Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Packing Steel

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It never occurred to me that it would be difficult to find recycled metal when we decided to move to Florida several months back. I thought it would be like, "hey, I'm coming here to save all of you", and it would be coming out of the woodwork. Hmm. Metal...Woodwork. Oh well. It took some time to find two resources but life is good for those who are persistent. The challenge is that the best place is in Tampa, and that makes it a full day to hit the yard and get back home.

I managed to score on about 2,400 pounds of metal. Contrary to popular belief, recycled metal is not always the cheapest way to go, but I believe that it's the best way for all of us - I'll talk about that later. Today's finds were around $1,500. I'm creating my own stimulus helping others while other folks are supporting my artwork.

A few years back I thought that I was going to start creating smaller pieces, but lately, I've been building a lot of pieces around six feet tall. What the heck, I break my own rules and give people what they want. There's nothing quite like when someone is kind to share their hard earned dollars to purchase a creation that I've poured my heart and soul into.

There's a lot going on over the next month with getting ready for the west coast art shows in June and July, restocking the store, and working on our Florida home. How did I ever have time to work at the power company?

You just can't make this stuff up!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Destination - WingHouse Daytona Beach, Florida

The show was over at 5:00PM and it's been an interesting day. Sales started strong this morning and died around 12:00. Fortunately, I had a strong morning. Unfortunately, my neighbors did not.

This show has awards that it gives out. While this appears to be a common practice in the east, I have not seen much of this on the west coast. I have to be careful about saying west coast as I've found in Florida that people think that I'm talking about the west coast of Florida. I find that I'm explaining a lot about Vancouver; Washington, Portland, Oregon and such. EnoIugh of that. Anyway, the judges selected one of our sculptures for a candidate in the Best-of-Show category. I was pleasantly surprised and not just for being selected. It was an older piece from last summer that had not sold, and I almost cut it up and create something else! Life works in mysterious ways...

Thinking that I may have one or two beers tonight, I opted to go to my hotel and eat at the Winghouse (www.winghouse.com) just in front. Salad, wings, and beer - it's not my fault that a glass is 32 ounces... were pretty darn good. OK. The atmosphere was pleasant to - there were a lot of Harley Davidson motorcycles out front.

This place is pretty cool. There's a large section that is outside undercover with wooden stools and tables with 47 bizillion tvs. Is bizillions really a word. Nevermind. I highly recommend this place.

Life is good!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Port Orange Artfest

It's another weekend and I'm off to another show. This weekend it's the Port Orange Artfest just south of Daytona Beach, Florida.

Check-in was impressive this afternoon. There was at least 20 signs directing artists where to go, and there was plenty of room for the largest of vehicles to pull in. They checked me in in about 30 seconds and had lines of John Deere gator carts to take the artists directly to their booths. The show is set around a lake where all the city buildings are located. Every booth has an extra 3-4 feet on either side, and they are all located right on the street. Plenty of parking too. I set up the booth, dropped off the trailer, and headed for my hotel.

I opted for the LaQuinta in Daytona Beach, about 10 minutes from the show, instead of the one in Port Orange. Hey, it was almost half the price, and the room is very nice. The Daytona speedway is a few blocks down the street, and I was blown away by how large it is. I've never understood about the Nascar appeal. There was a lady from North Carolina that worked with me at Pacific Power, and I asked her if she went to Nascar. She said she loved it. I asked her what was the appeal. She looked kind of surprised and said, "you can take in you're own cooler with beer". Now I understand the appeal.

Pictures to come tomorrow.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sunny and 84

Life is starting to set into normal in Florida. The temperature finally started rising a few weeks back, and it's now a consistent 80ish degrees during the day and 60ish at night. The gallery was pretty busy over the past few weeks, and we've had a number of newspaper articles published on us in Florida; it seems that were kind-of-unique here as we work with mostly recycled metals.

We've had a lot of rain from January through early March. Funny thing is that this is the dry season here. Normally, the rain comes in the summer months. There were many days when our place in Vancouver was actually warmer and drier than here, but now were having great weather every day.

Our gallery is in Fisherman's Village (www.fishville.com) in Punta Gorda, Florida. The village is a man-made pier that extends from Punta Gorda into Charlotte Harbor. Originally, this was used by Phillip to store and pump boat fuel into the local fishing fleet. As commercial fishing started to decline, the city came up with a plan to build shops below with condos above. Today, there are approximately 30 shops here and it's quite busy during season which runs from November through the Easter holiday.

I'll be heading to the west coast for this year's shows in late May. Check our show schedule at www.cliftonmetalworks.com for the latest updates.