Monday, September 17, 2007

Growth

Coffee in the Austin skyline mug, "Delirious" by Prince on iTunes. The song is part of the compilation Uncle Bryon (in Austin) made for Jessie for her 5th birthday. She's a lucky girl. I'm not a lucky girl, I'm ex-haus-ted. Five kiln loads fired yesterday in three kilns--two of them fuses (which take more prep and more time than slumps do), and that's only the tip of the iceberg as I have 13 orders to ship or prepare for pick-up this week. Thir-teen. Looks like the new studio is going to be the enabler for the next step--Big Bertha 2. And it's time to order glass again--sheet and frit. I moved 500 lbs of frit around yesterday making it hard to believe I need more, but I'm going through it pretty fast.

Siyeh Studio is having a growth spurt. I daydreamed again this weekend as I was cutting and prepping pieces about having an employee. Someone to refill all the 1 lb frit jars, cut all the bases for the pieces, crush the morceaux, wash and dry the fused pieces, pack and ship the orders. Ah, it's a grand fantasy, but for the time being it must remain a fantasy. Yes, there's a lot of work. More than I can do on some days and weeks that require working through the weekend, but I think that's more due to poor time management and scheduling ("Well, I am pretty booked but I'll try to get that order squeezed in for you.") than to a consistent demand-greater-than-supply on my time. If I were certain that the demand would continue, I might actually hire someone (now that I'll have a studio separate from our house). I did hear unofficially on Friday that I am going to get an order for 50 platters tomorrow with another 50 being needed in the next month. Talk about demand and time management...

Good thing I have a lot of orders right now as the new studio means a lot of new expenses. For awhile I am going to need to pour everything that comes in right out into it. But the financial news is not all bleak; I had the property inspection on Saturday and the results were great! Things I didn't know about that could have been a big problem were already fixed (new floor joists and the existing joists shored up, new support beams in the attic for the roof), and it has a new furnace AND air conditioner--the compressor is missing from outside but the air conditioner was installed, and all new pvc plumbing.

Since the structure is in such good shape I get to start right away on the improvements that will make it a studio. The electrician is going to put in a new meter and upgrade the service to 200 amps (it's currently 100). The carpenter is going to put french doors in the back bedroom (the kiln room) so I can get Big Bertha in the door (she's too wide for a conventional doorway). He's also going to put a deck with a ramp on it (adding handicapped accessibility to the property) outside the french doors as Bertha weighs about 600 lbs and needs to be rolled, not lifted, into her new home. Then he's going to put a doorway back in between the kitchen and the back hall completing the circular traffic flow through the building (why did they block up that door anyway?!?). Clearing the rubble from illegal dumping out of the backyard and fencing it all in, and removing dead limbs and dying trees (and trees growing against the house) round the work off nicely.

Now back to electrical for a second for a discussion of lighting. This is a tricky one. I work with glass so I need lots and lots of light (I also have old eyes and don't see as well as I used to). The rooms have 10-foot plaster ceilings that are not in great shape and had an ugly 1970's texturing job done on them. Each room has a ceiling fan with a light fixture in it in the middle of the room. My options are can lighting--about 5-6 cans per room, or 8-foot fluorescent fixtures (I would probably move the ones I have in my current, windowless studio). The can lighting is good for re-sale, but I am thinking the ceiling is going to need to be redone before we sell anyway (redone as in a new drywall ceiling put in below the plaster ceiling--with 10-foot clearance there is a bit of room to spare), and the can lighting could be put in then. Decisions, decisions (money, money--there's the decider).

Now off to work. Shipping, firing, ordering, oh my.

2 comments:

Bill Paley said...

You could always hire an El Salvadoran. Just don't bother with inspecting the green card too well...

Dee said...

brenda, just catching up on your blog after being in denver for a week for a show and i would go with the flourscent fixtures since you figure you're going to have to redo the ceilings and lighting anyways before reselling which i would think would be sometime in the distant future ;P

just my $.02 ;)
D