Remember that "hyper-creativity" I talked about a couple of postings ago? Well it struck again...
This is Friday and I'm going to be firing obvara in a test mode today. I made the goo on Tuesday as scheduled for a few (literally three) pieces for a special order that I'm trying to get out the door. Having the goo in process helped but Wednesday we got a request for proposal and we needed a new twist on a product to make a price point happen. Brenda came up with a great idea and off to the studio I went to make prototypes...somewhat dry on the molds on Thursday morning...finished the edges and sponges and colored up before Noon...into the sun to dry...and into the bisque kiln last night. The bits are out this morning and because I made that goo on Tuesday, obvara for these prototypes happens this afternoon.
Concept to finish in just three days...in ceramics that's almost unheard of.
Why can I work this fast? First, it's just Brenda and I, so the levels of management that sometime hinder the ability to be nimble in a "normal" business are nonexistent...we work well together (for the past 44 years)...and we know our material, our equipment very well...we also have a wide variety of experiences from the past to draw from. That and I'm lovin' a challenge.
We just walked in the door from a trip to one of our supply chain folks and had this same discussion about being nimble. They had a major downturn when the owner passed away rather unexpectedly and had to change business models. All of their business was lost to changing technology and their engineer (the owner) died...they had to take on any business they could to stay in the game BUT by taking on small and unwanted jobs left by the larger shops, they have become the goto contract shop for many small businesses like ours. They're working on some custom samples for us as you read this. Very cool stuff...I'm excited about the possibilities.
We're keeping our business nimble and creating unique opportunities...not going to whine about the climate or the government or the economy...Tim Gunn would say, "Make It Work." Nimble and Quick...that's us.
We're back from the trek to Cleveland and the TNNA Summer Trade Show. The National Needlearts Association holds two trade show/markets per year, we attend both.
Folks generally start a conversation about the show with a question along the lines of "Was it a good show?" Of course. We knew it would good before we went. Why would we go if we thought it was going to be a bad show. But folks ask the question wanting to know if we made money.
Most of the time, we only use the monetization of an event as a small part of the success/not-as-successful determination of the event. There is so much more to an event like TNNA than the money aspect.
Don't get me wrong...pottery and money don't grow on trees. But we began attending TNNA shows and continue to attend them primarily for strategic purposes. It's not about transactional goals...it's all about strategic goals.
Okay, I'll be honest. Strategic goals may have a somewhat shorter timeline now than 40 years ago when I started my path in pottery, but even at (ahem...cough) 65, I think long term (it's relative) rather than what's happening today...at least in regards to the relationships that are developed through TNNA.
It was a great show for us. We can see many wonderful projects developing from the show. Some great new ideas discussed with our clients...and the crate is lighter coming home than it was going...always a good thing.
The response to our new colors was absolutely wonderful. The result of the response? We feel confident that our direction is a good one and are encouraged to continue make art...at home...on Hobnob.
I'm just hoping that I don't fall asleep with the glue on my fingers...seriously burning my candle on both the ends and tired? I apparently didn't understand the concept of "tired" until now.
It's an all out push to assemble the samples for TNNA in Cleveland. The planning for this event starts before the last show (Winter shows are usually in January) and the execution began nearly two months ago...so why on earth is there always a push/crunch/and yes panic at the end?
The bits for the workshop in Reno at Jimmy Beans Wool are not here yet. The crate is scheduled to leave here for Cleveland on Wednesday. Freight was scheduled for delivery...printing downtown...the details of this coming week or so are nearly overwhelming...even with my "big boy panties on."
Of course Brenda is traveling this past weekend and next so we're a little short handed (like by 75%) during those days...a weekend for Brenda is usually four days long so the math adds up too something ugly.
BUT...it is during these times of near panic that the hyper-creativity seems to rise/bubble/ooze to the surface. It's almost like one channels the adrenaline towards creativity. However that works...I'll take it. I don't need the panic, but I'll take the creative response.