Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Job

The artisan glass business continues at a frantic pace. We're down two people, behind on orders and every day we are writing re-orders. Such problems! Today I unpacked 22 cases of blanks, broke down the large boxes, bundled them together for recycling, bagged-up the bubble wrap. When UPS delivered, I asked the delivery man to stack the cases on the front porch. When I finally got around to unpacking them, I discovered that he'd stacked them flush up against the front door, so the only way out (that way, at least) was to unpack the very heavy boxes = a sizable caloric burn. I guess I lucked out.

It's an ever-evolving adventure — though we work with glass and paint, which would seem to be fairly contant without a tremendous quantity of variables — the variables each day are numerous. Paint reacts to temperatures, glass is cranky when it's been stored out in the cold, the masking we use requires that we handle it with kid gloves. All is temperamental: every client has particular notions, wants this color and that shape in this pattern. And what color is Champagne, really? All that matters is we guess right.

I think what is not well-understood (even though we communicate this often and well) is that every single piece is painted, by hand, one at a time. By real live people. On this planet. By Melinda and me.

The pace and the on-going variety of tasks holds great appeal for me, though. And at the end of the day today, I walked down to Columbia Library before heading back home through blossom-scented streets, a lunch-sack filled to overflowing with CD's and novels.
(I would request these colors.)


  1. Sounds to me like the classic artist's life. And then people want the final products for next to nothing.

  2. Every day I delight in the little colored glasses that you painted! I marvel at the detail. They are little gems and were had for a song. I love that they were so lovingly attended to, and not produced on a line in China.

    Thank you.

  3. The colors you see and share take my breath away, and I keep getting lost in your landscapes.

    Your blue forget me not picture filled me with envy. Between my camera and my skill set, I cannot capture them the way I see them, the way I need to see them. They are elusive, and it's a private joke between them and me, that they mock me with their elusive blueness and their beauty. I can look, but I can't capture. This year, for some reason, they have bloomed in abundance and I'm dozens of photos in, not a one half as good as yours. Oh well.

    There is so much going on in your life, with the people you care for, so much pain, and I wish I had words of comfort to offer, but I struggle with finding them in my own day. I think I use the pictures and the flowers and the sunsets as a way to focus on small beautiful things so the large scary things don't drown me. I think art, in any form, is a lifeline.

    I keep reading the poem excerpts on your sidebar, because they are speaking to me very loudly. I'm very glad I stopped by today.

  4. Tara, your glasses were a steal! Half-price, closed-out line.

    I'm so glad you have them *and* like them. Lovely connections between the two of us!

  5. Mel, I'm glad you stopped by too.

    Forget-me-nots are perhaps my favorite flower, and I'm always amazed that some people consider them weeds. I even love them when, in a bouquet on a table, they drop their petals in a haphazard ring around the vase.d

    Art is indeed a lifeline, my lifeline. Years ago a good friend had a set of pencils printed for me with the logo "Trust Art". They are treasures.

    One of the most joyful aspects of digital photography and our ability to manipulate it is that I can make the colors as I would prefer them. No odd requests from customers at work -- just the colors I crave.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. It made my day.