Friday, May 30, 2008


Coffee in the Montreal skyline mug, "Without a Word to Say" by Blue Zone U.K. on iTunes. The song title almost tempts me to stop right there, but, no. I have a day ahead. Yesterday three kiln loads, one shipment, and all the work left from the Decatur show put away or hung in the studio gallery, and I dragged through it all feeling like I was doing nothing the entire day. Today sees another two kiln loads and maybe some desultory straightening/cleaning. Yep, I'm all about desultory this week. (Ironically, the theme from Rocky just came on iTunes--talk about energy shear!)

Think I'll meander over to the studio now. Here's to more caffeine (or something) next week...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Cusp of Summer

Coffee in the Chicago skyline mug, "Strutter" by Kiss on iTunes--iTunes did that one all on its own and it missed today as I don't feel much like a strutter. I feel like a shower-then-dogs-to-the-groomer-then-bank-deposit-then-ikebana-THEN-studio-er. I am in the miasma. "Grey Walls" by Richard Thompson just came on, a MUCH better match for my day.

We are on the brink at the studio. This week sees the last of the big production going out for the summer. There are six more orders scheduled for June, one for July and two for August. Stacy is easing out of her assistantship as her own business heats up, another friend is looking to pick up some fill in over the summer till her new job starts, and then come fall I hope to be ready to hire an official assistant. Stacy had the great idea of looking for a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design (Decatur campus), Emory or Agnes Scott College--all relatively close to the studio. I am also thinking a Mom with a child/children in school during the day who can do 10-2. Fall--when school starts--is the best time to find either a student or a Mom.

So summer... looms. Time to get a Niche entry done? Time to get the studio finished? Time, maybe, to garden and hang with my child?... I can always dream. Unless, of course, I get another big corporate gift order, or the new casino client places a big order due in August, or the economy suddenly turns around, gas prices drop, people rush to buy art from galleries and galleries rush to reorder from me... I think a lazy summer gardening with my child and waiting for business to pick up in the fall is the most likely (and frankly the most appealing appealing--the new studio is a warm place to be).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Studio Profile!

Coffee in the New York skyline mug, "Pretty Ghost" by the BoDeans on iTunes. Summer is here in Atlanta, make no mistake. Temps in the 80's every day--heck it's 70 degrees and 94% humidity right now. Working in the studio is... unappealing. Today I break down and put on the air conditioning for the first time (Stacy will be thrilled to hear that, I'm sure).

After another no-firing day yesterday, I lurch into gear today. I'm meeting Stacy this morning and we're going to pow-wow about schedules and upcoming needs. Then it's time to get the studio cleaned up, work unpacked and displayed in the gallery, and kiln loads in. My friend Mike is going to be doing some work on my website--writing articles, etc., and I am thinking I really need two or three days at it too to get the new work up and all the galleries listed and shown on the Google Maps page. The current biggest news is the profile on Siyeh Studio in the summer issue of Profitable Glass. My work is not on the cover (sadness), but I am thrilled to be in an issue with Bandhu Dunham, Leah Fairbanks and Milon Townsend. Need to get a scan of the cover (or the table of contents which does have a picture of my work in it) for an article on my website.

And now it's coming on 9:00 and I need to be in the studio. Till tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Coffee in the Austin skyline mug, "Ada" by the National on iTunes. Already had my first-thing-in-the-week check-ins with Bill from Elliott Metal and Stacy the Assistant. Now I need to organize myself into a vertical working position when all I want to do is stay curled in the recliner reading... I am pooped. The art festival experience over the weekend was okay. It was good to see old friends/other glass artists, sales were decent, and tear down/load out only took a couple of hours. But a rating of "meh" is not good enough to repeat the experience. I may have just moved into a mental business-model space that doesn't include outdoor weekend shows. Even after a day of lazing around culminating in a great grilled dinner and playing lots of Rock Band with friends (I got to sing this time--Dave took the drums) I am still pooped.

But I don't have time to rest on my laurels--cozy though they are. It's time to start gearing up for the Buyer's Market show in... August (Bill is dragging me kicking and screaming into the year of the fruit bat and making me do more planning in advance and less flying by the seat of my pants... another new business model). The website needs some major attention (I have four articles to write for it at this point and as the summer issue of Profitable Glass just came out with a feature article on my studio in it, I need to get it updated). There are four orders from ACRE to ship this week including the biggest one of the show--and there are only four days left in the week! Lots of fours in this paragraph. Did you know the word for "four" in Japanese is shi and it's the same word for death? On that note...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Decatur Day 2

Coffee in the Montreal mug, growling, grumbling child for music. Day 2 of the Decatur Arts Festival dawned sunny and calm. It's going to be a hot one today. I didn't post yesterday as we left the house at 5;45 to get to the festival and unload. We arrived--after turning around and going back home once for my cell phone and a utility knife--at 6:10 to find the drive blocked by a sheriff and no one allowed to unload behind their booths. Didn't I call the Decatur Arts Alliance Thursday morning to ask if I would be able to unload behind my booth as my dolly/handtruck had been stolen in the burglary? Wasn't I assured that I would be able to? Yes and yes. The volunteers weren't scheduled to show up to help people until 6:30 (i.e., amble in, get registered, start filtering through to help set-up about 6:45)--another major error--even though set-up officially began at 6:00 am. I know there are always last minute snafus that make running a festival... challenging, but have your people there 15 minutes before the artists arrive to have a fall back for them (both the problems and the artists).

I almost turned around and came home--was within 25 seconds of it--but then my booth next door neighbor lent me his dolly and the sheriff found us a close-in unloading spot. Volunteers showed up in another 15 minutes and the unloading process lurched into gear. The next big snafu was all mine--I couldn't remember how to get my tent together. I had Dave and my friend Becky there to help and it took all three of us about 20 minutes to figure out the top pole arrangement (the top bars are crucial as the awning, french wall and backdoor all depend on the right hardware in the right place on the top bars *before* the legs go on. Oy. But we overcame that obstacle too, got up the simplified display (tables and tablecloths), and I had everything up--if not priced--before the festival opened.

I went off to get a bank (fast cash from checking in 20's, buy a diet coke with one of the 20's and voila! Instant change!) and when I got back Becky had been joined by Stacy (I have had a lot of help this time). We finished pricing and schmoozing, and Becky left to wander. Stacy and I then regarded my booth with some misgiving (I only brought two sizes of work priced under $55 and had nothing from $55 to $120--the majority of the work was $380-$420) and I resigned myself to gathering a good mailing list and not selling anything. I sent Stacy home after a couple of hours as it was apparent I was right about sales and wouldn't need really need help selling and wrapping.

However the day was a surprise. I didn't need help, but I had some good sales and some really good sales, and I am getting a great mailing list. It was relaxing and fun--though I am still not all fired up about more outdoor festivals. Dave has insisted I take pictures of all the tent joints and Becky suggested colored tape for all the pieces showing where they go. Whatever. If someone brings me red, yellow, blue and green tape or paint today, I'll do it. Otherwise I might just write on everything with a Sharpie. (What, you didn't think I'd just do nothing, did you?).

Now off for today. J is going to keep me company this morning and early afternoon. Her big news is that I pulled her first natural tooth yesterday at the festival (the first tooth was lost unnaturally a year and a half ago at school and still has not been replaced). I would have pictures of her smile and my booth today, but I left my camera in my sales cabinet at the show. I hope it's still there this morning. *sigh*

Friday, May 23, 2008


Coffee in the Chicago skyline mug, "Willin' " by the BoDeans on iTunes. I thought it would be a cover of the Lowell George/Little Feat song "Willin' ", but it's a completely different song. That takes some huevos, naming a new song with the same title as a very famous older song. Speaking of huevos, I'm doing the Decatur Arts Festival this weekend and setting up in three hours tomorrow morning with Dave and maybe Jessie to help. I might rather be in Tahachapi or Tonapah (speaking of "Willin' ").

In a rare burst of common sense, I'm not firing anything for the show today. What comes out of the kilns (three) from yesterday is the last I will have for the show. Today I will assemble pieces that go in frames (the lattice, dreaming woman, single koi, ginko and moonrise) and I'll pack the van--without my stolen handtruck, grumble, grumble, grumble. I'll also redesign my display for ease of set-up and stability for the new big pieces (tables instead of pedestals) and print out all the materials I want to hand out at the show. I feel like the Little Engine That Could--I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Pictures and a review Monday, but for today, I'm just willin'.

PS--Just found the replacement for my stolen cart at Amazon--helps to know the name for searching as just looking for "hand truck" is useless.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday... Already

Coffee in the Denver skyline mug as it was credited earlier in the week and not really used, "The Ice is Getting Thinner" by Deathcab for Cutie on iTunes. T-2 and counting for the Decatur Arts Festival. Today I fire the final pieces for the show--tomorrow is all about packing and designing display... and figuring out how I'm going to set-up in three hours on Saturday morning. Oh yes, and printing out price tags, business cards, etc.

Just a few short weeks ago I was in Vegas doing the ACRE show and I posted how set-up took 20 hours. Decatur is not Vegas, and a street fair is not a convention center show, but I am still concerned that I will have more than a little difficulty getting the tent up for the first time in two years, leveling all the pedestals for a street instead of a floor, and then putting up the work--all in three hours. The math just doesn't work (and "Long Division" by Deathcab for Cutie just came on... iTunes is psychic). Maybe it's time to completely revamp the display--no pedestals at all... I'll have to think about it.

Yesterday I stayed focused and on track and didn't stop to smell the roses or chat all day. As a result, I got all my work done by 5:00. I can't work like that. This week has shown me that I am at the point where I must have an assistant. I *can* do all the work myself, but if I do there is no time for any product or business development or client interaction at all--I spend all my time just producing work--or I work 70 hours a week.

That last paragraph is too introspective for this week. I just need to get through the weekend and then I can analyze and plan to my heart's content. Now I need to go see if the burglars stole my hand truck out of the shed too.

PS--They did. The list of items lost to the burglary just keeps growing. *sigh*

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Running Like a Race Horse

Coffee in the Alaska skyline mug (the spouse is filling it as I type), the sound of the fridge door opening (so he can get the creamer out) and keys on the keyboard clacking for music. I just need to make it through this week. I have so many balls in the air right now that it is taking all my attention just to keep them up.

Today Stacy goes to Greenville to pick up all the metal work for orders shipping through mid June and for my show this weekend (The Decatur Arts Festival--come on out and say hi!), the DishNetwork tech comes to fix the satellite dish at the house between 12-5 (I will have to be there to supervise and twiddle my thumbs), I have to pick up J from school and take her to after-care at 1:00, and I have three kiln loads to fire and two orders to ship today. If Monday and Tuesday are any indication, I won't be out of the studio till 7:30 or 8:00 tonight. No time to post more--off to fire.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday, Alone, Again

Coffee in the Montreal skyline mug, "Let the Music Get Down In Your Soul", by Marc Broussard on iTunes. As soon as I posted yesterday I got an instant message from my spouse querying the city of my coffee mug in the post. Turns out I was drinking from the Atlanta mug--chosen by the spouse, probably in honor of our homecoming, and brought to me in bed--not Denver. When I posted I just glanced at the mug, saw the "N" and a 60's style skyscraper and thought, "Denver". Really.

Good thing I got a lot of sleep on the vacation and charged my batteries to the full line as I am burning through charge rapidly this week. It has become clear to me how much I rely on my assistant as she was unable to work in the studio yesterday due to her real profession. I unloaded kilns and cleaned the pieces in them, shipped four orders and a book, fired three kiln loads, got out a press release, filled frit jars and fielded innumerable first-day-back phone calls and instant messages all by myself. Sniff. And today I am going to run out of morceaux so I will have to make morceaux, unload three kilns and clean the pieces in them, ship four large orders, fire three more kiln loads, fill frit jars AND get a mammogram! Sniff, sniff.

I could really use help halftime, the question is who and how to pay for it. An apprentice would be a fine thing--in the true, old-fashioned sense of the word 'apprentice'. (S)he would sweep the floors every morning, make morceaux, fill frit, unload kilns and wash pieces, and ship orders. Stacy does as much of that as she has time for, but as I mentioned, she has a full-time real-world profession and is just helping me out a few hours a week. I need a serf. Or a smurf--they're hardworking and always cheerful, and blue!... and I am light-headed from lack of sleep.

J woke again at 5:30 and came in with us. She had to wake me from a dead sleep to get me to move over and make room for her, and then I spent the next two hours dodging flailing elbows and feet. Did I mention that my batteries are re-charged? Nothing can drain batteries like a restless child in your bed. Off to get the mammies grammed and then work till I drop.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I'm Baaack! (Again)

Coffee in the Denver skyline mug, the gurgle of the frog fountain spitting into the front porch pond and the conversations of birds for music. Home sweet home. I post from the skychair this morning, surveying a yard still drenched from last night's rain and covered in last week's explosion of weeds. Oh dear. Gone one week and the pokeweed in the back is already five feet tall--it grows faster than the bamboo! Much though I would like nothing better than to grab a hoe and hit the dirt in this fine 59 degree weather, I have a studio to run. Besides, it'll be 81 before the day is out and that's just too hot to garden for me. (The studio has air conditioning and I might even turn it on today.)

Yesterday I should have posted as I fired three kiln loads (two biggies and a medium) and caught up on all the correspondence that accumulated while I cruised the Caribbean. But yesterday was for getting the vacation pics and info up on Stranded in the South--this might be the first vacation I've actually managed to post about in two years... Today, tomorrow, and Wednesday there are orders to finish and ship, and the bulk of the week--and the firings--is dedicated to preparing work for the Decatur Arts Festival this coming weekend.

It's a good thing I just had a vacation as I updated my firing schedule last night and I don't have a day off now till June! However another benefit of being gone for a week is that the payments for previously shipped orders also accumulated in my absence giving me the false sense that I am not working for free. I'll just keep telling myself that I am growing the business and investing in the future--and no pay is better than commuting and working in an office...

One of the new clients I picked up at ACRE is a big casino in Vegas. Working with them might turn out to be a mixed blessing as anyone doing business with a Vegas casino is apparently intensely scrutinized by the Nevada Gaming Commission (can you say Ocean's 11?). It's not that I have anything to hide, but I'm also a single business owner/artist. I don't have a million dollar liability insurance policy for both my business and my car (I don't even *have* a business car). And all the business licensing docs. Feh. I got them when I started, at a previous address, with a slightly different name...

In a previous life I worked as a software engineer for a large company and was hired to install a system in the secure area at Los Alamos. When I got to the entrance they told me I'd need to leave my laptop, my cd's, my cellphone, my pager, my palm pilot and any other electronic or computing device I had on me at the gate--I couldn't take them in. I asked how I was supposed to install software if I couldn't even get it in the building, and how was I supposed to test it if I couldn't get on their network to use it? They were mystified. It was a challenge. We overcame. Shades of Los Alamos revisit me as I try to fulfill the documentation requirements to be a vendor for a casino.

Now off to the studio where chaos awaits for another jampacked, laugh-a-minute week.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

See You Next Week!

Glass Incarnate will be dark this week as I luxuriate in a well-deserved VACATION! Griffith adventures can be found on Stranded in the South.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday and Then a Week Off!

Coffee in the Atlanta skyline mug, "Morning Has Broken" by the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens on iTunes. It's a new day. Six orders ship today--my last day in the studio for a week, two next week (Stacy will get them out), then two on the 19th when I return (the work is all done for them), and that gets me through the first round of ACRE orders. The following weekend,Memorial Day weekend, I am doing the Decatur Arts Festival--my first outdoor retail show since 2005. And then May will be all over but for the shouting--not that I actually expect shouting, but that's how the phrase goes.

Sometime between now and the demise of May I have a lot of other work to get done. Do I look like a salmon to you? I feel like a salmon. I am beating myself against the rocks to get upstream... where I'll die. I need to stop being a salmon and start being a... sea lion! Sea lions are fierce, playful, and well-fed. You don't see a sea lion mindlessly swimming against the current. No, they swim for the joy of hurling their bodies through the water. I need to be a sea lion. A sea lion who does website updates, client lists, postcard mailings, marketing, a catalog, a photo cd--in other words, a sea lion with fingers instead of flippers.

The BoDeans new album "Still" is playing on iTunes, the current song is "Found Me a Reason". Yep. I found me a reason--I'm a sea lion! Off to ship...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

More Burglary Fallout

Coffee in the Alaska skyline mug, "So Long, So Wrong" by Alison Kraus and the Union Station on iTunes. A friend commented yesterday that I seemed very calm after Monday's burglary. It's all on the outside. Last night I was awake on and off for most of the night thinking I was hearing noises over at the studio and fretting that the alarm system might use the phone line so the alarm company wouldn't be able to get through on our phone to tell me the alarm was going off. (The siren isn't loud enough to hear at our house. I'm thinking of changing that.) Oy.

Shaking off the night terrors and moving on... Bettina sailed flawlessly through her first firing yesterday bringing me to 36 sq feet of production kiln space with Middle Ground and Little Boy ready to step in for onesie twosie firings. A potter reading this post might wonder why I listed the sq footage of the kiln and not the volume. I am a traditional kiln-former and--unlike the aforementioned potter--I don't stack my pieces on rows of shelves in the kiln. Everything is in one layer so the glass can "see" the heat.

My glass was delivered from Bullseye yesterday and I met Bill at the Starbucks in Commerce to look over booth design for August and pick-up stands for all the orders going out in the next two weeks. We're in really good shape for the August BMAC even though we are booth starting almost from scratch for booths. I like the Easy Pedestals so much I am going to get another set for Philly, and both Elliott Metal Works and I need to get new lights, new grid walls and new foam core.


Just got over to the studio for the day and as I finished straightening up the office I found one more thing that had been stolen: My Goddess sculpture from Jeff Manpearl of Ferroglyphs. This is the hardest loss. Everything else I could (with the exception of the toilet paper stand) more or less understand, but this isn't something they could sell. This is something beautiful that I had, they saw and decided to take for themselves, for a gift for a girlfriend, for Mom, for whatever. That theft is the most personal, the most disrespectful and the most demeaning.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


(The following was written late last night and I am finally getting around to posting it with the photos)

I contemplate a glass of wine or something stronger--the day certainly deserves it, and I listen to my own fingers typing for music. It's 2:00 am Wednesday. A restless Sprout, a late-working spouse still at CNN (it's a primary night after all), and the events of the day have driven me from my bed with an undeniable anxiety attack.

The studio was broken into and robbed last night (Monday).

The burglars were idiots.

They left my iPod (no, I no longer leave it there at night), my printer, my fax machine, my laser printer, and my briefcase with my digital camera, my 360 GB external hard drive and my 7-port hub. They took... the toilet paper holder out of the bathroom, the new towel ring I bought on Sunday with the toilet paper holder at Home Depot, two halogen work lights (my photography lights), a little cd player/radio and the 5 HP compressor out of my shed. The compressor is the only serious loss.

Though the policeman who took my statement tried to assure me the break-in wasn't my fault, I know it was. I didn't go back last night after the electrician left to put the alarm on, double-check all the deadbolts and lock the shed. I was lazy about changing the burned out front porch lights and so didn't have the screened-in front porch well-lit.

No more.

The doors are alarmed with no entry delay. The motions are all on and I made sure they're unobstructed. The doors are all deadbolted. The window that was smashed to see if I had a working alarm system has been replaced. The front porch light bulbs have been replaced and they are on for the night. Indeed, for tonight, all the studio lights (the banks of fluorescents) are on. The shed is locked. One of the horses may be gone, but the barn door is well and truly locked.

Jane Davidson--a fellow fuser from Chicago--came down for a pre-arranged studio tour this morning at 10:00 and arrived to two police officers, Stacy, Dan the Carpenter, me, and eventually my spouse, all discussing the break-in. She was very sympathetic and helped me clean up the broken glass. Her cab driver was so nervous at seeing the police he was going to drop her off without charging anything... bet there's a story there. But now's not the time for that story, this is MY story.

MY story gets more convoluted. Turns out (one of?) the burglar(s) tried to sell one of the halogen lights to the body shop across the street from the studio at 5:30 this morning. Unfortunately the body shop guy didn't give him the time of day so he didn't see the actual light (nor was he offered the compressor). He said the guy was jittery and seemed high even at 5:30 am. The rest of the description he gave me of the would-be seller exactly matched the description of someone I met yesterday morning in front of our house as I was hosing off the car seat and the car mats after Jessie threw up in the car on the way home from school (what a week!). I was in a not-too patient mood and scared him off with my crabbiness before he hit me up for anything, but I found out later that he also approached a couple of my other neighbors, and they both remembered him quite clearly. He told all of us he was living with another neighbor a couple of doors down so I stopped by and asked her if he lived there and she said no. But when I described him, she admitted she knew him, and would only say he had family on the block... and then she pointed him out as he walked by further down the block.

My spouse would have been proud of me. In former times I would have marched up and accosted him. But this time discretion won out over valor and I decided just to pass the info I had on to my neighbors, the police, and the neighborhood security force so they could watch out for the guy. My guess is that he'll disappear for awhile--warned off by the neighbor a couple of doors down.

Now I shake it all off and prepare to go forth tomorrow morning to meet Bill and discuss display, get stands, and prepare to ship. I didn't fire today so Bettina's test flight will be tomorrow instead. And I'm off to sleep. The pictures are the broken window in the office, the ransacked desk (with the toppled cardboard boxes in front hiding the briefcase), Jane hanging in the studio, and the opened (and fingerprinted) bathroom cabinets.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Coffee in the Washington DC mug, "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night" by the Electric Prunes on iTunes--I kid you not. Unnnghh. Posting before acting has its consequences. My lovely plans of yesterday were derailed by a child sent home from school because she coughed so much she threw up. Ikebana... didn't happen. The papers and mail got sorted much later in the morning than anticipated, and the rest of the day slid on. It ended with her not being able to sleep last night--because she spent most of the day in bed--and climbing into bed with us about 10:30 when I was just too exhausted to boot her out. I was the creme in the family Oreo sandwich cookie all night while Dave hung grimly onto a tiny sliver of the edge of the bed. Neither of us slept well (she is a *pushy* child!) but she woke refreshed, and ready to take on the world again.

Today, child off to school, clean slate--and Bettina wired and tested! The plus side of Denver Glass having sent the wrong amperage kiln is that I can fire all four kilns at the same time without even coming close to the studio's capacity. The downside is that I don't think she'll be good for anything but slumping (a lower temperature than fusing) as underpowered as she is. I hope they get me my new lid SOON!

Bullseye sent my glass last week, it ought to get here today. The next big round of metal from Elliott Metal Works will be finished today and I'll meet Bill halfway to Greenville at the Starbucks in Commerce to go over booth design for August and to take delivery of it tomorrow. It's actually cheaper to drive--or even pay someone to drive--to pick it up than it is to have it all shipped UPS.

Dan the carpenter is back in the studio today and the last of the work will be done--the studio already has a picnic bench in back and now it'll have a porch swing in front (we had one that we hadn't put up at the house for the past four years). A door will open out that now opens in, the little kiln room will be exhausted (just like me!), and the bubble wrap will be hung. Hallelujah.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Monday, Not Fun Day

Coffee in the Denver skyline mug, "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" by Tom Waits on iTunes. Can you tell it's Monday? My ambitions of Saturday were thwarted in spite of working all weekend--the firings got done, the web pages did not. I did make it to Home Depot yesterday for studio supplies including light bulbs, trash cans, bathroom fixtures, vacuum filter, etc., and I did (with the help of the spouse) get the little fridge back to the studio (the story of the fridge is on Stranded in the South). But papers and mail? Not sorted. Today I'm off to the races again. Let's hope I don't end up like poor Eight Belles. (If that story doesn't bring you down, nothing will.)

Glass, I focus on glass. Today's list is up in the studio for Stacy. Brian the electrician comes tonight to finish wiring Belinda. Tomorrow Dan the carpenter puts in an other exhaust fan, switches a door direction and puts a walkway in the attic (a prelude to blowing in insulation)--all steps toward keeping the studio a cooler place this summer. I haven't turned on the air conditioning yet--the heat bills from the winter scared me too much. I'm waiting till the studio is a little more energy efficient. Till then, I sweat.

Kiln loads are going apace, the glass is on its way from Bullseye--I need to check with Denver Glass to see how my new kiln lid is coming along. My guess is it isn't. Before Ikebana this morning I will get the papers and mail sorted into piles (today, this week, eventually, file, and throw) so I know what else I have in front of me before we go (yet again) on vacation at the end of the week. This has been quite the spring for travel. For once I have the studio/house/pet-sitter comfortably scheduled in advance and work will proceed normally here without me.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

As I Work, So Shall I Post

Coffee in the Montreal mug, little girls playing in the front yard after a sleepover for music. As intended, I did sleep in this morning. The dogs howling along with the fire engine siren at 7:20 did not keep me awake (I told them to be quiet, and they did). The little girls getting up to play at 7:30 did not keep me awake (I told them to play quietly in Jessie's room with the door closed, and they did). Everyone but me was up and (quietly) pursuing their days by the time I strolled out at 10:00. Yawn. Stretch. Ahhh, coffee.

Yesterday I cut all the pieces that I will fuse before Friday, and I fused a full load in Bertha. Stacy organized the shipping room so we can walk through it again (now we can't walk through the shed--I have *got* to disencumber some) (Wow, that's actually a word *and* I spelled it right the first time!). Stacy looked at me halfway through yesterday and flatly said, you have got to throw things out. I blustered and justified (sort of) and listed all the ways I planned to someday use those weird box sizes... I have got to throw some stuff out. Too bad Atlanta doesn't recycle corrugated.

Today is all about the website and firing, firing, firing. This morning I will get three articles up on my site about the visit to Pop, my display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the ACRE show. After catching up electronically I'll tackle the pile of snail mail that I ignored before going and that continued to pile up during my absence and since my return.

If I get through all that I'll consider myself well-worked and indulge in a little Rock Band with my spouse as a reward.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday--I Get To Sleep In Tomorrow

Coffee in the New Orleans skyline mug (in honor of adding a gallery there), "Out Here in the Middle" by James McMurtry on iTunes. Dave left for Washington DC at 5:30 this morning, he'll be back tonight. I did the parental morning alone and barely dragged through it--I am soooooo tired! I never should have played those last three games of solitaire on the computer last night.

The firing schedule is done, the orders are to Elliott Metal for their part, and now the work begins. The electrician came last night and did the initial connection for Bettina. He's coming back Monday evening to finish and test her out. Good thing as I have 185 pieces scheduled to fire this month and will need all the kilns to get them done.

Yesterday someone made the comment to me that my post on ACRE seemed a bit of a suck up to the show people. Not at all--I calls 'em as I sees 'em. I think the ACRE staff tried really hard to have a great show for the artists and I don't think they succeeded yet--there just weren't enough buyers. That said, I still had a great show, a really great show. I just feel bad saying so when so many other people didn't. I heard several worst show ever's at the show from other artists, but I was reluctant to put that out there because it was so not the case for me.

Enough on ACRE. We move on to the next show--the BMAC in Philadelphia in August--and wait until next year to grade ACRE (three years to get it all together is a good length of time). Bill is coming down from Greenville next week to deliver the first round of metal and pow wow about our display for August--he believes in getting a jump on things and not leaving them til the last minute... think it'll rub off on me? Sara Creekmore sent me a link to a great looking hanging system from Walker Display that I think we might use instead of cable-tying everything to the foamcore and grids. The cable ties look really clean, but the foamcore is unusable after a couple of times (and it takes forever to put up). With a holeless system we could conceivably not have to replace our foamcore for several years and still have a very flexible display.

Okay, packing supplies to put away, a cutting list to organize and start on, a kiln load to get in, and invoices to utz people about paying. Time to get into the studio proper.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Racing to the Red Light Indeed

Coffee was in the New York skyline mug (in honor of the New York minute), "Racing to the Red Light" by James McMurtry on iTunes. Whoo boy, Welcome to may, it's going to be one of those... months. Last night at midnight I finished entering my orders from ACRE into the computer and I just now finished sending a massive order in to Elliott Metal Works for their share of the work. I have four orders from the BMAC to go out tomorrow or Monday (mostly still to fire...), three more BMAC orders scheduled for the end of next week, and then four ACRE orders scheduled for Monday the 19th.

I could probably make this schedule without breaking a sweat if I weren't going to be out of the studio from 5/10 to 5/17. As it is all of this work must be mostly completed before I go. We were supposed to go away with friends to a lake house they have this weekend to relax and unwind after last week at ACRE, but I am completely and totally snowed under. Stacy, my assistant, also has a real career (she mostly helps me out because she's my friend and because she thinks artists are cool) that is in high gear right now so I can't even push a lot of things off on her.

Why then, if I am so busy, am I posting? Because I am sitting waiting for the refrigerator repairman to come and tell me there's nothing he can do, he'll have to order the part and come back again./ I am so sick of people WASTING MY TIME! He knows what kind of fridge we have, he has a good idea it's a motor issue, but he was honest (under pressure) when I asked him this morning if he was going to have what he needed to really fix it and he said probably not. So I am in the house instead of in the studio, writing instead of getting the kiln load in. This afternoon it's the last gymnastics and ballet for the year (yea!) and at ballet it's a participation class. I get to dance too, as does Dave who will be coming to class to surprise the J.

Okay, off to putz with the firing schedule to see how I can get everything done. If Denver had sent the right new kiln it would be a no-brainer. But I don't know how well the 58 amp under-powered Bettina is going to meet my needs (or even when I can get her electrical hooked up by my electrician).