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  #26  
Old 05-20-2020, 09:48 AM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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Well, I understand you opinions but I was running a business with seven employees and frankly detest doing shows. It was not a hard choice to stop going to venues that failed a short time later.

As to diversification, let's see, we had a gallery in Santa Fe that was capable of having 35K days, direct retail of my work and the work of about fifty other glassworkers. We ran the business designing and then selling crucibles to studios and still do. I have continued to make color for studios, I just don't advertise it. The reason you have those seven bags of lead is for the dense black. Lead is not easy to find these days at a sane price. I have consulted in China over technical production issues but declined to accept an offer of an equity share there. I have taught course in the chemistry and production of color both in Santa Fe and in New Hampshire. So, I think we diversified better than most. I'm semi retired now and no longer need the income for making commercial glass products and I love not having to try to sell them. I make things because it pleases me.

I have seen what happens to studios where a principal member gets sick or dies and I haven't seen any of them prosper. I have seen not allowing glass to be the entire show and I think that to be an excellent idea. Here, a majority of craftsmen rely on the eight retail outlets of the League of NH Craftsmen. They are all currently closed and they just announced the cancellation of the summer fair. That's impactful. Stir in a pandemic that isn't going to go away.

We're coming into a period with potentially very high unemployment- perhaps 20% and that's depression territory. While I hope the dwindling market provides everyone with sufficient funds, my experience tells me it won't particularly if the studio is back loaded with debt.

But thanks for the input.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:31 AM
Steve Beckwith Steve Beckwith is offline
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Originally Posted by sky campbell View Post

i’m tired of the political bullshit and personally wish everyone would stop being a democrat or republican, be honest, have morals, show empathy, value integrity and be a good human. The radical behavior from both sides has gone so far it’s ridiculous.
this.....!
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Old 05-20-2020, 01:51 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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You've been opining some time about the overload of glass makers being a contributing problem in the market, wouldn't this culling of the heard be beneficial then? Not that I'm wishing anyone gets shut down, but I think most of us have seen the effects of over saturation.

The thing that does have me worried are all of the uni layoffs that are starting to occur. I haven't heard of anyone shutting down an art program yet, but with philosophy and history majors on the chopping block, I don't see it being much farther down on the humanities hit list. Especially an expensive one like glass. On I guess the positive side of that coin, that will also mean fewer glass workers entering the market.
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  #29  
Old 05-20-2020, 02:51 PM
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Culling the herd will make for an easier life for the remainder but I do think it depends on what they are selling. The qualified customer pond has always been small as one goes higher and higher up the food chain but the work has to command it. I note that the work made in the '80's and '90's is selling for a ton less in the secondary market.

Schools will run programs as long as they are in the black. We would have lost a lot more schools back in the late '70's and '80's if the gas lines had been isolated for those programs, but they weren't.
I just don't see people buying much artwork when they're wondering if they will keep their jobs..I've never seen a recession otherwise. Low overhead and no debt is key. Even so, David Lindsay's studio is a hell of a deal.
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  #30  
Old 05-20-2020, 03:22 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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Generically I'm fishing the smaller guys, and see my competitors as the ones that are likely to be hit hardest. I'm more insulated from the chaos than most since I have nearly 0 overhead or debt associated with with my business. I also have enough backstock to be able to appease my retailers if/when things reopen.

The schools still have me worried, especially if their trying to transition to e learning for the fall. You can teach most humanities from a laptop, glassblowing or sculpture, not so much. Summer registration for us is traditionally low, and with the current uncertainty I'm actually surprised by the enrollment that there is. Still several weeks until it starts, and I feel fall will be the real indicator anyway. I don't see my department in much peril since we have good cohort of students and we're about to install a $50k furnace that was funded entirely through donations.

While David's studio looks like a steal, who in their right mind would/could take the risk? I guess if your trust fund is big enough...
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Old 05-20-2020, 04:03 PM
Art Freas Art Freas is offline
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We have been pretty lucky at our shop in that our business model is diversified both in customer base and in peak times during the year. My concern now is that we may have a lost fall. between now and 4 years ago the split between experiences and merchandise has gone from 30/70 to 70/30. This fall may be rough unless folks go back to merchandise as fall/holiday is our peak experience season.
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Old 05-20-2020, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Sky Campbell View Post

Your friends of 50 years may be to tired to carry the flame but the flame will continue to burn. Don’t discourage this next generation with the doomsday philosophy. We are strong and some of the most can do people in the art world. I’m not a young buck but at 50years young I still have a lot more to offer.

.
this! - Hear, hear Sky !!

Last edited by Rich Simmons; 05-20-2020 at 04:27 PM.
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  #33  
Old 05-20-2020, 04:22 PM
Larry Cazes Larry Cazes is online now
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Originally Posted by Eben Horton View Post

Itís an interesting thing for someone who just missed the glory days of glass blowers rolling in cash in the 80ís and 90ís and to hear the stories of the good old days and that itís not worth it anymore. In my opinion itís with it every time I can wake up and do this.. I really donít care about getting rich.
Spot on. There are much easier ways to make money then art.
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  #34  
Old 05-20-2020, 05:01 PM
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we were never rolling in it. That's a myth. We were highly inventive and put a boatload into researching process. We were paid back for that work.
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Old 05-20-2020, 05:27 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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My old studio was probably 70/30 experience, probably 90/10 in the fall. Retail was never their strong suit, and I'm not sure that the significant renters are going to survive. They originally kept a rolling tab which fostered really bad behaviors, I helped put an end to that. The heaviest user was covered under legacy policy and was by far the worst with payment. Usually a few months behind, but always paid most of the years rental off after the summer shows, doubt that's happening this year.

It's obvious around here people are getting antsy, and am not sure how much longer they'll be quietly contained. Already heard a guy cursing up a storm at Menards because the required a mask, "we're a free mf'ing country." I'm still not convinced that this spread way farther than we realize.
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:33 PM
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Always worth recalling that the mask is to protect you from me, not the other way around.

We're hitting 100K By weekend in deaths. The coasts are calming down but not the heartland. It's going up. Then you have to add in suppressing the numbers in Florida, Georgia, Nebraska and Iowa. I have three people I know who have had the disease. One is likely to not live. In 1944 the army was fighting to get off the beaches in Normandy. Now, people insist on occupying them in a curious death spiral.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:55 PM
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There's a studio in Texas on eBay right now.
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"It appears to me that glass men are the most given to drunkeness of any class of men I know" Peter Burt, recruiter in Europe, in a letter to Deming Jarves of the Boston and Sandwich glass company. -1826
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  #38  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:16 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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So this may be a long conversation, but it will eventually need to happen.

Anyone younger than the boomer generation barely got the chance to get anything started, then we're on the verge of a depression that will have devastating effects on our future because of a virus that has a fairly low morbidity in our group. This disease is striking down people in the middle of their prime without ever infecting them. Millennial's are the first recorded generation to have a worse quality of life opportunities compared to their parents. That's ****ed.

I don't want people to needlessly die, but I also don't want to subject 10+ times as many people into abject poverty failing to prevent it. The "stimulus" is doing nothing more than digging the grave deeper. We've been force fed the practicum of capitalism from the previous generation, now you're asking us not to practice? Without a viable alternative?

Last edited by Shawn Everette; 05-20-2020 at 10:22 PM.
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  #39  
Old 05-21-2020, 05:18 AM
Victor Chiarizia Victor Chiarizia is offline
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i see the future and it is pipes!
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  #40  
Old 05-21-2020, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Shawn Everette View Post
So this may be a long conversation, but it will eventually need to happen.

Anyone younger than the boomer generation barely got the chance to get anything started, then we're on the verge of a depression that will have devastating effects on our future because of a virus that has a fairly low morbidity in our group. This disease is striking down people in the middle of their prime without ever infecting them. Millennial's are the first recorded generation to have a worse quality of life opportunities compared to their parents. That's ****ed.

I don't want people to needlessly die, but I also don't want to subject 10+ times as many people into abject poverty failing to prevent it. The "stimulus" is doing nothing more than digging the grave deeper. We've been force fed the practicum of capitalism from the previous generation, now you're asking us not to practice? Without a viable alternative?
******
There's a lot here I can disagree with. I'm from the last of the boomer generation and the people who did really well in glass are for the most part older than I (70) by five and ten years. The younger ones did take an entrepreneurial approach which the older group eschewed. The markets were really excellent through the '80's as the entrepreneurs really led the field in coming up with exciting and new ways to work with glass and present very attractive artwork.

But the quality began to turn to flea market type work after the turn of the century. Repetitive low inspirational stuff made in little Skutt kilns by people who never quit their day jobs. I still see it everywhere. Glass became common in the very worst sense of the term and more importantly supply vastly outstrips demand which is a basic economic function. There's still some good work being made mind you but the buyers are different. In my generation, we had avid collectors just a bit older than me. They have stopped. They are clearing out the stuff in their lives.

Sky is right that there is opportunity. I see the Lindsay Studio as an incredible opportunity for 20K if three enterprising people bought it. I don't know the monthly rent but it's a rare ( perhaps not so rare) deal. Entrepreneurs take risks.
As to the stimulus, look to Herbert Hoover for your lessons. He did nothing to stop the great depression. Roosevelt immediately began the Works Progress Administration. My old Drill press came from the War Production Bureau- quite the beast. WWII brought us out of it. I see the way the money is being spent and it's discouraging to see such corrupt behavior. Nonetheless, crisis need to be responded to. Suggesting "I take no responsibility and give myself a 10 " are just amazing.
In all of this conversation, I want to know who the customer is going to be by September. If the feds don't aid the cities and states, there will be massive layoffs of firemen, policemen, health car workers, you name it .

I'm just asking about the relative condition of the private shops. Soon I'll be asking about schools. I'm not asking anyone to do anything, particularly not to drop dead. People need to eat and if glass can't be converted into food via sales, they will have to find another way.
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:07 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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I'm talking about this in a much broader perspective than just about glass. I see us as one of the more positively communal spaces, outside of a few unsavory characters. Yes, there was a golden era in glass and I never expected to get rich off of it; but I finally built a place of stability and now the rug gets pulled out from under.

Another boon of collectors is something that I don't see happening in my lifetime, that was a culmination of rare events. Coming of age at the peak of the housing crash, I knew that they were not going to be my livelihood. I appealed to a larger base, making that dreadful "common" glass because that let me make the glass I want. Even in bad times it was steady income, and if one stays open, is a viable path forward.

As to the stimulus, war is the answer to a way out of this? That's something I think very few of us want, and will only claim more lives. While I understand the print more money buoy method, what's the plan after that? We're not going to be able to just "stimulate" our way out of +20% unemployment, and at some point the bill will come due. Digging the hole deeper does not get you out of the hole. There's $50k worth of federal debt for every single american right now, and we were projected to have the the deficit overshadow gdp in 10 years. I'm sure all of this has now exacerbated things.

It feels like the government has been asleep at the wheel for a couple decades now, and the virus is the wall we're crashing into in slow motion. The tech bust and housing crash were just pot holes. Broad based prosperity wasn't ever the driving force, get rich quick was, and both sides were complicit. I buy none of that trickle down bs.

That's a killer deal on a $20k studio, but the reality is that unless you have the money to have no income for the next 6 months(in CA after all) and be willing to run a deficit for the next several years, the timing could not be worse. I unfortunately don't have the trust fund to take such a risk. Even 12 years ago I'd have jumped at the idea, but we're dealing with something much different now.
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  #42  
Old 05-21-2020, 01:41 PM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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Keeping money in the system is really the only way to dig out of a consumer based economy and that's what we are. I tend to think that the US is a big country physically and it had tons of natural resources which it used recklessly and has exhausted much of them.
China is a huge country too and it is being smarter about it, buying up the Australian outback and good sized chunks of Africa. No matter how you hog it, we're a small planet and the party is ending both in mineral exhaustion and climate decimation. I'm really impressed by greenhouse gasses falling 17% during the sequestration. It tells you the planet is salvageable. It's the younger generations that will have to bite that bullet.

Pay back the debt? To Who ? WHY?

I agree that war is not a solution to massive unemployment but there are lots of kinds of wars, many technocratic and cyber related. Hiring on a federal level to get people involved in green energy is a war of sorts. It will take that many people. Solar cell usage is a great place along with wind power to address energy needs. I cut my teeth in Emergency services on how to handle AIDS as an epidemic.

Glass has never presented itself as a guaranteed income in history. It doesn't now When I was a kid there were about 325 decent glassmakers in the country. These days, Seattle has more than that. It's an overcrowded field. When things were sparse, businesses could not exist catering to glassblowers. That's very different now. We used to make our own tools quite a bit but not now. Now we foam at the mouth over tools from Italy which only make better glass if you are already damn good and most are not. People regularly spend 20K or more a year on color in rod or frit form. That was not true when I was young. We resurrected grinding equipment used on line shafts in the Chicago River.
We did not have craft fairs to make selling glass easy. Westerners were locked out of any eastern shows until 1982. I took trips in a van across country making appointments to sell from the truck.
It wasn't all that easy.

I do continue to believe Malthus to be right. Famine, Disease and overpopulation will always be the defining factor. If he figured that out in 1798, I assume it was based on current events.
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Old 05-21-2020, 03:42 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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We're large and powerful enough, for now, as to not be majorly devaluing our currency via stimulus. When the deficit exceeds gdp we might have a problem. Considering that China is the largest single foreign owner of american debt, our reliance on their resources could come at a significant cost when they want payment. Then there's the significant portion owned by the government for pensions and social security, and we know well that is managed. The debt owed to us investors I'm not as concerned about.

Considering the DNC keeps putting the same standard bearers forward, I'm not sure who we're supposed to look to for salvation. I certainly am not expecting it from a GOP candidate. I swing libertarian, but I was willing to give Bernie a shot. The people that once to called themselves hippes were not. I guess they were too worried about what it would do to their stocks. I really seems like we're only going to get things done once those that don't want tactile change get out of the way.

The volatility of the glass market never presented itself to me as a solid career platform, but rather a source of continuing supplemental income. What does look more stable is people's desire to learn how to do it, and that's what I banked on. Combine that with the ability to fabricate and fix things, and you up your marketability considerably. It's not as sexy of a proposition, but the competition is significantly thinned. If retail is your game the digital hustle is the future.

Malthus should be a lesson, not a prophecy. It certainly seems at odds with the designs of american social security and pensions. Some western countries seem to have started to figure it out, but all that forced socialism might tread on muh freedum.
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  #44  
Old 05-21-2020, 03:56 PM
Dave Lindsay Dave Lindsay is offline
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Up until 2008, 2009 our business was about 70 percent wholesale, 30 percent retail. I quit pursuing wholesale 2012. Started doing a half dozen or so retail shows on west coast, if I got in. For me, there were only a handful worth doing. I loved those road trips! After we quit the wholesale shows, I was able to concentrate more on retail work. I did retain some of my wholesale accounts, the good ones, but lost most small time orders. In retail, we wanted something for every one. Meaning different price points. So yes I made pumpkins, shot glass, and even blow your own ornaments during the season. The great thing was, I could make whatever pumpkins, shots, vases, bowls that I wanted. My wife and staff would ask for work at different price points, but other than that it was whatever I wanted. Up until a few years ago I ran year round. Now I shut down at Christmas, fire back up in late March. Go through June and down again till October. Fortunatly my assistant was fine with that. And my wife Ann (business manager) loved when I shut down as most bills came to a halt. I'd call my gallery people and see what they would need before shut downs. Also stock up on Artful Home work. Artful Home was fantastic, except during November and December. It would take away time for making work for our own retail. But they were by far my best wholesale customer, and I felt I was obligated to fill those orders. I sure got sick of some of those vases. But as a glassblower it was also satisfying that I could produce so many pieces that were within an 1/8 of an inch in size all free hand. For about 10 years I also made funerary urns for a company. And last number of years started doing ash weights for people. Amazing to have that relationship and share the joy of what you are creating with your customers. Also did custom pendants, awards, corporate gifts. So I tried to diversify as much as I could, because that's what it took. So now our retail is 75 percent of what we do. In a perfect world after Lindsay Art Glass I hope I will be able to keep a hand in the glass. I will miss it.
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  #45  
Old 05-22-2020, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete VanderLaan View Post
If the feds don't aid the cities and states, there will be massive layoffs of firemen, policemen, health car workers, you name it.
The real reason for this is the 1% (actually, more like the .01%) have these services lined-up for themselves. No need to spend taxpayer money on those services that would... benefit taxpayers?

We have been conditioned from an early age in this country to believe that you only deserve something if it is a direct consequence of your own personal actions. If you study any aspect of human history you will realize that humans only thrive when there is cooperation. When we were still hunter-gatherers when an animal was taken down the whole community would feast. You think that guy only fed his "wife and kids"? This is mine, go get your own?

There are so many benefits that many Americans have had, and still have, that we take for granted.

I don't care how "innovative" you think of yourself. You don't succeed without other people. Nobody does any of this alone in a vacuum.
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