Saturday 30 March 2013

International Craft is on

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a virtual pin board, a display of images from your favourite web pages of topics and themes that interest you.  Similar to the notice board you may have had in your room as a teenager, a place where you can put images of all your favourite things.  It allows you to share your pin boards with like minded people.  It is different from other social sites, it does not rely on ‘chatter’ or regular posts to keep it interesting.  It is not high maintenance. 
Jewellery Trends

Pinterest is an ideal forum for jewellery and craft people.  There are easy to follow step-by-step guides using images, places to share tips and ideas to inspire and a vast array of texture and colour to browse.  It is likened to a glossy style magazine, tailored for you. To see one of the craft search pages, CLICK HERE

Part of the 'How To Make Jewellery' Board

For jewellery designers and DIY crafters, it is a great way of organising and visualising your thoughts – you can arrange your themes by colour or product, allow you to see your craft as others would.  Links back to your website direct interest to a potential sale.  Links to other social sites keeps your business moving in ever increasing circles. 

How does it work?

These are the basics:-

A Pin – A pin starts with an image or video that you can add.  This could be from your website, a useful link back.  These ‘pins’ can be repined.
A Board – This is where you organise your pins by topic, ie you could have a board for necklace making.  These can be secret or public and you can invite other people to pin on your boards.
A Follow – When you follow someone, your Pinterest home feed will show their pins.  You can follow all that person’s boards or just the ones that interest you.
Pin It Bookmarklet – This lets you pin things you see on websites and blogs, using a symbol in the corner of the web page.
Home Feed – This is a collection of pins from pinners and boards you follow. It is updated every time someone you follow adds a pin.

Some Interesting Marketing Facts from WordStream about Pinterest

  • Pinterest is dominated by female users – a whopping 90%
  • 21% of users purchase an item found on a pinboard
  • The most popular categories are Home (17%), Arts & Crafts (12%), Style/Fashion (12%) and Food (10%).

The way images are presented can spark a person’s thought process, ‘How can I make that?’  Be sure to show the tools they need so they see it is possible for them to do it themselves.

When posting in the DIY Craft section of Pinterest you can be sure that the majority of people who pin are there because they are specifically trying to make something.

Use step-by-step tutorials with clear links to draw in your customer and direct them to landing pages on your site to keep the flow.

International Craft's Notice Boards
The benefits of following International Craft on Pinterest is that we cover many aspects of jewellery and craft ideas, such as How to Make Jewellery, a noticeboard giving close up images with instructions you can take away with you to follow down to the last detail or inspire you to try making a product using your own creativity.  There's the board showing jewellery trends, lovely illustrations of what's hot now, Craft Ideas that anyone can have a go at and a board on Jewellery Display, great tips for the beginner or new ideas for the professional.  Feel free to repin to build up your own catalogue of ideas and tips.

To join Pinterest and see the International Craft Board, CLICK HERE

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Want Quality Glass Beads? Look No Further than the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic provides International Craft with some of the most beautiful glass beads for jewellery making.  What is it about this country, in the heart of Europe, which makes them so special?
Glass Pearl Beads
It was in the Middle Ages that the Czech Republic’s glassmaking tradition started, soon after the Czech lands, known as Bohemia and Silesea, established themselves as a kingdom in the 13th Century.  Bohemia was famous for its striking and colourful glass.  The Bohemian glassworkers used locally sourced potash and chalk to create a clear glass, stronger than that from other countries.  The northern area of the Czech Republic has mountainous regions rich in wood and siliceous sand, both essential raw materials used for the glass industry.  From this emerged Bohemian Crystal, famous for its excellent cut and engraving.

The first glassworks were built in the town of Kamenicky Senov in 1530.  By the 18th Century the works produced there graced the tables of Royalty all over Europe.

The originator of Swarovski Crystal, Daniel Swarovski, was born in the North of the Czech region and only later moved to Austria where he set up the famous Swarovski empire.  To find out more about Swarovski, read our blog here.

The Czechs set the bar high in their glass making standards.  Their craftsmanship and quality of products are unparalleled in the world. You are only considered a glass ‘artist’ after many years experience and training.  Kamenicky Senov, as well as the glassworks, has a School of Glassmaking, opened in 1856.  Here, the teachers are up to date on the latest contemporary techniques, as well as being able to teach the traditional engraving, cutting, casting and blowing basics to the students.  It may take these students, who come from all over the world, predominantly the United States, up to fifteen years before they are established artists.

Preciosa is genuine Czech crystal, world renowned for its High-Pure Crystal Technology TM.   The crystal, which originated from the hills of Bohemia, has striking optical and aesthetic features creating an extraordinary product.  The product comes in a broad variety of shapes and diverse colours.  To find out more, click HERE.

Preciosa Crystal Beads

Faceted Glass Bead
Another example is the Faceted Glass Bead.  The technique used is to ‘fire polish’ the glass.  The glass is cut and heat polished, resulting in a bead that has a centre which reflects the fire that was used to create them.  The multi-surface appearance from the facet cut adds to the beauty of this bead.  To find out more, click HERE.


Tiffany Glass Beads
Tiffany Glass Beads are round, translucent coloured press glass beads.  These are one of the original styles of glass beads from the Czech Republic, using the technique of pressing heated glass rods into a mould.  This ensures consistent size, quality and the distinctive translucent colour.  To find out more, click HERE.

To see these and the other beautiful beads International Craft stock from the Czech Republic, please click HERE.