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Bob Meyer
06-05-2011, 05:58 PM
Do any of you have any familiarity with non-compete clauses for employee glassblowers? Would you be willing to share any details? Thanks!

Jordan Kube
06-05-2011, 07:06 PM
Could you be more specific? What are you trying to prevent?

Robert Gary Parkes
06-05-2011, 07:33 PM
the standard in Canada can be up to three years, but it is a grey area in law, if you are trying to prevent copying, after you're employee has left.. good luck.
best thing to do is sit down and bring it out in the open and set some rules, then try to get them to sign on the dotted line about it.

Barb Sanderson
06-05-2011, 08:40 PM
Legally there is no way you can enforce a noncompete for your employees since you cannot trademark your glass. I'm with Jordan wondering what you are trying to prevent?
Barb

David Patchen
06-05-2011, 08:49 PM
I blindfold all my assistants so they can't see what I'm making.

Bob Meyer
06-05-2011, 09:19 PM
No, David, I'm not interested in hiding what I'm making - heck, I do demos all day for anyone to come in and watch, and explain everything I'm doing.

Robert, that's what I'm looking for - length of time, also distance from business - that kind of thing. I know what's in the literature and what I've experienced personally, but I haven't seen specific examples in the glass world.

Barb, I think you must be thinking of something else. Any business can request a non-compete clause of an employee if they feel it's necessary to "protect their business" - I can't find any evidence that it has anything to do with copyrights.

Jordan, what I'm trying to prevent is something that's happened to other shops in my area - people have been trained to blow glass, and once they've learned, they've gone (been enticed?) to a place across to street to work. If any of you have ever been responsible for training someone, you know that training is the most expensive and least productive segment of any employee's tenure, and it's a substantial loss to lose someone just when they're starting to get productive.

Also, any business (at least one that's still going at this point) has developed a lot of strategies for advertising and marketing, strategies for purchasing, etc., etc., that they don't necessarily want to share with other shops in the area.

Anyway, I've seen a lot of damage done by what I'd consider predatory practices by certain shop owners in our area. None of this kind of activity has affected me so far, but I want to at least try to prevent it from being likely to.

Maybe I should apologize for not being more specific - but I thought the term "non-compete clause" was pretty specific as far as what it is and what it tries to accomplish.

Robert Gary Parkes
06-05-2011, 09:56 PM
I worked for more than 20 years for a "glasshouse" and was involved in many "designs" that made the company survive. I saw a few, come and go, and of course, cash in on a good thing when they went solo. It destroyed many good friendships, sad. Look what has happened south of the border with...well you all know.
It is complicated.
I just feel blessed to walk into my Studio, turn on the tunes, and make stuff that other people, not involved in this "thing" we are, like, and take home with them.
I try not to waste what little time I have left on the planet, trying to copy other works.

Robert Gary Parkes
06-05-2011, 09:57 PM
David LOL.........

Pete VanderLaan
06-05-2011, 11:16 PM
David is really funny and Robert will probably get killed by his next door neighbor in his sleep for the chicken coop fan.

I think there are really two kinds of glassblowers these days. The ones who want to be lino and ones that are just grateful for a job at all. The lino ones are worth avoiding because they won't stay long. The others can last a fair length of time and make for a mutually rewarding relationship. It strikes me that if you have to start off a relationship with an employee essentially based on distrust, its a house built on a foundation of sand. I would look at where the employee has been up to the point you start talking to them about work, and that should tell you a lot and see how much they have gotten around and how long they have stayed in their jobs. Then talk to their former employers based on their recommendations. I would then see if they are trying to bring someone elses ideas in to your shop- I mean ask them what they can offer you. If they offer you techniques from down the road, you learn something right there. If they'll screw their former boss, they'll screw you too.

There really isn't much new under the sun and all that remains after that is personal ethics. Some people have them and some don't. Without trying to legally bind them, which you can't aford to legally pursue anyway, you can trust them for a while and only up to a point. If you really know something totally proprietary to your shop, there must be something pretty tricky about it. Don't show them the whole process. The only thing that keeps the Chinese from copying everything is if it's just too much work they won't bother. I make a lot of stuff like that. But if it's easy, someone is going to knock you off eventually. Times really have changed from the inception days doing this stuff. I really have been knocked off only rarely by employees and that was usually stealing the glass formula box which was only part of that game. Now at craft fairs I did get knocked off and all it took was looking at the finished work Maybe it doesn't happpen much anymore is because my work is ugly.

Thinking this way will drive you nuts. Good luck.

Hugh Jenkins
06-06-2011, 12:23 AM
Brilliant advice Pete. Just make ugly work when you have help. Don't let anyone see the good stuff.

Jordan Kube
06-06-2011, 12:37 AM
It sounds like you know the score pretty well. Is there anything else you can be doing to retain quality help? One of the best things you can do while you're learning is work at different glass studios. Not exactly a great thing if you're an employer, but good to know how the help might feel. Any way you can get skilled glass workers from other businesses? Maybe their workers would like a change of pace?

Doug Sheridan
06-06-2011, 06:05 AM
I believe non-compete would be about copyright and patent. There would have to be a creative technique, only known by you, and it will then produce items that can be patented. Otherwise it's just your word against theirs. Non-competes are mostly used for highly technical designs that have a large market share. Even if you get someone to sign one, you'd have to pay dearly to prove you've lost money from their actions. Anyone can copyright anything, so just make sure you let it be known you have them, if you're worried. To me, the secrets lie not so much in how things are created, but more in the skills it takes to sell the work and how to stay solvent. Most times, we can look at a finished product and unravel things, perhaps not always. But how to make money with it? Top secret!

Tom Fuhrman
06-06-2011, 07:55 AM
offer them very good health insurance and it will be difficult for anyone else to match your benefits. If they move on they'll find out what they gave up the first time they are injured or sick.
In right to work states, it is difficult to prevent someone from going elsewhere for employment. In the long run you'll spend lots of hours, money, and legal fees trying to enforce it. Is it worth $50K+ to fight it? Having the piece of paper with their signature on it is only the start, enforcing it and collecting damages is a whole different ball game. Better off to spend the $ qualified new hires, but it requires some creativity in knowing where to find them. The old glass houses in the past always had guys going from one factory to the next and then back again. They would even take an entire "shop" and move from factory to factory.
my $.02 worth.

Pete VanderLaan
06-06-2011, 08:02 AM
Brilliant advice Pete. Just make ugly work when you have help. Don't let anyone see the good stuff.
*************
It's a subset of David Pachens advice about the blindfolds.

But wow! I'm flattered! You really think some of it is good?

Ted Trower
06-06-2011, 08:49 AM
The standard in my profession is 2 years and 50 miles. Anything much beyond that is unenforceable as it prevents the individual from earning a living. The major corporation just down the road that I compete with routinely asks for this from their employees.

That said, I choose not to ask for non-competes. They have several problems; 1. It's much like asking your fiancee for a pre-nup. and starts the relationship on a note of distrust. 2. While they may be enforceable in court I'm not interested in spending my time (think years) and money (six figures at a minimum) in that manner. 3. I've chosen to pay my staff well and treat them with respect. Under those conditions I've not had a problem with any of them competing with my practice. 4. Not all employees work out, the ones that move on are generally not missed that much.

Jon Myers
06-06-2011, 10:51 AM
I think that any noncompete in oregon would just be unenforceable. You should encourage anyone who's leaving your shop to start a new one to buy the best quality equipment possible as the cheap stuff has no resale value when they quit. And wish them luck. they'll need it and one day you may get a job you can't handle on your own and it's great to have someone you can call that you know....

Virgil Jones
06-06-2011, 10:55 AM
The standard in my profession is 2 years and 50 miles. Anything much beyond that is unenforceable as it prevents the individual from earning a living.
That said, I choose not to ask for non-competes. They have several problems; 1. It's much like asking your fiancee for a pre-nup. and starts the relationship on a note of distrust. 2. While they may be enforceable in court I'm not interested in spending my time (think years) and money (six figures at a minimum) in that manner. 3. I've chosen to pay my staff well and treat them with respect. Under those conditions I've not had a problem with any of them competing with my practice. 4. Not all employees work out, the ones that move on are generally not missed that much.

I agree with what Ted is saying.
I don't know if I'd do it now that I haven't had employees in a long time. However when I did this was my "employment contract".

Rahman Anderson
06-06-2011, 11:04 AM
I have a copy of Dale's 8 page document. They wanted to know when I could start. I told them I needed to look it over first. I said no ****ing way.

4. during the period of his or her engagement/association with the group or artist...independent contractor will not directly or indirectly through spouses, relatives, friends, associates, or others, and weather or not for compensation either on his or her own behalf or as an employee, officer, agent, consultant, director, owner, partner, joint venturer, share holder, investor or in any other capacity engage in any activity or business which is of the same nature as, or substantively similar to, an activity or business of the group or artist...

As I understand it the "activity or business" is primarily making and selling glass art. So at any time dale's lawyers can sue all employees for ever making anything or selling anything while "employed". Keep in mind I was offered space on the call list 2-3 days a month. It makes any other assisting illegal. It would mean your wife couldn't buy stock in ****ing Corning. I couldn't bring a friend a punty for free! It includes activities or businesses that any part or subsidiary of the "inc" are in as well. Publishing, instalation, education.
This is just after you sign away legal counsel if a dispute should arise.

Glass is a living tradition and all knowledge is passed from those that need help to those that provide help while learning the craft. It takes ****ing forever to get any good. That offers some protection. Beyond that it helps to be a decent person and good employer. In order to stay in the trade for as long as I did assisting I often traveled more to get there then I worked, took shit pay, no taxes or insurance paid for me or taken out, got stiffed, and went broke all the time. Then dale (after years on a team making his shit already) wants me to not work the other 28 days of the month? Making a life out of assisting is a shit life. THE PAY IS THE EDUCATION! Hire the right people. Keep them happy. Encourage them to make work and further themselves. I know 20 years ago there were so few people working that everyone got rich. Now days you need to make more then one thing your whole life to be in the game. Keep your people happy and your own work evolving and fresh. If the top of the food chain needs this and still can't win in court...? I hope my art never needs a lawyer in order to stay fresh and current. I am glad I assisted for over 12 years before I started my business. Of course I draw on all the people I have worked for. Lucky it has been dozens of people and the end result is a conglomeration of knowledge generously passed down. Passed down because you can't make shit with out your assistants.

Forget about this document.
You don't want to be anything like this.
Earn there respect. It will be cheaper to enforce. You will make better work.

Pete VanderLaan
06-06-2011, 11:05 AM
Amazing, simply amazing. Someone actually produced what someone else was asking for. This site never ceases to be unpredictable. Thanks Virgil.

Pete VanderLaan
06-06-2011, 11:41 AM
"I know 20 years ago there were so few people working that everyone got rich"
******************
That's a really common misperception Rahman. I would certainly agree that 20 years ago there was not a glut of glassmakers on the market as there is now but very few did as well as you would suggest. They were for the most part really innovative. I could actually name them.

I do think it interesting to note that collectively we knew far more about the chemistry and where the equipment came from back then than we do now. People today are far more adept with manipulating the material but farther away as a general body pursuing glass as a material used in artwork, rather than as a sole source material for ones product. ( I'm a "glass" Artist) as opposed to "I'm an artist." I note that Dale went back and remade his Blanket cylinder series which isn't exactly visionary thinking. I do think there is still some wonderful stuff being made, just not nearly enough wonderful stuff.

As to Dale's agreement. It was written by the lawyers who are married to people on the board. That's the best thinking they can do which is why you don't want to grow up and be one. It's the same people who talked him in to filing suit against Kaindl. There will always be Kaindls.

If you think about design and you think about the Chinese and the Italians, I think that the American studio glass movement is just as threatened as the Italian one because of homogenized inbred design. Most stuff I see isn't really very interesting but it seems to sell to someone but that stuff at Target just keeps getting better and better given its inherent limitations that it will still always be terrible, just "improving" terrible. Eben's movie is really accurate. I just watched it again. Now I want to see "Exit Thru the Gift Shp " again.

I'm having one of my pessimistic crabby times.

Rahman Anderson
06-06-2011, 02:11 PM
Sorry Pete I don't mean at all that the generation before had it easy. Just easier to be unique and to sell as not so many people out there churning out glass. I wish all were rich that paved the way. The last 30 or 40 years it seems is the most recent renaissance for glass in its historic ebb and flow. I am not so unhappy about where I landed in time. I do depend on the discoveries and inventions of my recent elders everyday. I also have been exposed to so much high level work that inspiration is not hard to find. It is a challenge and maybe what keeps things interesting that the bar is high. I don't mean to pick on Dale either. His work is/was interesting when current. I am huge fan of his important work. The driving forward of the idea of glass as fine art, the starting of educational centers both summer camp and university, helping to bring the Italians and other Europeans over here, and charging (and getting) such outrages prices that this country will now pay what they do for glass art. I understand what we owe. The reason we owe it is because we learned. The idea we should not practice what we learned because we worked for someone's business while learning is absurd. There is a trade off between an employer profiting not just off your sweat but your skill and input. That trade off is a living while getting an education. You bring what you have learned to the job and hope you are sent away with more. If the last generation was rich like I said we could probably still find jobs assisting. Now I am trying to run a shop. If someone hadn't shared knowledge with the boss they wouldn't be the boss. To then say it belongs to there business interest is a disservice to all who came before. These traditions are inherent in the glass making process. This is one of the reasons to be in glass. This is one of the things that makes it worth while.

Pete VanderLaan
06-06-2011, 04:10 PM
Some people are naturally gross and offensive. Some have to have lawyers to help make them that way. When I was under Dale's influence, he took really good care of us all and we knew that. Money changed everything. Dale's blanket cylinders were selling for about $700.00 in 1976. He made 17K per year as professor at RISD. If I looked to the people I thought had done the most significant work in that time period, I would say Mark Peiser, I would say Libinsky, I would say Morris. I wouldn't say Chihuly but I would say that Chihuly raised the tide around all of our boats so we get to screw with this wonderrful material. I think the success of the Italians in the last 20 years financially is because Dale put a spotlight on them whether he wanted to or not. I wouldn't say that about the others. Morris knew when to leave. Peiser and Libinsky were simply from different planets but they benefitted from Dale pushing glass from being thought of as art instead of craft. That will always be Dale's greatest contribution in my mind. Those non comp papers never came from Dale's head I would wager. It really isn't who he is.

Bob Meyer
06-06-2011, 05:03 PM
Sorry Pete I don't mean at all that the generation before had it easy. Just easier to be unique and to sell as not so many people out there churning out glass. I wish all were rich that paved the way. The last 30 or 40 years it seems is the most recent renaissance for glass in its historic ebb and flow. I am not so unhappy about where I landed in time. I do depend on the discoveries and inventions of my recent elders everyday. I also have been exposed to so much high level work that inspiration is not hard to find. It is a challenge and maybe what keeps things interesting that the bar is high. I don't mean to pick on Dale either. His work is/was interesting when current. I am huge fan of his important work. The driving forward of the idea of glass as fine art, the starting of educational centers both summer camp and university, helping to bring the Italians and other Europeans over here, and charging (and getting) such outrages prices that this country will now pay what they do for glass art. I understand what we owe. The reason we owe it is because we learned. The idea we should not practice what we learned because we worked for someone's business while learning is absurd. (Edited for content here as I do fear the lawyers. Not going to say how many designs came from a shop never set foot in.) I learned so much in that studio. There is a trade off between an employer profiting not just off your sweat but your skill and input. That trade off is a living while getting an education. You bring what you have learned to the job and hope you are sent away with more. If the last generation was rich like I said we could probably still find jobs assisting. Now I am trying to run a shop. If someone hadn't shared knowledge with the boss they wouldn't be the boss. To then say it belongs to there business interest is a disservice to all who came before. These traditions are inherent in the glass making process. This is one of the reasons to be in glass. This is one of the things that makes it worth while.

I'm not sure why this keeps taking the direction of copying someone else's work. It is hard to imagine an individual artist having a student sign a non-compete clause, for instance. That is absurd. But that's different than what I'm talking about.

Rahman, I understand your attitude toward this after taking the path you have. You've been gaining knowledge and experience - things that nobody can take away from you. But you have your own shop now? If it's still running in a few years, I think you might find that you have something a little more tangible of value - something that can indeed be taken away.

It's hard to get away from the worry - the things, as Pete said, that would "drive you nuts". There's a lot on the line once you have this big a chunk of money invested in something.

David Patchen
06-06-2011, 06:05 PM
Joking aside, I think a non-compete would be 1. legally unenforceable and 2. not worth the legal fees even if you could enforce it.

If you teach someone to bring you bits, punties, do starts and other general assisting I really doubt that they will have the skills or the money to start their own shop. If they end up going to work for one of your competitors locally I think that's just the way it is. If one of your competitors' assistants wanted to come work for you I think you'd probably think it would be pretty unfair if their old boss tried to restrict their future employment with you.

I think it's a legal ratthole at best and kind of mean-spirited at worst and not worth really worrying about.

Patrick Casanova
06-06-2011, 06:30 PM
Bob,

I'm not sure I get your bent then... Are you talking marketing and sales related confidentiality? Because an employee can be totally familiar with your wholesale accounts and product line. Especially if you have had the good fortune to land an account that becomes part of your core business. They can be aware of the price your charging... even know the name of the customer contact... all of that is protected under a good non-compete agreement. And that is different than the vagueness of design issues as far as the courts are concerned. The product design universe has worked through a lot of those issues and you may want to talk to one in your area. The medical tech device arena has dealt with it as well.

Jordan Kube
06-06-2011, 07:38 PM
As far as I can tell it's not about the work, you just don't want your employees to leave to work for other local glassblowers or open up their own studios nearby. It doesn't sound like a non competition agreement is an answer to your problems or any of the ones listed above. Give them a reason to stick around. This sounds like sour grapes.

Bob Meyer
06-06-2011, 07:38 PM
Bob,

I'm not sure I get your bent then... Are you talking marketing and sales related confidentiality? Because an employee can be totally familiar with your wholesale accounts and product line. Especially if you have had the good fortune to land an account that becomes part of your core business. They can be aware of the price your charging... even know the name of the customer contact... all of that is protected under a good non-compete agreement. And that is different than the vagueness of design issues as far as the courts are concerned. The product design universe has worked through a lot of those issues and you may want to talk to one in your area. The medical tech device arena has dealt with it as well.


I think you do get what I'm talking about, Patrick. Obviously, there have been a lot of shops that have NOT made it recently, and I believe that one of the things that separates the ones that have from those that haven't is how the business itself is run. You've mentioned a couple of big ones.

I don't care about what an employee picks up here in the way of glassblowing - hell, I probably stand to learn a lot more from them than they will from me.

Maybe that makes this the wrong place to have gone for this kind of information. It sounds like there's just a small handful of owners out there that understand the issues of it - pro and con.

I do understand the easy come-easy go sharing attitude that's prevalent in glassblowing (and glaringly absent in other parts of the glass world), but from what I've seen in the relatively short time I've been in this, all bets are off when it comes down to business. All friendships, all gentleman's agreements, all understandings that two people might have had - are absolutely out the window when it comes down to any issue that has an affect on someone's business.

I've always heard that the best way of preventing problems in any business relationship is to have something in writing before going into it. Maybe it is like a prenup for a marriage in some respect, but it's certainly not romance you're entering into when hiring someone. I don't think most of you have much familiarity with human resources law these days, but - especially on the west coast - it's just insane. I don't think a non-compete clause is that unreasonable a thing to consider.

Larry Cazes
06-06-2011, 08:52 PM
I don't think most of you have much familiarity with human resources law these days, but - especially on the west coast - it's just insane. I don't think a non-compete clause is that unreasonable a thing to consider.

Worked as a design engineer for more than 15 years and I ALWAYS had to sign a non competition agreement as a term of employment. Never left a job on bad terms and never had an employer try to enforce it, though. Been lurking on this thread for a little and I still am not sure what you are trying to protect against. Can you elaborate a bit?

Bob Meyer
06-06-2011, 11:54 PM
As far as I can tell it's not about the work, you just don't want your employees to leave to work for other local glassblowers or open up their own studios nearby. It doesn't sound like a non competition agreement is an answer to your problems or any of the ones listed above. Give them a reason to stick around. This sounds like sour grapes.

Sour grapes??? What are you even talking about???

Jordan Kube
06-07-2011, 02:11 AM
Now that you've elaborated a bit it doesn't sound so much like that. You want to protect your contacts, accounts etc.

"people have been trained to blow glass, and once they've learned, they've gone (been enticed?) to a place across to street to work."

This line just seemed to stick out at me.

Rahman Anderson
06-07-2011, 03:33 AM
Are you training a local and then running them off or are you asking someone to move there and then asking them to sign away there right stay there and do what they do for a living if things don't work out with the job but they and or there family have settled? Sounds like a case of "it's always the assistants fault". Hire well and make em love you instead. You get loyalty, great working energy, innovation shared, and people that want to come in and work. Respect is soooo much easier. I just opened a shop on an Island where there has been a glass blower for over 30 years. We work together. I dare say it will foster more interesting work for both of us as we are both turned on by each others enthusiasm. I dare say it will bring in more business for us both to have more new exciting glass around. The first gather I ever took was from his furnace to help make the brew fest prizes for the homebrew party. This year we made the cups at my shop. Priceless for both of us. I just really think the route you are talking about will not foster a relationship. Come on guy you say you learn more from them then the other way around. That makes a non-compete offensive. You will take the previous "training" that they come with and then make em sign it away? You can't stop the fact that people are blowing glass everywhere. It is up to you to hold your public's eye.

Pete VanderLaan
06-07-2011, 09:13 AM
I think it would be good Bob, if you could say exactly what it is that has bugged you in the past? Otherwise we will all happily put words in your mouth. What exactly do you want this non compete clause to prohibit?

If you look historically at concentrations of glassworkers, it has been going on for virtually hundreds of years. Look at Murano! In this country, Look no further than New Jersey in the late 1700's to about 1825.( Glass Gaffers of New Jersey, Adelle Pepper) They all then burned their way across Pennsylvania and then to West Virginia where they all settled in the Southern Ohio Valley and have remained there to this day

In Modern Glass, Look no further than Penland, the Bay Area of San Franscisco, Santa Fe New Mexico or the hills surrounding Greenfield Massachusetts. Seattle should be Screaming at you as a concentration.

I think that good artists feed on each others creativity and positive energy. I really miss having glassworkers around now and I'm really isolated and that won't change. In that capacity Santa Fe was a great place to watch as it went from me in 1970, to seventeen studios in town in 2006. Was it harder to sell work? Yes but that had more to do with 9,000 glassblowers nationally as opposed to the 125 when I was a kid and people were inurred to glass by then. People who buy glass make choices and I think that competition spurs comparison which I view as good. I think that places like Seattle are very tough to work in though because there is just such a volume of shops that it's hard to get noticed and Dale does suck most of the oxygen out of the room.

I remember when there were really no glass shops in Oregon aside from Danny over at Bullseye or Eric at Uroboros. That growth came from so many of us being willing to take apprentices and to share what we knew. I know a lot of people who think that was a mistake. I don't. I think the market shakes it all out. Now, I'm kind of getting older and sharing information is really one of the few good contributions I can still make

That's my take on it today.

Bob Meyer
06-07-2011, 11:30 AM
Now that you've elaborated a bit it doesn't sound so much like that. You want to protect your contacts, accounts etc.

"people have been trained to blow glass, and once they've learned, they've gone (been enticed?) to a place across to street to work."

This line just seemed to stick out at me.

It didn't happen to me, though. And when you see that happen to someone else, it can make a guy feel a little vulnerable himself.

Travis Frink
06-07-2011, 11:45 AM
I think that good artists feed on each others creativity and positive energy. I really miss having glassworkers around now and I'm really isolated and that won't change.
....

I think the market shakes it all out. Now, I'm kind of getting older and sharing information is really one of the few good contributions I can still make

That's my take on it today.

I agree with the first point with the understanding of being in the same position of semi-isolation here.

When I began as an apprentice, the owner of the studio laid it out a little like that by saying that we were rivals in a way but that he felt it was not a bad thing if by our collective efforts we elevated the level of glass being made and appreciated/purchased.

There are people who will walk across the street for an extra dollar but as mentioned earlier they wont be missed for long. Having a mutual sense of respect and appreciation will go a lot furthur than a legal contract that might not even be legally enforcable at best- and may even discourage good assistants aor people with strong potential.

Greg Vriethoff
06-07-2011, 12:15 PM
Bob,

I hope you will take this in the spirit in which it is offered.

With all due respect, I think you should step back and question why you are spending so much psychic energy fretting over something that hasn't even happened yet. Yes, people sometimes "steal" other's designs, but I think what you're asking for is a legal solution to an ethical issue. There's a fine line between out-and-out theft of someone's ideas, and being influenced by another's work.

There are multiple voices here telling you that it is not worth the time and trouble to pursue this route. Yet, you keep rewording the question in the hopes of getting the answer you want to hear. The only people that these types of legal contracts protect are those like Dale that can afford a cadre of lawyers that can back it up. And, well, we all know how that turned out. Everything is as it was and a bunch of lawyers got rich(er). The only way it could stand-up in court is if it is blatant forgery.

In less pragmatic terms, my suggestion is that you use your energy instead honing your skills and focus on creating unique designs. Do you think the luminaries in our field like Dale, Billy, or Stanislav got to where they are by always looking over their shoulder? I think they had a vision and ran with it as fast as they could, leaving everyone in the dust. Do you think an idiot like Kaindl is going to ever take away Dale's achievements?

If it happened to me I would blame myself. Sure, the person(s) that did it are awful, unethical people, but I would see it as my failure. I let someone take my idea and turn it into something that I should have made. High quality in concept, design and craftsmanship should be our main focus, not what the other guy is doing. Otherwise it's just a race to the bottom (which is what I'm afraid is happening all too much right now).

Demand the highest quality from yourself. Don't insist upon mediocrity from your employees.

Bob Meyer
06-07-2011, 12:28 PM
Pete and Rahman - I'm not sure how else it can be said. It's not any kind of artistic angle I'm trying to keep from competing with me.

But there's a significant business end. Virgil had it in his contract - information regarding customers and suppliers, even color combinations. Patrick mentioned it in his post - knowledge of wholesale accounts I might have and what exactly I'm charging.

You guys make it sound like glassblowing is nothing but glassblowing. Pete, I know you long for those days when it was typical for a guy to make his own color and understand the chemistry and all that - but that requires the kind of margin that most businesses these days don't have the luxury of achieving. Who do any of you know that's been able to afford to simply blow glass and not pay attention to the business end of it? (that is, without using someone else's equipment) How many of you really think that the shops that have gone under in the last few years had nothing to do with how the business end was run?

Obviously, there are skills/knowledge involved in keeping a business going that not everybody has, or that not everybody cares to take the pains to learn. I do want to be able to share that with an employee, especially another glassblower - as much to further their skills as to be more useful to me. However, when they leave the business - and you know everybody will eventually, no matter how they're treated - I want to see them thrive with whatever they do, but I really don't want to see it done at my expense.

The standard that the courts seem to use in deciding whether to uphold these contracts is whether it puts an undue burden on the employee as far as being able to find work. It seems that a 50 mile radius is fairly common for these, and there are a heck of a lot of places outside that radius to choose from. As far as time frames, I've seen anywhere from 1 to 5 years, so I'm looking for more information on that.

I've appreciated the responses, though it seems that the majority have been from the employee end, and therefore more negative. But the input overall has made me question the usefulness of such an agreement - it does seem to start things off with feelings of mistrust. But I think that's just something to discuss and negotiate with the person - get a feel for how they feel about it.

As far as putting words in my mouth, the only question I asked was whether anyone was familiar with any standard in this industry for non-compete clauses and what they might be - I think that's pretty specific. I didn't ask for the pros and cons of having one - I do have some awareness of of them.

But I think the concept is far more wide-spread than most of you realize. I was surprised over the last few years when I've found that many restaurants require waitresses to sign non-compete clauses, that many breweries require them of guys that do nothing but fill cases with beer bottles. Maybe they're frivolous, maybe they're unenforceable - but employees seem to observe them.

Pete VanderLaan
06-07-2011, 01:06 PM
I actually think those clauses for waitresses are capitalism in the cancerous stages.

I don't long for the days when people made their own color. Few ever did. Anyone who has ever made their own or does actively will tell you how much faster your production will run and how profoundly less you will spend on color. I just gather my color. I don't have to pay someone to heat it up. How much less do you think that costs?

Places like craftweb blow up secrecy on a regular basis. The information I am capable of coming up with in under an hour here is absolute efficiency compared to what went on twenty five years ago when jerks actually tried to keep fuming with stannous chloride a state secret. wholesale Craft fairs expose you to a very small group ( and shrinking) of outlets for your work which is competed over very heavily by a small group of glassworkers, few of whom have any particular claim to the remotest form of originality.

If what you really want is to be able to tell someone who works for you that they can't set up shop within fifty miles of you for the next three years after they leave your employ and that they can't sell to the same clients you do that they might meet at Philly, good Luck with that. There really are no other secrets. You can either blow glass and make a profit or you can't. That involves a lot of common sense approaches to controllling costs and finding new outlets.

I'm always still much more interested in whether someone is making interesting stuff with the goop. God knows the quantity of pedestrian work could choke a cow.

To say that no one takes being knocked off seriously because it hasn't happened to them is just not acccurate. It has happened to most everyone I know, myself included and the rationalizations are really always the same, pointing to some minor difference in the artworks. To say that being knocked off for business practices is simply what I would call the competition. Just get in touch with what you can and cannot share.

As to putting words in your mouth, I wasn't trying to be offensive, just real. It's still really hard to understand what you don't want to have happen to you that you are going to put in writing for an employee. I'm not coming from the employee end, I'm coming from the humanist end with a dose of reality. I have run my own biz for forty some years and had as many as seven employees. I preferred hiring mexican nationals because they didn't set up next to you.They were very trainable and proved to be profound craftsmen. At the end I paid about $17.00 hr and had paid vacation and medical. Whoever said just treat them well was right. Santa Fe didn't go from just me to seventeen shops for no reason. I trained a lot of the people in those shops. I still did just fine.

What i do beleive in is leaving a mark on the trade. It's why being in the Corning collection meant a lot to me. I don't want my tombstone to say "He made great vegetables"

Greg Vriethoff
06-07-2011, 01:34 PM
Isn't imitation the sincerest form flattery?

Pete VanderLaan
06-07-2011, 01:36 PM
Is that why STD's spread?

Rahman Anderson
06-07-2011, 05:38 PM
Pete I am moved by your posts today in this thread and another. With deep gratitude for your contributions I write this. Your influence has been felt in my world for far longer then I even knew you were out there. 10 or so years ago I made a favorite piece. It was for someone close to me to celebrate a fall birth. Karen gave me a leaf, high honor for some one so green. I overlayed a piece of white then a piece of scrap color that had been on the shelf there for a few months and double stuffed. It came out with multi-colored patterns I had never imagined. No idea what had happened until Jordan came up last summer with a 5 gallon bucket of his Calcedony, variation of your Calcedony. The color ten years ago was out of a sample pack of flying colors you had sent for our team to try. I have tried 4 times to match a color for a customer that they love on a piece I made at John's with color he made with knowledge you imparted. I had never gathered color before my friends learned from you. I will do my part. I will always strive to make interesting things with the goo. I will make sure before I move on to impart the knowledge in good minds and hands. My one wish is after as many years of service I still get stupid and sit and stare. Your mark is permanent. Your influence felt all over. Respect and gratitude.

Pete VanderLaan
06-07-2011, 05:57 PM
Dripping a color that is going to strike on the floor is a very peaceful thing to do. Particularly the colloidal silvers. It can be like watching an animal being born which I also find particularly entertaining. It comes out and blinks and just goes "Whoah" Try it.

Thanks.

Bryan Flahiff
06-07-2011, 07:50 PM
I've been both emp. and owner in several studios since the early 80's. The ones I was the emp. at were and are big time, although some no longer exist. Zellique, Wiesbach and some others.
Here's the thing. sure get them to sign something, for what good it would do.Remember the days when we worked for peanuts and ate Ramen, the only reason we stayed was " I just wanna blow glass"
A good emp is someone we get along with and has abilities or is trainable.
As they gain exp. they say I can do this, and may leave no matter what you do or say. That being said, benefits are great but what do they want -hot shop time-. Give them some time before a charge cycle or sometime that doesn't affect your schedule.
The other thing that can be done is tell them what your electric bill is, what a brick costs, what batch costs etc. Also tell them your horror stories with marketing, gallery sales, gift shops, big (wholesale) shows, local events etc.
If they are aware of the overhead, business pitfalls and have some blowtime making pc's they might be able to sell, they may stay.
Be a mentor, teach them the things you learned the hard way. All a glassblower wants to do is blow glass, foster that and you will find great people.

Gregory Nangle
06-07-2011, 08:21 PM
this thread is a bummer on many levels.

Jordan Kube
06-07-2011, 09:55 PM
Bummed out? Turn on any TV news show tonight and you'll hear stuffy, serious faced, self important news anchors repeatedly saying the word weiner. Good stuff

Barb Sanderson
06-07-2011, 10:06 PM
Pete I am moved by your posts today in this thread and another. With deep gratitude for your contributions I write this. Your influence has been felt in my world for far longer then I even knew you were out there. I will make sure before I move on to impart the knowledge in good minds and hands. My one wish is after as many years of service I still get stupid and sit and stare. Your mark is permanent. Your influence felt all over. Respect and gratitude.

I second all of that - thanks Pete. Group hug?

Barb

David Patchen
06-07-2011, 10:07 PM
Afraid of them stealing accounts? Keep them out of the office. Why should they know where your work is going?

Gregory Nangle
06-07-2011, 10:36 PM
becasue other things are a bummer this thing cant also be a bummer? not sure i see your point.i dont own a tv, and haven't for at least fifteen years.

Jordan Kube
06-07-2011, 11:28 PM
It was supposed to cheer you up. I don't have it either. I was watching one today though and that's all that was coming out.

Greg Vriethoff
06-08-2011, 01:42 AM
My speech doesn't work as well without the tear-jerker violin music in the background.

I'll be over in the corner.

Doug Sheridan
06-08-2011, 06:36 AM
If the truth about costs won't discourage them, then by definition, they must be a glassblower.

It seems that the hiring process is where you need to be vigilant. Instead of a contract at hiring, remove all doubts about their work ethic beforehand. Try a week trial period and see how it goes.


Thirds on what Rahman says about Pete.

Pete VanderLaan
06-08-2011, 08:46 AM
. Try a week trial period and see how it goes.


**********************
Great advice! I had a friend in New Mexico who always said "Don't hire anyone until you are so glad to see them coming through the door that you don't care if they screw sheep in their spare time."

Ted Trower
06-08-2011, 08:54 AM
Isn't imitation the sincerest form flattery?

Even if it's sincere, not many people enjoy it.

Pete VanderLaan
06-08-2011, 09:03 AM
So Ted, Is their a lot of plagarism in the prosthetics industry? ( His knee looks just like my knee!)

Ted Trower
06-08-2011, 09:07 AM
Absolutely, as well as many cries of FOUL!

Often discussion in this field breaks down to arguments of trade vs profession, much as ones here tend to bend towards art vs craft.

Research the name John Sabolich and you will find we even have our own Chihuly. Highly skilled in marketing and hype, even if he doesn't make anything himself.

Pete VanderLaan
06-08-2011, 09:25 AM
I would have been surprised if you had said "No". I can just see the subleties of plagarized middle finger prosthetics now... So, who is the "Thomas Kincaid" of fake limbs?

So I did google him. I love the name "Hanger Prosthetics" Specialty politics are just so weird.

Jordan Kube
06-08-2011, 04:07 PM
I would say the trial week is routine. I'm pretty sure I've been subject to one, spoken or unspoken, with every regular glass job I've ever had. It's good for everyone.

Kenny Pieper
06-08-2011, 04:49 PM
When I graduated from college in California I asked all the shops in the bay area, that I respected, if I could work a week for free with them. I offered to sweep the floor, do the grunt grinding, what ever they needed. From that experience I was able to decide where I would like to work and I think that I earned the respect through hard work and the show of commitment. Not to mention the education of seeing so many approaches to working with the material and running a shop. So when I chose the shop where I wanted to be they hired me.
I share everything with my employees that they want to know and blow time.
A friend in the shop is one of the most valuable thing in this business.
Kind of like the idea of karma.

Tom Bloyd
06-08-2011, 08:43 PM
I agree with Kenny.The freinships are one of the greatest rewards. I've had the good fortune of working with some great people.

Dave Bross
06-13-2011, 07:37 AM
First, the kharma angle....

I was run out of an excellent business back in the nineties by a combination of a powerful local politician wanting to set up his nephew in the same business and a number of my neighbors organizing and writing letters/making phone calls that lied to the IRS, enviro agencies and zoning. They did this because they were jealous and thought I was making too much money????

I was angry beyond definition for a couple of years.

Then the kharma kicked in....

The politician is doing a long stretch in federal prison for bribery and most of the ex-neighbors have died a slow and painful death at a young age...and no, I didn't help that along.

The major life lesson for me?

I wasted good years in a mood that compromised my enjoyment of life. From the moment of that realization on I've just done what I'm going to do and let fate take care of the rest.

What comes around always goes around, it just takes a while sometimes. I have absolute faith that any bad deed done to me will come back to the perp in spades. Once I started watching for this it amazed me how well it works.

I'm also watch to not set myself up to be vulnerable to those who would do you wrong...as per this thread.



A lot of how I do business was the result of a book I read a long time ago. I's a bit dated to read it now, but still a lot of good tips within:

Honest Business by Michael Phillips and Salli Rasberry

They had many suggestions similar to some mentioned above. One was having the accounting books as public info so people don't think you're becoming an overnight millionaire. That struck me because that's why my neighbors did me in.

Pete VanderLaan
06-13-2011, 08:02 AM
Oh Hell Dave. They were just jealous you could afford to drive a School bus.

Pete VanderLaan
06-13-2011, 12:40 PM
Well, I think that sums it up fairly well. You certainly have your finger on the industry pulse... ( I'd dynamite the highway, that'll teach 'em)

Dave Bross
06-13-2011, 02:03 PM
In an abstract way, that was another big lesson.

I needed to back off on working that hard and didn't know it. That business I was talking about earlier was scrap metal. I used to collect, process and sell well over a million pounds of it a year solo. I would be crippled or worse by now had I continued.

Only in hindsight did I realize that when bad stuff happens it's often setting you up to find the good stuff....if you're watching for the lesson while you're being hammered.

So life is good today. Everything is paid for and I can work a part time cake job that I love. Much freedom to do as I please.

I'm particularly thankful that my living doesn't depend on making glass right now.
It's one hell of a hobby...or an art...but a damn-sure-tough way to make a living.

Being kind and continuing the work on making original work will take you farther faster than any amount of money or signed paperwork. My definition of "kind" includes not withholding consequences for bad behavior or mistakes. No consequences, no learning.

That's also my overall opinion on life...I believe the only reasons we're here are to learn to be kind and to use our creativity. I suspect we have a lot more power and capability than we can ever know (or have access to) until we get those two down.

Jordan Kube
06-13-2011, 02:06 PM
Dave is really this nice in person too.

Rich Samuel
06-13-2011, 02:07 PM
Dave is really this nice in person too.

True that. :)

Bob Meyer
06-13-2011, 04:24 PM
I appreciate the replies - the majority of them that try to be constructive, anyway. I think you sum it up pretty well, Dave. I think Kharma certainly is something difficult to deny the existence of - I just wish it would act with more regularity!

On the other hand, I think it's sad that some participants in this kind of board feel a need to become vindictive enough to belittle someone else's work and goals when they differ from their own, even if such comments end up being retracted. It does not say much for such a person's character. And I think it's similarly sad that a "moderator" of a board that generally offers such a high caliber of information chooses to augment that kind of negativity rather than curb it.

But, in spite of the latter, I have appreciated the responses that you guys have taken the time to contribute.

Rahman Anderson
06-13-2011, 04:49 PM
I really think you are ignoring the most honest and valuable advice. I will gladly put the post up again if you would like to discuss it. There were no judgments about your work. It was straight talk. It was honest. Maybe it should be said. Maybe if the legal system provided the moral policing you are wishing for you would not be allowed to be in business. You are audacious to speak of my character.

Rahman Anderson
06-13-2011, 05:05 PM
Let alone speaking of Pete this way. Everything I said was a fact. I dare you to dispute any part of it as anything less then absolute fact.

Pete VanderLaan
06-13-2011, 05:40 PM
It does not say much for such a person's character. And I think it's similarly sad that a "moderator" of a board that generally offers such a high caliber of information chooses to augment that kind of negativity rather than curb it.

**************************
If you believe that the quality is usually such high caliber, you might think about why it might suddenly seem so bad compared to everything else suggested. You chose to not come out and say what you really wanted. You did everything you could to dance around it and I asked you point blank to say what you wanted or people would indeed put words in your mount.

They have. Shooting the messenger is a time honored tradition. I am but one of several it seems. Something I do try to do on the board is to shoot straight, to say what I think and I promised Katie a totally hands on approach.

Rahman Anderson
06-13-2011, 05:58 PM
The meat of what I retracted is this: To open a studio on the Oregon coast 27 miles from the oldest hot shop in the area and sell floats, flutey bowls, and flutey lipped vases is no original thought. It isn't your secret invention. 40 Years ago The Alder House started building a market there. You came along in 2007 and cashed in on there success. Now you want the law to protect you from anyone with out "morals" who would do the same to you. The law, this board, and anyone with any sense is not on your side. My Character? for real dude?

Rahman Anderson
06-13-2011, 06:28 PM
You even call karma into question...funny thing is...you have to be right.

Pete VanderLaan
06-13-2011, 06:28 PM
which is what I agreed with.

The trouble with asking advice is that sometimes you get advice that is not what you want to hear.

Rahman Anderson
06-13-2011, 07:31 PM
Wait a second...are you a republican Bob?

Rahman Anderson
06-13-2011, 07:53 PM
And the gloves are coming off.

Pete VanderLaan
06-13-2011, 07:55 PM
Now now lets use our inside voices shall we?

Dave Bross
06-13-2011, 08:22 PM
Thanks to Jordan and Rich for the compliments!

Kharma does have great regularity, it just comes around in a longer time frame than we are accustomed to looking at.

Inside voices....funny!

I tell the new kids on my school bus that my only overall rule is to know when to quit. I also tell them that most people have an inner child...but that I have an inner drill sargent. Know when to quit and you'll never get to meet him.

Rahman Anderson
06-13-2011, 08:59 PM
****in hate inside voices! It is so awesome outside my window. I agree. I am out. Into my own sunset. I am spending 10 G's on 10 weeks of help this summer. My hiring is happening right now too. I am paying through the nose. Exactly what I charge. And it is a lot to swallow. And it is the best help I could dream up. And it is my biggest expense everyday by 3 times. And It will be the best money I ever spent. I hope they learn as much as me and come back every year. I told her to set her own price and terms. I know I will get what I pay for. I will get what I gave when I was payed and respected and given time in the shop as a perc.

Barb Sanderson
06-13-2011, 09:40 PM
huh????????

Scott Young
06-13-2011, 11:52 PM
I've really enjoyed this thread... I have spent time in the corporate world (software developer and application systems, along with data communications) and there were many types of "non-compete" and "intellectual property" documents flying around. The basic idea was, if they were paying me to code, they owned the code and anything made on their time. When I began as an apprentice for glassblowing, I assumed the same attitude. They were paying me, so they owned whatever I made. I have heard of non-competes regarding opening a studio producing the exact products within a mileage radius (longer terms 1-3 years) and non-competes regarding employment at a like facility within a certain number of miles for a duration of 90 days or so. No big deal on those.

I do feel there are certain things that I would consider along the lines of intellectual property (glass formulas; specific "signature" designs; etc) but these are so hard to define and are mainly left to the descrection of the glassblower. I am the first to admit that I've attempted making thing I've seen to try and figure out the process, but, I would not try to make reproductions and sell as my own. I'd use the knowledge gained in the process to try and develop my own lines (I'm pretty sure that is what most do). In addition, anything I've been taught in an actual class that I paid for I feel is
training on processes I can use to develop my own ideas later.


Everyone makes pumpkins/fruits, ornaments, floppy bowls, vases, rollups, etc. Etc. Which I do not feel is "competition". My rule for making it in the business is 90-95% production, 5-10% art and production comes first. Of course, I'm fairly new to the business (about 5 years full time), but it has worked for me (slaving at the craft shows and consigning at galleries - you can actually make a living that way)

The main thing I want to pass on now (after all this long windedness) is don't sweat the small stuff!!!! As many of you know, I am now fighting cancer and it is winning. Due to all the surgeries and side effects, I am no longer able to blow glass. I had reached a point where I was finally comfortable with my life and my passion/pursuit of this art and it has been taken away. I will always love it and will follow it, but can no longer be an active participant. Instead of worrying about all the small things, take care of the most important documents such as wills, finances, family, and have your affairs in order. Thankfully, I've been given the time to do this and I enjoy every day as if it were my last.

Sorry for the long rant, but time is too short. Just treat others as you'd like to be treated, and to hell with the assholes of the world, eventually it will catch up to them.

Really wish I could meet a lot of you guys because I really appreciate the openness and sharing most of you are so willing to provide. Especially Pete and Henry and a few others of you that have answered my novice questions and helped me out along the way. If anyone cares to see the products I've made over the past 5 years, I'd love some critiques or "hey, that looks cool" (as I was not school taught) I had a few classes from various blowers, but I learned the most from Wes Hunting (thanks for putting up with all my questions Wes).

Www.young-designs.com

I plan to act as a sounding board/advisor to any of the local guys in this area if they are interested (or I'll try to answer any questions posted on here that I might know)
Anyway, thanks again to all!

Bob Meyer
06-14-2011, 02:14 AM
I've really enjoyed this thread... I have spent time in the corporate world (software developer and application systems, along with data communications) and there were many types of "non-compete" and "intellectual property" documents flying around. The basic idea was, if they were paying me to code, they owned the code and anything made on their time. When I began as an apprentice for glassblowing, I assumed the same attitude. They were paying me, so they owned whatever I made. I have heard of non-competes regarding opening a studio producing the exact products within a mileage radius (longer terms 1-3 years) and non-competes regarding employment at a like facility within a certain number of miles for a duration of 90 days or so. No big deal on those.

I do feel there are certain things that I would consider along the lines of intellectual property (glass formulas; specific "signature" designs; etc) but these are so hard to define and are mainly left to the descrection of the glassblower. I am the first to admit that I've attempted making thing I've seen to try and figure out the process, but, I would not try to make reproductions and sell as my own. I'd use the knowledge gained in the process to try and develop my own lines (I'm pretty sure that is what most do). In addition, anything I've been taught in an actual class that I paid for I feel is
training to develop my own.


Everyone makes pumpkins/fruits, ornaments, floppy bowls, vases, rollups, etc. Etc. Which I do not feel is "competition". My rule for making it in the business is 90-95% production, 5-10% art and production comes first. Of course, I'm fairly new to the business (about 5 years full time), but it has worked for me (slaving at the craft shows and consigning at galleries)

The main thing I want to pass on now (after all this long windedness) is don't sweat the small stuff!!!! As many of you know, I am now fighting cancer and it is winning. Due to all the surgeries and side effects, I am no longer able to blow glass. I had reached a point where I was finally comfortable with my life and my passion/pursuit of this art and it has been taken away. I will always love it and will follow it, but can no longer be an active participant. Instead of worrying about all the small things, take care of the most important documents such as wills, finances, family, and have your affairs in order. Thankfully, I've been given the time to do this and I enjoy every day as if it were my last.

Sorry for the long rant, but time is too short. Just treat others as you'd like to be treated, and to hell with the assholes of the world, eventually it will catch up to them.

Really wish I could meet a lot of you guys because I really appreciate the openness and sharing most of you are so willing to provide. Especially Pete and Henry and a few others of you that have answered my novice questions and helped me out along the way. If anyone cares to see the products I've made over the past 5 years, I'd love some critiques or cusps (as I was not school taught) I had a few classes from various blowers, but I learned the most from Wes Hunting (thanks for putting up with all my questions Wes).

Www.young-designs.com

Anyway, thanks again to all!

Hey, Scott,

Thanks for the insights from a truly unique perspective. I've been in the background following your posts about your health along the way - it sounds like you've really been through the works and have been putting up a hell of a fight. You give some great reminders of what's really important - on a number of levels.

So you came all this way with the soft glass in just 5 years? Of course, it may not mean as much coming from me as some of the other guys, but I think the breadth as well as the quality of your work is pretty amazing. I'm glad for you that you had a crack at pursuing what has obviously been the kind of passion that most people never find in their lifetimes.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and work. You'll certainly be in my thoughts.

Greg Vriethoff
06-14-2011, 02:26 AM
...I am now fighting cancer and it is winning. Due to all the surgeries and side effects, I am no longer able to blow glass. I had reached a point where I was finally comfortable with my life and my passion/pursuit of this art and it has been taken away. I will always love it and will follow it, but can no longer be an active participant. Instead of worrying about all the small things, take care of the most important documents such as wills, finances, family, and have your affairs in order. Thankfully, I've been given the time to do this and I enjoy every day as if it were my last.

Scott,

I'm so sorry. It breaks my heart to read this.

Shortly after I returned to the States in '08, I began having the wonderful experience of passing kidney stones. I ended-up in the emergency room three times in as many months. On the third visit, I had that moment that everyone sees on television shows- the doctor comes in the room and closes the door behind him. Ominous. He says he sees something else on the films from the MRI. Looks like an enlarged lymph node. Probably due to a lymphoma of some kind. Long story short, it was a false alarm. Two radiologists and a gifted thoracic surgeon couldn't see what this ER doc saw. It was the longest week of my life. I mention this because of what you said about remembering what's important. I was really surprised by all the things that came up during that seemingly long week where I thought I might have to come to terms with my mortality long before I felt I was ready to.

Thank you for reminding me to be grateful for what I have and not to squander it.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Tom Fuhrman
06-14-2011, 10:50 AM
Dave: here's another compliment for you. You live what you say.
good karma comes around quite often, you just need to be perceptive of it when it does. If you're wrapped up in the bad it can off set the good when it comes around. Catch it if you can!
Ia amazing how the checks and business always seem to appear after I help someone else out. Energies are a lot of what we need to learn a lot more about. Art is a special energy all unto itself.

Pete VanderLaan
06-14-2011, 12:01 PM
huh????????
************
It's OK Barb. Rahman is having what is medically known as "A Conniption Fit". They pass, like Kidney Stones.

Pete VanderLaan
06-14-2011, 12:02 PM
For Scott:

I don't really have any words right now. I'm just really sorry.

Dave Bross
06-14-2011, 06:46 PM
Amen on that for Scott.

Thanks Tom

P.S. Scott, enjoyed your work!

Rika Hawes
06-18-2011, 08:47 AM
Well... There seems to be some talk about competing businesses that I'm not familiar with, so I'm going to leave that part of the banter alone, but I do have some resources that I made use of in developing contracts that I now use with the independent contractors that work with me.

The files I uploaded and (hopefully!) attached to this message are generic contracts I found online after having been burned pretty bad (and not in the hot shop!). I'm getting better at this business ownership thing, but am still learning... I used these templates as a guide and altered the content to suit my situation and studio practice. Then I checked in with a lawyer friend to make sure my amended agreements are legal.
I also amended the contracts I use with clients, so everyone involved is on the same page.


My understanding of these issues has become much clearer since I took the time to understand standards of practice, business ethics and codes of conduct from the perspective of the business community. My craft & design education touched on some of these topics when I was a student, but I needed to take the next step in taking responsibility not only for making sure employees are treated respectfully, safe in the shop and get paid, but in protecting my business and my employees from the confusion that ensues when codes of conduct and professional practice aren't clearly outlined.
It took a lot of work, but I'm glad I took the time. The issues I once had are no longer a problem. If potential 1099 employees have a problem with the contract I ask them to agree to & sign when they start working for me, they can walk. The contracts I use aren't excessively prohibitive and I'm not trying to prevent people from starting their own businesses and building their career, but I do outline what is and isn't OK.
It's been very, very helpful.
Rika

Bob Meyer
06-20-2011, 11:35 PM
Well... There seems to be some talk about competing businesses that I'm not familiar with, so I'm going to leave that part of the banter alone, but I do have some resources that I made use of in developing contracts that I now use with the independent contractors that work with me.

The files I uploaded and (hopefully!) attached to this message are generic contracts I found online after having been burned pretty bad (and not in the hot shop!). I'm getting better at this business ownership thing, but am still learning... I used these templates as a guide and altered the content to suit my situation and studio practice. Then I checked in with a lawyer friend to make sure my amended agreements are legal.
I also amended the contracts I use with clients, so everyone involved is on the same page.


Thanks, Rika - that helps a lot!

My understanding of these issues has become much clearer since I took the time to understand standards of practice, business ethics and codes of conduct from the perspective of the business community. My craft & design education touched on some of these topics when I was a student, but I needed to take the next step in taking responsibility not only for making sure employees are treated respectfully, safe in the shop and get paid, but in protecting my business and my employees from the confusion that ensues when codes of conduct and professional practice aren't clearly outlined.
It took a lot of work, but I'm glad I took the time. The issues I once had are no longer a problem. If potential 1099 employees have a problem with the contract I ask them to agree to & sign when they start working for me, they can walk. The contracts I use aren't excessively prohibitive and I'm not trying to prevent people from starting their own businesses and building their career, but I do outline what is and isn't OK.
It's been very, very helpful.
Rika


Thanks, Rika - that helps a lot!

Rahman Anderson
06-06-2012, 09:25 PM
Funny thing happened recently. A friend of mine was showing my work around on the Oregon coast. Happened to take it unknowingly into Bob's shop. Oh did he love the work. Was going to buy some for his gallery! Until he heard my name. That was it. Deal was off. Laughing my ass off. Sorry to call a spade a spade. Wouldn't want to sell my work at a place with such low morals. This thread protected me from doing business with someone who has a debt to pay... to the all seeing karma! I sell to the shops that developed that market.

Rahman Anderson
06-06-2012, 09:42 PM
By the way my free assistant who learned everything she knows from me is now making objects much like mine. I celebrate her efforts! I am in New York making progress as a business. I too know have a piece in the collection at Corning and this beats any cash I will ever make!

Pete VanderLaan
06-07-2012, 05:34 AM
"Night of the living undead zombie thread" at an internet chat room soon near you!

Greg Vriethoff
06-07-2012, 11:29 AM
It keeps coming back...like kidney stones.

Rollin Karg
06-08-2012, 07:39 AM
It can be an annual event.

Michael Mattei
06-08-2012, 02:47 PM
I don't appreciate the "Are you a Republican" crack bub. If you want to start using morally shiftless examples for your slurs pal, I'd be looking at the current crop of thieves, liars and union thug bosses running the democrat party.

As for Bob's question combined with not working in glassblowing so Im certainly not hip to all the particulars, I gotta say you glass blowers are a hoot. I've seen downloads from my site shopped around to other studios with my name across the page. I've had other studios call me to price portions of my windows that they couldn't reproduce to drop into their copies. When I had a retail store many years ago, another opened 3 doors down.(all democrats BTW bub)

And Rahman has problems with 27 miles!!! Good grief dude.

Pete VanderLaan
06-08-2012, 05:43 PM
Don't start.

Eben Horton
06-09-2012, 07:14 AM
If you blow glass by yourself, you will never need a non compete contract.

Pete VanderLaan
06-09-2012, 08:50 AM
If you blow glass by yourself, you will never need a non compete contract.
***********
And if you never show anyone what you make, you'll never get copied!

Eben Horton
06-09-2012, 01:38 PM
True. But if you are truly great at what you make and teach many how to do it, you may benifit greatly. would Lino be where he is today if he did not come here to teach?

David Patchen
06-09-2012, 02:22 PM
If you blow glass by yourself, you will never need a non compete contract.

You are assuming you don't have multiple personality disorder. Could such a person rip themselves off?

Pete VanderLaan
06-09-2012, 03:36 PM
True. But if you are truly great at what you make and teach many how to do it, you may benifit greatly. would Lino be where he is today if he did not come here to teach?
***********
I remember when Lino was making $9.00 hr as a floor worker. Lino is a very shrewd guy and Dale is in fact very generous with the people he has worked with.

Tom Fuhrman
06-09-2012, 05:04 PM
***********
I remember when Lino was making $9.00 hr as a floor worker. Lino is a very shrewd guy and Dale is in fact very generous with the people he has worked with.

Pete: now you're really showing your age.

Pete VanderLaan
06-09-2012, 05:42 PM
well, at the time, $9.00 hr was a very sweet pay scale. Dale really was very good to the people who he relied on in terms of seeing them get their own careers stabilized. That particularly applies to Billy and Lino.

Dave Bross
06-10-2012, 11:10 AM
Well, well well...

Something came in over the transom this morning that is actually (somewhat) on topic and certainly most educational:

http://www.john-carlton.com/2012/06/cynics-sociopaths-garden-variety-azzholes/?link1

Pete VanderLaan
06-10-2012, 07:00 PM
That , in fact was excellent Dave, Thank You, I love the descriptions of spotting sociopaths. It describes someone I worked with a few years ago that I would not piss on if he was on fire.

David Hopman
06-10-2012, 08:03 PM
That , in fact was excellent Dave, Thank You, I love the descriptions of spotting sociopaths. It describes someone I worked with a few years ago that I would not piss on if he was on fire.

No, you should piss on him. Just take care to avoid the burning parts.

Dave Bross
06-11-2012, 01:24 PM
Yup, I liked the "hands on" info for spotting 'em. I have definitely let a few get past the radar without being identified. Now I know why.
For other good defenses you can activate by understanding how you process things unconsciously, scroll down the comments to my second comment mentioning a very expensive book. Understanding what's in that book will save your ass repeatedly too. I wish it wasn't so expensive so more people could read it.

Some of the other stuff mentioned in the responses is pretty good too.

Here's another link with some info from the guy who wrote one of the books mentioned in the replies:

http://www.whale.to/c/know_thy_self.html

Following the other links there will take you from interesting to unlikely...see the Psychopathy link up top for how we're being overtaken by a race of part reptile part man for unlikely.
The authoritarian link is interesting though. I never was fond of authority.
The female psychopaths link is very interesting.