We are thrilled to be connecting with James Stone again. James is a Blown Glass and Mixed Media Artist and is also a content partner. Content partners help Voyage in so many ways from spreading the word about the work that we do, sponsoring our mission and collaborating with us on content like this. Check out our conversation with James below.
James, it’s been too long since we last connected. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with our community again. Some readers might have missed our prior conversations, so maybe you can kick things off for us with a quick intro?
My name is James Stone. I am a mixed media sculpture artist working primarily in hot glass and sculpted metal. My main interest is communicating the fragile nature of our environment and the impact our everyday choices have on this precious world.
I also like to share my passion for art and glass making with students of all ages.
My wife, Carol Rogers, and I own and operate a hot glass studio and gallery open to the public in historic downtown Escondido California.
How long have you been in business?
We opened our first location on the grounds of the Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo in 2001.
We moved to Escondido in 2015 and to our present location in 2017.
What have you learned in those 20 years?
We have learned that nothing stays the same. If you want your business to thrive you must adapt and evolve, artistically as well as your approach to business. Step outside your comfort zone and explore the possibilities.
We have learned that the most important part of our business is our patrons, this became very clear when our clients showed up as the pandemic forced us to shut down and helped us to keep our business alive. Maintaining a personal connection was key to survival and well-being. Connections are not always eye to eye, sometimes it’s a note or a package in the mail.
We have learned that if we love the artwork that we are creating, our supporters and patrons will too. We have learned that there is power in perseverance. We have learned to value the gift, no matter how poorly wrapped. There is beauty everywhere and good in everything if you just take a moment to see it.
What changes have you made over the years to adapt to the changing market place?
In 20 years you see many market shifts and learn a lot about yourself. We opened our studio in 2001 on the grounds of a small family owned winery, a quaint artist village. Vendors supported each other, the property owner treated us like family. Locals and visitors came to purchase handmade art from local artisans, it was an idyllic setting.
Over time the demographic changed and we found that people wanted experiences rather that things and much of our time was dedicated to teaching. Another shift came as the economy made its recovery from the recession of 2008, once again art became important.
Over time the village changed, it became a tourist destination, shoppers wanted inexpensive souvenirs rather than art. We realized it was time to make a move to a place that would allow us the time and space to make larger more significant art. We discovered Escondido had a vibrant art community. We moved our studio and gallery and became fully immersed. We are actively involved in supporting and promoting art installations and activities in the community.
We spend our time creating custom commission projects and making pieces for our Collectors Club, a subscription-based product that delivers hand blown limited edition drinking glasses to your door. We have a gallery open to the public but find most of our sales are on line, we ship all over the country. We have hired more people to help us fulfill our creative projects.
Where are you today?
Our business grew and changed during the pandemic. We are finding joy, and expanded creativity with our Collectors Club. It is fulfilling to once again share the magic of glass through teaching classes again.
We are immensely grateful to open our doors everyday, we give thanks to those that helped us through the pandemic and look forward to a bright future and recovery for our business, neighbors and City.
What do you think your future holds?
We have an opportunity to create a large public art project at the entrance to our beautiful city of Escondido.
We are developing on new lines of glass art that we hope our clients will love.
We are training a new team to help us expand our capacity and help to create larger and more complex pieces.
As the world reopens, it feels important to remind those that supported the arts through the pandemic that independent artists and galleries are still not out of the woods. As you make your move to eating out again, attending concerts and going to the movies, remember the art that brought beauty to you every day while you spent your days at home.
Please visit a gallery, attend an art walk or show and support those that fed your soul during the dark days.
It was so great to reconnect. One last question – how can our readers connect with you, learn more or support you?
We love in person visits to our studio and gallery located at 629 West Grand Avenue in Escondido. We are open to the public Wednesday thru Saturday from 11:00 AM till 6:00 PM.
You may also visit online at www.stoneandglass.com.
You will find all kinds of interesting information and pictures on our site; the blogs will bring you up to date on happenings at Stone and Glass. Visit the online gallery to see the evolution of our work, register for a class, shop and join our email list to get regular updates.
Happy to answer any questions by phone 760-294-7447 or email@example.com. Of course, you can call the gallery and speak directly to Carol.
- Website: https://stoneandglass.com/ and https://shop.stoneandglass.com/
- Facebook: stoneandglassSanDiego; https://www.facebook.com/stoneandglassSanDiego
- Instagram: @stoneandglasssd
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/stone-and-glass
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr3QXSd6SY4TbGbZlP5NJ3g
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/stone-and-glass-escondido
Octopus photo credit David Zumaya