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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So.. I've been working on a bunch of sticks for my first attempt at a local art and craft fair, but my problem is I went from what was a relaxing hobby to what now feels like work and I'm having trouble coming up with the motivation to come home from work and get to work. I won't let myself churn out a bunch just to have something to sell but even taking a walk in the woods seems to be a chore right now. Arrgh!
 

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Once your "hobby" becomes a chore it's time to step back and re-evaluate why. I did a couple craft shows last Christmas time and the ornament carving became a job as well. I have since come to the conclusion that IF I do anymore craft shows it will be after I have taken my sweet time to make whatever pieces I intend to sell. Perhaps you should delay doing a craft fair till you have some "inventory" built up. Stick making, like any hobby looses its appeal when it feels you are forced to produce.
 

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I really think its quite normal for most of us to experience that feeling from time to time. When i find myself getting like that I just put it aside and move onto something else for awhile.
Funny you mention it because right now ive put the sticks on the burner and working with wood still
but making a shop clock and some fridge magnets. There have been times though i just stay out of the
shop period. Dont sweat it.

Sean
 

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we all go throught this stage

i need something diffrent to carve for a walking stick that i havnt tackled before the native indian art looks good been browsing it the problem is the images i see have only front views and need all round view

looking into mythical creatures mostly gothic images maybe I will do another dragon or griffin

a fish handle looks a possibility Japanese style still looking

carving familiar things is just to repetitive
 

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I started working on sticks a few years before I retired. It was purely a pastime. I'd just sit on my garden bench on sunny weekend days, and whittle away. When I approached retirement, my wife was concerned that I might "veg" out. Just become unmotivated. She suggested that perhaps I could turn stick making into a part time job for myself.

I did some speculation, ran some numbers, and decided that at best I would make no more than a fraction of minimum wage. If I ever make any money from the work, I'll be thrilled. If I ever get enough sticks that I'm happy with, I might pay for a booth at a craft fair. Or even a table at a flea market. Having sold paintings and drawings in the past, I can tell you it is immensely satisfying and motivating to make even modest sales.

So, unless you have already committed to the fair, and have a sufficient stock, I'd suggest you hang back. If you loose your motivation, there goes the creativity. That means you will be turning out items that are non-necessities which need to be as interesting and attractive as possible.
 

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It is easy to do that. Like cobalt said we all seem to at some point in time. Building an inventory for shows is work. it my experience that it can be fun to be at the show but for the most part it it is rarely make any money. I have not done any shows for so years now. But for a time I just carve at my own pace and when i ran out of room for what I had made I looked for a show. Making sticks and carving is what I do to relax. Over time i have developed a little word of mouth customers. and I do canes for vets some times I get some follow up customers from that.
 

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Once something becomes work it sucks the fun right out of it.

The others are giving good advice.

It's also natural for interests to come and go a bit. I have several hobbies. When I lose interest in one I switch to another for a while until I'm motivated to come back to the first one.

Relax, work at a comfortable pace. To me it's better to either wait for the next sale or only bring a few good sticks instead of rushing on a bunch of mediocre ones just to have inventory.

If you're dead set on going to the craft show maybe split a table with someone else? That way you won't feel the need to bring so much and it will keep the costs down.

Rodney
 

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think that all the other members have said what needs saying regarding the craft. it sounds as though a different approach to the art is needed for you

Why not try something of a different style of topper maybe even a traditional cardigan stick or crook maybe a favourite bird .

or go mad do a dragon or griffin . Has the state / town you live in have a emblem if it has it would be a good place to look

If you haven't tried any of these it would set you a challenge and wild fowl are pretty easy to do
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys. Yes I'm already committed(or should be)to the show, but I've decided to take only what I've already done and a few that I didn't like for one reason or another and just realized what was wrong with. So that's just a bit of reshaping,straightening and finishing. That should be a couple of good weekends so I can put them away for awhile and have time in-between to get excited. Again, thanks for all the help AND inspiration.
 

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Seems we are all in a similar mind, I started stickmaking as a hobby, something I could do in hand sat in the sun during those lazy days out with the touring caravan and to be able to do it when I feel like it. I seem to be getting more requests for sticks and it's starting to feel like work :-(, will have to stop walking round with them, if I do make one my delivery date is "when its done".
 

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I have heard of a craft shop and a restaurant that have a carver sit out front on Saturdays and carve. Perhaps you could explore that.

I'm in the doldrums myself as well. I made a lot of canes that I can't sell. So, I'm making a gun rack that I badly need.
 
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