User Header

SQ - Volume 1, Number 2 1997

Volume 1, Number 2 • 1997

April Sparr

Layout and Design
Adam Souders

Contributing Writers
Art Aguilar
Jim Jones
Billy Willis


Words To Live By
A Word from the Owner

What’s Hot
The latest trends in the sandcarving industry

Fresh Starts
How people just like you are effecting the industry

Sales Strategies
Pricing How To’s

Customer Spotlight
Susquehanna Glass since 1910

Tips and Secrets
Helpful hints and tips to help you be more productive

Words to Live By

Helping Others
In today’s world, it seems helping others is a rare occasion. News articles and television reporters often showcase the most nominal help offered by volunteers as if it were extraordinary for mankind to help one another. Unfortunately, these stories are produced because of the factual rise of selfishness in our world. I feel that if it is in our power to help people, then it is our obligation to do so. My motives for relaying the following is only to help this family, who have experienced hell on earth since this tragedy occurred. If you are able and would like to send something, then please do so. If not, that is fine as well. Please do not feel pressured in any way. On October 11th, 1996, the Huebner family experienced a nightmare that every family prays will never happen to them. Robin Huebner was driving to work when she was the victim of a hit and run accident that killed her four-year-old daughter and critically injured her two-year-old son. A fund has been established to help Robin and Michael Huebner with funeral, medical, and other related expenses. If you would like to help the Huebner family, please send your donation to:

Huebner.jpg (37468 bytes)The Huebner Fund
% Fifth Third Bank
PO Box 427
Florence, KY 41022
Acct. #26520899

I met Robin only a short time ago. She is a fine young lady, a hard worker, and a wonderful person. She could really use your help.

Helping Yourself

Here are a few tips that will help you in business:

  1. Never quit. Make the decision that you will not give up. Determination helps.

  2. Know how much things cost and charge accordingly. Be disciplined to know your costs so you can make an accurate assessments as to what you should be charging.

  3. Respond to clients quickly.

  4. Remember, the customer is always right.

  5. Check yourself. If you work your Fridays differently than your Mondays, you are only working for the pay check. A person of vision does not care what day of the week it is. Finding these kind of people is the ultimate challenge. A good leader needs to find them in order to help himself. You should always be looking for people smarter than yourself and not be intimidated by them. They will only enhance your ability to lead. The least expensive person is not normally the best worker.

  6. Delegate. This can be difficult. Learn to let go and give people the ability to grow. Trust people.

 All The Best,



What's Hot
by Billy Willis, contributing writer

Bottles.jpg (24753 bytes)In the industry of Sandcarving, ideas come and go. Some ideas however, last longer than others. Take for example the personalization of wine bottles via sandblasting and hand painting. Some high end bottles, such as the ones pictured above, require the time and effort of a gifted artisan hand painting and or air brushing with enamel paints. If hand painting is not your forte, blasted bottles can look very nice with a single or multi-color fill. Just blow off the sandblasted area, leave the photomask on the bottle, and color fill with a Krylon aerosol spray paint. To avoid heavy build up, take care to spray lightly. Bottles engraved with corporate logos, wedding dates, etc. make great keep sakes and increase the value of the bottle significantly.Rocks.jpg (18574 bytes)

There has been a surge of interest in river rock as "motivational" or "worry" stones, also known as garden stones, or "mood" rocks. Garden stones are ideal for path or I.D. markers. These items are easily produced and make innovative gift ideas for both corporate and personal use. Many times these items are marketed as paper weights, miniature awards, or desk top companions. The natural beauty, color, and shape of river stones are attractive and affordable. Daily inspiration, unforgettable reminders, or nice looking I.D. markers are only a few uses of river rock in the sandcarving industry. Paint filling stones often add that extra flare that catches people’s eye. Similar to paint filling wine bottles, blow off the remaining dust after blasting. Leave the Photomask in place and paint with a contrasting color. Leaving the stone natural can look equally as nice, especially with lighter colored stones.

Fresh Starts

In January of 1989, Charles and Annie Morningstar moved from Napa Valley, CA to Gig Harbor, WA opening the doors of Fresh Northwest Design. With Annie as the Creative Director and Charles as the Marketing Director, their new company was one of only a few producing sandcarved and hand painted wine bottles.

Stating with one of a kind bottles for wineries to use as auction donations, Annie’s designs were soon displayed at wine events throughout the United States. This exposure has caused Fresh Northwest to be the recognized industry leader in the production of extremely complex and intricate designs.

In addition to sandcarving, their professional graphic design services have helped to develop wine labels including Quilceda Creek, Hedges Cellar, Quail’s Gate Estate Vineyards, and Silver Lake Winery.

Pricing How To's
by Jim Jones, CCA Manager

What Do I Do Now?
I receive many questions about pricing in general and I can always tell what new carvers are thinking. I have my exposure unit. I have my blasting unit. I am ready to go. It’s time to make some money. What do I do now? Usually, if they are Crystal Carver Members, thy call me and we discuss different aspects of pricing.

I always come from the position that says you never want to demean the value of your product or service by pricing too low. When glass is carved correctly, the value of the piece is enhanced greatly and should be priced accordingly.

There are some rules, or industry standards, to follow. We realize that these may vary from low, medium, and high end pieces, and that there is a regional aspect to what we do. Material and services may bring one price in Idaho and a different price in New York.

If you are able to buy your glass and crystal blanks at a good wholesale price, or at an exceptional price-- as in the case of the Crystal Carver Association, you need to be thinking about a minimum of doubling the price of your blank as a starting base before adding your production costs. Refer to the table below. Production work, or making Photomasks and blasting the product, used to go for 40 cents per square inch. Currently, many carvers across the nation are reporting that figure to be closer to 50 cents per square inch. That is the base that CCA™ has been using.

Glass Blank Purchased at $25 (Doubled) $50.00
Mask & Carve 12 sq. inch area @50 per sq. inch $6.00
Wholesale Price $56.00
Retail Price $112.00

Remember, a solid pricing structure comes form a rigid wholesale price. Retail prices can fluctuate from region to region. Discounts can always be given on suggested retail pricing. Discounts will not adversely affect the pricing structure; however, they will affect your profit margin.

Single Unit Pricing
Pricing for single items, or "onsie, twosie" jobs is very different than multiple unit production pricing. On low end pieces such as mugs, you will end up doing a lot of busy work for low profits. The way to get around this is to establish a company minimum order policy and or have a set-up fee. This will keep you from wasting valuable time and material. Ask yourself if it is really worth your time to do one item that costs you $1.50 and sells for $4.00. If you find that you do have a market for small jobs like these, have a minimum carving fee per piece. This price should stay in effect until an order reaches a certain dollar amount at which time you revert to the 50 cent per square inch strategy.......

SeqGlass.jpg (21636 bytes)Susquehanna Glass

Company Profile
Established: 1910
Owner: Walter Rowen & Nancy Roye
Director of Operations: Ray Andrews
Employees: 45
Products Sold: Princess House, Lenox Crystal, and other Mail Order House accounts
Monthly Volume: 20-30 thousand units, 1/3 blasted items.
Unique Selling Point: Rather than marketing direct, they contract large etching projects, specializing in long run orders with low margins and high volume.
Future Prospects: Specific ASI Accounts

The Rayzist Result
"Since switching to Rayzist® Photomask, we have been able to etch glass deeper...the 3 mill washes out faster, and is more durable...we have had no rejects due to blast through ‘snow’." - Director of Operations Ray Andrews. Mr. Andrews also stated that his labor rate has been cut by 1/3 since switching to Rayzist® and that he likes the option of being able to order the InstaMask™ photo resist both in roll and sheet form. Susquehanna Glass uses Rayzist’s InstaMask™ Clear Back photo resist (3 mill), RTZ 1344 Processor, and the InstaMask™ High Production Adhesive Sprayer.

Tips and Secrets

• Refilling your Pressure Pot
Always sift your abrasive through a Rayzist® Sifting Ring when refilling your pressure pot with abrasive. The fine mesh screen eliminates any particles of masking and debris from clogging your blast hose or blast tip.

• Maintaining your Blast Hose
Your blast hose is a wear item. Keeping the blasting hose in a smooth flowing path will help extend the life of the hose. Avoid any sharp bends or curves in the hose’s path, as the abrasive will wear on these areas much faster.

• Clearing away the Fog
Always replace the window glass when it gets foggy from abrasive residue. This will ensure a clear view at all times.


© Copyright 1999 Rayzist Photomask

User Footer