Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Retirement?

Coffee was hours ago, but there is still music. Currently it's "Brilliant Disguise" by Bruce Springsteen. Today, as always, iTunes nails the topic. One of the big topics in the Crafts Report this month (May 2007 issue) is retirement for artists. Can we? Do we? How? In the normal course of things we artists might make enough to get by. But to make enough to actively save for retirement? How does *anyone* do that any more? I am in my mid-forties and I have a couple of piddling retirement accounts from past careers in my journey to now--not nearly enough to cover my golden-year expenses for even a year (assuming I could begin to estimate what my golden-year expenses will be). Social Security sent me a nice letter again last week telling me that if I keep going as I am I will be entitled to about $700 a month when I am 65. Of course that's making the HUGE assumption that there is any money left in Social Security in 20 years when I turn 65.

But enough about tomorrow. I'll continue to be a grass-ant or an ant-hopper. It's not that I don't toil, I do toil. I toil almost ceaselessly; I just don't worry about tomorrow as I toil. I toil for toiling's sake.

Today I order the hard walls for my display and get the electrical order in to Champion for ACRE. I looked at foam core, Structa board (like foam core but a little more durable--still paper over the foam core though), gator foam (plastic over a foam core) and Sintra or Komatex. The latter two are sheets made from extruded (isn't that a great word?) pvc. There is no "core": They are plastic all the way through. You pay for the solidity in the weight: Structa board weighs 5.2 lbs per 4' X 8' sheet. Sintra and Komatex weigh 28 lbs per 4' X 8' sheet. I need nine sheets of whatever I get. That's a big weight difference. But I decided to go with the sheet pvc because it is the most durable--scratches barely show and dirt can be washed off and I can stack everything else in the van on top of it without damaging it. It costs 2.5 times as much as Structa board does right now*, but I should never need to replace it. I am getting around the variable size of exhibitor spaces by overlapping one sheet on each side. I don't think it will diminish the look of the booth and it will provide me with maximum flexibility. I'll drill holes in the top and middle of each sheet and cable tie the sheets to my pipe and drape system.

(*If anyone out there is thinking of getting Structa board, now is the time. My distributor is selling it for cost to get it out into the market. That puts it about $6 a sheet more than foam core and $38 a sheet *less* than gater foam.)

UPS *finally* authorized my claim for the panel they broke last month--just in time for me to ship out the replacement today!

The kilns are on a continual firing cycle from now till ACRE. Today is a Morceaux de Verre fuse in Big Bertha and a Cloudstone melt in the as-yet-unnamed middle kiln and there is supposed to be a box in the little kiln. I even have someone who is interested in carrying the boxes at the ridiculously high price I have to ask for them and I am still dragging my feet. I say I love doing boxes--and I do--but it's hard to get one in.

And what would a day be without orders to get in for supplies, a catalog to design, a website to update (let's all have a good laugh about that one), an artist bio to finish, and product cards to create to send to galleries who carry my work. How will I get it all done? It's not a mystery that I won't.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You've probably got more saved that most people for retirement.

http://money.cnn.com/2007/04/10/pf/retirement/ebri_survey_2007/

-JYK

Bill Paley said...

Speaking of which, when did you say the book was going to be released?

'Cause you haven't mentioned it recently...

Jodi said...

I honestly do not see how I'll ever be able to retire. Unless I win the lottery. *sigh*