Fun, Funky and Sometimes Functional Home Decor

Winslow, Indiana · 0 Sales


Fun, Funky and Sometimes Functional Home Decor

Winslow, Indiana 0 Sales On Etsy since 2012

John Haddad

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John Haddad


Bird Houses Started It All

I joined ETSY in 2012 and it has taken me close to three years to list my work on ETSY.

Why? It has taken me three years to develop my own style of work that I feel comfortable selling online. My primary venues have been bazaars, art shows and craft shows. I have sold a few pieces on Facebook and my customers have been delighted with the work. I will never be completely satisfied with my work, but I believe my customers who have told me I am ready to sell online.

How I Started

I started making birdhouses June 17th 2012. On that hot day in June, I walked up my porch steps and told my wife I was going to make a living building bird houses. She smiled and said "okay".

At 47 I had no wood working skills and very few tools. The only thing I made from wood were boats I nailed together in my grandfather's basement when I was twelve. I did have a table saw, a miter saw and a few power tools from my insulation business, but my men would not let me use my tools for fear of my safety.

My First Year

The first year making stuff, I almost cut two fingers off. Once with the table saw and the second time with a chainsaw blade attachment for my grinder. In addition i had multiple minor cuts, some left a trail of blood which were "flesh wounds". I put a nail through my thumb and drilled a 3/8 inch drill bit one inch into my hand between my thumb and forefinger. I also shaved off all of the skin on my elbow while refinishing an old window. But I never went to the emergency room once.

My first birdhouse was a monstrosity. I honestly thought I could just cut some wood and bang it together. I was wrong. It took me almost a month before I could make a decent looking birdhouse. In addition to the birdhouses I also made a tall bird feeder.

My first show to sell my creations was at the Ottoman Park Craft Show in Henderson, KY. My birdhouses and bird feeders were all wood construction - I used pegs instead of nails (and some glue). The fit and finish were more than acceptable, but my work was boring. Nothing different than what you could by at a big box store.

A potter at the show told me that my work needed to develop so that I had a personal style and schtick. He told me to just keep creating.

In November of my first year, I did a craft show and added cute wood snowmen to my product line. I felt like a sell out and a whore making stuff that everyone else was making. I didn't feel good about the snowmen, but I sold them.

In December, seven months into this endeavor a neighbor Steve Akins commissioned a birdhouse for his brother and sister in-law. He wanted the birdhouse to have mountains, trees and their names. The bird house had three layers of wood to create dimensional mountains, painted with acrylic paint, with wire trees. I also formed their names with wire above the bird hole to welcome the new occupants.

After Christmas I created wall sculptures using wood scraps from the birdhouses. I could not bear to throw away any scraps. Steve saw my wall sculptures and suggested I create vases with the same finish. This was really the first step in developing my own style of work. Many thanks goes out to my friend Steve.

In March I did a small show at Inman's Frame Shop in Evansville with four other "real" artists. I showed my vases which were accepted by people I had greatly respected. I was amazed that they accepted me as a peer.

Summer 2013

More to come

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