So I have been up at winter school this week working with students on creating pearl jewellery. We have been creating mock ups of the work that they are looking at making in silver, firstly creating the objects in copper. I have been showing them how to create templates for their work and throwing in new techniques and working processes including non-conforming die and sweat soldering.
Today is the last day and they will be putting everything together as well as learning how to thread their pearls together. I have a great bunch of people this year with a full class of 12 students which is 2 up from last year and certainly the limit for me as a teacher. When you start getting beyond that it all becomes a little stretched and the students don’t get what they need from you. It is fine when you have some individual students who just put their heads down and bums up and get on with the job but you always have those who require a little more help than others and this can be unfair on those who also may need help. This is my challenge a lot of the time is to fairly give everyone a bit of my time. Not always easy and this can mean that I have to keep working through breaks or even lunch to make it happen.
From here I have Cobb+Co Museum where I will be teaching bangles and cuffs. We will work on a silver cuff with etching and sweat soldering again as well as how to create simple bangles with texture. I only have 5 students on this occasion which will be nice, and the breaks here are forced breaks so you can’t generally work through them! It is good to be back at work as the money is a little tight at the moment. It is always a frustrating time of year and I find it really hard to get the money in. The only thing that seems to roll in are all the bills! And they keep on coming.
I even managed to get an overdraft last year and the problem has been tax. Tax has taken close to $12000 out of my bank account with PAYG, Tax and accountant fees all adding up to make life really difficult at the moment. I keep thinking of what I can do to get the money in to make it all stay open. And this is what I think a lot of people don’t understand is that it gets to a point where you don’t know if you can stay open. Is it worth it? Can you make it? This gets so fucking tiring! The need to have to work all the time, the frustration in thinking that you are getting ahead only to suddenly find that you are further behind than you have ever been.
I am looking at changing the business model to see how I can make it work for me instead of me doing 80+ hours a week and still not getting anything from it. One thing is for sure, that I will be moving the school to a smaller and cheaper location that will enable a little more freedom by reducing expenses. I am also looking at ways that I can do this throughout the business. Advertising is essential and I hope to be able to do something else with the radian advertising but I am going to have to make some serious money in the worst time of the year to be able to do that. See my conundrum?
The more I think about it the more frustrated I get. I know the universe is watching me and seeing that I will finally get to the point where I say “fuck it, what will be will be” and that will be it. I may stay open where I am, I may be able to negotiate an early release from the lease and find a smaller space that is cheaper, I may do mobile touring instead, I may move north or further south….I am not sure….People will follow if need be but also I don’t want to start again and I feel that moving somewhere too far from where I am will be like starting again. I have done that enough.
In any case, I know this will all work out and I will get through it. I just need to get through.