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Old 09-02-2020, 05:32 PM
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GAS cancels Tacoma for a year

Just got the email. Tacoma GAS postponed until 2022. There will be belt tightening in Seattle coming on.
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:46 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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I'm a little surprised that they're pulling the trigger this far out, but I guess it's only 8 months out. I always thought that the local buy in cost to host was crazy. Especially since they're mostly just temporarily importing drunk degenerates .

Might be a good time to pick up some mothballed equipment in the cheap.
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Old 09-02-2020, 08:03 PM
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It's all in Benecia.
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Old 09-02-2020, 09:24 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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Today it is, I'm just waiting for the fallout from a year or more of no shows.

My one venue for the year cancelled. Anything I used to do is gone too. Luckily that income is more tied to the want pile. And I've started to get orders earlier than expected.
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Old 09-03-2020, 02:02 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is online now
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ACC Baltimore just announced they are cancelling the show in February.

I’m signed up for American Handmade in philly in February so I’d imagine it’s a matter of time to get the news that it will be cancelled too.
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Old 09-03-2020, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete VanderLaan View Post
It's all in Benecia.
That's actually pretty funny if you know the history.
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Old 09-03-2020, 04:12 PM
Kenny Pieper Kenny Pieper is offline
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Why would that be funny? Benecia has a long history in the contemporary glass movement
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Old 09-03-2020, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
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Why would that be funny? Benecia has a long history in the contemporary glass movement
Hi Kenny,

Not with glass, but the term "mothball." I'm from the Bay Area, and used to love looking at all the rusty ships in Suisun Bay going over the Benicia–Martinez Bridge as a kid.

https://www.kqed.org/news/11612408/r...ters-a-new-era
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Old 09-03-2020, 05:55 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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I'd almost say anything larger than a farmers market is gone til May. I could see some the wholesale/industry venues trying to do some kind of hybrid, but any full in person show is dead for the foreseeable near future.

There was no way they were going to pull of Circleville in October. That was the one I was hoping for, but luckily read the tea leaves right and I didn't invest in product. Winterfair was an on and off venue for me, and has gone "virtual" this year. Don't ask me what that means.

So far my consignment and wholesale accounts aren't as tepid. People seem to still want to buy stuff, just some of the old venues are cut off for now. Once I get the motivation, and have orders filled, I'll get online back up and running.
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Old 09-03-2020, 06:53 PM
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I genuinely know the pain in all of this from wondering if family coming to visit might fill the gas tank on my truck in ''79. Being an artist is so incredibly stressful, and it will go on your entire life if you can stay with it. There will be moments of profound beauty.

I go back now, about 12 years when Vic and I were talking about sitting on the tailgate of our trucks at farmers markets. It did just enough. I sold beer mugs to bars for five bucks. It was a lifeline. Over fifty years lifelines come out. You have to be willing to take them however humiliating they can really be. I don't like suggesting this but reality knocks on the door. You will do what you do, or you will wind up leaving glass and doing something that feeds you.

The economy is easy to hate. It's coming right at you. Fast.
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Old 09-03-2020, 07:48 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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I realized pretty well right out of undergrad that attempting to make a living off art was not going to be a life of leisure. Taking the admin route allowed me to stay keep my association, without the stress of how a bad show might devastate the rest of the year. The bohemian ways of the days prior to 2000 was something of a nostalgic dream, but came to understand only a select few got to capitalize on it.

I think that the idea of the "american dream" has led people to a false belief of the possibility of a static pleasurable existence. Our art economy is certainly not in isolation, even though it may seem like the waves hit us harder. I can't say that my footing right now is the most confident, but I've dealt with worse. Always going to stick with adaptation as the solution, economy be damned.
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Old 09-04-2020, 09:44 AM
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Diversify as fast as you can. I view teaching as diversity if it's institutional but not an act making blow your own ornaments. It was why I marketed pots and elements and color. It was why we had both a major wholesale at the same time we had a gallery in the prime part of town.

Each was insufficient but as a whole, it worked. The shops that failed in 2008 had too many benches and too much debt. The next year will be a nightmare. We're down 35% on crucible sales and that tells a clear story about the shops and schools in general.

The latter half of the 80's and into the 90's were rewarding for studios that made very high quality work at fair prices. The shows divided into high end and low end. Shows like Rosen founded themselves on low end and at the same time ACE became too big for its britches. That's a story in itself.
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Old 09-04-2020, 09:52 AM
Kenny Pieper Kenny Pieper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Vriethoff View Post
Hi Kenny,

Not with glass, but the term "mothball." I'm from the Bay Area, and used to love looking at all the rusty ships in Suisun Bay going over the Benicia–Martinez Bridge as a kid.

https://www.kqed.org/news/11612408/r...ters-a-new-era
Oh yea I know about the mothball fleet. I use to take my boat over there and fish for sturgeon between the ships.
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Old 09-04-2020, 10:42 AM
Tom Fuhrman Tom Fuhrman is offline
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Pete is right on with the diversity issue. Look for new markets and new items to produce. The sale of homes is up, especially the high end ones. Look to see what you can make that will fit into those markets. I.E. Door knobs, cabinet knobs, plumbing hardware for customization, wall decor, etc. It may not be what you want to be known for but it may bet you thru these rough times. Lighting is always another way to go. Functionality of an item during these times may be the key.
One other market is doing custom work for corporations in multiples. During these times of corporations not being able to communicate with their customers, they need items to distribute to their customers to keep their name in front of them. I would hate to tell you how many "hearts" I made for groups and corporations to give away as incentives and gifts.
Sometimes you have to reinvent yourself to survive. Glad I'm no longer on the producing end of trying to make a living doing glass. Enjoying retirement.
almost forgot, making components for the fusing and lamp-work markets is still very strong. Murrine, zanfirico, etc. I can't believe the number of $10,000 lathes that are out there making torch worked items and the $3,000 -4,000 torches. The guys making custom colored rods for lampworking are still selling that stuff for $50-90/lb. and people wait in line to get it. Boro colored rods can go for as much as $125/lb and more.
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Old 09-04-2020, 11:55 AM
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Greg Vriethoff Greg Vriethoff is offline
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We have some close friends here in Charlotte that have a porcelain studio. I recently saw them after a long stretch due to the pandemic. One said business is going well now that they're working with designers for rich clients. Their original business model of producing small run decorative and functional items for "average" people just isn't sustainable.

Art as a commodity has always been sport for wealthy people. A major factor that has driven-down the commercial viability of our trade is our shrinking middle class with disposable income of any kind. If you want to flourish doing this you'd better work really hard on kissing one-percenter ass. Hard work and passion will only take you so far.

The first glass blowing studio in Charlotte just opened less than two years ago. I can't imagine it will survive the coming storm.
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Old 09-04-2020, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
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Oh yea I know about the mothball fleet. I use to take my boat over there and fish for sturgeon between the ships.
Right. I forgot you went to CCAC.
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Old 09-04-2020, 01:23 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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I think where byo fails as smart income strategy is how you're marketing and programming. Once I started handling classes at my old place we doubled enrollment of regular classes, and private events were easily 3-4x. Prior to that there was little method, just madness. It took knowing the logistics of how to schedule at max efficiency, and ability to heard artists to really make it work. Getting in at corporations is really where the money was, the coffers for "team building" are insanely rich. Given, this strategy only really works if you can afford to handle the administrative side of things. If your generically cranky you'll never be able to deal with half the people you get class inquires from.

That crucible sales drop is certainly telling. I was actually curious if some the newfound availability of several of the out of stock gaffer colors was due to a decreased demand. The fact that my yearly cullet order is showing a production date just a couple months past the previous years is pretty ominous too.
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Old 09-04-2020, 04:37 PM
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The good old days: I remember working for Wash Mutual (WAMU) which went belly up in 2008. I had an order for 750 pieces all at least $225.00 each for the top 400 mortgage sales people at the company. They presented the work in handmade wooden boxes at the annual retreat on Cancun....

It beat the crap out of pumpkins.
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Old 09-04-2020, 05:53 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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Luckily I sent the emails and collected the money, the blowers herded like cats did the work.

We had one nut commission us that had way more money than sense. Was an old oil engineer that had an idea for some new piece of equipment. When we told him we couldn't melt the type of glass he needed in our furnaces, he insisted on learning how to cast. After a couple months of private lessons he gave up and had us doing the castings for him, which doubled the hourly rate. I have no idea what the total end cost was, but was easily $20k+. The entire time we kept telling him to find some industrial glass place that could fab to his specs, but I'm guessing by the was he interacted with people he would have scared off any normal business.
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Old 09-04-2020, 06:47 PM
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Nailed it: "Normal business"

AS to dropping sales: you'll see it in classes soon enough. It will spread wide and deep. Money for anything getting spread thin at this point. The market has been brutal these last two days.
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Old 09-04-2020, 10:09 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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Well, non profits aren't really there to fulfill the dream of wannabe industrialists.

I'm going to wait November out before I try to make any dire predictions. Until then I'll fulfill orders as they come in. Classes generically are better than expected, returning customers often help buffer slow times.
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