- Jan 25, 2000All I can say is if you love it, bear with the bad shows for a while
longer. You never know who you may meet. I built my mail order busines by
doing every show I could concievably drive to (in this case between Boston
and Washington DC) for many, many years, met many people who ended up
ordering through the mail.
Luckily, this was in the late 70's and into the late 80's, when people were
spending lots of money and loved this "new" craft called marbling, so the
timing was definitely better. There also were not too many marblers around.
But it was a hard push getting out and selling.
Until '82 or so, I kept a part time job as well. The 80's and early 90's
were phenomenal times for working marblers....it was amazing to find many
of us were actually making quite a good annual income at it. Then things
slowed down, I believe for all of us. Marbling, with the general public,
can be kind of faddish and it has its ups and downs. Over the course of a
couple of years many marblers were working way less. Personally, about half
my work dwindled away......but I was glad, it was too much work.
Through the 80's and early 90's, I felt like a "marbling machine". I had to
have an assistant just to keep up, and was churning out up to 300 sheets a
week, and some fabrics from time to time. Not to mention writing the
marbling manuals, articles for Ink & Gall, and teaching occassionally. Now
I do way less, probably averaging 400-600 sheets per month, plus I took on
Decorative Papers, Faith Harrison's marbling supply company several years
ago. I have other interests I devote some time to, now that there is a
little time. I am also a Classical (as in ancient styles), Medieval, and
occassionally modern jeweler.
My work week usually goes like so: Monday & Tuesday tend to be the marbling
days, with the rest of the week intermingled with my "real life" since I
work at home now, consists of pre-aluming papers for the next week's
orders, making what paints are low, shipping paper orders, packing paint
orders, and doing the boring bookkeeping, paperwork etc.
Working as a marbler isn't all fun. It's pretty high stress as far as jobs
go....I do a fair amount of small press work, which means matching hundreds
of papers very closely, or matching early papers (or trying as best as one
can), and sometimes the most nerve-wracking can be trying to match one's
own papers from a previous marbling session, as I'm sure you all
know....and that is the most embarrassing! People who do not marble don't
get this at all and think it should be easy.
So hopefully that should answer the question....how do other people's
marbling lives go, or fit into the rest of their life?
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