Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More News

Well, as things go, today has been a pretty good day. We inaugurated a new President who is full of promise. Like many others, I'm hoping we'll see changes for the better.
On a local scale, both the building manager and the new contractor came in today to talk about the changes. It seems possible (but not guaranteed) that we can get the building department to ease up just a bit and allow us to keep the framework of our lofts so that we can keep all our panel displays and lighting in place. It means we'd have to remove the flooring, but since we already knew that we couldn't use the space for anything, that's not such a big deal. We may even be able to update the back portion of the loft by putting down a fire proof flooring, reinforcing the supports, and applying some kind of flameproof treatment to the rafters. Then we'd be able to use that space for storage. It would be really nice to have that in place before we remove everything, since we'd at least be able to keep all the extra furniture & supplies up there. Keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Latest county dictates

I'm beginning to feel like we're part of a soap opera here in "The Bird Road Art District". At least 4 of our neighbors have moved out, and others are looking for new space even as I write this. We all thought everything was worked out when the Fire Department gave us permission to keep our loft structures as long as they were empty and the stairs removed. Now, Dade County seems so hungry for money, they are forcing us to buy demolition permits to tear them down totally. We don't know if that means removing all the electrical and air conditioning too, or not. If so, then we'll need to decide if we can stay, or need to move to a new location. What a roller coaster ride we've been on these last 8 or 9 months. It seems there's something new every couple of weeks. I hope that means there is still hope we can avoid all the demolition.
On a happier note, response to our classes has been good, and we're trying to come up with some new ones. As soon as we get the tables downstairs, and the kilns are more accessible, we're going to expand our fusing department and do more jewelry related classes. I've spoken to several artists who are interested in teaching techniques like wire wrapping, fusing with gold decals, combining glass with precious metal clays, braiding with the Kumihimo techniques, and more. Our latest projects have included experimenting with fusing cubic zirconia and glass, and making flat flower beads on the torch. We're going to teach classes on how to do all these techniques - as well as how to wire the flowers into designs for clasps, pendants, brooches, and even how to sew them onto beaded ropes. You can take one class, or both.
Those of you who do stained glass, remember that we have all the sheet antique on sale for 50% off. It's such beautiful glass that it would be a shame to pass up this bargain.
Hope to see you soon in the Studio!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year everyone! I hope all of you have had a wonderful holiday season. We've actually started our big job of clearing off our lofts, so the Studio looks rather like a mini war zone - when you walk in, you need to navigate around boxes, bookcases, and piles of glass. We managed to empty one set of bins today (or 48" of storage bins, 9' high), move them over to the gallery side, and filled them up again with sheets of glass. More of the same tomorrow, although first we need to take down the large light box with Brian's painted stained glass panel of Pan. Haven't quite figured out the "engineering" of that job yet.
Once we get all the glass moved over, we're going to bring down 2 or 3 of the work tables from upstairs, and set up the studio/work side. I'm still trying to sell 2 of our used kilns, one is a large Denver glass kiln, and the other is a front loader glass or ceramic kiln. If you're interested, give me a call at 305-666-5164 for more details. Or just drop by the Studio to see them. We also have a Glastar Glasspasser Sandblasting Cabinet with exhaust filter/air handler, pressure pot with hoses & gun, and a compressor (5HP, 80 gal all available for sale.
Speaking of sale, all of the sheet antique glass is on sale for 50% off. That makes is less than wholesale. We have an assortment of Blenko, Desag, Fischer, Lambert's, St. Just, and a few others. Most are solid colors, but we do have some flashed glass and streakies that are absolutely wonderful. With the lower price, these beautiful glasses are now affordable, and the pieces you make with them look like jewels. The glass is unbelievably soft and easy to cut ... so come in and take advantage!