Stainless Steel Chain

I’m considering switching  to stainless steel chains for my work.  A number of years back the cost of sterling silver skyrocketed and I was forced to switch to silver plated chains for my necklaces. With 100’s of necklaces in stock, I can’t afford to keep that much money tied up in chains.  I considered chains sort of like packaging, they are not the main focus of the piece, my glass is the focus, the chain was just a vehicle for displaying it. Many people have a nice chain they can switch out. However, I was still unhappy with the silver plated chains, yes the cost is great, but they discolor over time.  I often have to discard and replace the chains because they tarnish and can’t be cleaned (I’ve tried, they get weird,) and that’s just not very sustainable. I detest throwing things away like that.

Just about a year ago, I ordered some stainless steel chains for myself.  I’ve worn one for a year now, every day, it doesn’t discolor, it’s strong and I really like it. The only downside I see is that it’s not as shiny as silver, and I wonder if that would be off-putting? I also like the idea of steel and glass together, as in architecture.  In addition, some people have allergic reactions to silver so cannot wear the silver chains, but stainless is hypoallergenic.  Stainless steel is stronger, cleaner and will last longer.

So i’m gonna go out on a limb and swap out  for stainless steel chains this season and see what happens. I’ll have a limited number of sterling chains,  as well, but the price is significantly higher. I’ll also use up my silver plated ones but, after that, I think I’ll not order more of those.

~Nan

New work at Glass Orchids

New work at Glass Orchids being fired in kiln.
New work at Glass Orchids being melted right before your eyes.

 

My goal for winter was to create new work at Glass Orchids, for the upcoming season.

have to say that I’ve failed miserably at that task this winter.  This winter I’ve been consumed by other tasks, after getting through the holidays I’ve spent my time working on websites for myself and the various arts organizations I’m a part of. I’m also the manager of two of the artisan cooperatives I’m in , and organizing for the upcoming season takes a lot of work.  I admit, I also enjoyed days of laziness which are greatly  needed to refuel for the coming year. 

I’ve got plans for new work at Glass Orchids, so many plans lol…… but first I’ve got to set up for the opening of the cooperatives, do my taxes (which no are not done yet), clean my studio, plant my garden, and then, yes then, create new works!!!

In addition to working getting this site ready for prime time, I also created a new website for one of my cooperatives: Belfast Harbor Artisans. 

 

So it’s 2019….A New Year

A new year, a new season! January is typically the month I rest up and take a little break, but this year the new season seems to have come earlier….. working on websites for The Bangor Art Society, Belfast Harbor Artisans, converting GlassOrchids.com over to GlassOrchids.art, working on a site for my sister, and one for SouthWestHarbor Artisans…and helping River Arts with theirs.

Getting the agendas set for the coop meetings this weekend, and entering pieces for shows at River Arts and the Bangor Art society. I need to organize my studio and stock, and make new work, and do taxes… planning my garden for this spring….applying for shows……why did I ever think Jan/Feb were slow months?

This year I’ve left 2 coops, and am going to try and pare down what I make to those things that have been selling, and things I just love to make. I’m hoping to focus a bit on obtaining a few new wholesale accounts too. 20+ years doing this and I’ve still not found the Golden Mix, the formula to maximize income based on wholesale. retail, coops, consignment, online sales……. sometimes I feel like Jason of the Argonauts.

Now, just to get back to something I said above.. I’ve moved GlassOrchids.com to GlassOrchids.art.. why? Well, maybe you’ve read my saga of Google Jail? GlassOrchids.com is in google jail so I get no traffic or search engine placement. I made an innocent / but ignorant mistake and will pay for it forever apparently….. but hopefully with GlassOrchids.ART I’ll be able to recover…. time will tell….

Anyway, till next time,

Nancy

Fryeburg Fair

Wild preparations are underway for the Fryeburg Fair! I’m firing my kilns on overdrive. The show runs September 30th thru October 7th, 8 days, 12 hours a day; whew. This year I’ll have many more items made with upcycled glass bottles, as well as other new items. Long hours ahead getting ready for the fair!

~Nan

Time to make the donuts!

It’s been  hard finding time to get into the studio these last few months – I’ve been spending a lot of time opening a new artisan coop  in Belfast, ME, I’ve been trying to get my garden/farm up and running, working in the coops, traveling to galleries to enter new pieces for shows etc…  but finally I got an afternoon to work.

What to work on? hmmmm.. so much  inventory is needed to keep going…. art pieces…. earrings.. etc… well I decided to pull out a stash of vintage dichroic glass I’ve been hoarding for about 20 years. I bought it from one of the pioneers in using dichro for jewelry and have been saving it, mostly because I just didn’t want to waste it! But today was the day (well last Thursday anyway.) Since I was using old dichro, I decided to create pieces in the style I first used 20+ years ago. Funky, chunky and bold pieces here we go…

The high price of ignorance – Google Jail

Google Jail

Back in 2013 I used a free template to create a nice look on my website. The free template included stock clip art that was also listed on free clip art websites. I had fully intended to replace the clip art with my own photos but didn’t get around to replacing one of them. It was the photo of a woman’s face. Life got busy and I really let my website drift for about 5 years. Recently I’ve ported GlassOrchids over here to wordpress, whole new host, whole new website. In trying to gain placement in the search engines I discovered that way back in 2013 the owner of that photo reported dozens of web pages/sites, that also used that photo perhaps also in free templates, for copyright infringement.

In researching I’ve discovered that I’m now in Google jail and it’s a life sentence. There is no way to remove oneself from Google jail if, in fact, you actually did have the illegal image/content on your page at any time.

Some of my pages are indexed in Google but not my home page, which is where the photo was.  I’ve spent hours researching how to fix this. I can’t believe Google has no way of re-indexing a page, i.e. removing you from google jail, but they don’t. Apparently they used to, but creeps who intentionally use copyrighted material kept getting out of jail and then adding the copyrighted material right back to their pages. So once again, the jerks in the world are why we can’t have nice things.

I’ve had glassorchids.com for about 20 years or so. Now there is no way for me to have it re-indexed with Google so it will not come up in the search engines; most of my pages will but not the home page. That’s a high price to pay for ignorance.

I’m working on some workarounds and have registered GlassOrchidZ.com … well I do love zombies so I guess in a way this is the undead version of GlassOrchids.   It will take a lot of time as I’ll have to recreate the site from scratch…at least part of it, and figure out how to redirect a site/page. I’ll keep you posted on progress.

Let this be a lesson to all of you out there – beware of any free graphics/templates etc… the real price can be very high.

Live and learn,

~Nan

UPDATE: I think I’ve got a workaround and have implemented it. You won’t notice any difference in the site but I’ve used a 301 redirect to point the home page to a different page (basically a duplicate) with a unique name. Hopefully this will fix the issue but it will take a few weeks to see if it does as it takes time for the site to get crawled and re-indexed. I may not need GlassOrchidZ.com after all.

Down Time – What we do in Maine when the tourists go home

It’s Artist Down Time  here in Maine. The time of year when the tourists have fled to warmer climes and I sit looking out the window at 3′ of snow. Often customers at the cooperatives will ask us what we do all winter; we wonder this too…..

Once we close the cooperatives in late October (mostly) we do holiday shows, enjoy our families and then comes the lull in January/February. We make no money in the winter months unless we have successfully navigated the Etsy  or other online waters. There are a few shows between the new year and spring but not many, and generally not great anyway.  Mostly I plan to make a lot of stock over the winter and to get to all those house cleaning projects I’ve put off all summer, but what really happens is I collapse,  the last two winters I’ve experienced severe family illnesses, I try to enjoy the holidays, I do my taxes (OMFG) and come April I’ve created NOTHING.  I’ve spent a lot of time organizing stuff for the coops, researching new products, new galleries, applying to shows, working on the websites, ordering supplies and I’ve even finished a few paintings. I haven’t been in the studio.. except to clean .. for months. I plan to do better, but I always seem to fail.

It’s ok my taxes are done, family is ok,  and I still have April!! I have hope!! Maybe I’ll get some backstock created!! Maybe I’ll get some new products done!! I have designed a few pieces for an art gallery so hey I’m ahead already! A little down time is also good for the soul, helps us to recharge for the crazy season that is just around the corner!

Never enough time

Sure I said I’d be posting my SnapDragons(tm) on the site in a week; that was two weeks ago. There isn’t enough time in a day is there?  I’ve launched my art site NancyDaviesTang.com ,  moved and mocked up my supply website at UGotGlass.com, which is inactive at the moment because again.. there is just NO time. I’ve also launched a sit for my lavender & market garden farm WinterRose.farm I’ve entered two shows one with the Bangor Arts Society and the other with river arts. The former won 2nd place and the latter saw one piece featured in the local paper. Ye ha… I am moving along,  just not getting everything on the list done! Ah well, we do what we can…..

~Nan

Re-launch Code Name: Glass Orchids

I’ve been working  hard to re-launch this website and finally got the shipping & shopping carts to work (I think). I’ve integrated this site with my Square account so you can pay for your orders and it all flows through one processor. This will make it much easier for me to manage customers, orders and finances.  Currently I’m working to make navigation easier for shopping, adding more products and trying to get ranked in the search engines again. Thanks for bearing with me these last two years as the site has been going through growing pains. Last year about this time I got hacked multiple times and decided to move to a new host and convert to a WordPress design. I haven’t had enough time to really get it up and running and there has been a big learning curve.

Over the next week or so I’ll be adding SnapDragons(tm) – Interchangeable dichroic glass pendants, bracelets & rings along with the Snaps, and many other new products.

Thanks again for all your support over the years,

~Nancy Davies Tang

 

It’s not all cake and wine! Relaunch of Glass Orchids!

Banner image for relaunch of Glass Orchids.
Relaunch of Glass Orchids – dichroic glass jewelry made by Maine Glass Artist, Nancy Tang

 

The Relaunch of Glass Orchids 

….has been and ongoing task for about a year now, and I’m getting closer to really having GlassOrchids.Art up and running smoothly.  Recently I’ve noticed a lot of new subscribers to my website. So many that it seemed suspicious. That’s the world we live in now isn’t it? But you know what? I was right. Checked out several of them and they were known spammers. So I’ve disabled subscriptions on the site, deleted them all and removed 100 spam comments that were waiting for me to review.

It is no small task to relaunch Glass Orchids, I’ve had to back up and migrate the entire site to a new host and then deal with all the little glitches that occur when plugins think it’s the old site.  Having run GlassOrchids.com for over 20 years, I now have to try and regain search engine placement, and that’s a whole job unto itself! Learning all the SEO changes and how to  make that work in WordPress vs. an HTML site is another whole ball of wax too. I’ve learned a whole lot though, and I do enjoy working on the site.  I highly recommend a plug in called Wordfence. (and no I don’t get paid to say that, I just find the plugin really helpful.) Watching the live feed of website activity is both fascinating and terrifying; so many bots trying to login and take over!!

Now I can get back to working in the studio creating dichroic glass jewelry and art pieces. I’ve got a Bangor Art Society show coming up in a few weeks and need to make a fused glass wave artwork for it. I’ll post images when it’s complete!

Stay warm folks!
~Nancy

If you’ve arrived  here from outside the site, please visit my home page at: GlassOrchids.Art