical design trends.
                      • I then invested very carefully in the materials and tools having performed bugetry analysis including estimated break even points and sales costings.
                      • In a very rapid R&D phase I intensively invested my time and skills to reach a good standard of work before beginning to publicise my work.
                        • With Gearpunk, I have been researching the steampunk genre for a long time and became inspired in April to create a range influenced by gears and clockwork.
                        • I analysed the current market place to ensure that my work would be unique and hopefully exciting.
                        • I developed my unique design plates and working methods then began to experiment and manufacture.
                        • To promote the Gearpunk range I independently traded and exhibited at shows in London, Cardiff and Bristol whilst building a social media presence. The networking achieved in that timescale is now positively affecting Purky activities in 2013.

                    Essentially everyone, I mean business and I am looking to pursue my passion for small business and delivering measurable success to the people I deal with.

                    It may sound altruistic but I believe that small companies have to work together to create sustainable income and I want to find a job where the skills I have developed will be able to grow further and offer me the opportunity to deliver those results.

                    Signing off for now

                    Captain P x

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                    Photo Day!

                    So today, for better or worse I turned down a day of paid employment (deep gasp) to work on my business.

                    The logic being that I need to invest my time and energy in order to generate an income rather than just working for the man despite that money being relatively guaranteed it has an upper limit. World famous artist doesn’t really have an earning cap, hey? …..dreams are important and all that jazz!

                    (Jazz hands are appropriate here!)

                    So, wanna see my piccies?

                    (correct answer is yes…)

                    Exhibit A is a Gearpunk Dove, I have finally managed to capture the nuanced hues of alcohol inks and mica powders that forms the patination of the piece. Dead chuffed 🙂

                    Exhibit B is a Mokume Nendo Pendant from the general stock, it took some careful tweaking to get the colours accurate but I am kinda pleased with this one as well!

                    Exhibit C is a Heart Pendant made from a layered stack. Again lots of careful image manipulation was needed to bring the correct colours out!

                    I am so pleased to have finally found a way to get my photos looking right. There shall be an epic Purky Portfolio this year and hopefully that will generate some business.

                    As an aside, the images are manipulated to ensure a well composed image with true to life colours but they are not airbrushed in the style of catwalk models, to say that they truthfull represent the items of handcrafted joy made in my studio 🙂

                    Hurrah for Purkiness!

                    Much love from the Captain xx

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                    2012, bits of the year in review

                    So, I am not brilliant with New Years eve and find it a tad conceited. Surely every day is a new year because it is a year since that day last fell?

                    Plus I have a string of miserable or anticlimatic new years eve experiences to draw cynicism from. However, I had an interesting chat with a lady about Janus, who is a roman icon/god who looks both forwards and back.

                    In the principle of self evaluation and looking to the future, here we go!

                    Awesome 2012 things!
                    • Creating my Gearpunk range and having to confidence (lots of deep breaths) to go meet the Steampunks – Steampunks are awesome folk and my Gearpunk range took me to London, Bristol and Cardiff.

                    • Inventing new polymer techniques to create the Gearpunk range – this did my artistic self worth lots of good.

                     

                    • A Quintet of Dark Tales – my most successful and accomplished performance so far, the set worked, the stories worked, the costume worked and people came and enjoyed themselves.

                     

                    • The First Purky Party – Blasting onto the scene at the Cat Cafe, enjoying some media exposure and proving to myself that this could work. (also included here the follow up events The Grand Purky Tea Party and Captain Purky’s Christmas Party)

                     

                    • Disovering Glass, after nearly six years of promising myself that glass work would be more prominant I finally invested properly and have had a great time.

                     

                    • Meeting Mister Man, we met randomly at a party we had both (independently) decided we were too tired to attend but went anyway. Fireworks and romance have ensued since.

                     

                    • Occassional pangs of confidence and self belief, these have been short lived but precious and often sparked huge innovations in my work.

                     

                    • Rediscovering painting and graphic design, made me rather happy when I was laid up for a week in July. I had terrible bronchitus and could not work. Canvases, old sketch books and voila, away I went.

                     

                    • Arcane Encounters – a brave venture in paranormal entertainment. The evening was well recieved and I intend to put on a similar event in 2013.

                     

                    • The Dark and Curious Market – Another amazing idea that needs more time and work put in but started promisingly.

                     

                    • The Magnificent Maker’s Market – under attended but promising, this event with be further explored in 2013.

                     

                    • Moving house, I finally escaped Purky Towers, which while a positive place to be when I moved there in August 2011 was starting to drastically drag me down.

                     

                    • The Support of my lovely friends, while we do not see each other often enough when do spend time together it is totally reinvigorating. 

                     

                    • The Birth of Captain Purky – originally a sort of jokey moniker on my facebook so I did not have to admit to working full time for someone else, Captain Purky has become his own entitiy. A beautiful front for my businesses and a lovely excuse to buy multiple new outfits. Keep an eye out for the Captain in the future.

                     

                    • Purky Productions, she is in her infancy but as the sister company of Purky Products, she handles the events side of things.
                    The Not So Awesome….
                    • Three Purky organised events in a row that didn’t make an initial profit….luckily they are the opening moves in a grander scheme so over the course of a year we should be ok but my confidence was somewhat shaken. However the attendees and traders were all very pleased to be there.

                     

                    •  Phileous Mogg being struck down by a rapidly moving vehicle. He is fine, my bank balance is still recovering but there was never any chance that I would deny my best (furry) friend treatment. He has settled into the Purky Enclave and is doing very well.

                     

                    • Crippling depression….I need to do something about this. Although my deep lows tend to inspire very positive action, for example the First Purky Party came about because of my overwhelming sadness and feelings of inadequecy.

                     

                    • Overwork, Averaging 60 hours a week at Job 1 and then taking on 10 to 20 hours a week at Job 2 in June, July and August was somewhat exhausting emotionally and physically but I quite enjoyed the money. I am also kinda proud that I did what was needed to ensure that I stayed afloat.

                     

                    • Customer service – I need to work harder with this. Face to face I love dealing with customers but often go all shy over internet or phone communication. No idea why, promise to work harder. My customers mean the world to me x

                     

                    • Actualisation of Grief – For some reason this Christmas has been much harder than the last in terms of missing my Mother. I am guessing it is because the feelings have bedded down and everything is much less raw, so I am feeling more of it?

                     

                    • Exes of all varieties….
                    • Rivals of all varieties….

                     

                    • Lack of creativity, I have had huge gaps and interuptions in my creativity this year and most of the time it has been due to emotional or physical exhaustion so I intend to pace things a bit more carefully this year.

                     

                    • Lonliness, this is a hard one for me. I am quite the closet isolationist but I crave human interaction even if I am too shy to seek it out. Once I take a deep breath and throw myself in, I can pretend that I am not shy for a while and have lots of fun but that takes a lot of work. I am lonely at Job 1 for lots of reasons and I do not see my friends enough in real life.

                     

                    • Blogging, or lack of. I love blogging, so why do I not do it more? I tend to get overwhelmed by what is going on and then struggle to put it into words and pictures. I promise to try harder x

                    Now I am feeling that maybe this introspection has gone on long enough now, so I am going to sign off but tommorow my Resolutions for the New Year will be up on here 🙂

                    I have most probably forgotten lots of stuff but hope you enjoy the overview 
                    Much Love
                    Captain Purky xx

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                    Getting Ready for the Cardiff Steampunk Market :)

                    Very soon, I shall be trading at the Cardiff Steampunk Market

                    I am rather excited about this so I did a quick stock check and I am a tad low on my Gearpunk range.

                    This range is inspired by Steampunk but moves more across to revering the gears, I am officially obcessed with gears….

                    Anyways, I have run out of material now (waiting for a polymer delivery tomoz) so at 1am have decided to call it a night.

                    Heres whats been made so far!

                    I shall pop them in to cure and pop myself into bed!

                    Mwah everyone! xx

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                    Pebble Experiment with free tutorial

                    Aloha folks, this is the next part of my series of tutorials for using up leftover surface treatments.

                    Inspired by some of the faux turqoise recipies out there I decided to try using my trimmings to create fantastical geode stones.

                    Ingredients : surface treatment scraps, acryllic paints, food processor,

                    first you need some surface treatment trimmings….

                    Then you need a food processor…..

                    This was five pounds at a car boot sale (obviously can no longer be used with food)

                    Trimmings

                    Plus some translucent in this case

                    Whizz it up into polymer kibble

                    Turn it out onto work surface. In this case my usual glass tiles are topped with recycled paper.

                    Paint all surfaces of the kibble

                    I wanted to experiment with two colours

                    Mmmmmm! I think it looks like robot vomit….but hey ho I am known for being peculiar.

                    Squish the kibble into lumps, compressing it really hard. I tend to dust my hands in cornstarch to make it all stick to me a bit less.

                    I prefer to cure my beads and things like this in cornflour in cheap metal food containers. Cure as per packet instructions.

                    Take the cooled cured pieces out and give them a wash in water.

                    Then sand the out surface off to reveal the internal colours. The paint between the kibble creates this lovely effect.

                    Et voila!

                    I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial, more are en route eventually, I promise.

                    Captain Purky

                    xxx

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                    The Mushroom Village

                    So, I was walking in the woods at Alfred’s Tower, doing some mental defragging and I stumbled upon this delightful cluster of fungi.
                     I have dubbed it the ‘Mushroom Village’ and to me it looks like little huts built out of the side of the tree and I am sure it will be featuring in a short story sometime soon.
                     It is just so perfect and beautiful.
                    Can you imagine little people living in there? 
                    I fully admit that I may just be odd…but I had to share this 🙂
                    Have you seen anything inspiring like this lately?
                    H
                    x

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                    Beadtastic Moment

                    Today, I hitched a lift to Glastonbury with some friends, I have worked a 60 hour week and needed some ‘moochy’ time.

                    I enjoy Glasto for its eclectic mix of shops and styles and often feel inspired after visiting.

                    So wandering past one of my stockists, the lovely Minervra Beads at the top of the high street, I was delighted to see these in the window…

                    Some of my beautiful handcrafted beads in the centre of their window. I felt rather joyful to see my work on such prominent display.

                    Also to the right was some of Jim’s work as Lonely Soldier, he is a very talented wire worker who makes fabulous pieces.

                    I find the organic blend of shapes he creates from wrapping, hammering and combining wires, visually delicious. Check him out at www.lonelysoldierdesigns.co.uk to find out more and see his work.

                    Also remember you can see more of my work at www.facebook.com/purkyproducts

                    And a quick view from the inside of the shop!

                    How lovely, hey?

                    Off to play video games and chillax with my neighbour and my amazing cat.

                    Have a great weekend everyone

                    Captain Purky xxx

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                    Purky, another crazy month!

                    This Month, there was a Purky Party, Cads & Bounders and the London Steampunk Market.

                    I am absolutely exhausted to be honest folks.

                    Working full time in event hire (heavy lifting, tedious cleaning sums it up mostly) and then working till the early hours of the morning most nights to get my Purkiness ready has wiped me out.

                    I am going to do more detailed blog posts very soon, I know I said that before but, this week as I am so up together with my making I can focus on my writing.

                    Thankyou everyone for your patience and support

                    Captain Purky

                    xxx

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                    Where I am….

                    Hi,

                    time for one of those posts where I am not talking about my work. I am in quite a strange place in my life.

                    On one side, my Folksy shop (www.folksy.com/shops/purkyproducts) launched successfully last week and hit its sales targets. I have met some nice chaps, enjoyed the company of my friends.

                    On the other, I am not sleeping, do not have enough money to pay the rent, bills and buy food. Emotionally I am still recovering from the loss of my mother and my big breakup.

                    It is like I am looking over an abyss of drink, sex and other consumptions that wants me to jump back in. Despite the things that are positive in my life and my attempts to focus upon them. I am rather depressed.

                    However, Purky Products hit its sales target in the first week on Folksy – that is fabulous and I am very pleased. It bodes well for a Purky future.

                    I am surrounded by people who love me and care about me. For that I am so grateful and lucky.

                    Bills are just bills, they are always there, I can manage and will manage.

                    A very sage older friend of mine said (this is a paraphrase)

                    ‘You are drawn to the darkness because you know how to handle it, how it feels to be surrounded by that negativity. The light scares you because you are not used to it and do not know how to handle your impending success’

                    What a dude, huh? Love him to bits.

                    I need to ensure my impending success by building confidence, working on my business and looking to the bright future that I can create for myself.

                    Much Purky love

                    H
                    xxx