After two days of post-vacation stress, I am hair-on-fire, full speed ahead. I think I am wearing the very nice people at Olympic Kilns out with me requests for modifications and tweaks to their kilns. I dropped the furnace off yesterday morning to get the thermocouple fixed/replaced and picked up the new bead annealer. Tomorrow I'll take the bead annealer back up to get the doors cut down a little and pick up the furnace. I wish they weren't 40+ miles away, but at least I have the option of going in person and not shipping.
Today is payday in the studio--the first payday with all the new staff. On April 1 we had to switch to a formal bi-weekly pay schedule from having one person bi-weekly and two others whenever-there-was-a-sufficient-amount-due as I have hired *four* more people in the past three weeks! Wheeee! We (the current staff) are excited to be joined by Domenick Peronti, production glassblower and teacher; Amy DeBaets, hotshop assistant (extraordinaire); Lori Schinelli, retail glass manager and kiln-forming instructor; and Tadashi Torii, hotshop manager and lead production artist (for roll-up work we finally get to formally add to our studio offerings). Lee will be the lead teacher in the new expanded space. Brian is still a little lonely up in the beadroom all by himself, but Lee is VERY relieved to be cutting back a bit and giving his knees (and fiery hair) a respite from the 50-60 hour weeks in the hotshop. More info on these wonderful new Siyeh staff Coming Soon to the website (and the newsletter--which is not late unless I call it a quarterly newsletter :-).
In typical how-much-more-can-I-chew fashion, Dan will be in to start the hotshop expansion (a second hotshop off of the first one about half the size of the original) next week, and I'm also going to ask him to expand the coldworking room at the same time. No time like the present! I just hope the payments for the orders I've shipped so far this year start coming in or things could get ugly. Yes, I could have waited to have the money in hand before scheduling the work, but the stars have aligned for getting the new hotshop done NOW and who am I to argue with the stars? Now that I have three glassblowers chomping at the Date Night/lessons/production bit, I need to have a workspace (and work) for them all. Part of the work will be a renewal of roll-up work in the studio. With only one glassblower, we could barely keep up with Date Nights--much less lessons and, far down the line, new production work. But with Domenick and Tadashi--who worked with Johnathan Schmuck doing roll-ups a few years ago and who has produced them for local artists in his own studio since--we are ready to have an entirely new line of work for this summer's BMAC!
Okay, people and projects waiting in the studio, more tomorrow!