Thursday, June 23, 2016
All Good Things Must Come to an End - The Last Running of Cabinet of Curiosities
- My licensing contracts with the museums (historic pictures) will be running out and to renegotiate all of them again is quite an undertaking and I don't think there will be enough students in the future to justify the numbers I will need to agree to.
- Many of the thread manufacturers have capacity limits or will retire and so my ability to supply the current students with the threads they need will become more limited and I want to make sure everyone can finish what they have started. We already have had a first retirement.
- My cabinet maker, Richard, will be retiring.
When I started this course in 2010, I knew it was a 10-year window at best where we had excited and willing artisans who were knowledgeable and still plying their trade as well as a student population with interest and 'keen eyes and nimble fingers' still. So I put the massive investment into the apparatus that would be needed. But I knew that the window would start to close somewhere around 2020 when the ages of the artisans would have them retire or slow down their work greatly to take advantage of travel and other distractions of a life well worked. And while we had all hoped against hope that the European companies who make threads could take on apprentices to pass on knowledge, the window for that is closing. For those of us Americans perplexed by the strikes and fights in the EU; they are over labor laws and struggles by the governments to make modifications. I see it on the ground as I hear the difficulties from the manufacturers in why they can't commit to apprentices because they have little options to make changes - the risks for 1-5 person operations become too great and thus they can't take on new hires to pass on knowledge or increase production. After spending a decade trying to help them increase business to do so - I now understand it is unlikely in many cases and we will see some threads disappear.
So while we are still 3.5 years before 2020 - it is time to start ending the Cabinet of Curoisities as I want to give new students the time to design, decide and purchase their casket before Richard stops making them in January 2021.
So Cabinet of Curiosities 2016 is now taking course reservations. The description of the course as well as additional links is at this page. Reservations can be handled through this shop page. In September I will be deciding how many kits to make and reserving thread making. Once I do that - I will have a few extra spots for late comers until the kits run out - but that will be it. A sad day for me, for sure.
I am designing a flat short casket right now that will become a project course and am planning on threads and caskets for it. I will be ordering a certain number ahead of production stopping and will announce that course as soon as I have the project finished (maybe a year or so). But it will be limited as there is just only so much production room between now and January 2021 for everyone involved to make things. A small tent stitch trinket box project will be launching in the fall for those who just aren't ready for something huge - I will be having many trinket boxes made in between the large caskets and we will see how long those kits last into the future.
So if your dream has been to make an embroidered cabinet of your own - the time to plan on it is upon us all.