What actually is a blog?
Why is this phenomenon expanding more and more ?
Why do people keep a blog ?
These are questions we can obviously ask the web, which will give us lots of answers. From the purely technical ones – to more personal and even almost mystic ones.
For Alchimia as a school the blog is a great and pretty fast means of information and of course publicity. We started the blog to inform our students and alumni about what was going on in our school, to let them know without sending emails of our workshops, projects and exhibitions. But soon the field expanded and the “around Alchimia school” started to become wider and wider and more and more time consuming. The same phenomenon we could see in other blogs we are following, so the natural question arouse how do the others deal with this, why do they keep their blogs, what kind of benefits does it give them ?
And so we start to ask!
This first one we questioned and who very generously answered – to answer questions takes a lot of time especially when you know your answers will be published – is Monserrat Lacomba about her blog Mar de Color Rosa.
Alchimissima: Dear Montserrat I searched your blog to find the starting date and the first post I found in your archive was from Monday, January 28th, 2008.
Is this actually the day you started this adventure? We would really like to know the initial reason for starting a blog with such a particular name, and how it developed over the years ?
Montserrat: I started my blog on January 7th with a poem by Pablo Neruda dedicated to the sea and after having traveled to London where I visited some galleries such as Electrum, Lesley Crazy Gallery, CAA, Flow, etc. The main reason was because I like to share information, but in the beginning I wasn’t sure how the blog should be. I’m a Mediterranean person and the sea is very important in my life. The first time I saw the pink sea was in Formentera and my love of the island and the sea made me decide on “Mar de Color Rosa” (Pink Sea) as the title of my blog.
Alchimissima: Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally by a small group. More recently “multi-author blogs” (MABs) have developed, with posts written by a larger number of authors which are professionally edited. When and why did you start collaborating and editing your blog professionally?
Montserrat: I never planned that my work with the blog would be done professionally. From the beginning I wanted to pubish it in Catalan (my language) and English, so I needed someone to help me with my bad English and asked Brigitte Martin (the editor of Crafthaus) to place an advertisement on the website she edits. That’s how I connected with Robert Weis, a sound artist and writer, who has collaborated with me since April 2009. Jaume Vilà-Clara is a friend who works as a graphic designer and he’s always been beside me almost from the begining. I really appreciate both collaborations. Jewelers Rosa Nogués Freixas and Begoña Prats also collaborated publishing and seeking information during different periods, and through these years there also were others who published some posts periodically, for example jeweler Cata Gibert.
Alchimissima: Your blog is linked to an online shop on Etsy. Can you give us some opinion on the commercial utility of this link and on online shopping in general?
Montserrat: A few days ago I finished restructuring my blog and I also updated a new website to show my personal work. Now when you go to mardecolorrosa.com you will find 3 buttons: to the blog, to my jewelry work and to my Etsy shop. The online shop is a really interesting way to earn some money but It’s not easy at all and you have to invest many hours networking. Regardless, I think this time is not wasted and I hope that every year sales will be better.
Alchimissima: We know from our own experience that writing good posts and blogging is in general pretty time-consuming work. How do you integrate timewise your own jewelry production with the work for the blog and is it really worthwhile?
Montserrat: Though I’m a passionate and organized person, I still feel like I’m working 24 hours a day and I try to arrange my time. The work I do as a communicator is very important to me but of course what I like most is working at my bench in silence, creating my jewelry and I always feel that I should spend more time there. Many years ago I made some changes in my life that allow me to dedicate all my time to jewelry. That was a really difficult but, in the end, a very good decision and now all my life is full of my work which turns entirely around contemporary jewelry.
Alchimissima: Has the number and reaction of your readers to your blog changed significantly over the years?
Montserrat: Yes I think they have, because every day people have less time and the number of reactions and readers of the blog has been reduced during the last several years. More than two years ago I recognized that and decided to make some changes in my way of communication. I started the Mar de Color Rosa Project which includes participation in the most important social networks, among other aspects. In October 2013 I uploaded a presentation to You Tube where I briefly explain the communication project, how I have been expanding it over the years and its connections with my jewelry work.
Alchimissima: Would you advise young makers to start their own blogs and work on them constantly over time?
Montserrat: That depends on their interests. It could be a good way to show information about their own work, inspiration and work process for example, but they can also communicate through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etcétera, so I think everyone can choose the way that best suits their preference. Anyway I think in our time you must be someone into social networking.
Alchimissima: Your blog is interesting, both for jewelry makers and designers, giving information and inspiration. What does it give to you?
Montserrat: First, it gives me a lot of information, more than I could ever imagine receiving in such a period of time and then, and the most important for me, it gives me the opportunity to connect with many people around the world, some of whom are now a good friends.
We end this interview with another picture out of Montserrat’s studio, where we can see that the time she enjoys most is the one working on her jewelry.
So thank you very much again for taking this time off your studio to answer our questions and if you want to know more please connect to: