Monday, October 12, 2009
The Glass Shop
I wanted to take a moment and share my "alter ego" with all as I have recently realized that not too many know what I do in my real life. And that it is what brought me to glass fusing and wire wrapping.
When I was in grade school my dad decided he wanted to learn how to do stained glass. We drove up to Bend, over an hour away to visit the little stained glass store that was there on Division street. There wasn't a whole lot on that street at that time. I'm not even sure it was paved yet! As most of my parent's family lived in Bend I imagine we also visited while we were there. Anyway my dad went home and shortly thereafter made his first piece ever. It was a leaded glass owl. After that he took a Central Oregon Community College class on stained glass in Redmond. Being a little girl I don't remember all that much, but the next thing I really remember is he started going to the Bend Saturday Market and selling what he and my mom had made. That was in 1976 I believe. (The market was started in 1974 and is still going to this day.)
Soon the recession came along and the stained glass we sold at it and other markets and shows were paying the bills and putting food in our tummies. At this time the "real" job was mining decorative building stone. Just like the recession we are in now nobody was building so no stone was being sold. By the time the economy was picking up my dad was diagnosed with tendonitis in his shoulder. My parents sold the mining business and we moved back to Bend. My dad went looking for a real job. Two months later my parents decided to open a stained glass retail store and studio. They found a place to rent and put up a "proposed business" sign. The next thing we know a friend of ours who had a small glass shop on Bond Street called and wanted to know if we wanted to buy him out as he wanted to go back into construction. So of course we did and voila Bend Stained Glass Company was born. At this time I was barely 14. With a lot of hard work our store/studio was soon opened. I personally have been doing stained glass since I was eight. When my mother became ill in 2003 I took over teaching classes. Since her death in 2003 I have helped my dad run the glass shop.
The picture shows two of our three Spectrun glass cases. The bottom row of slots holds four square foot sheets (half sheets) of glass usually two feet by two feet. The second row up holds two square foot pieces that are usually one foot by two feet. The third and fourth rows hold one square and half square foot pieces. I spent most of last Wednesday and all of last Thursday pulling all the glass out of their slots one color at a time. I cleaned the slots and the glass. I sorted the glass, inventoried the glass and and with the help of my ex cut the large down and re-priced them to fill the mostly bare upper slots. While doing this I also created an order list of what we needed to fill out the holes in our inventory. The good news is we had more glass than we thought and could easily get what we wanted without having to pick and choose to keep the number of pieces down.