Time seems to move so fast and I cannot believe that we are weeks away from the Grand Designs Live at the Excel centre and I am still catching up. Meeting people all day every day for ten days is quite amazing for someone who spends 50% of their working life alone in a studio. The time you are at the exhibition is fast and hectic and great fun, but it is also very different. While you are there the normal life of the studio is on hold, waiting, pausing and then you return and the river of studio life is flowing again but there are new interests and enquiries from the show as well. This weekend is a good time to review and catch up and sort out the next few weeks but also to reflect on a great show and some great new clients.
There are many skills you need and some you develop but the skills for exhibitions are not high on my list. Working with stained glass suggests you have some good art and design skills. Moving this skill into a business means that you have then added a set of commercial skills to you art skills to develop you business. In a large business each of these areas have specialists departments to navigate the difficulties and skills needed. However, in a small business all workers need to have more than one specialism and the owner often needs to have many skills that they didn’t know we’re necessary. So now Stained Glass Studio have done a series of exhibitions and displays we have to be able to put up an exhibition in minutes. Our theories are; don’t rely on what they say they provide, make sure your display or stand can be put up by you alone, make sure you have power cables and extension leads and finally depend on yourself. Make it simple, and make sure you can cope is a small or large space as you don’t know what you will be given. After all this you will be expected, within seconds, to turn around and be happy and cheerful to meet the public. This is a role that learning your art skills and then your business skills did not prepare you for. Sometimes you must think about how comfortable it might be to be a specialist in a larger business. Alternatively, you are the modern explorer, inventor and creator, perhaps even a modern Isambard Kingdom Brunel!
I have decided that today is just one of those days. One of those days when my computer has decided that every task will take twice as long. I have been editing our Google places this morning and it took ages to submit. I keep editing Google places as we keep moving! Well we don’t move, the studio stays in the same place, its a building and as yet I have not seen it pick up its skirt and take a country walk. However, this morning the studio had wandered over the M25 and off down the road for a quick wander. Eventually I have managed to bring it back only to find we are now a cattery! I have placed us back where we belong and the cattery now seems to be in the old compost heap at the back of the building. Is it just us or do other people find they have moved? Do many buildings creep around at night changing places and confusing visitors by taking them to a field of sheep instead of a stained glass studio. From now on I am keeping watch and any movement will be addressed with firm words and the movement of those mad little red markers.
Stained glass windows come in many shapes and sizes colours and forms. Each can be made for you to celebrate where you want to put a window. Sealed into a double glazed unit, stained glass can now be as warm and safe as any other window in your house. This is all before you have the pleasure of a beautiful piece of stained glass in your house. At this time of year, when it cold outside, stained glass can bring some warm glowing colours into your house or office. It is definitly time for a new window!
As Christmas gets nearer and nearer so all projects at the studio become more urgent but it is also a time when sometimes presents are made. This year the studio are selling some of those things that are made in the studio as presents for family and friends. Bowls, lamps and small windows suddenly appear and time is spent experimenting with new ideas and techniques. We hope you like what we make so take some time and look around.