Six days since leaving our shrink-wrapped pallets behind at SOFA Chicago

Fourteen days before arriving at Art Miami

I’m still digesting the lessons learned on Navy Pier. When it’s gelled into something more coherent than I’m capable of today, I’ll put a post together.

In the meantime, the latest news: our SOFA return shipment arrived at the gallery in Portland on Friday. By end-of-day Saturday the tireless gallery team had packed, wrapped, and strapped the Miami pallets that are now waiting for a Monday pick-up.

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Friday inside the Saatchi Galleries, it’s all business. Sales are stronger than we’ve seen in years.

Without a doubt the most satisfying clients are the ones who return a year later to say they deeply regret the purchase they didn’t make the year before and would like to make up for it immediately!

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It’s a portent. Gallery. Mess.

Walking into London’s Saatchi Gallery to set up for this year’s Crafts Council COLLECT fair, I notice the signage over the posh café that’s pimping itself at the entrance to Charles Saatchi’s refurbished military barracks, aka Duke of York Headquarters, aka chichi Chelsea’s chicest exhibition space. We’ve arrived. That’s me, Jamie, our gallery’s assistant director, and Jeff, formerly our gallery’s head preparator until he moved to England.

How cool is this? It’s our fourth time doing COLLECT. We must think this makes sense.

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It’s been four days since we set up our booth at SOFA WEST. A lot’s happened and a lot hasn’t.

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Opening night knocked everyone’s socks off. The crowds were far larger than expected. Apparently they’d anticipated about 500 people for the opening night reception. I’ve heard that between 1500 and 2000 turned out. But who could count? I could barely move.

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The hours between the end of COLLECT and the trip back to Portland for our biennial conference, BECon, seemed a good time to link the two with a visit to conference presenter Heike Brachlow at  London’s Royal College of Art.

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The RCA sits just opposite Hyde Park, not far from the little mews house that we’d rented for our time in London. So it was a short walk and a good way to stretch out after days of standing at the fair.

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Artists Richard Whiteley and Heike Brachlow with Bullseye’s UK Director Karen Davies, wound up their five venue lecture tour through Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England last Sunday with twin presentations at the University of Ulster, Belfast.

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First stop: the energetic Scottish crowd. Or Why the Scots Invented Whisky.

Despite the reaction of the Clackmannanshire  (you’d be exhausted too if you had to say that more than once) crowd, early reports indicate that our first speaking venture into the wilds of the British Isles was a success.

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We’re only a week away from SOFA Chicago. Love it or hate it, SOFA is THE event for artists and designers in our field. It’s where the most important collectors gather to spy and buy, to check out the best of contemporary glass (and other media, but let’s not get off track) and to see what’s new in the field.

An old SOFA. In 2006 we used our booth to spotlight some great talent, artists who had worked at North Lands Creative Glass.

This year we’ve dedicated the Bullseye Gallery booth to showcasing past participants in our biennial e-merge competition.

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