What's selling? Survey Says! - Page 2 - WarmGlass.com

What's selling? Survey Says!

The forum for discussion on business aspects of working with glass.

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BobbieMatus
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2003 12:21 am

Florida selling

Postby BobbieMatus » Wed Dec 03, 2003 11:30 am

Just wanted to give my two cents worth. I'm selling only items under $40.00, mostly wine bottles and my small lady stuff. Haven't sold any large pieces or even mid range pieces. My work ranges from $20.00 to $2200.00. Added the inexpensive fused pieces this year and it has helped since the large pieces are not selling. I used to always sell some of my $200.00 pieces but none of that stuff is moving. Having a wide variety of prices helps. I was lucky, however, to sell to a high end gift shop which bought my fused ladies at $250.00 retail, sold for half wholesale, but they bought almost $1000.00 worth and wrote the check right then and there. That sale helped a lot. The season here really starts in Jan when the snowbirds come back. They are the ones with lots of money, two and sometimes three homes, but even they are holding on to their money. Just have to wait and see what happens.
Bobbie

Shoshana B
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 12:14 am
Location: Rural Franklin County, Missouri, USA

what is selling where

Postby Shoshana B » Tue Jan 06, 2004 12:01 pm

I just wanted to tell all of you how much I appreciate your willingness to share your information and experiences! Since I am pretty new to fusing, I often feel somewhat isolated--but reading everyone's messages makes me feel like I have lots of friends in this art form. :)

Dennis Brady
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Postby Dennis Brady » Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:10 pm

Sales of some things are up, while others are down. Some places have increased sales, while others decreased. As a whole I think it's fairly stable.

Maybe the main reason sales for warm glass are declining isn't reduced market demand, but increased supply of product. There's a steady flow of wannabees buying kilns with the expectation they can make a living selling coasters, bowls, and sushi dishes.

I KNOW this, because I'm selling them the kilns, glass, and frit to do it. It's not a surprise to have someone that's just completed an introductory class, bought Brad Walker's book, and invested a coupla grand to "go into the glass business". There's a limit to how many people want to buy glass art, but seems to be no limit to how many people want to produce it.

Too much product - too little market.

Dennis Brady
http://www.victorianartglass.biz
DeBrady Glass Ltd http://www.debrady.com
Victorian Art Glass http://www.vicartglass.com
Glass Campus online classes http://www.glasscampus.com

Brad Walker
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Postby Brad Walker » Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:39 pm

Dennis Brady wrote:Maybe the main reason sales for warm glass are declining isn't reduced market demand, but increased supply of product. There's a steady flow of wannabees buying kilns with the expectation they can make a living selling coasters, bowls, and sushi dishes.


Seems to me that if there's more product and more people selling glass, than the market isn't declining. While an individual's sales may be in decline due to increased competition, I suspect the entire market is on the increase, not in decline.

There are also a lot of regional differences, as well as differences in terms of type and quality of work produced. Fused jewelry, for instance, is probably over-exposed on the west coast, but has lots of room for growth in the east. And what's happening on the low end of coasters may not be duplicated on the expensive gallery and commission end.

Dennis Brady
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Postby Dennis Brady » Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:59 pm

I agree that the entire market is increasing. An ever increasing variety of product has generated an increase in interest in glass art. However, my impression (based on 20 years selling into and observing the market) is that the increase in supply of simple fused and slumped glass has increased much faster than the market. This caused a noticeable decrease in selling prices. 10 years ago you could slump a piece of Spectrum baroque thru a drop ring and sell it for over $100. The same product today will have trouble commanding half that price. Fused glass coasters that used to sell for $30/set are now $10.

My guess is that as increasingly more aspiring artisans are offering simple fused and slumped works, the prices will continue to decline - but simultaneously the demand (and prices) for complex and artistically orginal work will increase.

There's too many Fords - not enough Ferraris.
DeBrady Glass Ltd http://www.debrady.com

Victorian Art Glass http://www.vicartglass.com

Glass Campus online classes http://www.glasscampus.com

Dolores
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 9:21 pm
Location: Sunny Southern California
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Postby Dolores » Tue Jan 06, 2004 2:57 pm

Amen, Dennis! =D> Just take a look at the plethora of fused blobs on any auction site to see the truth in that statement. Lots of people fusing/wanting to fuse/learning to fuse simple pieces. Most basic classes on the subject fill quickly. Unfortunately, some of these aspiring students then go out and flood the market with similiar work, the price drops rock bottom, and the public thinks that fused glass is nothing but pretty blobs of junk. I visited one gallery last year that was selling such work. Upon introducing myself to the owner, she immediately quipped, "Oh, I've tried carrying fused glass jewelry but I don't think I would consider continuing to do so anymore". Story over, didn't even want to look, what a shame! :cry:
The big truth of the matter is that good quality and unique work will always have a market, but not everyone wants, or is willing (or able) to put in the hard work and time it takes to create such pieces. Those who do will be the standard raisers and keep glass art moving into the future.

Dennis Brady
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Postby Dennis Brady » Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:20 pm

As saturated as the market has become with product, it's worse with instructors. Many people teaching introductory fusing and slumping have just recently finished their own beginner classes.

When people inquire about our classes (whether it's cold glass, warm, or whatever) we always ask WHY they're interested in the class. Many say they want to learn so they can do it for a living. We've had several that wanted to learn warm glass because they thought it would be possible to make a pretty good income teaching it, or by selling tools and supplies to people wanting to learn it. We try hard to discourage any unrealistic expectations but frequently fail.

I don't know about making money teaching, but it sure as heck is profitable supplying all the wannabees. A year or so from now I expect there'll be a huge supply of used kilns for sale from all those that discovered making a living as a glass artisan is a bit more difficult and complicated than just cooking glass in a kiln.
DeBrady Glass Ltd http://www.debrady.com

Victorian Art Glass http://www.vicartglass.com

Glass Campus online classes http://www.glasscampus.com

Cynthia

Postby Cynthia » Tue Jan 06, 2004 7:40 pm

Dennis Brady wrote:As saturated as the market has become with product, it's worse with instructors. Many people teaching introductory fusing and slumping have just recently finished their own beginner classes...


A gal I know who has spent less than 20 hours working with me to learn basic fusing techniques...has just informed me that she is going to teach. Her kiln experience is limited to my kilns...and then only to have plugged in the schedules I gave her... and she doesn't even own a kiln, but is planning on teaching. I worry. She isn't practiced, experienced or knowlegable enough to teach. What can I do but roll my eyes and hope that fusing doesn't get a bad rep as a result. What on earth is she going to do to fire the projects she has her students create? Oy.

Dolores wrote:...I visited one gallery last year... Upon introducing myself to the owner, she immediately quipped, "Oh, I've tried carrying fused glass jewelry but I don't think I would consider continuing to do so anymore". Story over, didn't even want to look, what a shame!


My best selling gallery wouldn't give me the time of day. The reply I always got was "We've seen fused glass, and we're not impressed." I too couldn't even get them to look at my work. They buy most of their stuff via ACC and finally found Marty Kremer's work (although they didn't realize it was kiln fired...now that was funny to me). Now their opinion about kiln fired work has been elevated, as it should be...and I finally got my foot in the door. They do a really good job of moving my work thank heavens.

Brad Walker wrote:There are also a lot of regional differences, as well as differences in terms of type and quality of work produced. Fused jewelry, for instance, is probably over-exposed on the west coast, but has lots of room for growth in the east. And what's happening on the low end of coasters may not be duplicated on the expensive gallery and commission end.


This is an interesting thought. One of my galleries no longer is carrying my work because they can't sell it (boy did I have a pity party over that one). It is only 30 miles from another gallery that is doing really well for me. Regionally they are very different locations. The gallery that dropped me is in a resort town, lots of tourist dollars and is a high end gallery with a high price point. The other is in a neigborhood in SLC. Not even in a gallery district or shopping district, but they do a great business. They carry specifically high end crafts, mainly glass, and have the same price point range as the pricey tourist town gallery. I don't get it...they are different regions in a microclimate kinda way, yet they are marketing to the same audience.

Also, what Brad stated about the gift shop retailers who are carrying the draped handkerchief vases and coasters are marketing to a different crowd than the high end gallery. I don't know though who is doing a better business or if either is or if it really matters. You just have to market your work through the outlets that are a good fit for your work and can support it.

fun5oh
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 11:30 pm
Location: wisconsin

Postby fun5oh » Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:26 pm

Dennis Brady wrote:Sales of some things are up, while others are down. Some places have increased sales, while others decreased. As a whole I think it's fairly stable.

Maybe the main reason sales for warm glass are declining isn't reduced market demand, but increased supply of product. There's a steady flow of wannabees buying kilns with the expectation they can make a living selling coasters, bowls, and sushi dishes.

I KNOW this, because I'm selling them the kilns, glass, and frit to do it. It's not a surprise to have someone that's just completed an introductory class, bought Brad Walker's book, and invested a coupla grand to "go into the glass business". There's a limit to how many people want to buy glass art, but seems to be no limit to how many people want to produce it.

Too much product - too little market.

Dennis Brady
http://www.victorianartglass.biz


Dennis,
I am highly disturbed by your answers in this thread. Every artist in every medium has started at some point. Hail the wannabees!!! I really don't understand what qualifies you to judge someone and thier willingness to learn. I am guessing that you would probably not have food on the table if it wasn't for the "wannabees". I for one believe if you feel this way you should not disclose it in a public forum, I would learn to make glass from sand before I would ever purchase a thing from you. If you are not happy with your Ford, get a Ferraris. Status Quo does not make an artist..............

Robin

Brock
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Location: Vancouver, B.C.

Postby Brock » Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:34 pm

fun5oh wrote:
Dennis Brady wrote:Sales of some things are up, while others are down. Some places have increased sales, while others decreased. As a whole I think it's fairly stable.

Maybe the main reason sales for warm glass are declining isn't reduced market demand, but increased supply of product. There's a steady flow of wannabees buying kilns with the expectation they can make a living selling coasters, bowls, and sushi dishes.

I KNOW this, because I'm selling them the kilns, glass, and frit to do it. It's not a surprise to have someone that's just completed an introductory class, bought Brad Walker's book, and invested a coupla grand to "go into the glass business". There's a limit to how many people want to buy glass art, but seems to be no limit to how many people want to produce it.

Too much product - too little market.

Dennis Brady
http://www.victorianartglass.biz


Dennis,
I am highly disturbed by your answers in this thread. Every artist in every medium has started at some point. Hail the wannabees!!! I really don't understand what qualifies you to judge someone and thier willingness to learn. I am guessing that you would probably not have food on the table if it wasn't for the "wannabees". I for one believe if you feel this way you should not disclose it in a public forum, I would learn to make glass from sand before I would ever purchase a thing from you. If you are not happy with your Ford, get a Ferraris. Status Quo does not make an artist..............

Robin


I think he hit the nail square on the head. Brock

Dennis Brady
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Postby Dennis Brady » Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:53 pm

Don't confuse willingness to learn with expectations of immediate success.

If you're in favour of the later, I'm pleased you'll not be shopping with us. We provide extensive technical and business support to our artisan customers. I'd hate to needlessly waste effort on someone with unrealistic expectations.

We go to lengths to stress that if you want to make a living selling your work, what you need most is patience and persistence. If you're looking for quick results, buy lotto tickets.
DeBrady Glass Ltd http://www.debrady.com

Victorian Art Glass http://www.vicartglass.com

Glass Campus online classes http://www.glasscampus.com

Mira
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2003 6:55 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Postby Mira » Tue Jan 06, 2004 10:42 pm

I think Dennis' second e-mail was the one that hit it on the head. I find it very difficult to believe that one class and a $1,000 investment truly presents competition for some the of heavy-hitters that post on this board. No way, uh huh, I refuse to believe it. Someone with little experience and a small kiln/glass investment is competing with the glass that comes out of China, Mexico and other countries that are small/light enough to be profitable to ship here. Although there's some notable glass that comes out of these countries, let's face it, Americans cannot afford to work for $.25 an hour. I can't anyway.

I was at Marshall's and found a large beautiful fused glass platter. I mean, it wasn't crap, I really liked the workmanship. It was for sale for less than $30.00. I can't buy the glass for that, much less spend time doing the design and execution. The average consumer is not educated about glass and will not spend the dough when they can get it so cheap. You're not competing with newbies that are barely covering their costs - you're competing with an international market.

The solution: Rise above it. Don't make scarf vases and coasters if you can't sell them. There are some really great artists on this board - I've spent considerable hours admiring your websites. You are innovative and talented and no newbie or foreign glass can compete with you. If they do, you're not pushing yourself.

With the best intentions and support for you all,
Mira

fun5oh
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 11:30 pm
Location: wisconsin

Postby fun5oh » Tue Jan 06, 2004 10:49 pm

If I did confuse willingness to learn with expectations of immediate sucess, then I appologize, but your classification of those new to the field as "wannabees" makes it hard to interpret your intentions. Yes, I am new to the warm glass field, although I have been working with cold glass for about 8 years, I ventured here to expand in a medium I love. I joined this board 2 months ago, with the hopes of finding help in what I wanted to learn, there is a wealth of information here and I thank Brad for making this possible, but I will be damned if I feel like I fit in! Every single question I have posted has brought me at least 2 PM's from those who are afraid to reply in public, why, because they don't want to be dissed........... Posts like the one that you made in this thread make new people shy away from participating. I do not feel that is right. As far as you and I ever doing business, just remember that I am the one that may have voiced my opinion, but as the saying goes " you see one mouse, theres a hundred more....."

Robin

Dennis Brady
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Postby Dennis Brady » Tue Jan 06, 2004 11:07 pm

Agreed.

If you hope to make a living selling your work, you must produce something artistically original. Something the customer believes is worth spending money on. If you're making coasters, vases and sushi dishes, it's unreasonable to claim the public doesn't support glass art. They support it just fine, but won't pay your asking price it they can buy equivalent quality import stuff for a much lower price.

There's nothing in any way wrong with being a "wannabee", but there's everything wrong with being unwilling to spend the time and energy to "pay your dues" - to do your apprenticeship - to take the time to learn how to produce the kind of work that customers ARE willing to buy.

I don't object to "wannabees". I spend a lot of time helping them to achieve their goals - in glass work, other crafts, and businesses totally unrelated to either. ...but I DO object to the ones that try to find a shortcut and complain when it fails to work. There's ain't no shortcuts.

..and lets try to not confuse dissing with disagreeing. It was not my intent to diss you or other posters, but WAS my intent to diss the shortcutters. If one is unwilling to take the necessary time to learn the craft, they shouldn't be involved in it.
DeBrady Glass Ltd http://www.debrady.com

Victorian Art Glass http://www.vicartglass.com

Glass Campus online classes http://www.glasscampus.com

Doug Randall
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Postby Doug Randall » Tue Jan 06, 2004 11:20 pm

fun5oh wrote:If I did confuse willingness to learn with expectations of immediate sucess, then I appologize, but your classification of those new to the field as "wannabees" makes it hard to interpret your intentions. Yes, I am new to the warm glass field, although I have been working with cold glass for about 8 years, I ventured here to expand in a medium I love. I joined this board 2 months ago, with the hopes of finding help in what I wanted to learn, there is a wealth of information here and I thank Brad for making this possible, but I will be damned if I feel like I fit in! Every single question I have posted has brought me at least 2 PM's from those who are afraid to reply in public, why, because they don't want to be dissed........... Posts like the one that you made in this thread make new people shy away from participating. I do not feel that is right. As far as you and I ever doing business, just remember that I am the one that may have voiced my opinion, but as the saying goes " you see one mouse, theres a hundred more....."

Robin


Robin, Its hard for this board to be everything to everybody, but there is a lot to be had on it. Everybody has their own agenda when they enter its relm. Some come for the info, some come to share, some come to be popular, make friends, or seek ideas . And some just come to blather endlessly about themselves. Relax...you dont need to feel threatened...take what you need, all the info you desire is here. You just have to want it bad enough. Do good work, everything else is immaterial.

And Dennis, what you said was spot on.

fun5oh
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 11:30 pm
Location: wisconsin

Postby fun5oh » Tue Jan 06, 2004 11:31 pm

Well said, and agreed..........
I do not make a full time living at glass, although I hope within the next 10 years that I do not need to punch a time clock every day. I know what it's like to lose business to China, Mexico etc....... I may lose my job earlier than I'd like to because of it, the only plus to that is what goes around, comes around. Alot of the work is coming back to us, the quality just isn't there in the over seas companies. We are a quality company, and are going strong once again. Produce a quality product and your customers will be there. You are correct, there are no short cuts, but those who take them pay dues of thier own.

Truce...........

Robin :)

Susan Moore
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Postby Susan Moore » Wed Jan 07, 2004 12:12 am

fun5oh wrote:If I did confuse willingness to learn with expectations of immediate sucess, then I appologize, but your classification of those new to the field as "wannabees" makes it hard to interpret your intentions. Yes, I am new to the warm glass field, although I have been working with cold glass for about 8 years, I ventured here to expand in a medium I love. I joined this board 2 months ago, with the hopes of finding help in what I wanted to learn, there is a wealth of information here and I thank Brad for making this possible, but I will be damned if I feel like I fit in! Every single question I have posted has brought me at least 2 PM's from those who are afraid to reply in public, why, because they don't want to be dissed........... Posts like the one that you made in this thread make new people shy away from participating. I do not feel that is right. As far as you and I ever doing business, just remember that I am the one that may have voiced my opinion, but as the saying goes " you see one mouse, theres a hundred more....."

Robin


Robin, I am also a newbie here and I have to disagree with you about the posts Dennis made. He makes very valid points. I don't understand why someone would think they will be 'dissed' for posting a public reply to your questions. The beautiful thing about a board like this is that all kinds of people can share their thoughts. It's the abundance of different ideas that keeps it interesting. Relax and enjoy some of the wonderful personalities on the board.

Susan

Jeri D
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Location: Martha's Vineyard.MA

Postby Jeri D » Sun Jan 11, 2004 1:04 pm

OK, I'm jumping in being a yearling who most definitely wants to make a living with something I am truly passionate about and in love with. (Formerly my creative juices were stimulated in the restaurant biz) I still do work part time bookeeping to carry me through until ihopefully establish myself.
My first season of showing was a tremendous learning experience and also gave me the opportunity to increase my skills and knowledge of what people visiting my area want. I have a very unique situation living on Martha's Vineyard where I can show for 4 straight months and 2 times a week in July and August without traveling . there is a large artist community here with a juried Artisan Fair that gets both a very transient client and your well heeled seasonal homeowner.

Brock
Posts: 1519
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 1:32 pm
Location: Vancouver, B.C.

Postby Brock » Sun Jan 11, 2004 1:08 pm

Hey Jeri, there's (or was) a glassblower on the island, maybe they would take some of your work also. Martha's Vineyard Glassworks. Brock

Jeri Dantzig wrote:OK, I'm jumping in being a yearling who most definitely wants to make a living with something I am truly passionate about and in love with. (Formerly my creative juices were stimulated in the restaurant biz) I still do work part time bookeeping to carry me through until ihopefully establish myself.
My first season of showing was a tremendous learning experience and also gave me the opportunity to increase my skills and knowledge of what people visiting my area want. I have a very unique situation living on Martha's Vineyard where I can show for 4 straight months and 2 times a week in July and August without traveling . there is a large artist community here with a juried Artisan Fair that gets both a very transient client and your well heeled seasonal homeowner.

Mira
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2003 6:55 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Postby Mira » Sun Jan 11, 2004 1:11 pm

Hey Jeri --

In all things, some people are successful right from the beginning -- some people lament for 40 years and never find success. If you've found some success as a yearling, then I say good for you! If you're selling, there must be a reason for it!!

Mira


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