The WyzGuy Radio Show with Jason Michael -Helping Today's Glass Artist Think Like an Artistic Entrepreneur

The WyzGuy Radio Show is dedicated to Educating and Inspiring through conversations with todays top-talents in the world of glass. Along with Artists, Host Jason Michael shares conversations with experts in areas pertaining to law, health, and business in hopes to bring light to areas of concern. Whether its heavy metal toxins, paying taxes, or how to properly set up a glass studio, we have a ton of fun in store for you.
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The WyzGuy Radio Show with Jason Michael -Helping Today's Glass Artist Think Like an Artistic Entrepreneur






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Now displaying: October, 2016
Oct 28, 2016

Episode 132- Taking Care of Our Hands(replay of Episode 74- Repetitive Strain Injury revisited....Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS))

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Repetitive strain injury (RSI) and associative trauma orders are umbrella terms used to refer to several discrete conditions that can be associated with repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression, or sustained/awkward positions.[1][2] Examples of conditions that may sometimes be attributed to such causes include edema,tendinosis (or less often tendinitis), carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, De Quervain syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, intersection syndrome, golfer's elbow(medial epicondylitis), tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), trigger finger (so-called stenosing tenosynovitis), radial tunnel syndrome, and focal dystonia.[1][2][3]

Since the 1970s there has been a worldwide increase in RSIs of the arms, hands, neck, and shoulder attributed to the widespread use of typewriters/computers in the workplace that require long periods of repetitive motions in a fixed posture.[4]


Ergonomics: the science of designing the job, equipment, and workplace
The most-often prescribed treatments for early-stage RSIs include analgesics, myofeedback, biofeedback, physical therapy, relaxation, and ultrasound therapy.[3] Low-grade RSIs can sometimes resolve themselves if treatments begin shortly after the onset of symptoms. However, some RSIs may require more aggressive intervention including surgery and can persist for years.

General exercise has been shown to decrease the risk of developing RSI.[9] Doctors sometimes recommend that RSI sufferers engage in specific strengthening exercises, for example to improve sitting posture, reduce excessive kyphosis, and potentially thoracic outlet syndrome.[10] Modifications of posture and arm use (human factors and ergonomics) are often recommended.[3][11]

Finkelstein's test

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Finkelstein's test for DeQuervain's tenosynovitis

Eichhoff's test for DeQuervain's tenosynovitis
Finkelstein's test is used to diagnose De Quervain's tenosynovitis in people who have wrist pain. To perform the test, the examining physician or therapist grasps the thumb and ulnar deviates the hand sharply, as shown in the image. If sharp pain occurs along the distal radius (top of forearm, close to wrist; see image), de Quervain's tenosynovitis is likely.[1]

Other practitioners use a modified Eichhoff's test, below, and ask their patients to flex their thumb and clench their fist over the thumb before ulnar deviation, but with ulnar deviation performed by the practitioner.[2] Eichhoff's test is commonly confused with Finkelstein's test. However the Eichhoff's test may produce false positive results, while a Finkelstein's test performed by a skilled practitioner is unlikely to produce a false positive.[3]

Wikipedia info on RSI(Repetitive Strain Injury)



Links mentioned :
Ian Harvey. Massage Therapist

- Operation Pipe Dreams 2.0


Oct 26, 2016
In todays episode we will be discussing the topic of Getting etsablished in  a new territory. This topic came to my attention from an inquiry by John Gonzalez whom you can find on the social feeds @probies_treasures on instagram as well as his business page on Facebook  Have you ever moved to a new city, state or country and felt lost when it came to reestablishing yourself in the local market place?  This episode is going to cover some simple ideas to introduce yourself to your local retailers, figure out what your local market is like and create long lasting relationships that will help support your business now and in the future, even if you move again. 
As an artists we have the ability to pick up and move to almost anywhere in the world. Having a bag of tools to use when getting yourself reestablished is the key to a successful transition. Many times the idea of having to become re established can cause many to not want to move at all due to the fear of having to start all over.
Having a clear understanding of where your business is now and where you'd like it to go will make it easier to approach your new territory with your product line in a confident, proud manner. You dont want to be cocky and over confident as this can turn off a lot of shop owners. Having a humble, proud attitude will pay dividends for years to come as your line of work grows with your techniques. With todays technology its easier then ever to promote and sell your work internationally, however the relationships you develop on a personal level with your local retailers and their customers will be a more rewarding experience both spiritually and financially. These 5-steps will ease the stress that can lead to sales paralysis. These can be implemented now to begin the process of establishing and selling in new territories whether your new to glass, new to the area or just new to selling your own work.
before we begin lets remember first and foremost that you much know your local and state paraphernalia laws.  Every city and state has different laws when it come to cannabis and this is crucial to not only help you fine tune your product lines but also to keep your ass out of jail.
1- locate at least 6-smoke shops in your area..
     Try to keep these shops under an hour drive, time equals money. Not every town or city has a bundle of smoke shops so this may be a challenge  however if this means you need to travel further then an hour do it.. once you get a good relationship with a smoke shops you can always take orders over the phone or through email. this i why its important to have a consistent, well developed line of work. Once you have located your local smoke shops its time to  go on a re-con mission.
2- the re-con mission  
    Step 2 will give you the chance to visit these shops and get an idea of what type of shops they are. Not everyone is going to be high end or low end. This will help you to figure out how to fine tune the needs of each shop. Take mental notes. as well as create a note in your phone... before walking in the door you should have prepped a note for each shop you're visiting with the name and location written down.  ask to see products and take notes in your phone of pricing with being obvious about it and don't let them know you're an artist. This may seem deceptive at first but of you walk into a new smoke shop and start talking about yourself you'll more then likely  cause them employee or shop owner to put up a mental block and not be as "open" to show you prices.  BY finding out the retail of their items you can do the math and figure out the wholesale  most shops will mark up their items 2-2.5 times. some mark up 3 times but don't let this discourage you. If for instance you see a bubbler priced at $55.00 then you can assume that the wholesale was around $22-$25.00.  Really take notice of what the shop carries and if customers come in while you're there pay attention to what they are asking for and potentially purchase.Ask questions about the artists they purchase from and jot their names down. this leads us to step 3..
3- talk to other local artists.
     The local artists in your area that have been their for a while will be able to give you a heads up about sops that they've dealt with. not every artists is going to be willing to spill the beans so take their input lightly bit still pay attention. ask about what they sell and how the owner or mgr of the shop buys.. DO they haggle prices?  do they buy in bulk? discounts for bulk?  are they a higher end gallery/retail that isn't afraid to drop god money on great glass.?  if you're a newer artist ask other artists in the area if they collab   if so the artists you collab with cold sell the piece to the local smoke shop and help introduce you to the area through your work.   ask your local artists f they ever demo at the shops? etc..  Most artists in your community are willing to share info compared to 10-years ago so don't be afraid to reach out.
4-Meet the buyers
     Once you introduce yourself to your local artists and have a decent idea of what your local shops offer and what their prices are like its time to introduce yourself as an artist to the shops   This can be intimidating and keep you from even leaving your studio. The fear of rejection can be debilitating but just remember that if you make this part of the process fun, not only will you find that your fears can actually fuel your fire but also that few every"no" you get you will be one "no" closer to a bigger "yes".  Learning how to deal with rejection is going to be key to your success as a sales person but it will also create a confidence in yourself that will lead to other successes in life. heres how you can make this a ton of fun... Give Your Glass Away!!   yep   thats all you have to do....  make samples of all your work.. no mater how big or small your line of work is make up a case full of samples. Now if you've been following the podcast for sometime you'll remember that as part of figuring out your base line calculations for your lines of product one step is creating a timed sample which you should keep for a reference. These samples are ideal to carry with you when you go to shops to show them what you make. Along with the sample make sure you have a price list with a high quality colored photo of each item next its respective price. That way you can leave this with each shop so they can call you when they need to reorder of when you call they have a reference to know what you are talking about.  Now as far as the giveaways go heres what you can do.  Make Pendants and spoons.  These will be your freebies. When introducing yourself make sure you keep the names of these contacts in the note file you originally created during your re-con mission. If the shop is a franchise or is run by a manager and not the owner make sure to get their name and contact info. They may be open to give you their personal cell number which will make it easier to get in contact with them but don't abuse this. If upon your visit you only have an employee working make sure to still get the info of the buyer but also create a good repor with the employee, they can be your best advocate when it comes to getting your work in the shop. If you do just have a employee then bring them 1- pipe sample and 2- pendants. 1 for them and 1 for the mgr/owner. If you can give the shop owner or buyer one of each it will give them a physical reference and a gift to boot.  tell them the pendant is for them to have and the pipe is for them to sell and give them your MSRP for both. The MSRP is the manufactures suggested retail price which if you did your research of that shop, your pricing will fit right in with other items that are similar in style and pricing.  Try to keep your prices consistent across the board but yo will fin that some shops that r higher end and have a higher end demographic in their area will be willing to pay more for your work then say an area that isn't a financially wealthy. Along with your glass gifts and samples, its important that you also have marketing material which leads u to number 5..
5- stickers, fliers and business cards
       Along with your gifted pendant and sample hand pipe you will also need to bring along your marketing material   This is the best way to spread the word through out your community that YOU HAVE ARRIVED.  When it comes to stickers one thing I recommend you get made is a larger sticker that the shop can put on their front door or cases. Besides smaller stickers for the shops customers the larger stickers have the ability to become a semi-permanent marketing strategy giving you a longer advertising effect when it comes to branding yourself. If you don't have a logo or brand yet just a simple sticker made using a high quality photo of your glass and add your artists name will suffice.  There's many outlets for purchasing custom stickers which as aways I recommend going local but if you cant ill post links to several companies you can choose from That I recommend an use..  along with your stickers make sure you have business cards made. This is a cheap and simple way to give the shops and their customers a way to get in touch and follow you on your social platforms. its important to include your website or marketplace(if you have one)contact info including email.. if your on a social platform don't forget to include everyone of them from your titter handle to your IG acct.  this will give your followers a chance to stay up to date with you and your newer items along with a personal side to you and all your wackiness.   In a past episode I discussed why you should use your social media platforms as tool and to not rely on them to sell your work.  
If you follow these tips you will find that you'll create a strong foundation in your local community and these relationships will be ones to nurture and grow. These can lead to demonstrations at the shops and even the ability to sell work that is experimental as you learn and develop new techniques.  Make sure to stay in touch with these shops monthly If you set a call schedule to check in with these shops in a rotation you'll be able to keep consistent orders flying out of your studio and help you grow as an artists while increasing your profits!!
Oct 19, 2016


Your work during the holidays.  
This is the time to begin gearing up for the holiday rush   As we all know time disappears even faster this time of year between the studio time, holiday parties, family get togethers and trying to find sleep amongst the chaos.  Ideally if you are able to continue the momentum created throughout the year the holidays can be highly successful allowing you to add new items to an already large catalog, try new items as well as create and continue an annual limited edition series or item.  Personally I make and sell a limited edition ornament.  Platforms like Etsy are a great place to sell and promote these items. Each platform has its own algorithm helping you promote yourself as an artist.  They are flooded with a sea of others but with persistence and time dedicated to this process as well as consistancy you can find success.   Social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram allow you to promote the items you are focused on selling during the holidays. As you drive up interest in these items it is important to think about promotional sales for Black Friday and cyber Monday.   Personally I hold a Instagram only sale for cyber Monday and use my Etsy account for Black Friday.   Even though blackfridau is generally a brick and mortar retail sale day you can still take advantage with online platforms.  It is important to remember to promote heavily for at least a month in advance driving up the interest. Each day before the Skar launches you should promote the sale and items.  If you are selling different items you can showcase them individually throughout the weeks as well as promote the sales giving your tribe an advanced notice. Another important idea is to think of supply and demand or scarcity of your item.  Let your tribe know that you are only making 20 or 50 of a specific item and that they are numbered and dated and signed.  This adds to the hype and the need for your tribe to own your limited edition items. Remember if you do go this route that you have to stay true to your word and if you say you are only
Making 20 of said item then you have to stick to that number.   The item can change and vary over the years and seasons to keep this item a consistent collectors edition item and keep the scaricity mindset associated with it which will drive your tribe to feel the need to buy it now since they'll never be able to get that item again.    This is why it is so important to stay up with your social media and stay consistent with your word and posts......
Here's a few tips when it comes to selling wholesale orders to your retailers 
Shops are busy 
Visit or call in advance to see what the shop needs. Not wants. Make an appointment and hold shop to it  
Always make a few extra items that you want to sell 
Think retail 20-50.00 stocking stuffers. 
Put together a Christmas or holiday pack.   Stockings with goodies 
Follow up before going to confirm appointment made 
Platforms to sell retail 
  • Etsy
  • Shopify
  • Bigcartel
  • Social feeds 
These are just a few of the popular platforms of selling your work in a retail level. Most of these won't allow functional art so take advantage of this and make other items that still show your work and artistsic expression as well as the ability to expose yourself to a different community that loves art and supporting the arts.
links talked about in episode:
Oct 11, 2016
High volume low end VS. Low volume High end
When it comes to manufacturing and selling production there are many variables that need to be taken into concieration before beginning.
1- do you have an outlet that can move your product lines on a consistant basis and if so is it YOU or a DISTRIBUTOR?
2- how many items and variations of these itmes do you want to create?
3-Can you keep up with the volume?
3-How diverse are you in regards to these lines and the creation of the styles?

  1. 1.
    the action of making or manufacturing from components or raw materials.
    synonyms: manufacturemakingconstructionbuildingfabricationassemblycreation

     This manufacturing  process can be a fun and challenging as consistancy is the key to any succesful production line. In past episodes I've discussed the process of finding the base line calculations for your items.(*see figure below) This is key to running a successful business as a production artist. Without a strong, calcuated foundation you'll end up chasing your tail as supplies dry up or run short while making a larger order. The worse case scenrio would be if you were half way or 3/4 of the way through the completion of an order and you suddenly realzie you don't have enough material to get the order fininshed by the deadine you set.  So make sure you break down and calculate this out before starting.  This will also give you a good idea on the estimated time of completion and I say estimated because 95% of the time something will come up that will delay your order. In this situation just make sure you leave an open line of communication with your rep or retailer so you both are on the same page.    
   As the glass industry grows so does innovation and the variety of items that can be made an sold no matter what niche' you reside in. Whether its manufacturing beads, pendants, ornaments, pipes, etc you'll need to create a line that is both diverse and unified with a theme or concept. This will help keep your brain focused on the specifics and not constantly seeking other ways of being creative throughout the manufacturing process. If you can set a schedule for yourself to where either on certain days or a certain times of the day you allow for a bit of free time to play with a new idea which will help you stay fresh with ideas while maintaining a good production schedule keeping you on track.  Before you begin puttng your line together youll need to sit down and do some serious soul searching as these decisions will determine how successful you will be in the end.
This simple exercise can be used for anything you are going to create, especially in the area of production.    download pdf
  How many different style of what ever niche your in can you make in a timely fashion?(write them down on the downloadable pdf attached)
    • for example
    • 3"spoon
    • shirlock
    • hammer bubbler
    • carb cap
    • etc
  Of items written down which ones are repeatable in a clean, consistent production line?  (note:think of yourself as a catalog. Your items need to consistently match the items in your   catalog)
  • for example
  • 3"spoon   yes
  • shirlock     yes
  • hammer bubbler yes
  • carb cap yes
  • etc

  • Of said items how many different patterns can you use to diversify the line?
  • for example
  • 3"spoon- wrap and rake, wig-wag, dots, stripes, color changer, inside-out
  • shirlock- wrap and rake, wig-wag, dots, stripes, color changer, inside-out
  • hammer bubbler- wrap and rake, wig-wag, dots, stripes, color changer, inside-out
  • carb cap-wrap and rake, wig-wag, dots, stripes, color changer, inside-out
  • etc
  • MOST IMPORTANT-  If a distributor ordered 100 of just a single item can your soul handle the monotony?(this needs to be asked for each item that you have listed)
     Once you get all these areas established then its time to fine tune your line and begin production. Befre you begin the actual production you need to produce a sample of each itme that you will be adding to your catalog and keep as a reference. Once you have your references in hand then its time for a test run. This means you'll need to create a minimum of 3-per item in a row without stopping to better gauge the estimated time of manufacturing. This will not only help keep you on task but will also make it easier to price your work based on the time and material associated with said piece. (the downloadable pdf includes a chart to input your info) for example say you want to make a simple 3" wrap and rake spoon  Refering back to your sample youll now what material is needed.  heres a breakdown of the process:
  • prep tubing(pull points or attach blowpipes) this item requires 2" extra hvy 25.4 simax, 2" color and 9" 6mm clear(this is the formula for this item. repeat for each item)
  • with points prepped its time to begin. (The prep has to be calculalted into the time of manufacturing. use a stop watch app on your phone and wrtie the times down in the pdf attached)  estimated prep time 5-minutes
  • now make the three spoons in a row without stopping. 25-min(plus 5-min for prep) 30-minutes total to make 3-3" wrap and rake spoons or 10-minutes each
      In my opinion if you want to be a  successful artist then you will need to have a few lines of mass produced items that will be your bread and butter while also maintaining a line of lesser produced higher end items giving you a diverse line for everyone to afford.  Now depending on how you sell your work will determine what you actually make in regards to the items and price points. If you sell drectly to retailers then your price point will be higher then if you sold to a distributor and this will also determine the amount of volume you will need to create. Most distributors have a large customer base that they wll need to keep fullfilled with items they are carrying including yours.This means you will need to create few models but higher volume of them.  If you sell directly to the retailers then you wont need to create a high volume of a few items.  Instead you'll need to create a diverse line of work giving the retailers a nice variety of styles and price points to choose from.  This concept in manufacturing also goes for those who attend and sell at trade shows. 
     As your own distributor you are representing yourself as an artist which means that it is crucial for you to find your voice through a diverse product line that says "This is (artist name) glass" and have it viewed as such in a good light.  Just because something is mass produced in high volume doesn't mean it needs to be lesser quality. Even low end items should still be manufactured to a high level of quality.  A 3" wrap and rake spoon should be given the same detail that a $1000.00 rig is given. The difference between the two is the lower end item is made faster and with less material where the higher end item might take 2-days to create and $150.00 worth of material. This is where the concept of low end vs high end comes in.
     Locally made glass whether low end or high end should live up to the standards that higher end glass is held to. If you are a novice or hobbyist that is trying to create higher end work while your lower end work still looks like garbage then you need to take a step back and fine tune your skills before stepping up and attempting to create something you would consider a higher end line. Having a foundation of fine tuned skills will help you move forward towards creating the higher end lines more naturally and not feel so forced. There's a ton of garbage in the glass art world that is being passed as high quality work and only puts a light on the crap instead of shining on the highly refined developed artists. So if your skills arent up to par just yet stay with in your realm of skills while still moving forward to the ultimate destination of being a well rounded, fundamentally sound glass artist.
          By starting off as a low end production artist you'll give yourself opportune time to fine tune your skills, create a diverse line of work all the while supporting yourself as you continue to grow as an artist. If you're at the point in your career where your skills are diverse then you can create an larger diverse line of work ranging in many styles and price points giving yourself a voice  through your work. I truly hope this helps you to understand and differentiate the different sides of production. This is all bare bones info as Ill be delving into the higher end lines of work in a future episode.   

*Below is a basic calculation you can use when figuring out cost of manufacturing your items.  
How to calculate cost of production   
In this example I'm using reference from internet which has material price based on length .....
 This is a generic example
example 3"-wrap and rake hand pipe 
Material breakdown
2" section of simax 25.4 hvy wall ($8.00/60"
$0.13per inch or $0.26(2"section) 
1/2" section of color cobalt firsts ($5.25/18"
9" section 4mm clear for raking ($0.52/60")
Estimated total for cost of Goods
3"wrap and take spoon ($0.26+$0.15+$0.09)=$0.50
Propane/oxygen/power is pennies on the dollar if you're able to get liquid oxygen. If you are renting space you still need to calculate your estimated per hour rate. If you pay $1500.00/mo(power,rent,gas) break it down to per day then estimate how many hours you work in a day and use that number as a base calculation.
$1500.00/month (30-day month) is approx $50.00/day (per hour in a 10-hr day
$5.00/hr (gases,power,rent)
If you can make 10-$5.00 3" wrap spoons per hour your estimated cost per hour is $10.00/hr  
(power,rent,gas) $5.00+(material x's 10-hr) $5.00= $10.00/hr. to manufacture 10-$5.00 spoons 
GROSS-$50.00(10-$5.00 3" w/r)-$10.00(cost to manufacture)=
NET- approx $40.00/hr.  
In a 8 hr day do the math 
You can see just by getting a good base line down for estimating your cost to manufacture
you have the ability to make anywhere from
$30-60.00/hr gross profit
Gross= income 
Net =income-cost to manufacture =profit
Now take 15% of your gross and put that aside for TAXES !!!!
 If anyone has questions feel free to contact me
If you pay $____A_____/mo= (RENT+POWER+GASES) break it down per day, then estimate how many hours you work in a day and use that number as a base calculation.
$_____A______ /(30-day month) is approx $___B____/day (per hour in a 10-hr day)= $____C_____/hr (RENT+POWER+GASES)
If you can make 10-$5.00 wrap spoons per hour,
your estimated cost per hour is $_______/hr  
 $____________+(material x's 10 PER hr.)= $_______/hr to manufacturer 10-$5.00 spoons  
Net-$50.00(10-$5.00 spoons manufactured)-$_______(cost to manufacture)=
gross approx $43.00/hr.  
 Gross= income 
Net =income-cost to manufacturer =profit
  by establishing this base line costs to manufacture you can then fine tune your lines, materials used as well as what sells best and if need you can always adjust rices if something is priced to high or to low....  you should be able to profit a minimum of $20.00 per hour.