I wait for coffee to brew and listen to the washing machine roar through its spin cycle for music. Off to Commerce today to take a load of glass for little stands to Bill of Black Cat and to get a stand and a mold from him for a larger version of the new "Primitive" piece. Today marks a turning point in our working together. Up to now the flow of work has been almost entirely towards me: I get orders for glass and metal pieces from my customers, and I order the metal from Black Cat. Today is the first time Black Cat has had a significant number of orders from THEIR customers for glass and metal work so that the meeting to exchange work is more for me to give them glass (and get money, whoo hoo) than for them to give me metal (and get money from me). It is good. I think the surge in orders from their customers reflects the new sweet spot price point we hit with the small stand pieces at the Buyer's Market this spring. Can't wait to see what the reaction at ACRE is to the slightly larger pieces (retail points for the existing small and the two new sizes of tabletop sculptural pieces: $80, $120, and $160).
Also new for ACRE this spring will be wall and tabletop bud vases from Bentwell Metals and Siyeh Studio. Todd has designed a series of wire and glass wrapped test-tube bud vases for the under $40 market that nicely complement the wire people, trees, ornaments, key chains, garden stakes and royal whimsy (crowns and sceptres) in our current offering.
Yesterday's shipping of the pallet to Vegas went off without a hitch, but I was unable to find a doable price to freight replacement panels out to the gallery in Omaha for next week. The best offer I got was $250--down from $395--to carry the two of them in a small standing wooden crate. The original shipping charges with UPS were $62 for the two of them in separate boxes. Of course UPS also broke them and I can't WAIT till they deny my claim on them for insufficient packaging. There is just no way I can see coming out of this situation with them gracefully and apologetically handing over $1,000. But, as Todd's mother would say, I need to put that thought in the bucket of can't do-anything-about-it's and throw the bucket away. I'll call the gallery this morning and give them the bad news about the replacements, and I'll refund their money.
So that's today. I still haven't fired the new technique load yet (I'll be hand-carrying the pieces to Vegas so I'm not in such a rush to get them done). It is taking a long time to get the kiln all set-up for this first time. I expect it'll be faster in the future. It better be or I won't be able to sell the pieces for what I need to charge for them!
Have a good weekend all. Remember those who have left us and take comfort in those still here.