I like to learn things the hard way.
I would have to say that most of my life has been comprised of this type of learning. Now just what is learning the hard way to me? Well 95% of the time it costs me financially. It's a car that just after being repaired, cracks a head and becomes a fancy lawn ornament leaving me to public transit hell. Yes hell. I have walked/biked easily over 500 miles and taken way too long to get everywhere.
Now this is not just a rant. I also therefore had the chance to learn from this hard experience. I've realized from reading countless entrepreneur books over the years that it all seems to fall to pieces before the rebuilding can begin and a steady business emerges. This has been my experience anyway. It has taught me the value of time management especially when dealing with hour long commute times via bus. I have chased or ran to the bus stop on numerous occasions and experienced being slave to bus arrivals and departures. I also learned about asking for help.
I have always had the do it yourself attitude which seemed to work for a long time, but I have added a new partner to MoltenWorks that is exactly what I needed. Someone who is as passionate as I am about becoming self employed creating unique furniture, light fixtures and other home ware accessories. His name is Jared and with his background in welding, he is a perfect addition! I am so excited for this year as we look to accomplish many great things! Especially when we finally get our new TIG welder to begin producing furniture!
I have been quiet for the last few months as I have been so busy learning in the studio and figuring out this dream they call self employment as well as balancing work and social life(not been so good at the social life part). As I reflect on 2014, it was a year of becoming well educated in glass, learning how to sell it, and create a voice within fused glass that is unique.
have had the most amazing year of figuring out a new way to work with fused glass. I'm sure there is someone out there doing something similar, but this has been a process that has taken over a year to refine and it continues to improve with every new product produced.
For those not familiar with how all this is created, I will be posting more pictures of the process in the next few weeks. The basic idea is taking powdered glass using a sifter to dust it over a clear piece of glass and I use stencils to control where the glass ends up as well.
The New Year beginning brings a refresh button for myself to expand my company enough to become fully self employed. I will be sharing my journey forward and having a blast creating all sorts of new products!
Happy New Year to everyone and I look forward to great things in 2015 with my new partner Jared and mentor Randall.
This will be brief, as I have been hard at work day and night creating crowdfunding through kickstarter.com. This is the necessary next step for my company as I have outgrown the garage space I currently use, but I'll need everyone's help! I will then be able to open to the public, which I'm really looking forward to! I will be launching shortly, but I wanted everyone know I'm still alive and well, just away from updating online as frequently as I prepare for this exciting new chapter!
Keep up with me on www.instagram.com/moltenworks or follow me @moltenworks
In other news, I will be releasing my fall collection this coming week as well!
One year ago next month I began working out of Randall's garage. Over the last year I have completely immersed myself in the world of glass and the endless possibilities it holds. There have been many speed bumps and road blocks all along the way, but thus far each has been overcome. This has led to new discoveries, pushed MoltenWorks into its present state and on to an even brighter future!
Adding new members to the team has proved very beneficial to design the best possible furniture and more! These new elegant products will be released later this month and early next month!
There are many things in the works right now and I am in rapid expansion mode with also gearing up for the crowdfunding beginning October 1st! I'll need everyone's help to open my public studio and begin offering all sorts of fun activities!
Enjoy the day!
Well I've been off the air for a couple weeks as I was in Minnesota for my Grandmother's passing along with figuring out the best direction to drive MoltenWorks into a successful future! Video update to follow early next week! After much talk of a video blog, I will actually be able to launch the first video!
A few updates for now:
I've found a welder! Jered has joined the team as my welder to begin creating new products mixing metal and glass!
I also have brought Steven, good friend of mine, on board as my designer for the bigger projects ahead! Currently light fixtures and tables.
The latest projects in the works are new, never before seen light fixtures as well as a new table design to be released later this month or early next month!
Lastly, but most important, I am working on curriculum and drawing up everything I will need to get my public studio open! I will be using Kickstarter to raise enough money to successfully launch the studio as there are many expenses to have it fully operational.
A few things I will be offering:
-Sip n' Fuse
-Drop in Sessions
-Full Production studio (Most important to continue to grow as tons of inventory is needed to produce enough product for retailers, galleries, and creating new innovative products.
I will need everyone's support once I begin the crowdfunding and we can build this awesome Studio together!
And what better place than Woodinville Wine Country!
Have a Wonderful Day!
It sure has been a hectic week since my birthday! My car broke down twice on me and spent the weekend and beginning of the week in the shop and I spent all weekend moving into my new place!
A few updates:
The next phase to get into Gallery North in Edmonds is in motion; I have to show my work for a panel of judges and receive a 65% majority vote to be accepted to sell my work here! This will take place September 8th.
Voting begins August 15th for the slumpys.com flowers galore contest! Vote MoltenWorks' birdbath flower design at www.facebook.com/slumpys
My inventory online is currently low due to the transitions I've been making and will bolster up shortly! Feel free, however, to contact me directly for custom work or even coasters or other product you see a picture of and would like to order!
I am also still working numbers with Made in Washington, and looking for other potential retailers!
Little inspiration for the week:
This week I was hit by a storm of events that have really stirred up some hard times. It seems like times like these are the tests in our lives to see how much we can handle and stay strong. A great quote that gets me through is "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Never give up, even when it seems near impossible how you will make it through!
It's always darkest before the dawn...
Enjoy the lovely weather!
Well it's my birthday....Can't believe it snuck up on me so fast! Today I am 22 years old. I told myself last year I would be self employed by my birthday this year and boy am I close! Its the most gratifying to see all that hard work pay off and worth the sacrifice of the "good times" I'm missing that most 21 year olds experience the entire first they are legal. This is not to say don't have fun, but now is when we are at our prime! They say these are the best years of your life, so wouldn't you want to use your peak performance to achieve all your goals?
Never give up on what you want. The only fear that I totally agree keeps us stuck in our daily lives is the fear of being great. Greatness is very scary, especially when it means sacrificing social norms and striving for your dreams and goals no matter what anyone says.
Anyway, thats my inspiration for the week, now for MoltenWorks progress:
-The Issaquah art walk was a wonderful time with great success!
-I am applying to Gallery North in Edmonds this week to have a solid gallery to display my work.
-I'm also moving into a new place so things are going to be a bit scattered this week till I get fully settled in.
Please contact me for custom work! Any design you see I can implement into other pieces or dishes.
Have a wonderful Sunday, I'm off to Lake Tapps!
Remember, Greatness is within us all.
I have been traveling down the path of the artist for about 2 years (I don't count the 2 before although I made my original product then and had the business open). I looked at it more as a business than myself becoming an artist, but now I see that is exactly what I sell. Now of the many things I've noticed, the most prominent is the people that are involved with art as well as how it is viewed today.
I participated in my first art fair at the Duvall Sandblast Festival last weekend and from the young adults my age all the comments were similarly themed:
"I wish I could do art, but I have no way of doing it or making money at it"
"I never took any art classes in high school because my schedule was so full of academics"
"How did you learn to do all this?"
The constant theme and undertones in their voices is that society views artists as poor and starving and theres no career opportunity in it.
Now, I'm not suggesting everyone go and try to be an artist or that it is an easy road at all, but simply that it deserves a spot in schools for children to explore a place they can purely create from their imaginations because that is really what art is all about.
Now this is also evident with the general age of the artists I've met thus far as well (All tending to be over 30 and its hobby or part time).
Why is this?
Simply that we shove the idea of college on the minds of every young person and shun the idea of going without. This has been the biggest ridicule in my life as you can imagine. I'm currently 21 years old and decided from the beginning of my sophomore year that college wasn't for me. So while everyone was cramming as many AP or Honors classes into their schedule, meanwhile, skipping out on art classes sometimes all together or besides the basic intro art class; I was adding art classes to my schedule, molding the idea of self-employment and working with glass.
I watched everyone freak out over whether they would be accepted to the school they wanted or not which seemed very stressful and at times heartbreaking. Very sad in my opinion, that this cookie cutter way is all we tell our kids to do and leave no room for exploration.
Even my own parents thought I was crazy (they still do now, I'm sure)
One of the hardest things I heard them say was:
"We went and visited all your old friends in Colorado and all the family members and we just didn't know what to tell them you were doing with your life"
And from my sister:
"You need to do something besides arts and crafts someday."
Talk about a shot to the heart.
Well here I am after spending 2 years developing product and a business model and the last 10 months of refining a process unique to MoltenWorks, all my own investment, averaging 12 hours per day working at creating processes and products(doesn't feel like work though!), many trial and errors ending with broken glass and lessons learned, and the stench of "your never gonna make it" in the air and what do I have?
I have all the great beginning of my career ahead in fused glass with many fused glass products and a studio projected to open in the next 6 months in Woodinville Wine Country so I can begin sharing art with everyone!
It hasn't been an easy road, but smooth seas don't make good sailors.
I encourage everyone to go after their dreams as it is worth it no matter what anyone says.
Laser Focus + Passion= Success
Please comment and share!
MoltenWorks has been changing and expanding so rapidly, its hard to keep up! I have finally settled on my method for designing glass using powdered glass. This has taken many trials and changed to the materials involved, but has now become a refined technique. I now also have a solid base of products.
What does this all mean?
Well now I can focus on the type of product I create rather than how it's created, allowing me to expand inventory, focus on marketing, and I now have to tools I need to succeed. I will also begin looking for a public space for my studio to begin offering classes, sip n' fuse, and more!
Currently a small amount of product is available online at etsy.com as I need a large inventory for the art walks and shows I have coming up throughout the summer so keep up to date with the latest events to get the best of my product! With that said, don't hesitate to contact me for custom work as I love the challenge!
I had a realization that my best way to reach out to all of you and keep you up to date is video as my product is so visual and I love to speak. Coming within the next week or two I will be sending out a weekly video to view for the latest on MoltenWorks newest product, shows, and other exciting news!
Off to the Studio for now!
P.S. Pictures coming soon of new product!
Glass is great way to test your patience. The last month has been a true test of pushing forward or giving up. It is a medium of unknown variables and new challenges to overcome every day.
So what drives me to push forward and continue to develop product and refine my technique. One word...PASSION. Seeing product break at the final steps or simply opening the kiln to see a broken piece for unknown reasons would drive the average person mad and to contemplate if they made the correct decision on becoming a fused glass artist. Even my business partner said he half expected to have me show up and say I'm selling everything and moving on, however, in those moments I realize this is what I want to do with all my heart and will never give up my passion.
MoltenWorks is in rapid expansion mode as new products are being created weekly and we are participating in our first art walk in Issaquah downtown Friday June 6th from 6-9pm. Head on down to see some new fused glass!
Look for us on Etsy as we are beginning to place product for purchase there!
I have truly learned what it means to create a product. Now anyone can slap some items together and call it a "product", but there are many many trials it must face before any success is to be had. The candle holder has had a huge makeover from the beginning as I refined the process.
How is the glass made? (The current way I make it) Take a thick piece of clear glass (We call it C4) and cut it into a circle. Then its detailed with a design. How are the designs created? I cut a stencil out of MDF wood and dust powdered glass over the surface then delicately lift the stencil off. (Sounds easy, right?) I've had to lay off the coffee for one thing....Not good for my love of coffee...but I have developed a steady hand. Anyway, then the glass is fired once.
I lay it over a mold that has a hole in it, heat the kiln to around 1400 degrees and gravity takes over dropping the glass through the center to create the shape and is carefully observed so the depth is correct!
And Kaboom, you have a candle holder! I should also mention the stands are laser cut steel from a custom stencil and then welded together.
Now how long did product 1 take to get to my current method? Well about 1 year and a new business partner with 9 years experience to guide me. Its been an amazing adventure with MoltenWorks thus far and I am enveloped with excitement to move toward the next phase:
I will be launching my crowd funding in about 2 weeks! To create a fused glass studio in Woodinville wine country offering a sip n' fuse, classes, and create bigger glass pieces up to 30"x72" with a new large kiln.
The real deal and with a fully developed idea. (For those that saw my first crowd funding video I was so excited to launch, I didn't realize I needed more prep time and a fully developed plan and put aside the old campaign to focus on a fresh one!) Erin my new apprentice will also be doing all the videography!
Glass Lingo: Drop firing- The method shown above where gravity is used to 'drop' or mold the glass into a shape.
Thanks all for reading and feel free to comment or contact me directly!
Yes, yet again I find myself out of blogging as I have been hard at work developing new techniques to add zest to my work the last few weeks! You'll see lots of new work and it will all be available for purchase very soon right here on my website!
The new candle holders: All of the colors and designs you see are created with dusting powdered glass over a clear glass disk. I'll have more videos as I now have a proper videographer.
I just welcomed Erin Fuhrman to my team as my photographer, videographer, and she wanted to try her hand at glass and is already creating fused glass marvels!
I am also now working with Luna Kitchen and Bath in Seattle, and will be creating custom back splashes, light fixtures and panels for dividing rooms!
I look forward to expanding into architectural fused glass as I am currently working with a coffee shop to create a custom fused glass sign for their store front.
Back to the kilns to check on some more glass now, feel free to comment or contact me with any questions!
Well Im Happy to say, every week I am making major steps. I have now found a 2,000 square foot studio space in Woodinville and will be opening a studio in the next 2 months! Sorry its been a while, but my crowd funding has been absorbing my time as I plan to launch later today! So get ready!
You have all seen the product I have been producing lately and with this new studio, items like my tables will be done with a single sheet of glass, and new cocktail tables and more furniture will be produced. Now besides production, I will also be offering classes and potentially renting kilns out to local artists. There is not a fused glass studio on the Eastside that rents kilns I found out, so before I had Randall's kilns to use, I had to drive all the way to Seattle!
Sip N' Fuse! Yes the first ever glass studio to offer the wonderful wines of Washington, while creating beautiful glass creations. This will be just down the street from the Hollywood Schoolhouse and Willows Lodge for those of you that are familiar.
Weekly Glass Lingo: Iridescent- A term used to denote the effect that is caused by spraying a specialized chemical application onto a sheet of molten glass. The chemicals cause a mother of pearl appearance or a type of rainbow effect on the surface of the glass that has been sprayed. The brilliance of the glass is affected by the degree of light that is transmitted through the sheet. (see Below)
New glass is always coming out so heres a few to show:
It's a busy time for MoltenWorks! Very exciting as well....
So Whats the Latest?
New "Paintings" Randall and I will be releasing and framing! My first piece is just waiting for a finished frame! Coming later this week... (See Below) The piece below is 23x23 inches.
Within the next 2 weeks I will also officially launch my crowd funding project to raise funds for creating the first Eastside studio located in Woodinville, WA! This will also allow for a finished cabinetry project, and also open the door for custom doors including fused glass tiles with custom designs. More exciting news coming soon....
As mentioned above, below is a picture of the tile that will fit into a cabinet door piece being created as well!
Weekly Glass Lingo: Cathedral Glass- Glass that is a single color and transparent
Lots of new exciting news from MoltenWorks and more to come as I will be updating at least once a week from here on out!
Have a wonderful day!
It has been a while since I posted and man have I been busy! But thats another story...
This week I am focusing on my cabinet design and will have one door finished for all to see within a week! Thanks for all the likes on Facebook as I spread the word about MoltenWorks.
I would Love to get you all involved to make this a blog where glass questions can be answered, people can learn more about the basics of glass, and even stories of how art has impacted your life!
Daily Glass Lingo: Float Glass- The proper term for window glass. This glass cannot be used with fused glass. See not all glass is compatible and there are a few major glass making companies. Bullseye and Spectrum are two of the largest companies. When I say compatible, I mean that the glass from one company would not mix with one from the other company and the piece would crack or not fuse properly should different types of glass be mixed.
Have a lovely day!
This weekend only there will be a 25% off President's Day sale on all product online! February 15th-17th!
Also new coaster designs with a different feel to them:
They say when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and tough is the name of the game with glass. Bubbling, for example, is an unpredictable phenomena that I have already dealt with many times. (See Below) Anyway, Now on with the new.... I am working on building a door and cabinets with glass paneling in a whole new way! I just finished the first test and posted it but for those that did not get to see it, look below! Today is a short one as I am back to work at the J-O-B serving. However, please like the MoltenWorks page on Facebook and feel free to stay updated with instagram as new work and current firing will be posted constantly. Thanks for the support all and as always please ask any questions or add comments!
More to come....
Daily Glass Lingo: Tack Fuse- Heating up glass till it just sticks together, but does not melt into the other piece.
Now getting a name for MoltenWorks is by far the easiest step I took to starting this company. From there I launched (I was in high school) and began my first batch of product! As I produced my inventory of vases, I ran across some problems as you can imagine. The glass was too thin and many broke or were too fragile to sell. This goes back to feasibility... Now there was a wonderful thing to come of this of course! I was left with a mistake vase (see Below) and that piece would become the focus for my new product (candle holders/candy dishes).
Now the latest from MoltenWorks is a new line of coasters (see Store)
Below is a sneak peek into a new panel that's color scheme was designed by myself and will soon be sandblasted with a leaf design. Let me know what you think of the colors so far and more pictures to come tomorrow....
Sorry for the late post!
Now some may be wondering how a name like MoltenWorks was chosen and the process. Well it involved a lifeguard on duty (Myself), a painfully slow day (Golds Gym in Woodinville), and the first spark of my entrepreneurial spirit, to create a name in order to line up a license and get started! I began with an old schedule that was blank on the back and began drawing ideas. Yeah they may look cheesy but this is how it starts. I keep it stapled into my composition notebook I dedicated the next day to my company to remember how it all started... (see Below)
After spending a few hours mulling it over and talking with a teacher I was set on the name. Of course, now I have come a long way from previous attempts and trials. (see Below) However, I now have my official logo for branding MoltenWorks! Now I'm a firm believer in the law of attraction and with this new logo witnessed it. I was in need of a newer, strong logo that allows a brand to form and I ran into an old friend from high school who happens to be pursuing her dream in photography and graphic design (exciting!), and we got together to make this great new logo!
Daily Glass Lingo: Full Fuse: When layers of glass are melted to the point of creating an even plane once more. The glass picture below shows the pieces cut and laid out just before going into the kiln to Full fuse.
Nothing like a little metal to accent glasswork. I came up with the design for my tables and candle holders, and not knowing anything about welding at the time, I found a welder. A wonderful friend's brother was the one for the job. So we got together and whipped up a product. Easy right? I forgot to mention he lives in Arizona. Slightly harder? Oh yeah Metal is not the lightest and these tables do not disassemble.... We still got it done of course! Shortly after I was not quite satisfied with the stands and realized I wanted a more modern look for my stands. So I turned to laser cutting...Thats a whole other subject, but very precise and beautiful. Now for welding those legs on....Crash course in stick welding (Hardest kind) with my business partner Randall as my teacher.
"Just get it close and you'll create the arch and start welding....And maybe do a zigzag pattern so it connects"
And that was how I learned. It was fun while it lasted, but we realized with precision cut metal, we need precision welded pieces and therefore found a local welder to help us out...Much better....Ill stick to what I'm good at....Glass.
Daily Glass Lingo: Frit- Glass that has been broken into small pieces great for mosaic work. (see Below)