ArtisIgnis Etsy Shop

Monday, August 4, 2014

New pyrography work and a tribute

It's been a while since our last post, however we have been quite the busy couple! Not much is new on the carving side, but quite a few novelties on the wood burning side, and a beautiful tribute to a dear friend. Check it out!

First, let us give you an update on Pedro's tendinitis... It's better but not good! Pedro's tendinitis has evolved into something that we can't know what it is until he makes another exam, that is scheduled for early September! Until then, he'll try to carve just enough to feed the habit, but just a little at a time since the pain and numbness get really bad!

The wood burning on the Mandala Box is finished! We think it turned out very good, but we'd also like to know what you think. It's Pedro's turn to take it and work on it some more. It will have some cool features inside and it will be varnished on the outside.
Even before we finished the pyrography on the Mandala Box, we received an order for an Om and Lotus Flower Hair Fork, which we completed and sent and hopefully will be received by the customer very soon.

As you probably know by now, Pedro is a Firefighter at Lisbon International Airport. His Chief has just retired and Pedro made this box from scratch to carry the Chief’s Service Sheet. We brainstormed the design and Cris woodburned the Lisbon Firefighter’s Coat of Arms, the Chief’s name in a beautiful font, and a text honoring and thanking him for the 34 years of exceptional service and dedication. It was with great pleasure that we made this heartfelt piece to honor a great man, an amazing human being, a natural leader and a true friend! 


We also made a new wall clock, but we'll leave that to the next post!
See you soon!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Thoughts on Etsy's Reviews

ArtisIgnis, Shawl Pin, Hair Slide, Etsy, Review, Customer service
We received this brilliant review on our Etsy shop yesterday, and it got us thinking about customer reviews...

If you're not an Etsy seller you may not know how important customer reviews are to us. The obvious reason for this is that they help build customers' trust and might be the difference between someone who just discovered us in the Etsy ocean buying from ArtisIgnis or not, but the thing is... that's not what matters the most!

Don't get us wrong! Earning the trust of our customers is crucial and a vital part of ArtisIgnis shop. However we, as the ArtisIgnis team - the people behind the shop, we are just so blissfully happy whenever we get a stellar review that it slips our minds! We work very hard, have loads of fun, we're very passionate about our craft and our shop, and we take customer appreciation very seriously. "We aim to please" might have been our motto, if Mr. Grey didn't beat us to it! ;)

ArtisIgnis, Shawl Pin, Hair Slide, Etsy, Review, Customer service
Many hours are spent brainstorming about our pieces, but also about packaging, writing thank you notes, making little gifts (yes, even our gifts are handmade!) to send with the piece someone just purchased, designing our leaflets and trying to find out what else can we do to make you happy!

When you are happy, we're happy! When you're happy, you leave us wonderful reviews, and when you do that... We're ecstatically happy about it! We celebrate!!!
These reviews mean we are doing it right, there's a sense of accomplishment that comes with them, there's this feeling of success that comes over us because that's when we feel that we truly made it! 

Late last year, Etsy updated their review system. Until then we were very proud that over 75% of our customers were happy enough with our pieces and our service to leave us a great review. Most of them were outstanding and left us teary-eyed. With Etsy's new review system we're dropping that ratio fast! We're almost at 50% and we've been racking our brains to figure out why this is happening.

Our pieces only tend to improve with time and experience and we're keeping up with our standard for customer service as we always did. We answer messages and comments as fast as we can and we strive to leave no-one without a reply. We work to the best of our abilities to communicate well, to create those special custom orders we get and we really appreciate all our customers. We haven't changed, so... What's different?!

Etsy. That's what's different! 

The new Etsy review system makes it harder for customers to leave a review, it prevents them from leaving a review until the "estimated delivery date" and the notification that their order is now eligible for review is barely visible. We think this is a very successful recipe for failing at getting everybody's purchases reviewed! It makes it easy to forget all about it if you can only write a review a week or so after you received the purchased piece!

We have had customers asking us how to leave a review, so just FYI: You can leave a review by going to Your Account -> Purchases & Reviews and finding the order you want to leave a review for. Also, here's the link to the Etsy Help page about Reviews: How do I use Etsy's review system?

So, to you, who have left us brilliant reviews on our Etsy shop, who took the time to write them and thought we're worthy of them: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You have no idea how big a deal it is for us, and we fail at explaining how perfectly wonderful we feel when we read them. All we can say is... Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

If, however, Etsy's review trap caught your words and prevented you from expressing yourself when you chose to, or made you forget a review, go get them now! Check out the status of your Purchases & Reviews, recapture the feeling of opening that package and unwrapping that piece and spill your heart out! We're sure we are not the only sellers out there who get a jolt of joy when we receive a review!

What do you think about Etsy's new review system? Post a comment with your thoughts and opinions.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Video! Floral Celtic Moon Hair Stick by ArtisIgnis

We love sharing our work with you and we found that videos make it all the more real, and absolutely show off the beauty of the carving and of the pyrography work.
We give you this video we made a while ago, of our first Floral Celtic Moon Hair Stick, hand carved by Pedro and hand wood burned by Cris. We'd love to know what you think. Should we make more videos?!

The one on the video sold really fast, but you can find a new one in our Etsy shop: ArtisIgnis Shop.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Tendinitis and a Work In Progress

Hello there!

We believe everybody is creative, in one way or another, however some people pursue that creativity much more than other, and those are the ones usually regarded as "creative". There's this quote found all over the web that we love:
 "Being creative is not a hobby it is a way of life". We find this to be very true for us! It is exactly how we think. We are naturally creative, we have this need, this urge to make things, to use our hands and to be creative. Anything can trigger this: a sound, a smell, a picture, a movie or a tv show, something we see on the street or on a garden... 
Anything and everything can get the creative juices flowing and our mind starts racing with ideas and designs and things-to-do and we have to write it down or sketch it before it vanishes in the mists of memory. Sometimes, we even stop whatever we were doing and start working on the new idea. We have to! It's right there!

However, life has a way of stopping us on our tracks, sometimes, and that is just what happened to us this week... 
Swirly Foliage Love Spoon in Cedar wood - Handcarved, Welsh tradition, Wood sculpture, Wooden spoon, Decorative, Valentine's Day, Wedding gift
As you know, Pedro does all the carving and Cris does the wood burning. It's been a while since Pedro started experiencing some pain in his right hand when carving. We though it could be attributed to the long hours of carving, or to the fact that he had been carving hard woods more often, but with time it became more evident that something was not right. We decided we needed further advice and Pedro went to the doctor. It turns out he has a severe tendinitis on the thumb of his right hand. This is the finger that pushes the knife through the wood and the one with the hardest work. By doctor's orders he should not carve, he must not carve. Heck! That hand should be in full rest for a complete and as-speedy-as-possible recovery!

So... Pedro will try to stop those creative juices from taking over and he'll rest that pretty hand of his, or else!... Cris will nag him until he does! 

In the meantime, Cris has started woodburning a new box. She has been strongly attracted by mandalas, finding them both beautiful and mesmerizing. Mandalas are timeless masterpieces, very rich with tradition and symbolism. Each mandala is unique and incredibly versatile since they convey different meanings, depending only of the creator and the observer.
It has been a while since Cris wanted to wood burn a mandala and now the opportunity presented itself. This box measures roughly 8 inches (20 cm) wide, by 4 inches (10 cm) tall. We started working on it several nights ago, but the pyrography work it self only started last night. Here are some photos of the work in progress:

This photo was taken just after transferring the design onto the wood.

Here's the first teaser photo we published on Facebook.
"Let the wood burning begin!"

After two and a half hours of work we decided it was time to go to sleep... This is how it looked then.

We're looking forward to keep working on this box. Follow each step of the way as it happens on Facebook, as it it much easier to post there on the go, than here! ;)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Gorgeous Round Number: 1000!

It was a great weekend!
Going back a couple of days: it was Pedro's birthday on Thursday the 26th and he received so many messages from friends and loved ones, both offline and online, that he was thrilled! Even some Facebook page fans took the time to congratulate him and we couldn't be happier about it. It means we're accomplishing what we wished for: we're reaching out and touching people hearts with our own hearts and our art!
Our fans also gave Pedro a wonderful birthday gift: ArtisIgnis Facebook Page reached 1000 Likes! 

This is so awesome! We're are bursting with happiness that one thousand people like us and what we do and are giving us the opportunity to share our art and our love for every step of the creative process!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tough decisions

Our poor neglected blog is a faithful friend, always here for us and always waiting for us to spare some time of day or night to write... Last post is dated from November 2013! Good grief!

It's been a long, cold and wet Winter, with lots of rainy days and overall gloomy days, when all we can wish for is a warm blanket and a good movie or a hot cup of tea and a good book to read... Or the computers humming on, the sound of knives cutting wood chips and a wood-burner to keep our hands warm! This is much closer to the reality of our days or nights!

The wheel of time moved and Spring has sprung... It really hasn't been a nice Spring, the weather isn't holding up like previous years and we never know when it will be a cold and somewhat rainy day, or a day hot enough to make us wish for vacations so we can sit in the pool!

We haven't blogged in a long time, but there were so many other things to do! Creatively, it has been a great time, though!

We would really like to blog more often, but it is very time consuming - extremely time consuming, considering that we set out to write in both English and Portuguese. So, we had to make a very tough decision and, weighing carefully all the pros and cons, we decided to stick to just one language to - hopefully - be able to write some more!

Our customers, our feedback and most of our online interactions are with English speaking friends and fans of our work, so we decided to write in English only. We have added a Google widget to our sidebar, that will allow any visitor to translate our blog to their desired language, so we hope this will remedy this change. The translate widget is right under the Google+ Followers, like you can see in the picture.

So, this will be our last post in both languages. We hope this is not a farewell to our Portuguese reading friends, and we remind you that you can always contact us and read all the latest ArtisIgnis news on our Facebook and Google+ pages. Just click the links and Like or Follow us! We'd love to welcome you!

O nosso pobre negligenciado blog é um amigo fiel, sempre aqui à espera de tenhamos um tempo extra para escrever... O nosso último post foi em Novembro! Credo!

Tivémos um Inverno longo, frio e molhado, com muitos dias sombrios e de chuva, que nos fazem desejar um cobertor quentinho e um bom filme, ou um chá a escaldar e um bom livro para ler. Ou os computadores a zumbir, o som das facas a esculpir a madeira e o pirogravador para nos aquecer as mãos! O que está muito mais próximo da realidade dos nossos dias ou noites!

A roda do tempo andou e chegou a Primavera... Não tem sido uma grande Primavera, na realidade. O tempo não se segura como em anos anteriores, e nunca se sabe quando teremos um dia frio e com alguma chuva, ou quando teremos um dia quente o suficiente para nos fazer sonhar com as férias e com os mergulhos na piscina!

Há muito tempo que não escrevemos no nosso blog, mas há tantas outras coisas para fazer! Criativamente falando, tem sido fantástico!

Nós gostávamos mesmo de actualizar o blog mais frequentemente, mas leva muito tempo - demasiado tempo, tendo em conta que nos propusemos a escrever em inglês e em português. Assim sendo, tivémos que tomar uma decisão difícil e, pesando cuidadosamente os prós e os contras, decidimos passar a escrever apenas numa única língua, para conseguirmos escrever mais vezes!

Os nossos clientes, o nosso feedback e a maioria das nossas interações on-line são com amigos e fãs do nosso trabalho que falam inglês, por isso decidimos passar a escrever apenas em inglês. Adicionámos um widget do Google à nossa barra lateral que permitirá a qualquer visitante traduzir o nosso blog para a língua que desejar, e assim esperamos colmatar esta alteração. O Widget para traduzir está mesmo abaixo do dos Seguidores do Google+, como se pode ver na imagem.

Assim sendo, este será o nosso último post em ambas as línguas. Esperamos que esta não seja uma despedida dos nossos amigos portugueses, e relembramos que nos podem sempre contactar e saber de todas as novidades da ArtisIgnis nas nossas páginas do Facebook  e do Google+ . Clica nos links e Gosta ou Segue-nos! Adorávamos receber-te!