April 26, 2012

The Martha Stewart Show!

Jessica and Susan Partain with Martha Stewart!
Photo by Rob Tannenbaum/ The Martha Stewart Show.
We are so excited that we'll be on The Martha Stewart Show April 26, 2012!  It will be posted online after it airs, and we'll be sure to post a direct link.  (Edited April 27: here's the link to our citrus slice "recipe"; the video is embedded in the link.)

The episode is all about Etsy, and the entire audience is filled with Etsy sellers. We joined Etsy in late 2006, and because it's generally such a welcoming and supportive community, we've gotten to know a bunch of fantastic artists from all over the world.  During the taping, it was such a fun treat to see the faces behind so many familiar shop names and work that we've admired for years.  We're so thankful that Etsy has been around since we started our business- because of Etsy, we've had a phenomenal platform for growth and exposure, and consequently opportunities that we'd have had a much harder time getting on our own, such as writing our book and teaching demos at Etsy Labs (thank you Julie!).

We owe a huge thank you to Kim Small, our publicist extraordinaire from Random House, who chatted with the folks at Martha Stewart about how much fun making tiny food would be on camera.  They agreed, and I got the fun experience of giving a very short demo of how to create lemon and lime slices!  Since it was for TV, I modified the recipe from our book a bit to make it larger.  The cane is HUGE compared to our usual work!

Close up of the extra-large lime slice pendant.

So, you're asking, what goes in to a seemingly effortless 4 minute TV demo of a project that normally takes an hour or so?  Since I needed to prepare all of the steps (more or less) ahead of time for both the lemon and the lime, it ended up being nearly 2 pounds of clay pre-mixed and in various stages of completion.  (Thank you Mom for helping crank that pasta machine to mix pulp colors!)  For reference, my usual cane for this project is about 1/2 oz, 1 oz at the most.

Susan and I also created new display boards since we needed something that would fit in our laps, but also protect our work in transit from Virginia/DC to NY.  We found some neat shadow boxes that were fitted with cloth-covered foam core board on the inside.  That made it easy to pin our work to the backing, but keep it looking neat.  I painted one a creamy white, and another my favorite shade of turquoise.  If we didn't already have displays for our market tables, these would be a great alternative for easy set up and break down.  Choosing goodies for these two boards was insanely difficult- how do you choose your favorites from among nearly 400 foods?

Behind the scenes, they have a very sweet and awesome professional crafter who makes sure that everything looks perfect and flows beautifully from step to step.  Look closely at the table laid out with 6 perfect tiles- that's her work, arranging everything to look as effortless and perfectly dust-free as it does. I wish I could afford to have her arrange my studio and keep it dust free on a permanent basis.  She also works in the most amazing craft warehouse space I've ever seen.  Imagine 20 foot floor to ceiling shelves filled with bins labeled everything from "craft punch" to 1/2" ribbon trim.  I wanted to just wander around it like a library, reading bin labels and imagining possible creations.

Final project: two-strand woven seed bead necklace with extra-large lemon slice.
 Everyone backstage was super-nice and helpful, from the lovely makeup lady (thanks for hiding my one-arm sunburn from a national TV audience!), the incredibly patient hair lady (I know, it looks cooperative), whoever was kind enough to bring a plate filled with pineapple and strawberries, the producers filled with helpful and patient suggestions, to the sweet guy who reminded me to breathe before the segment.  You folks all made it such a fun experience.

Thank you to Martha Stewart for being such fun- asking all kinds of great questions and enthusiastically jumping in to caning.  And pointing out that indeed, limes don't have quite that color green rind! (A pinch of cadmium red clay will make it less intense and darken the green a smidge to a more authentic lime green rind color.)

But above all?  Thank you so much to everyone who has been supportive of Inedible Jewelry from the beginning.  You made it possible for us to make a living at this, and keep building our business.  We're so happy that you love tiny food as much as we do!

~Jessica & Susan

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