Sunday, August 9, 2009

Glass Artwork Business Feature

Featured Business: Moon of Glass by Elizabeth Chandler
1- Elizabeth, tell my readers a little bit about the type of products you create

I work with glass. I have two kilns and a torch, and use a variety of techniques to create unique home decor pieces, jewelry, and beads. People usually see glass as very fragile - I endeavor to make beautiful, yet sturdy pieces that will last a lifetime.
2- Tell us what factors were responsible for your decision to go into the business of creating and designing glass art?

About four years ago, I dropped out of law school. I knew I didn't want to be a lawyer - there was too much of an emphasis on convention. I didn't want to have to wear a suit to work every day. And at that point, I started thinking, now what? I have always been "hopelessly creative", always seeking new ideas, and new things to learn about. So, while searching for some other career path, I turned to art. I had no idea that would become my path! It took me a while to realize that I could sell my artwork. I played with a bunch of different techniques, selling in local craft fairs, just trying to earn some spare change to buy more art supplies. I met other artists, and discovered glass fusing. As soon as I saw a piece of fused glass art, I knew that was what I wanted to do! I saved for and bought a small kiln. In teaching myself to fuse glass, I've developed a style of my own. The more I work with my glass, the more I decided that was all I wanted to do. In October of 2008, I decided to "get serious" with my business. I developed a business plan, began selling online, exhibiting at more shows, and investigating wholesale options. My plan is to be a full time glass artist by September of 2010.

3- How did you learn how to create and design glass art?

I am primarily self taught. Early in my explorations, I took a stained glass class, which helped me with glass cutting and other skills that are very much a part of what I do now. However, most of what I know now I've learned through experimentation. Glass fusing is 80% creativity, but 20% chemistry and physics - I've learned a lot more about science than I ever knew before! I wouldn't be where I am now, though, without the help of a few books. Warm Glass is one I would recommend for anyone beginning fusing.

4- What inspires your creations?

I find inspiration everywhere! I am influenced by nature, but also by man made things. Sometimes even flaws in the glass itself lead me to interesting ideas. Emotion is probably the biggest influence on my artwork; art for me is a highly emotional process.
5- What is your single most favorite creation and why?

Probably this piece: It is made from recycled glass pieces, and the method used adds a lot of randomness to the piece, so that no two are alike. I really like how this one turned out!

6- You sell quite a bit on etsy. What are your best sellers?

My all time best seller is monogrammed cuff links. A lot of women buy them as gifts for their boyfriends or husbands, and I've done several for wedding parties. The cuff links can be found here:
My other big seller is flower pendants. These are pendants with little flower gardens on top. They're very popular among teenage girls. Here's an example I currently have in my shop:

7- Please share any challenges you have experienced over the years with running a home business and how you overcame them.

My biggest problem is time! Since I have a full time job outside of my glass art business, it's very difficult to juggle orders, craft shows, and customer requests. Sometimes I can budget a whole day for my business, and then realize at about three in the afternoon that I haven't left the studio, and I really need to pack up orders! Instead, I have decided to stick to a schedule. Before I go to work, I get up and process any orders that are ready to be shipped. When I get home, I deal with the business work that needs to be done, like budgeting and listing new items online, or packing things up for a weekend craft show. After that, I reward myself with studio time. Early on, another problem I had was budgeting. I spent every dollar I earned on new supplies. While this helped me build up a full studio quickly, I realized that if I wanted to make a living off of my artwork, I couldn't keep buying supplies. So I created a budget. Now, I only buy supplies once a month, and I only buy the things I really need. The additional money I make goes to paying off debts or gets squirreled away so I have a nest egg when I quit my day job.

8- Do you do custom designs on request?

Absolutely, just ask!

9- What advice can you give individuals who want to get into the glass art business?

Develop a unique product. That's probably helped me out the most. I can count on sales from certain items - the unique items - every time I make them. Also, if you're serious about business, develop a business plan. It will keep you on track to know what your goals are.

10- Lastly, tell my readers where to find your beautiful work online and how they can get in touch with you

Sure! I am online at For custom requests, feel free to contact me at

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