Important Note: Over 40 fused glass instructional videos in our online Education Center.

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Vitrigraph Murrine: A Foundation
With Nathan Sandberg

Nathan Sandberg has shared his Vitrigraph Murrine techniques in glass studios around the world. Today, you can enjoy learning the Foundations of Vitrigraph Murrine in this 1 hour 42 minute online video class.  AAE Glass is so very happy to welcome such a talented and experienced glass artist to the team.  

Included with this video is entry to a private Facebook group for any artists who purchase this online class.  Your education will continue with discussions from other artists around the world who have taken this online class.  Several of our Education Center videos have these private groups and the amount of continuing education is priceless and infinite. 

You will also receive downloadable pdf files of firing schedules, diagrams and handouts.  This information will be available anytime you wish to refer back to it in your AAE Glass Dashboard.  Nathan has left no stone unturned in his maiden voyage and the reviews are already coming in and they are fantastic! 

If you are familiar with the AAE Glass Education Center, this is another must have online class for your library.  If you haven't seen the AAE Glass Education Center yet, what are you waiting for?  It is the best place to learn fused glass techniques on the internet. 

WATCH FREE TRAILER HERE 

VIEW CLASS DESCRIPTION AND PURCHASE HERE 

 

                                                                                                            

What a great few years it has been! As many of you have heard, AAE Glass is expanding and moving this summer. In the past 7 years, AAE Glass has grown from a basement, to a garage, to a small studio, to the best glass campus Florida has to offer. We are now in the process of moving from our current location, to one almost three times the size! Needless to say, Florida's best glass fusing studio is about to get even better!

Not only will we continue to carry unique and affordable glass fusing supplies, we have several brand new ideas that the industry has never seen before. These have been in the works for several months and will be ready to launch shortly after we get settled. These new adventures, along with Tanya Veit's enthusiasm, will no doubt revolutionize the fused glass industry. I am not at liberty to say what these new ideas are just yet, but rest assured, they were hatched by Tanya and given the same attention and love as everything else she does.

Judging by the number of downloads and the numerous emails we receive daily from glass artists around the world, the AAE Glass Education Center is a huge hit. There is nothing else like it in the industry. My favorite emails to receive are the ones from glass artists located in parts of the world without access to glass studios, that state their love for glass art has been renewed because glass art classes are now available online. For many artists around the world, the Education Center is the only viable option to learn new techniques.

We have a long list of top industry educators lined up to come to Cape Coral, Florida and film their techniques for the AAE Glass Education Center. This is not only a valuable tool for glass artists around the world, but glass educators are really liking the idea of being able to share their work with people who would otherwise never have a chance to meet them. The broad reach of the Education Center is allowing artists around the world to take their abilities to another level.

With that said, online classes are not the same as learning in a classroom environment. So to address that need, the new AAE Glass Studio will have multiple classrooms that will offer everything from open studio to Master classes. There will be something going on nearly everyday. Our current location really doesn't allow us to offer as many classes as we could, simply due to lack of space. This will no longer be the case. Not only will the online Education Center host some of the industries top educators, but the AAE Glass Studio will continue to host top teachers and we will be able to offer multiple classes at the same time! So whatever your level of glass fusing is, we have classes for you both online and in studio.

While we have a big job ahead of us, we wouldn't have it any other way.  We are happy to take on the challenge in an effort to provide a truly unique learning experience that is not available anywhere else.  You, our loyal students and customers, are the reason we are where we are.  You have shown us such great support through the years, both online and in studio, that we now have an opportunity to build on the momentum and bring you even more new products and techniques.  Seeing our students grow their glass art and their small businesses is what keeps us going!

We thank you for your patience while we make this move.  The website will continue to receive and ship orders during the move.  The AAE Glass Art Studio in Cape Coral, Florida will be closed for a few weeks after our monster garage sale this Saturday May 27th from 10am-2pm.  We hope to see you there. 

May 24, 2017 5:44:31 PM By Mark Veit Latest AAE Glass News,

Please see the following important information regarding Saturday's huge studio & store garage sale.  
There will be two buildings where the sale is located.

  • Hours are 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. SATURDAY MAY 27th
  • The Bullseye & general fusing supplies will be at 1228 Lafayette St., Cape Coral.  Sales flyers will be handed out at the front door.  Please enter through the front.  Bullseye is 40% off and other discounts are up to 40% off as well.
  • System 96 glass will be at the alternate building.  1211 Miramar St. Cape Coral.  We have found LOTS of S96 glass along with some really special art fusible Uroboros glasses as well.  We will have S96 frit, noodles, pebbles and glass sets available at up to 50% off.
  • All USED equipment & kilns MUST be purchased through the website now (see below for what's available) and picked up on Saturday OR you may e-mail Tanya at info@aaeglass.com to arrange an alternate pick up date.  It will be very crowded on Saturday!  We cannot reserve kilns and equipment or take orders over the phone.  Please place used equipment orders through website only.
    Pictures and full descriptions are on the website.  See what is available HERE. 
  • IMPORTANT!  Saturday will be the last day the brick & mortar store is open until the new facility is ready.  This may be as long as 4-5 weeks so please get everything you need!
  • The online store will REMAIN OPEN throughout this transition but there will not be store pick ups.  All orders placed online will be shipped.

From time to time, I like to lose myself in Google. It usually starts with an obscure question that I need an answer to.  I begin by Googling my question, but that always leads to more questions.  Before I know it, hours have gone by and I have learned everything I "needed" to know about subjects I never knew existed.  I had an episode last night regarding small business trends for 2017 and found some very interesting articles I thought I would share with you. 

40 SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS & PREDICTIONS FOR 2017 (businessnewsdaily.com)
This article gives an overview of trends happening with small businesses of all kinds.  It is a great overview and touches on social media marketing, technology and finance. 

10 SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING TRENDS TO PREPARE FOR IN 2017 (smarthustle.com) 
This article breaks down several different types of social media marketing.  Even if they aren't all for you, you can gain knowledge from knowing the difference of each. 

7 MOBILE TRENDS EVERY SMALL BUSINESS SHOULD FOLLOW IN 2017 (biznessapps.com)
More and more buyers are using mobile devices everyday.  This trend is only getting stronger.  Be sure you account for this in your business.  Here are several things to think about. 

As small business owners, we often get tunnel vision and obsess about the day to day operations or the things that are on our plate today.  It is important from time to time, to take a big picture look at the small business environment, especially in your field. The more you know about where the small business world is heading, the better you can prepare yourself to be successful.  

AAE Glass is upgrading locations and we need to lighten the load before the move. We would rather ship the glass, frit and molds to you for free at a huge 40% discount than move it. If you are looking to stock up on glass and/or supplies, there is no better time than now.  Take advantage while supplies last and thank you for your patience while we pack and ship your orders this week. Save on all of the items listed below: SALE ENDS MONDAY MAY 15 at 12AM EST. 

BULLSEYE GLASS 
BULLSEYE FRIT  
BULLSEYE MOLDS
BULLSEYE BILLETS

DICHROIC GLASS (25% OFF)

DECALS (30% OFF)
SILVER SETTINGS (30% OFF)

PAINT (30% OFF) 
POWDER STENCILS (30% OFF) 
ETCHING STICKERS (30% OFF) 

 

Being resourceful is not an option when owning and operating a small business. Small businesses do not have the same tools available to them as larger companies. Budgets are smaller and productive time is more valuable than anything. With that said, it is important to get anything and everything off of your plate that can be delegated.

When we started AAE Glass, we did everything ourselves. There was only two of us so everything from accounting, to marketing, to production, to purchasing, to customer service, to packing & shipping and so much more took up all of our time. There are only so many hours in the day. I don't care how many of them you spend working, there will come a time when you simply run out of time and your business plateaus. The only way to grow your business at that point is to get more hands involved.

This can be done several ways depending on the size of your small business and your resources. We started by getting some of our younger family members involved to do tasks that could be done during their free time. They were in high school at the time, so weekends worked best. They would do anything from cutting decals, to picking orders to gluing on bails. It is up to you to fully explain what you are looking for and give them a few examples of the exact procedures. Remember, they are in high school and you have been a glass artist, small business owner for years. A clear and concise explanation is worth the time it takes.

After we maxed out those duties, it was time to hire a full time employee. We went through several candidates before we were able to find a quality employee. Again, chances are they are coming from another background, so explaining exactly what you want them to do is very important. They will eventually learn, but by putting in the extra time with them in the beginning, they will become more self sufficient and it will pay off for you in the end.

Don't forget to invest in your website if you sell online. It often gets overlooked and if you don't take the time to clean up and update your website, it will look outdated very fast. Keep refreshing it as well with new pictures and products as much as possible. This will keep repeat customers coming back to see what is new.

At the end of the day, the buck stops with us, the business owners. In order to grow our business we need to surround ourself with productive, positive people willing to work hard to accomplish the same goal. It is also our responsibility to surround these employees with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed. The more we can trust them to produce, the more we can concentrate our efforts on other aspects of growing our business. Have a happy and safe holiday weekend fusers!

Apr 13, 2017 11:27:57 AM By Mark Veit Latest AAE Glass News,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Some of the most common questions we receive in regards to the business side of selling glass art is; "How do I approach galleries and boutiques and what should I look for?"  

Some artists choose to sell online, some at art shows, others in boutiques and galleries and others do all three!  You can be successful at any and all of these approaches if you have the capacity to follow up and give each avenue the proper attention it deserves.  For anyone just beginning their small business, I would suggest focusing on one area to begin with before spreading yourself thin.  If you take on more than you can handle right from the beginning, you run the risk of being overwhelmed and not succeeding in any avenue.  

If you are going to approach galleries and boutiques to sell your glass art, be sure you understand the process before your initial meeting with a buyer.  While the price structure may differ from boutique to boutique, the general process will remain similar. Typically there are two structures when working with boutiques or galleries.  You can sell them a quantity of pieces at a wholesale discount upfront and they resell for a profit in their store.  This is always the structure I prefer because as far as you are concerned, the deal is done when you deliver the goods and get paid.  Obviously you will want to follow up and make sure you are doing everything you can to help the boutique sell your pieces so they buy more, but you have the money in hand in one easy transaction.  The second structure is typically consignment.  This can be done by splitting the sales with the boutique owner when they sell. Depending on your location, I have seen splits anywhere from 50/50 to 70/30. While you may be able to structure the pricing on your end to make a slightly higher profit, the amount of work on the backend is much more than that small profit increase is worth.  You have to take inventory of your stock each month, trust the owner is selling the pieces for what they say they are and wait until the pieces are actually sold retail, before getting paid, instead of getting paid up front all at once.  I'm not saying it can't be profitable, but there is follow up work and several moving parts. 

If you are just getting started and you are comfortable with the boutique buyer, I would not tell you to turn the account down if they only offer consignment.  What I would tell you is to be prepared for the extra work involved when selling this way as well as the lag on receiving payment for your pieces if they don't sell right away.  Always offer a wholesale option as a first resort though. I have found that if you offer the option for the buyer to swap out any pieces that haven't sold in a few months will make them more comfortable purchasing upfront. This really isn't a hard promise to keep as you will be able to take back any inventory that didn't sell and be able to offer it for sale at another boutique or show.  It also gives you a chance to get in front of the buyer to let them know you have new and exciting inventory to offer.

If you are in an area with a high concentration of glass artists or boutiques, the buyer may ask you for an exclusive deal. Meaning you can't sell to any other boutiques within X miles.  This is when your research into the boutique or gallery becomes very important.  If you sign an exclusive in a hot area, it is in your best interest that you pair up with the biggest and best!  You don't want to sign an exclusive with a lower tier boutique because if they can't bring in customers like the bigger boutiques in the same area, you will not have nearly the customer exposure you need to sell your pieces. Always research and be comfortable with the boutiques you do business with, especially in the beginning.  A bad experience with one boutique can discourage you from pursuing other boutiques which might be very profitable.  

Mark Veit

 

Mar 22, 2017 8:53:54 AM By Mark Veit Latest AAE Glass News,

                                                 

If you are an Entrepreneur at any level, these two words are crucial to growing your business. These two words separate the people who are willing to do what it takes to pursue their passions and their dreams, from those who aren't, no matter the difficulty.  These two words are what make entrepreneurs successful!  

This article is in response to a Facebook post in the AAE Glass Education Facebook group of over 6,000 glass artists, dated March 6th.  Michelle asked, "What is the number one hurdle you feel you face when trying to take your business to the next level?"  She received two dozen comments right out of the gate from artists sharing their growing pains as well as those offering their experiences and trying to help these artists address particular issues. That's what makes this group so great.  The willingness to help each other!  There were numerous comments from all over the map and I will touch on them more specifically in future articles.  

For now, I would like to set a tone for what it takes to start and grow a successful small business. There is a certain mindset needed to be able to address all aspects of owning and operating a small business.  I know most of you are doing it all by yourselves and that isn't easy...But it is possible!  I am by no means an expert in this area and I'm sure many people know more than I when it comes to teaching this subject.  What I can offer is real life experience in building a small business, both good and bad.  I can tell you that not everything you learn in business school applies to building a small business.  I can tell you that I will never be fully prepared for every twist and turn that will be thrown my way.  I can tell you that you need to be relentless when growing your small business and you need to persevere through any hurdles that come along.  I don't want to sound harsh, but an unwillingness to devote the time and effort needed to be successful will result in failure.  Without being relentless and persevering through tough times, you will not be able to reach the next level (which will undoubtedly bring more tough times, but more good ones as well).  Anyone who makes the leap into owning a small business needs to understand that no one cares if you are tired, under paid or under appreciated. These are the sacrifices we all have made in order to grow our businesses and do what we love.  These are no small things.    

There is no doubt you will have good days and bad days while you are growing your business. These fluctuations will never end, and the swings from one end of the spectrum to the other can come fast and furious.  Be prepared to adapt and don't dwell on the negatives.  To that same point, don't let a successful day go to your head and allow you to lose your edge.  The goal is to maintain a reasonable attitude towards both the good and bad and realize that with proper attention to detail and positive work ethic, you can get through anything.  The more you prove this to yourself, the more obstacles you will overcome. 

Think about how much goes into starting a business.  Think about all of the obstacles that await small business owners.  Think about the long hours small business owners dedicate to growing their business.  Seems overwhelming doesn't it?  Now think about all of your friends, family members and acquaintances who have said in passing, "I wish I could just work for myself"  or "I have a great idea, I should start a business."  How many of those people have actually taken steps to do so?  How many of the people who make such comments actually have the willingness to sacrifice and the drive to start a business?  The answer is slim to none.  

The definition of perseverance is to persist in a state, enterprise or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition or discouragement.  In other words, keep going no matter what stands in your way, good or bad.  The definition of relentless is showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength or pace.  In other words, work hard everyday to grow your business in any way you can and never give up!  If something doesn't work, try something else. 

I want to sincerely congratulate every person reading this who has started a small business.  You have done what most people choose not to do.  You have stood in the face of hard work, obstacles and uncertainty and decided you are going to succeed anyway.  No matter what it takes, you are going to take your business to the next level.  You have made a conscious decision to do what it takes to carve out your niche in this beautiful world of ours, no matter the sacrifice.  

For anyone looking to start a small business, I don't want this article to discourage you.  At the same time, I don't want to write only about the positives, without touching on the tough parts either.  Anyone who tells you starting a business is easy, or anyone can do it, has little to no experience on the subject.  The first step is the hardest, but if you are honest with yourself, there is no reason you can't be successful.  Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are up for the challenge.  Are you willing to make sacrifices in order to be successful?  You would be surprised how well people react in the face of adversity when they are prepared. We have worked with several artists over the years who have made the leap from a 9 to 5 job to opening their own small businesses. It is great to see.

Starting a small business is obviously not easy.  That's why most people just talk about it without ever doing it. They are unwilling to do what it takes.  For those people willing to do what it takes, the sky is the limit and they deserve all the respect in the world and everything their hard work brings.  

I look forward to sharing more thoughts and experiences on various business related subjects in the future such as; reaching new customers, working efficiently, staying motivated during creative blocks, staying focused on the task at hand and much more.  

Until then...

                                                                       

We are very happy and proud to welcome Peter McGrain to the AAE Glass Education Center. Peter has taught at the AAE Glass Art Studio several times and he always leaves the students wanting more.

Peter resides in SW Florida now, so we have been able to see more of him lately. He has an open invitation at our studio because he always brings a unique perspective, positive attitude and a bundle of laughs with him!

WATCH TRAILER HERE 

Peter's first online video tutorial, The Foundations of Glass Cutting, dives into a subject that every glass artist can improve on...CUTTING! In this 2 hour and 20 minute video tutorial, Peter goes in depth to address the basics of cutting, how and why glass breaks the way it does, cutting complex shapes (you have to see this), including circles and curves and so much more. Along with in depth demos of how to execute difficult cuts, Peter explains why the glass is doing what it's doing. He is a big believer in the idea that if you know and understand why something like glass reacts the way it does, it is easier to see a bigger picture and complicated cutting can become less intimidating.

Peter not only shows you the right way to cut glass, but like any good teacher, he also shows you the WRONG way to cut glass. This is a must see for any studio professional who relies on efficient production to get the job done. As Peter states in this video "Time is Money." We speak to glass artists everyday who are looking to improve their production and efficiency. Why not start with your cutting?  Peter offers several ways to be accurate while still being efficient and productive.

Peter's video is available for purchase today and will be part of your AAE Glass dashboard. You can take this video with you whether you are at home, in your studio or traveling. We would like to extend a big thank you to Peter and we look forward to working on the next video shortly.

Mar 6, 2017 9:50:56 AM By Mark Veit Latest AAE Glass News,

        

Another AAE Glass giveaway is in the books and the winners of the Glue N' Screw contest are announced.  Thank you to everyone who participated and offered words of encouragement to a great group of glass artists.  We all learned something new throughout this process.  We asked for creativity and boy did we get it!  Congratulations to Jackie Pfeffer for winning a very close contest!  It was so close, Tanya decided to give away five additional honorable mentions!  Each honorable mention will recieve 1000 AAE Glass Education Coins that can be used towards paid videos in the AAE Glass Education Center.  Thank you again to everyone who participated and please feel free to share this great news with your customers, families and the glass art world as a whole.   

                                                                         

Mar 3, 2017 10:37:23 AM By Mark Veit Latest AAE Glass News,
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