Forest Gems Gallery is for sale......
First and foremost I can`t thank enough all the people who supported Forest Gems, and previously myself as Atypical Woodcraft at the Pike Place Market for these 4 decades. I have so many pieces large and small in so many countries and places. So many great connections when you send off what some of us think of as our children, what we produced by hand, with heart.
No one really needed me or my creations on basic levels, still many financed me daily for 41 years. I could run faster. I could scale up. I could grovel to be liked on Facebook. Don`t need to. At 62 just tooling around the race course in a vehicle capable of much faster speeds. My regulars, and new people continue to come in and infuse positive energy to more than keep me involved. Sales are up to the level comfortable for me, and I continue to meet fascinating people daily. My manager Ann has gone to part time, I may be closed some days as I attempt to have a life outside of Forest Gems.
I started at the Pike Place Market day stalls in 1976 at age 21. 2017 marks 21 years in Port Townsend, plus 23 years continuously making and selling my craft directly to the public at Pike Place. For math majors there was 3 years overlap. I worked both at the same time with some help. Its ok to transition again. I have been preparing for it. The leap starts now. This platform can soar under the right new ownership, the base is well established. A lease on this great old building is guaranteed for the next 10 years.
Currently I share and show some really cool delicate fine finish wood craft, and feature the culture that produces it for a living, full time. I am also lucky to know some who do their art on the side for other than financial reward. I do more in house all the time, with help, as hard working artisans I have worked with retire or pass on. I don`t actively recruit new folks. I am told daily by people that they have not seen anything like my mix of wood art and craft, displayed with carefully milled raw figured salvaged West Coast woods. Purchasing customers take the work to Germany, Netherlands, Africa, China, Japan, India, East Coast, South West, Kirkland, Seattle, Port Townsend, Sequim, Bellevue, Hawaii, Alaska Canada and on and on. I got to and get to talk to them about what I did, and do, and it inspired me to do better. I came to see myself through their eyes.
I`m not leaving what I have always done, just changing form, format, and location. I`m hoping to ease out of my public show to a more private setting, and leaving the destination that Forest Gems in Port Townsend has become in new hands. Everything always has, and must change. A while ago I said NO to consistent rudeness daily, related to smartphones, by making the gallery a Smart Phone Free Zone. Cyber bullies on one site didn`t like it. Business remained good, and has even grown . Many customers have their own irksome stories about the distracted and offensive. New ownership can decide how to best utilize smartphone use. I found with actual customers the Smartphone Free Zone idea is understood and embraced. We get a big thumbs up many times a day. I also have many contacts daily with growing numbers of rude and distracted smartphone dependent visitors.
Phone use in my environment is distractive and rude. To me. I really don`t care how some who can`t function without them feel. More and more information and research is available about altered brain chemistry and lower attention span due to smartphone over use and built in addictive elements. Big business constantly hammers you with the idea you need more and more of your phone, a data gathering device and advertising platform. I have spent 41 years to put together the analog atmosphere most enjoy for free without making purchases. Those who do pay for all. No one is forced to come in. As a tool to conduct business in specific instances, of course purchasing customers use them with me. Some non purchasing visitors feel I don`t have the right to opt out of what everyone has to do to fit the stereotype mass marketing forces on most. If I did what everyone does Forest Gems would not exist.
To clear up any questions. My art is the entire building, artistic contents, raw wood and displays, music and atmosphere, down to the paint color outside. Its a package random visitors don`t get to tweak. It doesn`t include distracted and often overbearing people wandering around doing a variety of phone behaviors where I show and share my art and life. Some send the message I don`t deserve their full attention, expecting the space to adapt to them instead of assessing the space and adapting to it. My customers get it/me. My manager always told me this space is me. My website home page will have info. as things develop. To get on a list regarding future events email email@example.com
I can stay on as a consultant/contributor to transition with new owner. If not sold, Forest Gems in its present form will fade as other PT temporaries have (only 21 years here in PT) as I transition to working by appointment on my property for my custom work, wood sales, and a new by appointment gallery in a special forest setting featuring my work. A new owner may have their own style and vision and won`t need my contribution in Port Townsend.
At the gallery new blood may do better than me with the new smartphone demographic and market to them. Then again the current image seems to work for me, business is up. You can zig while most everyone else zags. Buyer decide, this is a starting place with an eager customer base and 5 star rating among the knowing. It resulted in something I know people from all over the world have enjoyed and come back time after time to experience. Real analog mutual respect has supported me for 41 years. The business can scale and adapt to a new owners own vision involving Smartphones and other platforms. I don`t need to. I have been glad to share Forest Gems with everyone on my analog personal scale.
This has been a touchstone of West Coast artisans, chance takers, independent thinkers and doers, and those who have participated as patrons. The supporting patrons will continue to come to the touchstone if it remains. Is anyone out there who wants to run the next leg their way? If not, a blow out sale will be coming at some point. Sign up now to be notified of future plans and classes, or liquidation if that happens at firstname.lastname@example.org I will see some of you at my new Forest Crossroads when its ready. This will take some time. The need is there. People ask for it daily. `How do you learn.....` First you jump in so you have to learn.
For more information on this idea that can evolve into a self sustaining 50 acre learning and producing partner with the gallery and beyond, email me at email@example.com I will donate much to the right project with a partner. If you need more info about the sale of the gallery only and are qualified to purchase, firstname.lastname@example.org will work.
Always and forever thanks to `old` Pete Gould for trusting a searching lost kid 41 years ago and giving him hope and myrtlewood to work with. He gave me credit in a couple of ways. I`m trying to pay it forward Pete. Different times and folks. We`ll see......
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