Targeting your Stained Glass Market

This week’s video is coming to you on location at Sci-Fi on the Rock 7! If you are wondering where you might be able to sell your stained glass, or have been considering how to market your stained glass creations, this video may help:

Remember, think outside the box and be creative with your marketing, but focus in on the  people who may appreciate your glass. There are more places to consider than just Farmer’s markets and holiday gift shows. If you are on the right track and making what you love, marketing your glass should be fun!

Which audience would enjoy your glass? Who is your target market and where do they hang out? Post your answer below.

 

 

6 Cost-Cutting Tips for Stained Glass Creation

Setting up in stained glass takes a bit of a financial commitment at first when purchasing your tools and materials, but there are a few things you can do to save money while making beautiful glass. Take a look at this video for 6 tips on how to be a smart with your cash while crafting:

  • Tip #1. Use scrap glass.
  • Tip #2. Use liquid dish detergent.
  • Tip #3. Make your own hooks.
  • Tip #4. Stock up on sale metals.
  • Tip #5. Take care of your equipment.
  • Tip #6. Plan your supply shopping allowance.

Do you have any other tips on how to save money while making stained glass? I’d love to hear them! Comment below, or share them on the GeekyGlass Facebook page today.

 

 

 

Stained Glass Magic and Chaos

Have you had a particularly busy week of scrambling to meet deadlines and working too many hours? The creative process can sometimes get overwhelming. Even if you aren’t currently working on an artistic project, we all know what it feels like to be buried under a ton of work, or feel like we have too much to do! There are some lessons to be learned from stained glass that can help us find magic that will help us through the chaotic times:

Here are the three magical qualities of glass:

  1. It glows from within
  2. It moves and transforms light
  3. It reflects

Can you see these qualities within yourself? If so, you’re on your way to finding magic within the creative chaos.

 

Putting a price on your stained glass

If you have made a few pieces of stained glass and are thinking about selling them to make a little extra money, or if you are considering turning your stained glass hobby into a part-time business, you may be wondering what price to put on your glass. This video explains a few methods (thanks to Paula from A.J Stained Glass in Toronto for teaching me this method five years ago!)

The individual piece method of costing your stained glass art takes the following into consideration:

  • Size of each individual piece (bigger glass costs more)
  • Shape of each individual piece (curves take longer to create thus should cost more)
  • Source of each individual piece (did you find the glass locally or purchase overseas?)
  • Colour of each individual piece (orange/fuchsia are pricey colours due to mineral content)
  • Other factors of each piece (hand rolled glass or specialty glass costs more)

If each piece is on the cheaper end, you may want to price is around $2. If it is on the higher end, $5 may be a good range. However, keep in mind that this is a general gauge, and depends on where you are living, as well as inflation and the price of minerals and metals at any given time.

After you’ve assessed each piece, add them up! For example, If I’ve created a stained glass panel using 50 pieces of glass, and I’ve assessed that 10 pieces are worth $2 each, 10 pieces are worth $3, and 30 pieces are worth $5 each, then I will set my panel price at (10 x $2) + (10 X $3) + (30 x $5) = $200

Don’t forget to add on the following costs as you feel necessary:

  • Time cost for design
  • Time cost for pattern creation
  • Time cost for glass creation

You may also want to add on additional costs for the following:

  • Using lead-free solder (the silver content adds to the cost)
  • Framing your piece (not all small pieces are framed)
  • Shipping (if you sell online)
  • Taxes

Finally, consider the quality of the overall piece. You may be very pleased and proud of your new creation (and so you should!) but it takes time to gain expertise in any craft or art. As you progress, you’ll be able to raise your prices, but as a beginner, be reasonable with your selling price. Don’t undervalue your time or effort, and make sure you are compensated for your materials cost, but don’t set such a high price that people are turned off from purchasing! If you use the $2 – $5 method, you’ll have a leg to stand on when people ask you why your work costs what it does.

Many people see stained glass as being pricey, but if you are able to explain the reasons behind the cost, you’ll be on your way to making your first of many sales. Congratulations!

 

 

Resizing a Stained Glass Pattern

When you find a pattern or image you love, and want to turn it into a stained glass work of art, you’ll soon come across a tricky little obstacle called scale. Without a good method for resizing, you can start to feel like Alice in Wonderland (Too big! Too small!)  Take a look at this video, which explains a few different methods you can use to get your stained glass pattern design to the exact size desired:

If you are searching for an online proportion wheel, take a look at the handy Proportionator. It gets extra points for the geeky name!

For a simple-to-use and affordable pattern resizer, check out the Rapid Resizer. I’ve downloaded this software, and found it has some great features:

 

  • Free trial use
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Comes with 100 free patterns
  • Has a simple but attractive glass colouring feature which allows for easy and quick colour pre-visualization of your finished piece
  • One-button colour/no colour for quick printing of the lines only
  • It automatically “tiles” or “clips” large patterns into letter-sized sheets so you can print the whole thing out easily at home.
  • When you resize, the line thickness doesn’t increase, so your patterns are great in any size (and, as the website points out, you use less ink!)

Download the Rapid Resizer for free here.

 

Crunching the Numbers: the Investment Cost of Making Stained Glass

If you are thinking about getting started in stained glass as a hobby or part-time business, you are probably wondering how much it costs to get set up and purchase your tools and materials. What is the real investment, and what is the usual return? While there is no exact magic number due to fluctuations in metal prices, the quality of tools that you choose to purchase, and the type of glass that you work with, there is a good approximation that can be made assuming that you can purchase good (not bad, not the best) quality beginner tools and materials.

Take a look at this video, which outlines how to turn a $15 square foot sheet of stained glass into $1440 of income. Sound too good to be true? The REAL costs are revealed to help you decide whether or not you can afford to invest in stained glass. Get ready to crunch some numbers.

A final caveat:  The $15 to $1440 conversion assumes that you make every cut perfectly. While it is possible, who among us is perfect? Certainly not me! I usually buy 1/3 more glass than I think I’ll need, and when I started out I practiced cutting on free window glass and mirror. The more you practice, the more accurate your cuts will be on your purchased beautiful art glass.