It's clear-out time at work, and this week I dragged out all the boxes of pieces from this past year that aren't quite perfect. (Boxes and boxes, pulled from a shed.) 300+ pieces this year, about an average number, I'd venture to say.
Each piece has to be checked over to see if it can be "fixed" enough to sell at a reduced price. Today I lined them all up on the long table, and took out my box of tricks: razor knife, various files, clean soft rags, paper towels, paint brushes, bristly brushes, rubbing alcohol, tubs of paint, linseed oil, UV glue.
I felt like an accidental alchemist, holding each piece to the light for intense scrutiny. I glued and rubbed and polished and painted and scraped and filed and dotted and tossed in the garbage. The skills I've acquired over the past six years are so obscurely esoteric, all born out of necessity, of making something work when it doesn't want to. The success rate actually is fairly high when it comes to these cast-offs.
The next two Sundays will bring a caravan of customers from our 800+ mailing list, and every last one expects to leave feeling unbelievably lucky.
Whatever is left over from the first day of the sale will get reduced for the second day, and with any luck, our 300 pieces of not-quites will be whittled down to a big zero.
But before any of that happens, in a [yikes] mere five days, there are orders still to fill, first quality merchandise to make for the sale, plus we must convert our cozy factory into a cozy boutique. My head is more than a little a'spin.
As soon as we're done with the studio sale and gallery orders, we must pull together our line to exhibit in January at the Atlanta wholesale gift show. Last day we can ship in order to arrive in time for the show is December 19th.
I looked at my two workmates this afternoon, and said, "you know, this is pretty much all of my life right now."
They both concurred.