There has been little to report since Hollander Glass Canada closed it's doors.
A few of you have shared your other wholesale outlets, and many of you confessed that because of the slow economy for stained glass, you've been buying supplies at local retail outlets, just to get by. Well, I've been talking to a few retailers and the news is not good. There seems to be a real trepidation in ordering from the Unites States. And it becomes a larger cost concern, for those of us even further afield - from a convenient border crossing. So some of the other venues you might want to check out - in no particular order, shared by your emails:
The Glass Place
6272 Notre Dame Street, West
Montreal, Quebec H4C 1V4
Bendheim | 61 Willett Street | Passaic, NJ 07055
Kris Schmitt <email@example.com> is the contact for Canadian accounts
Sunshine in Buffalo
FYI - I am heading down to Bendheim in June, should anyone need something from them. Just let me know and I'll see if I can accommodate bringing it back.
This is the wake up call we have been dreading for some time. The Toronto wholesaler just sent me an email saying they have closed their doors for an undetermined length of time. They are trying to restructure and re-open under new management.
Talking with a stained glass store owner recently - also cast a cold chill - prepaid orders will be required. Since all our supplies come from the US, this could mean paying for goods months in advance. It also limits our ability to create as we now have to plan ahead, knowing how much of any aspect of a project - from glass, solder, lead etc, with little room for error.
Art is not a supply and demand sort of process - this closure and type of business practice will be felt at the hobbyist level to studio to tool makers to glass manufacturers. I can only suggest that if you are interested in creating a co-op for purchasing supplies please respond to this news notice or email me directly.
Happiest of New Years to YOU!
Since we survived the recent end of the world, the US fiscal cliff still fresh beneath our feet, tragedies befalling body and property, this last year was testy, difficult, heartbreaking and/or sorrowful for many of us to live or witness - so this New Years should be a fine time to really let loose and find the many ways to be thankful for what we might still have and who is still in our lives!
May God bless you with health and prosperity for 2013!
Did anyone else watch David Suzuki's The Nature of Things, the other night? What a fascinating show about the effects of light on human beings. The episode called Lights Out introduced the discussion about how our bodies react to our modern world of gadgets, increasing our amounts of light exposure.
Cancer, particularly breast cancer has been on the rise, as well as obesity; all of us inherently know this as we see it affect the lives of those around us. Scientists started investigating and an unusual link to the invention of the light bulb and where electricity is cheap and plentiful, was a direct match to where these health issues were on the increase.
Anyone who is a shift worker also can speak to how difficult the change in sleep patterns are. The piece that I found very interesting was the use of special goggles/glasses and specific colored light, could help. The scientists determined that the crisp clear blue morning light affected the circadian cycle, by decreasing certain hormones, while the reds of sunsets and of fire the original traditional lighting source, before electricity - was actually beneficial in helping people fall asleep and initiate the proper night time hormone cycle. These hormones keep us healthy and could actually prevent cancers from taking hold. Pretty amazing!
Being the stained glass artist that I am, with a great love of Chartres cathedral, I was struck by the insight of how the stained glass in Chartres, dark like the womb, even on a sunny day, with stained glass windows almost completely constructed with red and blue how incredibly healing these windows likely were on an entirely new level. Now easily explained by what the scientists were discovering.
I'd suggest every glass worker have a look at this program it just might affect how you see your work being more than just something decorative and potentially healing as well.
Belated Happy New Year!
2011 was a tough year for this volunteer at AISG. Starting in March, with my father succumbing to cancer and two beloved feline companions getting ill and dying - one on Christmas day, itself, I am gladly looking forward - and have settled my grief to hopefully get things moving again on the website.
It's not rocket science to notice our membership is down. The discretionary dollar has been hit hard and is finally catching up and impacting artists. Shows, exhibitions and markets are all reflecting the looking but not really buying trend. I know we are an innovative bunch and will muddle on despite some huge changes in our industry. Here's to hoping 2012 is going to see some global stability and some growth so people feel more comfortable about adding something beautiful to their home, business or place of worship.
So if there is any kind of bubbly still left in the fridge, including plain ole pop, I hope you will say goodbye 2011 and open you heart and mind to all that is good for 2012!
6 Bold Street
Hamilton (ON) L8P 1T2
Well, here it is four full Sundays before Christmas. Whether you are still recovering from Thanksgiving, by the way, belated Happy Thanksgiving to all our United States friends, or whether you've scored the best deals on Black Friday, supported your local retailers yesterday on Small Business Saturday or are poised with shopping cart bonanzas with a click of the mouse at the ready for tomorrow's Cyber Monday - I hope you are all geared up for the upcoming holidays.
The market trends are very bright with shoppers out and spending more than the last few years. Let us hope this trickles into our hand made, custom made pieces of stained glass art.
There are some glass deals out there: The Canadian Clay and Glass Museum is having a member's sale this weekend, however I'm sure they would love you to visit their shop any day of the year. http://www.theclayandglass.ca
The Corning Museum of Glass too, is having a Thanksgiving blow out, with many great deals across there showroom, any one can feel free to send me a Witch's ball! http://glassmarket.cmog.org
For those of you across the pond, PELI has some news about St Just, like maybe there is an antique glass heaven and they are still making it! http://www.peliglass.eu
Espace VERRE has ongoing exhibitions and recently had a fund raiser - you can check them out ! http://www.espaceverre.qc.ca/
Back in Toronto, the Ontario Crafts Council continues to display the areas best artists - some even working in glass so check them out too.
I'm still getting emails and local calls looking for this or that, which has been discontinued. I know it has been disheartening for many of us, and especially those that use antique glass. I'm hoping that the hushed rumors of the possibility of antique glass supplies coming back are true. As for the tools, and other materials that have seemed to have dried up, well, it's not over yet. Think laterally, do more internet searches and remember that your creativity will find a solution.
Lastly a reminder that Artists in Stained glass members can post directly to the news page regarding any shows or sales. And that if you are desperate for some specific glass, that the wholesaler has run out of, Artists in Stained Glass has opened wholesale accounts with companies further a-field and offers group bulk buying, where hopefully every one can get what they are looking for, without having to buy in at the wholesale minimum. Contact me for more information.
The outpouring of sentiment regarding Jack Layton's death is staggering. As sad as it is, to loose anyone we know and care for, Jack's passing appears to have galvanized Canadians in a way that I haven't seen in a very long time.
Like a lightening bolt hitting the sand, the crystalline glass of the moment is bringing new clarity. My sense is, that his life has inspire many of us to recall some of the important values, that Jack lived. And in doing so, shifts in consciousness are occurring. His legacy will be to change the world, now and forever. That's pretty amazing.
When my mother died, I knew immediately that I would design and build a stained glass window in her honor.
When my grandmother died, the question I carried for some time was: how do I honor her death?
Loving stained glass as I do, it was surprising not to also immediately know that stained glass was the appropriate gift. As I pondered this question I realized it was not going to be an expression of art, but the act of living, that was required. This shifted for me the single focus of stained glass as the only expression of my practicing art. Since then, stained glass is still my passion while exploring a less myopic view of my life, almost cross training if you will, spending more time attending to my own health, garden and home.
I am also challenging the perceived notions about what artists lives are like. Do artist have to be poor? Do artists drink too much? Do artists dress outrageously? Do artists spearhead causes or political agendas? Sounds pretty cliche, however it is those unexplored beliefs and values that direct our lives.
Jack offers us continued service by helping take the time to thank him and offer condolences to his family. As we reflect his life, we reflect on our own. For artists it assists our further exploration of the life-death cycle and how we need to express it, not only for ourselves, but also for the community we live in.
I grew up in Toronto. The east end - The Beaches. NDP country for most of my growing up years. This will mean nothing to many of you who have never been to Toronto, except to say in those years it was like living in a small village, within a growing city. The sense that every one knew everyone. That parents could let the children play at the playground, 1/2 a block away, until the street lights came on, because every kid knew they had fives minutes to be home. Where no one worried about bad people, simply because the world was safer then.
Having an quiet artistic disposition, long before I could even articulate it, I wasn't very big on politics, news of the day or world events. Yet yesterday, the news of Jack Layton's death brought tears to my eyes. Despite never having met him, he was our small corner of now a vast mega city's, football hero. A sweet man, which you usually do not or dare not say about a man in public service. His life was dedicated to good works. And even in his passing he was a gentleman to the end writing a beautiful letter of love and hope. I can only hope that when it is my turn that I can be equally gracious and caring. When Jack became the official leader of the opposition it was a stellar moment - the winning touchdown in the big league. That it has ended so soon, is truly sad.
So if you find yourself oddly melancholy or buoyant today, you have likely stepped into the collective unconsciousness of those of us who knew Jack Layton - still grieving or held in his wonderful memories. It is a good thing to be touched by those things that we cannot fully understand. So take a moment and reflect on your good works, hug some one you love and don't take their being there for granted. Jack believed that we have the capacity to change the world with love, hope and optimism. What a great message to share!
There will be time enough to catch up on why the summer has been so quiet.
Today I thought I'd talk a bit about letting go. Yesterday, my bevel buddy, Dennis Swan confirmed that finally he found someone interested in purchasing his beveling equipment. That after only a brief acquaintance and some absolutely fantastic custom bevels, there will be no more. And not even the promise of more. He is ready to move on and I totally understand.
I have a wonderful mentor/teacher that I have known for well over 12 years now. I have been a dedicated student, and continue to be, as well have become a friend, helping her with her garden or moving, or whatever the task might be. When she opened her school 12 years ago, the students built a community / meditation garden on her property. It was stunning. Split rail cedar fencing, apple trees, perennials galore, beautiful hand made garden furniture. It was our hard work and devotional service that kept this garden humming for about seven years.
Like all of our lives, we get called to take on new challenges and explore new avenues. Such was the case with the school. My mentor knew she had to move on and she did. It was easily five years since I had reason to be in the same old area. Being curious I decided to have a look at the old school site.
I almost drove by it. There was nothing on the street that was remotely the same. And worse, this magnificent garden was lost - the grass knee deep, the apple trees cut down, not a flower bed in site. The wisteria that cooled the front porch with it's boughs, simply dead wood hanging limp like one of the window shutters. I was devastated. It was all I could do not to cry.
Driving home, well past my emotional release, I pondered this new reality. I had held this quiet belief that it could not change. That the beauty and potential that was created in that garden would continue on - how could it not? The stark realization that what the group of us created could not be sustained was a valuable lesson.
It's sortta the same thing letting Dennis and his bevels go. The beauty and promise of unexplored bevel potential is gone. Our unique working dynamic, with the contribution of two of our email cohorts, Tod and Jo, has dissolved.
This could sound quite dreary, however with every closed door - a window opens, with every death - a new birth can begin.
The metaphor of the garden is a biblical one. We each tend our own gardens within and without. I wish Dennis all the best in his new life as someone who created amazing bevels once. His life skills at creating, are still with him, so he will have no difficulty creating a new and different garden. I know this to be true for all of us.
So as painful in the moment, of letting something go or change, is, it is the beginning of something new. As artists we know this cycle all too well.