Sunday, August 31, 2008

Shop Progress

I started taking photos today for my shop. Clearly, I need to invest in some sort of tripod because I ended up deleting at least half of the pictures and there are still so many to take. *sigh*

I've been trying to brainstorm a name now for weeks and nothing is appealing to me at all. A few are OK. Two are even kind of amusing; but I have a list of about 15 names and none of them strike me as mine. I think I'm trying to make this harder than it is. I just really want this to be a successful endeavor and I know how important striking the right tone with the shop name is.

Suggestions welcome.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Hot Day at the Market

Wow! Today was so hot and humid but I had a ton of fun at the South of the James Market in Richmond, VA with my friend Christine from "A Hot Piece of Glass". She says the numbers of visitors were down because of the heat and the holiday weekend, but we had lots of folks come stop by the booth to check out the shiny stuff. Of course, I totally forgot my camera so I don't have any pictures of our work. I hereby hang my head in shame and promise to do better next time.

I was really happy to see how complimentary our styles are. She is a great sculptor with a torch and her work is so fascinating to me because I am a lazy lampworker. The flat glass pieces drew in the customers looking for more traditional works and together, we managed to capture about an equal market share. In fact, some pieces were so popular, Christine agreed to accept some of them on commission.

The good news is that I still have a decent amount of stock to open up my Etsy shop even if I am now out of entire categories of goods. LOL! If only I could straighten out what I want to do with my name and branding. Oh, and of course I need to take umpteen gagillion pictures and write descriptions. Ah, business life. I seem to recall now why I decided to go back to working for "the man" all those years ago. Still, even the extra work seems freeing to me. When the day job starts sapping my energy, at least now I have my art and my business to look forward to.

More as it comes..... Later!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's almost here.

The South of the James Market day is almost here. I've spent the last two hours pricing. I have to say that pricing is my least favorite part of this job, followed closely by wire wrapping. It's always challenging to jump into an unfamiliar market and a new customer base. Still, I am really looknig forward to spending the morning with Christine and her booth "A Hot Piece of Glass". I hope we have good weather for it!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Well, yesterday's shop session was far more satisfying than the previous one. I usually go in with a mission - assembling my tools and supplies in a rigid order and following the plan. This time I went in with no plan and just played with the glass the way my kids do.

See, my boys have an art box. It's a blue plastic shoe box full of crayons, glue sticks, glitter pens, markers, finger paint, play do, etc. When I color a picture, I pick out four or five crayons and color the picture. When they color a picture, they drag out whatever works. Did you know Spiderman could have a glittery web and play-do eyes? Yeah, me neither but it looked good and the kids had a blast.

So that's what I did yesterday. I dragged out all my frits and played in the scrap bin. I cut up former disasters into cabochons (breaking my drive belt in the process damnit!) and just painted with the glass. It's all very abstract and I shut the kiln lid with a sense of finality figuring that it was a wasted session. It was fun, but it felt like I had just run a load for nothing.

This morning, I went out to the shop to shut down the kiln and couldn't help but pop the lid. Imagine my delight when I found that every piece in there was going to be usable. When I'm not doing straight production, that rarely ever happens. It's just not possible to have every experiement come out - or so I thought.

Maybe it's because I went in and played instead of worked. Perhaps I was just due a lucky break. Doubtless, I have found some new techniques that work for me.

Now all I have to do is clean up the mess on my bench. I'm as bad as the kids.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Not Happy-Making

I'm usually excited when it's finally time to open the kiln and see if my design concepts work. This time Iwon't be. I just spent four hours loading the kiln with pieces for the upcoming market and I am really disappointed with the contents. Maybe it's because there are a lot of test pieces in there - ideas I wanted to try, but aren't sure about. Perhaps it's because I did a lot of fall-back pieces because my brain simply could not process what to do with the glass I had.

See, I've been out of the market for about three years. That's a really long time and technology and the customer base have both become more refined. I don't have the newest colors in my repitoire. My constant sellers are passe; and I'm in too big a rush to sit down and work on the new ideas in my head.

I think I need to spend some quality time with my sketchbook because I don't want to be the seller that has what everyone else does. I want to be the one that everyone else follows.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Preparing for the South of the James Market

I’m looking forward to maybe getting out to the shop tonight to put a load into the kiln. I figure it will take about three hours to design and cut a full load. There’s a huge box of materials for my recycled exchange project in the back of my car. I’m looking forward to getting those processed, but I really need to focus on making stock for the South of the James Market Fair next week.

Since I don’t have time to fire up the hothead before we go, I might just take apart one of my necklaces for some of my better beads to make into pendants and charms. It will give me incentive to get back to the torch later. Either that, or I’ll just do without the necklace, but I hate not having any of my own work to wear. My poor torch is so neglected. I’m just not in love with it. It just seems to take so much time to make beads when I can load the kiln up with fusing and walk away. Funny how I don’t mind spending 20 some odd hours of firing time on one plate, but I don’t want to take 10 minutes to make a bead. Yup, I’m weird.

Last night, I didn’t get home until nearly 10pm so all I had time to do was glue up a few pendants. They really don’t thrill me so I’m not sure how long I plan on keeping this product line. Sure, they’re fast and a good earner, but they don’t feed my soul. It’s too much of a crafty project and not enough of an artsy one. I am pretty proud of the one I made my sister for her birthday though. Hers is her first initial on some beautiful gold flowered paper. I hope she likes it. She likes very simple things so the paper might be too much. We’ll see.

Yes, I am stressing over this show. I don’t have enough of anything – particularly earrings. I don’t need to worry. My friend over at “A Hot Piece of Glass” will have plenty of stuff. I’m just crashing her parade for a day so it’s just silly to let it bother me. It’s just that I have so many ideas and so little time to enact them. So frustrating!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Just Because

I can't leave that test post at the top of the blog. I mean, that's totally lame, isn't it? If you're here, you probably want to know a little bit about me. I'm a long time blogger and a fiend for working in glass. My friend Christine invited me to Blogger to be part of a collaborative effort so since I had a profile already, I decided to put a project journal here. My main blog is over at Live Journal and that's where I write all about my kids, my life and my various hobbies. This space will be all glass, all the time. So watch this space for periodic posts on glassy goodness!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Can you see me now?