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Old 11-27-2019, 04:29 PM
John Riepma John Riepma is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Grand Haven, MI
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Another thing that I think is killing glass sales as well as the Art Gallery business in general is the changing demographics of an aging population. I've been told by a friend whose sister is a long-time flight attendant for a major airline that there has been a very dramatic shift in the makeup of the average passenger manifest these. Days. When she started it was mostly businessmen and wealthier couples going on vacation. Nowadays it seems to be shifting towards younger people who travel the world with a backpack or carryon collecting experiences. They own very little and don't want to own more, which they view as an encumbrance that restricts their mobility.

The young adult children of friends of ours have moved around the country to different jobs several times before they got to 30. In some case they just left the furniture in the previous apartment and walked away with what they could carry in a car because it wasn't worth the effort or money to move it across the country. Just go the IKEA store in the next town and repeat the process. To people like this a piece by Lino or Chihuly has no value at all, and that cohort of the population is growing.

I don't think that collector demographic is ever going to go completely away, but it continues to shrink and weed out the people who need to make money at glassblowing to continue. As I believe Shawn said recently, it's a pastime now, not a vocation for all but a few.

I have observed that a large number of people now want the experience of a blow-your-own ornament or other object experience. That's not as spiritually rewarding and continuing to stretch your artistic talents, but it pays the bills and I get to continue blowing glass for free. Which I always remind myself was just a dream when I started learning to do it.
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