Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Giving Thanks

Coffee in the Washington D.C. mug, ""The House is Rockin'" by Stevie Ray Vaughn on iTunes. It is shaping up to be a day full of "stuff". There will be four kiln loads fired, but they are almost peripheral to the day. The real work today will be doing my mailing for the One of a Kind Show, getting the last invoices out, the Bullseye order in, all the little crap you have to do the last work day before vacation. Anything I can triage till the Sunday before I leave for the OKSS, I will.

Thanksgiving. I give thanks for my healthy, safe family. I give thanks for an incredible year in the glass studio. It has been a wild ride, but I have grown and learned from it. Finally I give thanks for my friends both near and far. I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving, good food and friends to share it with. This will be the first year since well before J was born that Dave won't be deep-frying a turkey. Tomorrow we will be eating Thanksgiving dinner with my parents in an Irish pub on Grand Cayman. Ought to be interesting. Now I'm too stressed to write more, I have to go start organizing (and making lists!) to pack.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I Like to Move It, Move It

No coffee yet (it burbles), no music either. Stressed is the word of the morning. The burglar alarm went off at 6:30 am when a spider and the wind lifted an unlocked bathroom window a smidge and broke the contact. That was exciting. I figured I might as well get a start on the day and went to the studio to assemble one of my pedestals to check out my current shelf lighting system. I found I am five glass shelves short... This is a serious problem as I can't get in touch with the owners of the gallery where I had them last weekend to see if they are still there and today is the last day Dixie Glasshoppers and I have open in common before I leave for Chicago. If I have to delay my departure by a day for these shelves I am going to be VERY ticked off!

Now let's get to some good news. Bullseye Glass is considering using an image of my work in their upcoming catalog! They solicited images of architectural work and mine was one of the finalists from the 300 images submitted. I'll know for sure in December. And Uncommon Goods is featuring my pieces on their homepage right now. Hope that generates some sales for them (and more orders for me--I still have 20 sets here!).

Diane Andersen finished her weekend in the studio yesterday and her piece fused beautifully. It slumped last night and I expect it to come out perfectly (the kiln's still too hot to open). She is going to pick it up at the One of a kind Show in Chicago as she flies back today and won't be able to stop by to pick it up before she goes. The full photo chronicle of the Weekend in the Studio can be found here. Okay, lots to do in the penultimate day in the studio. Till tomorrow...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Dress for Success

Coffee in the New York Skyline mug, "Shut Up and Get on the Plane" by the Drive by Truckers on iTunes. "When it comes your time to go... ain't no use in thinkin' 'bought it, you'll just drive yourself insane. Comes a time for everything and the time has come for you to shut your mouth and get your ass on the plane." Except for the fact that I am worried about going to a show, not dying, and I am driving, not taking a plane, this song is for me! Three days left in the studio to prepare for the One of a Kind Show, and they are all slump load days--what's made is made, and that's all there is to it.

This past weekend saw my first "Weekend in the Studio" and it was great fun. Diane Anderson from Chicago spent Saturday from 10:00 am till 8:00 pm in the studio with me learning about the compatibility of glass for kilnforming (coefficient of expansion AND viscosity/surface tension), kiln wash vs. shelf paper, firing schedules--what happens at each stage and why it's important to go slowly where we go slowly. She also learned how to cut glass, layer frit, program a kiln, and she created her own 13 X 15 Morceaux de Verre cheese tray! We skipped yesterday as we got the fuse load in so late the kiln wasn't cool yesterday till 3:00 pm, and she is coming back today to clean her piece, smooth the edges and put it in the kiln to slump. Pics tomorrow, I can't find my camera right now (and she's not done anyway).

Yesterday I prepared to dress the part of the artist. I am not a small woman. In fact it might be said I am large on two axes: I am 6 feet tall, and there is no way in hell I will tell you my weight! I am... comfortably padded. So clothes shopping is usually not a joy for me. Even when I was fashionably thin, I had a hard time finding things long enough. Now add the weight... it has been truly dismal... until yesterday. Yesterday I went to Coldwater Creek in an upscale mall. They need to change their slogan (if they have one) to "Clothes for the Amazon Artist Who's Not Afraid to Be Seen." I bought skirts and pants in plush (machine washable) black velvet, stretch devore velvet tops with beads and sequins and silk fringe... Oh it was a sumptuous banquet of color and texture. If Liz Claiborne is Frank Lloyd Wright, Coldwater Creek is Louis Comfort Tiffany.

One might question the relevance of posting about clothes on a glass artist's site. If one does, one might be a twit. One of the first phrases I learned in high school Latin was Vestis Virum Redit, or Clothes Make the Man. As professional craft artists we obsess about our booths and displays for shows, but we often overlook a vital component of the presentation--ourselves. For the past several years I have worn dark, drab conservative clothes to my shows (because that is what I had and I couldn't be bothered to obsess about it). Other artists have actually commented on the inappropriateness of my look. They don't say "Your clothes are boring, you should dress more like an artist." No, instead what I hear is "Wow, your personality is as colorful as your work, why do you dress so soberly? It isn't you at all."

So this year (to insert and mangle another metaphor) the butterfly is emerging from the chrysalis (thank heaven for the blogger spell-checker--I am giving it a workout this morning). I will stalk the floor of the One of a Kind Show in my sexy slouchy black leather boots, long swirly velvet skirts and glittery, drapey, peek-a-boo devore tops (ponchos! and shawls!). Instead of fading into the background, I will stand out in my booth. And with 449 other artists at this show, any differentiator is a good thing.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Late, Late, Late

Milk in a tupperware glass, no music. It's lunchtime--and late for that. It has been a busy morning in the studio so far with inventory of the etched and unetched glassware, a load in the medium kiln and a visitor. Another artist who paints wine glasses and fires them in a kiln came and took some of my unetched glassware off my hands today. Unfortunately she didn't want the margarita glasses or most of my wine glass styles so I still have several cases of those left. Anyone need 4 dozen Libby's margarita glasses?

And now several more hours have passed and the day is over. Three kiln loads in, and prep work done for a "Weekend in the Studio" I have scheduled for tomorrow. I have someone coming from Chicago to spend a weekend in the glass studio. It will be a combination class/project/mini-apprenticeship. She will get to take home something cool she made, and I will work her fingers to the bone helping me get two other kiln loads in. She will fill frit jars, grind circles, wash pieces for slumping, crush glass in a pillowcase with a hammer, and other fun studio chores! There are restaurants (Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, for one) where you can work in the kitchen for a day. I don't remember if you have to pay, or if you just have to be vetted for skills beforehand, but I do know someone who chopped green beans there for an afternoon...

I did end up doing a final firing schedule this morning (that's what I was doing instead of posting) and I am much more balanced and relaxed this evening because of it. I even followed it and put in the first packed-to-the-gunwales load in over a week! Now I am downing tools, clearing off the table and getting ready for the pepperoni pizza my family went out to slay for dinner. They should be back soon and I'll have the hot coals waiting.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I Think, Therefore I Am... Not

Coffee in the New York skyline mug, "Nightswimming" by R.E.M. on iTunes. Advertising is almost done. All supplies for the One of a Kind Show are identified and ordered. I keep making pieces. Not as many as I planned for any given day, but everyday sees at least one kiln load and for the next few days I will have two. My Bullseye frit order came yesterday so I can do all the series again. And (I feel a whine coming on) everything is blah. I am a worker bee. I have no direction, no detailed goal, nothing more than a vague hand-waving plan. I haven't been able to focus to plan. Some might say I over-plan already. But right now I feel completely rudderless.

Maybe it's because almost all of my work is still up at Taylor Kinzel. We extended the trunk show through another weekend. The weather and highway closures between downtown and the gallery limited attendance--though I did extremely well anyway. I know what I took up there, I know what sold, but I don't know what was already there. And I probably shouldn't be thinking about taking it anyway. Need to leave them work for the holidays too.

In truth, I think I think I have too much work and display system to fit in my van for the OKSS. I have never done a 10 X 20 booth before. The pipe support system for the lights and the hanging panels is seriously heavy, as is the wire storage rack that I plan to use for inventory storage in my booth. Add all the boxes of work, Me, Jessie, my Mom... whew!

I have seven hanging panels for this show! They are 16" X 24" and I did them in five different series (cosmos--shown above, ocean, forest, earth, and watermelon delight). Six of them and two of the 20" round panels (one cosmos, one earth--earth series at right) in steel stands make up the back and only) wall.
The plan (back when I had lots of ambition and time) was to make one of each size of the smaller display pieces in stands (16" round, 10-12" square on edge and 12X14" rectangle) in most of the ten series I am taking. But as I think about it, I don't even have enough plastic totes to carry all that glass!

I was going to add to that another 9-20 pieces per series--taken from the following: small rectangular plates, small square plates, small round dishes, three sizes of rectangular platters, two sizes of oval platters, three sizes of bowls and two sizes of square platters. Was I nuts? I was planning $22,000 of work for this show! On the other hand I doubled my sales between the year before last and last year, and I did over $10,000 last year in a 10X10 booth...

Planning is making me absolutely nuts. And it's moot. There are eight more firing days between now and the show. That's eight more kiln loads and some of them must be slumps. My brain hurts. Maybe it is better today to be a worker bee. I will take all the hanging panels in to be drilled. I will do another fuse load, and another melt load. And that's probably all I have time for. I will not plan. I will not think.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Rant

Coffee (from Jupiter Coffee) in the Chicago skyline mug, "In Without Knocking" by Mission Mountain Wood Band on iTunes. Straight to the rant. At the tail end of the Buyer's Market of American Craft last February I had a guy fly into my booth and place a small order for a "gallery/store" in Las Vegas. Gallery/store is in quotes because that was my assumption. I sell to galleries and stores, this is a wholesale show for GALLERIES AND STORES, therefore that's what he must have. Some time later I am updating the Locations page on my website and I go to add his "business". I google his business name and find "Your Source for Quality United States Mint Postage Stamps at Reasonable Prices." What the hell? So I dig a bit more and find that he he has a store on eBay and is selling all the glass art he buys at wholesale at the BMAC on eBay! If I wanted my work sold on eBay, I would do it myself!

Whatever one's personal feelings about eBay, selling your work there is a personal choice and I feel violated that someone has made that choice for me. There are a number of glass bead artists who sell their work on ebay and do very well at it. They have built a following of collectors there to rival any gallery's. And they sell their own work. I find it sleezy in the extreme that someone would set up an eBay store to sell the work of many artists without their knowledge or permission. Just the decision of whether or not to sell online is a big one in my community.

So I stewed for several months, resolved not to sell to him again, filed a complaint against him with the BMAC, told other artists work whose work he was selling there about it, and let it go. He called me *yesterday* about the larger of the pieces he bought from me because there is devitrification on two of the Pop Art circles and he is afraid his "customers" won't understand and think it is a defect... Well of course they won't! In a gallery there is someone knowledgeable about the creation process for the piece who can explain how glass changes at high temperatures and some surface variation is to be expected. You go looking for art on ebay and expect perfection at dirt cheap prices. The pieces are *exactly* what he saw at the BMAC, and now he has a problem. And what is he doing just getting around to opening the shipment from me now?!? I sent it in August!

I did not say anything about eBay to him. I was not friendly, but I was professional. He is sending the piece back, I am replacing it. I should have just refunded his money. Today I looked at his "site" again and he has my bio and picture on it! He is selling my work at retail, but every piece I sent him is also listed on ebay and the photos are truly bad (everything was shot on a wood-grain background).

Thinking the day couldn't get any worse, I went to put on the new "gallery" I got an order from in October (also from the BMAC, this time July's show) on the Locations page of my website. I google the "gallery" name and find "Experts in Home Automation, Whole-House Audio & Video distribution, Home Theater ...". What the hell, what the hell, what the hell?!? So I call the guy. I tell him I am trying to update my website with his "gallery" information and all I can find is a home theater store. Does he have an alternate website? Uh, no, he and his wife have a "high-end private gallery in their home". I sweetly reply, oh, okay then, I will put his phone number and address on my website for contact information.

I was completely mystified by his order until this morning. He ordered two 11"X7", and five 7.5" Morceaux de Verre pieces in different colors. Not something you would purchase (wholesale again!) for a home collection. The lightbulb has already gone off for you, I'm sure. He bought inexpensive gifts! Employee Christmas, give-aways to customers for big purchases. Whatever. My work is not the diamond in the Spic 'N Span box!!

Would I have sold to these men had they been honest with me from the start? Maybe. Every BMAC I get private shoppers who want to buy from me, but it is usually cash and carry at the end of the show--no extra effort on my part, just less to pack and take home. If the pieces have already been ordered by a legitimate gallery (or requested by another artist), I don't do it. For someone to order from me under false pretenses (especially the tv guy) and cause me to go to extraordinary lengths for what I think is a start-up gallery order just frosts my cookies! Okay, off the rant and on to work.

PS--I took the tv guy off my web page.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Out of Glass!

Coffee (what remains of it) in the Denver skyline mug, "Corpus Christi Carol" by Jeff Buckley on iTunes. So I made this intricate schedule of all the pieces I want to have for the One of a Kind show in December and I have been working through the list. Normally I like to cut all the pieces in one or two days and then make them over the following weeks. Right now I am juggling so many things that I haven't had a long stretch of time for nothing but prep. As a result, I have been cutting a day or two's worth at a time just so I have enough done to get a full load in the kiln everyday.

Yesterday I figured I was within shooting distance of cutting the rest of the pieces (somewhat further than spitting distance) and I decided to give it a try. I went out to the secondary studio (i.e., the garage) to the reserve glass storage to get some more clear irid (the base for all the Morceaux de Verre pieces). In case the Art Institute needs some more platters I figured I better hold back some sheets (five to ten ought to do). I looked in the case... and I only have 12 sheets left! I looked at the list of work I have planned to do and did a rough count of what it will take, and I need at least 17 sheets just for it! gaack. I just got 65 sheets of clear irid at the end of September bringing my total for the year to 162 sheets and by the end of the week it will all be gone. Wow. That's 765 sq. feet of glass. For the sports-minded, that's more sheets than it would take to lay them end to end all for the full length of a football field. I could go on with relational measurement information, but my mind is already boggled enough.

So today I ease back on the firing a bit and wait to hear if the AI needs more pieces before Christmas. I am seriously hosed if they do and will need to trot myself up to the Art Glass House in Suwanee for more glass. And I have a chat scheduled with my editor about the pictures for the book gallery (other artists' images). The rest of the day will be spent futzing with display (I found some battery-operated lighting yesterday and I need to see how long it will last and how bright it is), waiting for frit, sorting papers and planning next year's advertising.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Winding Down

Coffee in the Montreal skyline mug, "Cloudy This Morning" by George Winston on the iPod. It is late--almost 9:00. Dave just left for work and Jessie is still sleeping. I posted on Stranded in the South yesterday about fall sliding into winter, and I reflect again this morning how close I still am to the sun and the seasons. I live in a climate-controlled house with an abundant supply of electricity for light whenever and wherever I want it and I get my food from a supermarket. I do not live in a tent, foraging for my food and and migrating south to warmer climes as winter approaches. But my blood and bones drive my brain right now. They say to hoard and huddle. Prepare for the long sleep and eat everything in sight. Shades of an old Bloom County cartoon where Steve Dallas remarks "You chicks store fat in your thighs for winter, doncha?".

I am now allowed to write and reflect this morning because I only have one project scheduled between now and the end of the year and I have got it under control. I could be a realist and borrow trouble about all the last minute "stuff" that will be dumped on me with a "Can we have this next week/tomorrow/right now?" between now and January 1... But I won't. Until the book is in the hands of the Art Department at the Publisher on January 15 I am still on the hook. All the photography is yet to be scheduled (and it is also due 1/15). I *know* the editor is going to call me on December 19 and just blithely assume I have 36 hours a day through Christmas Eve to do it. Or they will start demanding I schlepp everything up to them again for some of the photography. But I said I'm not going to borrow that trouble and I feel myself getting wound up just thinking about it. Breathe.

I have a week and a half to make all the rest of the work for my my biggest retail show of the year. It's going well. I also almost have the entire display figured out. I ordered the pipe of pipe and drape last week to hang the lights from and now the only thing I am still futzing with is the lighting for the lower shelves. I found rechargeable LED bases for lighting centerpieces, but they don't work at all on my glass--too intense a light in small areas. I might try attaching them to the underside of the top shelf so they shine down on the piece on the shelf. They are good because they light for 10 hours and only need 6 to recharge. Flashlights and other cordless lights are usually only rated for 3-4 hours. I would need stock in Duracell to afford using them for 4 days.

Today I will make some more big hanging pieces--I bumped them to the front of the queue as I have to get the holes drilled in them before the show and Kelly gets cranky if I stroll in and ask him to do them NOW, ship a piece to the Art Institute, chase down a couple of past-due invoices, pay my own bills... all the usual small business stuff. Oh yes, and I will begin to contemplate where I am going with my glass work and if I really need a handbasket to do it. I'm thinking that's an accessory I can do without.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Business is Booming (eep!)

Coffee in the Denver skyline mug, "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley on iTunes. And the year winds up. A funny thing to say in the early middle part of November, but nonetheless that's how it feels today. Yesterday I got word that the Art Institue will be featuring the "Flame" Morceaux de Verre in a 12" platter in their spring marketing. I am not sure if it is just online or if there is a catalog too, but it's good news either way!

I canceled my current order to Bullseye yesterday as it can't go out till next week and I am afraid it could get delayed and arrive while we are out on a tiny vacation (vacation! vacation! vacation!). We will have a pet sitter, but not someone I would ask to take delivery of cases of glass, frit and clay molds. Now I'm glad I canceled as I will need to add a bunch more for the flame pieces... I just need to know how many of them!

And on the Art Institute front, I got the holiday catalog from them in the mail yesterday, and my piece is on page 16 bottom right corner! I was not expecting it to be featured again in another catalog and am a bit worried that they are going to need more pieces this year. I have 13 more production days between now and 12/13 and they are already pretty booked. (I will be on the road and the studio will be closed from 11/23 to 12/12.)

I am also waiting to hear from Uncommon Goods to see if they need more of the Pop Art sets. This is my first year with heavy retail and wholesale in Q4 and I am finding it tough to balance. The One of a Kind Show is my biggest retail show of the year and I need production to go towards it, but catalog sales are pushing my wholesale too... I think I need another kiln! (And an assistant! And, as Roy Scheider said, a bigger boat!).

Today I prepare everything for the Taylor Kinzel Trunk Show tomorrow. I will schlepp the pieces and my pedestals up to Roswell at noon. The hardest part is going to be making the inventory sheet and pricing everything (yet more paperwork). At lest the firing schedule is done. Finished it last night while watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with J and my parents. And of course it may all go out the window now if I get more wholesale requests. But Bill, I don't care! I feel better when I have a schedule to follow--even if I have to be flexible about changing it. Organization and flexibility--those are the traits of a successful business woman! Having someone manage everything for you is is the trait of a successful artist. I am still self-managing. I would LOVE to be taken in hand by a manager. Okay, got to load and unload kilns.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Today Being a Glass Artist Isn't

Cold coffee in the Los Angeles skyline mug, no music. Happy Birthday Ren! (Arr!). There is so much more to having a production glass studio than producing glass. (Although there is plenty of glass production going on too--I was still loading the kilns at midnight last night... again.) So far today I unpacked shipments from suppliers, processed gallery returns (etched glassware that I no longer do), and put in a call to a pipe and drape supplier.

As soon as I catch my breath a bit I will confirm my Bullseye order, finish the rest of the One of a Kind Show firing schedule, and do a little more grinding on the two boxes I will take to the Taylor Kinzel Glass Trunk Show this weekend. Notice the last activity listed is the first one of the day that actually has me laying hands on glass. Oh there will be firings today--three undoubtedly, maybe even four. If I am lucky or good (or both) they will be in the kiln early enough that I won't be in the studio after dinner again.

Tonight I would like to take my parents to dinner and then watch a movie with them. They have been here since Tuesday night and I have barely spent any time with them. Tomorrow morning I take them to the airport and they are off to Quito, Ecuador and then the Galapagos Islands.

But back to being a studio glass artist. I feel like I am on the cusp of needing to hire someone. I had hoped the new apprentice would work out, but she came for a couple of days and then disappeared. So I am on my own again, naturally. Maybe it would be less work and take less time to plan tasks for one person to do a few hours a week than it would for me to do them myself and it could actually work...

Food for thought. In the meantime, off to do more management "Stuff".

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Finally a Breather

La Croix sparkling water in a can, "The Steward of Gondor", Howard SHore and Bolliy Boyd from the Lord of the Rings Return of the King on iTunes. I finally get a breather today after running non-stop since 7 am. Remember that perfume commercial from the '70's/'80's for Enjolie? "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan..." and do about 50,000 other things while keeping my cool (how many balls can you keep in the air?), not letting anything drop. That's today. Except for the cool part. I am some kind of frazzled. And I still have a kiln load to get in.

The (lack of) lighting for the lower shelf of my pedestals is seriously harshing my mellow. I ordered a rechargeable base lighting LED system and it is a complete bust--too much focused light in 13 points, not diffuse enough.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pop Art Box

Coffee (from the new Bodum Santos coffee maker--paid for by Starbuck's as they recalled our Barista) in the Montreal skyline mug, "Turn the Page" by Bob Seger on iTunes.

As promised, pics of the new Pop Art Box. I haven't made the lid yet--nor have I finished polishing the box--but I wanted to get the pics up anyway. I am very pleased with the technique. I was not able to get my new little lap grinder to do 45 degree beveling so I had to freehand miter the corners on the big one (wheeee!). I was less successful than I could have been, but it was good enough for this time.

Going forward I will make myself a guide for the big lap grinder (or have have my Dad do it tomorrow--got to find things for him to do while the parents are here for the next couple of days on their way to Ecuador). I had the realization yesterday that I don't cook anymore and Dave is leaving for Las Vegas directly from work for a bachelor party so I am on my own with my parents. Take-out pizza tonight, Feast in Decatur tomorrow, and I'll figure something out for Thursday. I used to cook, but anymore the very idea of everyday cooking just stymies me. I guess I could manage a rotisserie chicken, fresh cut green beans in a bag and some Uncle Ben's...

But onto more interesting things like glass! I have been so busy with arcana since Friday that I still haven't finished a list of pieces I want to have for the shows I have coming up. That lack has not excused me from firing, instead I feel like I am just haphazardly throwing pieces in the kiln that I hope I will need. And I am running out of glass--out of certain colors of frit anyway. I need to get an order in to Bullseye this morning so they can get part of it in UPS tomorrow and the rest out on a truck by Friday.

But back to haphazard firing. It makes me feel completely out of control. I do not feel free or liberated, I feel... haphazard! I don't *like* haphazard. Time to get a plan, a schedule, something--Bill would say to ignore--I like to think of as a guideline to improvise around. Planning for a retial show is always such a crap shoot. What pieces will be hot this year? What will I sell out of and what will die on the shelf? I am planning ten Morceaux de Verre series, some Coulee de Verre pieces, an orchid melt or two, and some boxes. Oh yes, and the obligatory Pop Art "stuff". It feels like a hodge podge now that I see it in writing. I hope I can pull it off. Maybe I'll skip the orchid melts this time. Okay, off to spend more money and plan, then the airport to get the aged P's, oh yes, and a firing.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Bottom of the Rollercoaster

Coffee in the New York skyline mug, "Sweet Surrender" by Sarah McLachlan on iTunes. I feel the rumble beneath my seat and the slight jerk as the car moves forward and up the first incline. Hold onto your seats folks, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Another Resurrection Box came out this morning. This one was from a 16" X 24" turquoise Pop Art panel that I wasn't happy with. All the pieces in this series are called Resurrection Boxes as they all come from failed flat pieces. This one has mitered corners. Pics tomorrow.

Today I have to fight my way through the final booth design and facilities order for the One of a Kind Show. The advertising deadline for NICHE magazine also looms and I want to put something together for it. I am going to do one in this year because of the whole finalist thing. Credit cards are about maxed, money flows out like water, and business has never been better...?? Maybe today will see the arrival of yet more checks from the orders that went out last month. Bi-directional money flow in a business is a GOOD THING.

Ikebana starts back up today. The instructor is back from Japan and the big ikebana conference there so I am expecting high energy in the class. On the book front, I mail the illustrations in and maybe take pictures of the projects for the lin editor. I have so moved on from the projects at this point and I still have several to redo and re-write.

For glass I am going to try four boxes at a time in the medium kiln. Also have a fuse load in the big one for the show this weekend. I think I am going to limit my color spectrum for this one. They don't like the bright colors in the conservative northern suburbs. In fact, by this weekend they may all be in mourning after the elections. One can hope.

Okay, too much to do to post more. I'm outta here.

Friday, November 03, 2006

NICHE Finalist!

My day just got a whole lot better. The Coptic Blue Eye Box (which I just keep posting pics of here because I love it so much) is a 2007 Niche finalist in the category Glass: Fused!


It's late, no more coffee. "Levon" by Elton John on iTunes. Still in a funk. Dave is heads down, dead busy on his work project right now (CNN's election coverage software), and someone stole the gps out of his car last night. J's b-day is tomorrow (just did cupcakes and a mini-party at school), and I am... blue

Didn't fire today (yet, I still might get a load in). Got a very snippy email from the senior editor on the selection of works for the gallery earlier today and it just sapped any energy I might have had. Didn't even want to post this morning--felt like it would be one long whine. And I was right! So far this is one long whine. So I tuck my whiny little tail under my not-so-tiny heiny and go to put some glass in the kiln. Putting glass in the kiln almost always makes me feel better.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Going to the Show... Again

Coffee in the Austin skyline mug, "Home" (again) by Marc Broussard on iTunes. I like starting my day with that song. It's a show planning day. As I have upgraded to a 10 X 20 booth for the One of a Kind Show in Chicago in December I have to completely redo my booth design.

Planning a booth for an upscale indoor retail show is much harder than any other show for me. I always want to put out too many pieces which gives the appearance of "stuff" rather than "art". And I still do a lot of functional work. In fact my latest, best work is with the the boxes and what are boxes if not functional? "Art" and "functional" do not usually play well together in many people's minds. What I find most interesting is that people want to pay more for things they can't use. So if I make a 16" fused disc and stick it in a stand it will sell for more than it will if I slump it into a bowl. It is the same beautiful glass that can be displayed as art, but it is worth more if I put less work into it... Go figure

But invariably when I have a more minimalist look I will get a regular patron who starts talking about a piece he wants and I have just the right piece... stored. Stored can be in plastic totes under the table or on shelving behind a drapery, but wherever it is, it is inconvenient and often entails me getting down on the floor and rummaging around on my hands and knees with my head under a table. Not exactly a professional look. So this time I want to design accessible, unobtrusive, efficient storage for extra pieces and packaging materials.

And then there is the whole lighting dilemma. I think I am going to bite the bullet and order pipe systems (for pipe and drape displays) as the basis for my lighting and stands for my hanging panels. I thought about getting the colored pipes, but I think I will go for a more durable, less expensive style in silver. My track lighting can be attached to the pipes with zip ties and I can drape the red organza around the pipes to hide them. I am also still futzing around with battery-operated lightboxes for the pedestal shelves. This ought to be a no-brainer, but I am having more trouble than I thought I would finding the fluorescents (can't be halogen--to hot).

Finally I think I will have a four-ft. banner made like the one in the header on this post but without the "glass incarnate". I just wish I could have red carpet in my booth. It would be the best little whorehouse look in Illinois! (Bordellos R Us) What can I say, I like red.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Back to Real Life?

Coffee in the Alaska skyline mug, "Home" by Marc Broussard on iTunes (I sense the advent of a rut). Did less yesterday than I would have liked. Spent a lot of time catching up on the current happenings at including some back and forthing with Brock on reprehensible vis a vis artists and finally just gave up. Sometimes the effort to communicate an idea other than the obvious black and white one is just too difficult (as evinced by Bert's response). I'm not going to link the thread. Any warmglasser can find it in art & philosophy under 'are you an artist...'.

It feels weird not to have to write something. I have the project re-do write-ups, and I really do need to do them, but I am having trouble jump starting. And with the help of all my online time yesterday I didn't get the illustrations and templates (my sketches for the illustrator) done. I was also supposed to have my ad copy and pics to the Crafts report yesterday (OOPS!). Gotta do that right after this post. My order for Hoy's went by the wayside too, and it includes an order for another mold from them for a book project re-do. *sigh* Not to whine unduly, but I feel a bit flat. Big build up culminating in the accomplishment of a serious goal and then... Lots of little piddly stuff to do, but most of it doesn't feel worth the effort. SLAP! Snap out of it! That's better.

Okay, Today I'll finish the illo's and ship them off (and take pics of all the projects for my line editor), pack and ship the last three gallery orders from the July BMAC, do a piece list for the Glass show at Taylor Kinzel on 11/11, and schedule the firings (and get a sitter for J--she is having a sleepover that night with Grace for her birthday so I don't want to overload her with a playdate too and Dave will be in Vegas as the best man for a bachelor party...).

I also need to start working on the One of a Kind Show inventory (piece list, firing schedule)--including the new boxes and ovals. I've posted pics of both before, but I am so jazzed by them I am doing it again! I am going to miter the corners on the next boxes so they look less pieced. Since they are one solid fused piece of glass (fired to 1500 degrees as a box) I want the edges to look like it as well as feel like it.

Finally I need to get an update on the molds I am having made for the ovals and other coulee pieces, and get the specs together for the free-standing lighting frame so I can have it built. I need to learn to weld. I really want to learn to weld! Yeah, and that's a whole 'nother set of tools I don't have room for in the studio. Now to glass work!

Oh yes, and there will be a big fuse load today and maybe a project redo in the medium kiln.