More finish.

Finished, I think, Q. Cassetti, 2011, Adobe Illustrator CS5So, First portrait is done. Need to chip away at the publication for now…and then back at the other portrait. The process was pretty fun yesterday—and as you can see, the work tighened up and was a bit more designed from the show and tell last night with the client.  The image came together pretty quickly (considering other images I have done)—so the quickies earlier this summer had some value in getting my “eye in”. Then, it gets married to some type.

It was announced that Steuben Glass, a former client of mine, is closing it’s doors, it’s factory—and letting it’s employees go.

Ben Dobbin, an AP Reporter says:

Luxury crystal maker Steuben closes NY factory

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — The Ohio owner of Steuben Glass, the company still making luxury lead crystal by hand in the United States, said Wednesday that it plans to end production after 108 years.

Schottenstein Stores Corp. of Columbus, Ohio, which bought the business from longtime owner Corning Inc. in 2008, said declining sales in the choppy economy have been eroding Steuben Glass’ profitability.

Steuben’s sole factory, which employs 60 people making everything from wine glasses to art objects in the small city of Corning in western New York, is set to close Nov. 29.

When the factory opened in 1903, founder and designer Frederick Carder’s richly hued creations turned him into a giant of the glass arts scene alongside Louis Comfort Tiffany and Rene Lalique.

The Steuben Glass store in New York City will remain open until its inventory sells, while the shop at the Corning Museum of Glass will close in November, Schottenstein spokesman Ron Sykes said.

Before its sale to Schottenstein, the crystal maker had been unprofitable for a decade. It had lost $30 million over the previous five years, and its sales had shrunk to $25 million a year, company officials at Corning said.

Steuben Glass artwork can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Its wine glasses start at $75 apiece. For more of this article>>

The Elmira Star Gazette reports.

Crystal Biscuit, Steuben GlassHow sad this all is. Steuben Glass has been part of my history and that of my husband and his family. This American Tradition of giving and receiving the finest crystal in the world we share the love of with our friends who are designers, craftsmen and top managment of this concern with threads of knowledge and design reaching down to the former generations of designers and craftsmen. This remarkable company provided gifts of state and gifts to friends for 108 years presenting bowls for Buckingham Palace to candlesticks for the dining room table from grandmother, to mother to daughter. This is a company we all talked about, stretched to understand, reached to grow, and lean into to showcase the best of the best. (the example to the right is an example of where they have gone….a personalized glass dog biscuit…from the pinnacle that created and produced many magical pieces from James Houston (to name one), creating and producing Sydney Waugh’s Gazelle Bowl (1935) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (see the bowl)

Steuben was the pride of the Corning valley. It embraced families of glassmakers, copper wheel engravers, design cutters, glass cleaners, glass craftsmen, gaffers, gatherers, and teams. Everyone had even a small piece in the requisite knick knack cabinet, a “dust collector” (as I called them)—with company gifts, personal gifts, momentos given and displayed. It is a sad day for the valley…and a sad day for the company. I have many happy memories of the company with the grey linen box.

Today is my dear son’s birthday. Happy Day to Alex. Speaking as someone who was at the original Birthday, he is as adorable as the small Alexander Commander who arrived on the scene on time, as predicted—sweet and burrowing into our hearts. We will have dinner out at a splashy restaurant tonight. I bought him a used electric guitar which is his present from me. Gotta go.


Mixed bag

A sparkling day. Hard diamond trees, glittering, glazed and brilliant. As you can see --our willow was glazed while Shady Grove collected pinecones and frolicked in the snow. The snow geese were thick this morning in the sky.It was a beautiful drive to the wonderful pool of dilemmas. Had a great call with an old time musician who needs a CD image and brand. Her desires are good and my wheels are rolling. We are going to be working in black and red on white--with florals, birds etc. My only fear is not enough time to do a bang up job...but...I am going to do the best I can do for the time we have. Tissues are happening. Left Foot, Right Foot.

Big News about Steuben. Steuben Glass to close if it is not sold>> Sad, but not surprising. It's been a long time of touch and the funds it takes to drive that business against the cost of goods, overhead and expectations could be put to funding profitable and more core businesses for the new Corning Incorporated. Corning Incorporated emerged from Corning Glass Works....but they are not the same company. Corning is a technology company not a Glass (capital G) company. Not to say that Corning is not totally amazing in their understanding of glass, glass the material and the manufacturing. But Glass does not drive the train but is integrated in the entire technology story. Corning says that its not a fit...which given the divestiture of all direct to consumer businesses (Housewares (Corelle, Corningware, Pyrex brands), Sunglasses (Serengeti brand), to name the most prominent businesses except (until now) Steuben--it makes sense. They are no longer supporting design centers. When I started there almost 30 yrs ago there were six design centers within Corning committed to excellence in design (Science Products, Steuben, Consumer Products, Architecture, Corporate Design, Corporate Exhibits) with design and production services. Now there is just Steuben. And that, is going too. It will be interesting to see how it evolves. I am sad as it represents a chapter, an aspect of our lives (R and me) that has woven in and out of our careers with interesting travel, design and wonderful people. Plus, the american-ness of the product and how fashionable it was--is sad to see it change. But, change can be good.

>>Here's what the Corning Leader says>>

Having a meeting at the Lab of O (as the locals call Cornell's Laboratory of Ornithology) for a teensy show of birds. That should happen in a week or so. Slugging away on the as to be able to do a cat so as to finish my woodduck. Yipes! And, there will be a Texas picture on the horizon for the U of Hartford.

YES! Neigh!