Friday, 31 October 2008
After cleaning the solder beads, wash the panel off with warm water and a little dish washing liquid to remove oils and other residues. When washing use a very soft scrubbing brush to get in all the little crannies.
Dry the piece with a soft old towel. If the piece is framed in zinc, make sure that any trapped water is eliminated and the piece is entirely dry. Often letting it stand overnight will be sufficient. A panel with no moisture will help the polish of the solder lines to be more even.
Pour a small amount of the patina into a small container so as not to contaminate the rest of your patina. Do not pour the remainder back into the bottle, as it will begin to neutralise the main supply.
Apply your patina with a small flux brush reserved for the purpose, or a piece of a rag. If you use a rag, renew it frequently. Do not be afraid of putting too much on. If you are not happy with the colour when dry, you can rub the solder over with a 400 gauge (also known as 000) wire wool to abrade the surface. Then give it a further coat. Rub with a soft cloth to a shine.
To preserve the desired finish, a coat of beeswax helps, but you must remember that copper will oxidise over time no matter what you do. It is this that gives it a rich deep antique lustre.
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Keep your hands dry and clean while foiling, as oil or moisture on your hands will prevent the foil from sticking to the glass.
Start foiling on a straight length of glass. If the glass has curves, begin the foil on the outside curve. If the foil doesn't overlap perfectly at the end, you can trim off the uneven overlap with a sharp craft knife. Only light pressure is required to trim the foil. Be careful not to scratch the glass, which can happen if your blade is dull, or you apply too much pressure.
To centre the foil on the edge of the glass, hold the piece vertically and look on both sides of the glass while you apply foil to the bottom edge with the sticky side of the foil facing you. This enables you to judge the evenness of the application.
Burnishing the foil on the edges and upper and lower with a fid will help the foil adhere firmly to the glass throughout the soldering.
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Body of work
Do you have a 'body of work'? If someone picks up one of your pieces, and knows that it is yours rather than anyone else’s, then you have an identifiable look/style/technique = body of work.
Can you repeat the colour/style/technique accurately? It's fine that colour varies, but within a very small range. Repeatability is important when a buyer is looking at your sample and expects to receive an exact copy. Most buyers choose from samples. They do not expect one-offs.
Your processes must be robust enough that you can produce the quantity that retailers order with the quality that they expect. Figuring ways to make quality pieces quickly is necessary to be profitable.
Is your product such that you can double your material costs and give yourself a healthy hourly wage? Remember the buyer will need to double or triple the wholesale price and still sell it to customers. If not, you need to determine what can be done to reduce your expenses and time. You also need to consider what you can do to increase the desirability of the work.
You need to create samples, pay the booth fees etc, make the work that is ordered, pack and ship, and get paid a month or two after the buyer receives the work. You need to have the reserves to meet the ebb (up to six months before the show) and flow (three months after the order or longer, depending on production time scales) of cash.
You have to like the marketing of your products, as well as the creating, producing and selling.
Customer relations –
This relates to after-show communications and information, in addition to what you do on the show floor.
Getting into the right publications is important to create a visible profile.
This is another expense, so research carefully the publications and media that will be used by your potential buyers.
Not only do you have to have a catalogue and a line of products you can produce that is distinctive and desirable to the buyers, you also have to guard that catalogue and only issue it to genuine buyers to avoid rip-off merchants.
If you are still interested, find wholesale shows, get an artist’s pass and look at:
- Which booths get most interest
- Try to isolate the important elements
- booth appearance
- uniqueness of products
display of samples
- quality of interaction with buyers
- marketing ploys
Write all these down as you discover them, so you won’t forget anything.
Determine the costs:
If your answer to all the bold headings are “Yes, I can do that”, then you are ready to design your booth and apply to a selected wholesale show.
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Christmas shows are best, and the closer they are to Christmas, the more you will sell. It's not that summer shows are bad - some are great. It's just that outdoors can be dangerous at any time of year – rain, wind or worse.
Shows that charge admission will usually have more sales than those that let people in free.
At higher rent shows you will usually sell more expensive work than at lower rent shows. It doesn't matter how much the space rent is, just how much you sell from that space.
Because "juried" shows are selected, they usually have high-grade work. Customers come to these expecting to find high quality, expensive work. These shows also attract a higher ratio of customers to browsers.
Community and charity shows, on the other hand, usually get customers looking for very cheap goods.
Shows that are attached to some kind of festival (like music, harvest, etc.) are usually poor - especially if the craft is only a secondary part of the show. But, then again, these are the shows that are most likely to surprise you.
The full article by Dennis Brady.
Monday, 27 October 2008
A business card, or an elegant postcard is a far more sophisticated solution. Money is better spent on a high-class business card. Make it one that they want to keep. If it has a picture of one of your products on it they will keep it before a plain one. You can have magnetic cards printed for you or you can buy the magnets and stick your paper card to it.
Postcards showing an item of your work with details on the back are also important promotional items. Creating a series can make an interesting collection for people who come back to you.
The advice of an ex-insurance agent who believes in promotional items is that you should not waste your money on pens. Create a unique card.
Friday, 17 October 2008
Wrap each panel in several layers of bubble wrap or corrugated paper, then add a layer of foam board insulation at least 12mm on each side.
Make sure you have padding (bubble wrap, corrugated paper, or foam sheets) between each item. Then make sure they are fastened tightly together in one bundle. Make multiple nested pieces into one big unit, then wrap that so it's well padded.
Ship stained glass panels in a wooden crate. Make a wooden box and line it with foam, on all sides. The ends of the box should be of substantial timber, making the box at least 100mm (4") thick. Use lightweight, thin wood, but stiff enough that it remains durable. Screw wood on the front and back of the edge of the framing timbers. Fill the space so the glass is in the middle of the box. The most important thing is to minimise flex. You also must minimise shock from a drop.
Line the box in bubble wrap or corrugated paper. Put a layer of filler in the bottom.
Set the piece in the middle of the box, then fill all around with more filler. Press the filler firmly so the packaged items can't move and shift in the box. Allow at least 50mm of packing around the contents and ensure the contents cannot settle through the box filler perhaps by placing a cardboard pad on top of the fill before placing contents in the box.
Filler is material that will fill the space between the wrapped items and the sides of the box. This can be shredded paper, bagged peanuts or foam sheets. Bubble wrap with peanuts is sufficient, but don't use peanuts unassisted. They have a habit of vibrating off to one side of the package, leaving the cargo unprotected on the other side. Mix the peanuts with either wrapped newspaper or excelsior (shredded paper) or place them in numerous small bags so they can't shift.
Many people double box everything. This involves putting the boxed items inside another bigger box. Suspend the inside box within a larger box, bigger by at least 50mm on all six sides. You can use cardboard strips to make an 'X' to put in the bottom and top and small pieces of foam on the four sides to keep the inner box from shifting. Fill the spaces in between the two boxes with something that will absorb shock or impact, like shredded paper. For a very fragile piece the outside box might be made of 6mm plywood.
One caution on packing: Don't overdo it. If you force so much packing material (peanuts, bubble wrap, etc.) into the boxes, the whole thing (inner and outer box) becomes a solid mass and the force may still transfer to the piece and break it. When packers say "float," they mean it. You want enough packing material to hold the stuff in place well, not so much that it becomes part of the piece.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Uniform neutral backgrounds and accurate colour make the artwork jump off the screen and easy to evaluate. Images must be sharp with good contrast. Matching backgrounds for a uniform presentation are recommended. Some advocate black borders around the image (which includes the background); in any case there should be a dark border to fill the projected space. White backgrounds that don’t fill the frame are extremely white and make it difficult to define the work easily. Review any automated scanning to ensure the image is up to standard.
Distracting elements should be kept to a minimum. A few are variable background colours and textures; variable border colours, or none; low contrast; too much white in the images and background; and fuzzy images
The booth seems to be artists’ weak spot. The booth images should be as set up for a show. They should be actual rather than digitally created. Some sense of scale needs to be included.
Because jury images are the artists’ most important asset, attending an open jury viewing is important. It allows you to see a variety of presentations and learn the best and make notes of what to avoid. So if the opportunity presents itself, attend an open jury viewing.
Based on information from Larry Berman
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
But conversations in which important things are decided are open to interpretation or misunderstanding unless they are formally recorded. Although in theory a verbal agreement may be legally enforceable, in practice it cannot be relied on because of problems of evidence. The advantages of having a signed written contract will usually easily outweigh the risks of not having one. A contract can be drawn up by either an artist or an exhibition organiser.
The following checklist takes the form of a number of headings that both artist and exhibition organiser need to consider and negotiate around whilst they plan the exhibition. In this way, the checklist can act as a comparison to any document provided by the gallery itself, and to identify the areas where specific negotiation needs to take place.
1. Who are the parties to the exhibition agreement?
2. What is the purpose of this agreement - to hold an exhibition showing of particular works, so list them in an appendix.
3. What is the nature, scope and intention of the exhibition?
4. Where will the exhibition be shown?
5. When will the exhibition be open to the public?
6. When will the preview take place?
7. Will the exhibition tour?
8. Who will deliver the works to the venue and return them afterwards to the artist?
9. Who is installing and de-installing the exhibition?
10. Who is taking care of loss, damage and insurance?
11. How will works for exhibition be selected?
12. Publicity and promotion
13. What fees and expenses are due to be paid?
14. Will work be for sale?
15. Copyright and reproduction rights
16. Moral rights
17. Who owns the work?
18. Who is sponsoring the exhibition?
19. Governing law - what jurisdiction
20. Force Majeure
21. Can you change the agreement?
22. Whole agreement?
23. Appendices - The List of works and Tour schedule form an integral part of the agreement.
24. How can the agreement be terminated?
25. When should it be signed?
The full version of this checklist is at Artists' Newsletter
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Establish at the beginning that the project includes a specified number of hours of planning/survey/meetings, of agency management, and of creative work. Other things may be added as the project requires. Also establish that exceeding those hours by 10% (or 5% if it’s really big) will incur additional charges.
Once into the project give weekly updates on how much time has been used. That way, if the client starts adding things or changing their minds, they understand the consequences. If they think it’s worth paying for, great. If not, take it off the table. You can always be generous and waive the extra fees, but giving clients that kind of choice saves a lot of resentment (and time) on both sides.
Monday, 13 October 2008
The agreement should relate to each item and include at least the following information:
- Artist’s name and address
- Gallery’s name and address
- Name and signature of the owner/manager of the gallery
- Title, medium, dimensions of the work(s), edition number
- Retail price
- Artist’s price
- The commission taken from the retail price
Additional information that is advisable to include:
- Each work is to be offered at the stated retail price. Any discounts shall be from the retail price, not the artist price.
- Each work sold should have a bill of sale copied to the Artist.
- The Gallery shall send to the Artist the stated retail price of each work less the stated commission, within a reasonable time after sale, and not less than 1 month after the sale. In the case of exhibitions the payment should be made not less than 1 month after the close of the exhibition.
- If a work is lost, damaged or destroyed during the period of the agreement, the Gallery must notify the Artist immediately and pay him/her the stated retail price, less the stated commission.
- Insurance of the work –a statement of when the Gallery’s insurance takes effect. The Gallery normally provides insurance upon receipt of the work(s) and signs a document to indicate safe receipt of the item.
- The Artist shall retain all rights in and title to the works until sale, at which point the title shall pass directly to the purchaser whose name and address the Gallery shall give to the Artist on written request.
Calculation of length
The maths is about right angle triangles. The dimension of the vertical part of the right angle triangle is the height of the lampshade. The horizontal dimension is the radius of the bottom minus the radius of the top. The length of the angle is the square root of the sum of the square roots of the vertical and horizontal sides.
E.g., a lampshade 200mm high with a 50mm vase cap and 400mm bottom width:
The vertical of the triangle is 200mm.
The horizontal is 400/2 = 200mm – 25mm (half the diameter of the vase cap) = 175mm.
The length of the panel is equal to the square root of the sum of the squares of the sides.
In this example, 40000+30625=70625 of which the square root is 265. So the panel is 265mm long.
Measuring the length
If you don’t want to do the maths, do a scaled or full size drawing. It only needs to be one side of the shade, but it can be the full shade.
- Draw a vertical the length of the shade.
- At the top draw the radius of the vase cap on each side of the vertical.
- At the bottom draw the radius of the shade on each side of the vertical.
- Join the two end points of the horizontal lines on each side of the vertical.
- Measure this line to determine the length of the panel.
This drawing method does have the advantage of allowing you to see the angle of the proposed shade and adjust it if necessary.
When doing custom lamp sizes is not too hard to calculate the panel sizes. You need to remember the value for pi (3.1417)
Start with the bottom diameter you want. Multiply it by pi. Divide this distance by the number of panels required for the lamp. This gives the size of the bottom of the panel.
Do the same for the top, but make one more calculation. As the top has to fit into the size of the vase cap, you need to take account of the thickness of the glass. So, subtract the thickness of the glass time 2 (the glass thickness is on both sides of the circle). Do the calculation as for the lower edge of the panel, and then subtract the thickness of the glass from that width. For most glass this will be 3mm.
Bottom diameter: 200mm
Top diameter: 50mm
Glass thickness: 3mm
Formula for bottom: dia. * pi = circumference / no. of panels = width of panel
Bottom diameter: 200*3.1417 = 628mm/8 = 79mm
Formula for top: dia. - glass thickness *2 * pi = circumference / no. of panels = uncorrected width – thickness of glass =width of panel
Top diameter: 50-6= 44 * 3.1417 = 138mm / 8 = 17mm
Determine the shape of the panel
When you have determined the widths of the top and bottom of the panel, you are ready to draw up the shape of the panel. Set up a horizontal line the calculated width of the bottom of the panel. Divide it and draw a vertical from the centre of the line. This line should be as long as the panel you are making. This is determined by the method outlined in the Panel Length tip. At the top of the vertical line draw another horizontal. Measure off one half the calculated top distance on each side of the vertical line. Join the points on the lower and upper horizontals to give the shape of the panel.
Friday, 10 October 2008
- The name of the work.
- The work’s description, and a sketch of the intended work.
- A description of the materials, and an indication of the methods to be used.
- The total price of the commissioned work, divided into portions for:
- The design, not returnable under any circumstances. Additional changes after the first completed design will incur additional costs (at a stated rate per day).
- n agreed sum before the artist starts to execute the work.
- A further sum when the artist gives the commissioner written notice that the work is two-thirds complete.
- The final sum when the artist gives the commissioner written notice that the work is completed.
- Access to premises where work is to be carried out.
- The artist shall retain the copyright in the design and the work.
- Provision for the commissioner to terminate the agreement by giving written notice to the artist. The artist is then be entitled to retain and receive payment for work done up to the date of receipt of notice, and to retain all rights and title to the work.
Thursday, 9 October 2008
Seat with back rest
Additional things for outdoor booths
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
- Attract a stroller's attention so that they stop in front of your booth and look.
- Provide an appropriate environment which best shows off your artwork.
- Entices the potential buyer inside to get a better look.
- Subconsciously directs the viewer to see all of the artwork (i.e. the booth has a footpath flow)
Booths do this in a variety of ways.
The booth provides a physical barrier so that your booth is separated from your neighbour's booth. You don't want your potential client to see your neighbour's craft/artwork while they are in your booth. Make sure your booth has full-sized screens on all 3 sides to block the view to your neighbour s booth.
It provides a consistent "art gallery" environment when your potential client steps inside.
Neutral walls, which do not distract from your artwork are best. In fact, the walls should help display the artwork. The booth should make the environment friendly to the viewer.
Have a floor covering. This is particularly important on an inside show on concrete floors
The covering should be neutral in colour so as to not compete with the stained glass.
Feature the artwork in the front. Make it easy for the client to walk up to your artwork. Nothing on the floor should impede this. Keep all non-art stuff like sales & packing stuff in the back of the booth.
Have as much lighting in your booth as possible. Glass is all about light. The more the better. Bring plenty of power strips, extension cords and extra light bulbs of the appropriate wattage.
Plan out the flow of the viewer. Think like a potential buyer and place your artwork appropriately. Have your big eye-catching show pieces where they are plainly visible from someone walking down the hall. Then put the smaller, less-expensive stuff in the back. People will be drawn into the booth by the big, expensive show pieces. Then, once they are inside, the artwork should go from most outrageous to more affordable, forming a path around the booth.
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
The bill of sale must include:
- The date of sale
- The place of sale
- The title of the work
- The description of the work: medium, dimensions, size of edition, and other relevant information
- The name and address of the purchaser
- The artist’s name and address
- The purchase price
- The term of payment
The above sets out the date, the place, the purchase price and the terms of payment of this contract of sale of the mentioned art works. However, in order to protect the future existence and use of the work, the parties may further mutually agree:
- Originality: The artist vows that the work is his/her original and that s/he shall not produce a replica of it.
- Edition: If the work is one of an edition, the artist vouches that the size of edition shall not be increased after the date of the contract.
- Reproduction: The copyright in the work is retained by the artist, but the buyer may be entitled to permit the reproduction of the work in books, art magazines and exhibition catalogues.
- Care of the work: The buyer vows not intentionally to alter, damage or destroy the work during the time of ownership.
- Restoration: If the work is damaged, the buyer shall notify the artist and give the artist a reasonable opportunity to conduct, or supervise, the restoration of the work.
- Artist's exhibition: The buyer and artist may agree to the owner lending the work (e.g., once in every twelve months for a maximum period of six weeks) for the purpose of inclusion in a public exhibition of the artist's works. The artist must give the owner reasonable written notice of his intention. The artist must provide documentary evidence of insurance coverage and prepaid carriage to and from the exhibition. The artist must ensure that the exhibiting institution identifies the work as belonging to the buyer.
- Placement of work: If the buyer places the work with any person or institution for exhibition, re-sale, or any other purpose, the buyer shall immediately write to the artist stating where the work is placed. This is especially important in jurisdictions where artists’ resale rights exist.
- Addresses: Artist and buyer shall notify each other in writing immediately of any change of address.
Monday, 6 October 2008
Make sure that you have good quality images taken of your work (35mm transparencies, digital images for CDs or email), after all, you will be competing with practitioners that have been in business for years and are firmly established as leading national and international designers. Sending poor images/presentations reflects very badly on your approach and your work.
Invest in a professional portfolio filled to the brim with beautifully laid out colour photography on a black background. Don’t walk into the gallery with a handful of snapshots.
Sending Biography and Visuals
Send general descriptive information about yourself and your work to the gallery first. Then follow this up with a telephone call. Find out the contact name you need for the relevant department within the gallery. If you send something with no contact name your presentation can sit in a pending tray for months! Contact as many galleries as you can handle, rather than waiting for a reply from the first one on your list.
Research and Make Appointments
Don’t just turn up at a gallery with your work. Galleries plan their exhibition schedule at least two years in advance. They are busy most days with artists and dealing with clients so it is always best to make an appointment first.
Pop in regularly to your local galleries, or research on the internet, to get an idea of the kind of designers they display, and the style and quality of work on show.
Keep in Touch
Contemporary galleries are always looking for new original designers for their exhibition programme, so update the gallery regularly by sending emails, transparencies and CD (with images).
It is especially important that the gallery can see how serious you are about your work, how it develops in style and that you are still exhibiting and producing work 2-5 years later. Make sure your work is unique and difficult to duplicate. Keep your own designs and patterns dated and own the copyright to them.
Don’t give up. There's someone out there who will like your work. When you find gallery owners who are crazy about your work, stick with them.
When you have an offer of a show
Watch the papers for announcements of other openings at the gallery to see how well each opening is advertised. Ask around the arts community to see how well known the gallery and its owner are.
Check on the gallery/artist percentage agreement when calling each gallery. Your price to the public must be calculated based on this. Charge what the work is worth!
Check around with other artists represented by the gallery, asking them about promptness of payment by the gallery.
Be businesslike in all dealings.
Prepare a contract, if the gallery does not have one, to cover mutual expectations. It should include who does what, e.g., mounting of the work, invitations to the opening, opening night, payment terms, artist’s residual and resale rights, etc.
Don’t be a pain to the gallery owner. Don’t pester. If you have to be anxious about the show, do it privately.
Enjoy the opening night!
Thursday, 2 October 2008
A. Rosin Fluxes
Rosin based fluxes are made from rosin which is extracted from pine sap. The purified product is known as "Water White Rosin". The active ingredient is an organic acid, abietic acid and may contain homologs such as dehydro abietic acid and leviopmaric acid.
In addition to rosin other activators may be present at different levels to increase the ability to clean and deoxidise. Activators are compounds that decompose at soldering temperatures yielding ammonia or hydrochloric acid in the process. Flux activity is categorised as R (rosin only), RMA (rosin mildly activated) and RA (rosin activated). A low boiling solvent such as isopropanol is used as the vehicle so they are flammable.
Type R containing only rosin is the least active and is recommended for surfaces very clean to start with. It leaves virtually no residue behind. Thus this is the best rosin based flux for copper foil and lead cames.
Type RMA contains a small amount of additional activator to enhance cleaning and deoxidisation leaving only a minimum amount of inert residue behind. A characteristic of RMA fluxes is that the remaining residue be non-corrosive, tack free, and exhibit a high degree of freedom from ionic contamination after cleaning. These fluxes are acceptable, but more difficult to clean. They are not acceptable for conservation work.
Type RA are most active of the rosin fluxes, and leave the most residue, however the residues can be removed with appropriate flux cleaners. The residues are really difficult to remove in decorative glass work circumstances and should not be used.
B. Water Soluble Fluxes
These are called water-soluble, as the residue left after soldering is water soluble, although the flux is not. The so-called water-soluble fluxes are divided into two categories, organic and inorganic based on composition. Organic fluxes are more active than RA rosin, and inorganic are the most active of all. Both of these are the best of all fluxes to use in decorative glass work, as the residues are water soluble making clean-up easier, and they are more effective in wetting and keeping the copper and lead free from oxidisation at soldering temperatures.
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
The juries also want to see representative work. Go for your strongest work and present the strongest visual presentation you can. Again, it should be a cohesive body of work photographed in roughly the same manner. Strong work and cohesive body of work are equally important.
The artist can have as much impact on the jury by editing certain pieces out of a group of works as s/he can by choosing what to include. So, avoid submitting a number of pieces that are in diverse styles. And make sure you have excellent photography.
Silver stains - silver nitrate and gamboge gum that chemically stain the glass to varying intensities from pale yellow to orange.
Gamboge is a rather transparent dark mustard yellow pigment. Gamboge is most often extracted by tapping from the Garcinia hanburyi tree. The resin is extracted by making spiral incisions in the bark, and by breaking off leaves and shoots and letting the milky yellow resinous gum drip out. The resulting latex is collected in hollow bamboo. After the latex is congealed, the bamboo is broken away and large rods of raw gamboge remain.
For example a 75 or 80 watt iron is sufficient to begin soldering with, but it will continue to get hotter, as it has no temperature control. An iron of this type should be used with a rheostat in order to prevent overheating while it is idling. You should be aware that it will eventually reach its maximum temperature, so cannot be left for long.
Most temperature controlled irons seem to be produced in 100 watts or more. These internally temperature controlled irons maintain a constant temperature. These are normally supplied with a 700F° bit (number 7) and are sufficient to melt the solder without long recovery times. You can obtain bits of different temperature ratings, commonly 800F° and 600F°. You can also use several sizes of tips for different detail of work.