Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer, Social Media, Shows & Sculpture

As the summer heat gathers and begins to bear down on us.... (okay! okay! I know technically it is spring and summer is a month away) but seriously this IS Texas - and it is already in the 100's around these parts.  We are trying to figure out how to keep the shop cool enough for Lou  (& Barney) to actually WANT to go to work in it.  I vote for a swimming pool but we would need one serious filter to keep that mesquite sawdust and English mastiff  hair from clogging up the system.  Lou wants an air conditioner but I know he would take one look at the first month's bill and never turn it on again. So I guess we will suffer through another Hill Country summer. We are all ears if you have a suggestion for an inexpensive, efficient way to cool a mesquite furniture making, wood shop in the heat of a Texas summer.
"Curves" Mesquite Coffee Table by Lou Quallenberg

Does anyone else feel like the world is on hyper warp speed?  Trying to keep up with marketing and social media it is a non stop learning curve. We are currently on facebook, twitter, Linked in, and blogger, we email, snail mail, we have land lines and cell phones and it is all almost too much to keep track of. Oh and did I mention a website in bad need of a face-lift? I am thankful  that it is already a pretty mobile friendly website or that project would be marked "UBER" urgent.  
Our latest marketing effort is directed specifically at mobile users. We are incorporating QR codes into our marketing materials. What? You don't know what a QR code is? QR is short for quick response and a QR code has the ability to take a mobile user  with a smart phone directly to your website, video, message or phone number or information that you have embedded into the QR code. The QR code looks like a small square stamp-like bar code. Very popular in Japan since inception in 1994, they are finally starting to show up everywhere in the US. The only downside I can see is Microsoft's version Microsoft Tag, AT&T's version Mobile Barcode Services and the French company mobiletag watering down the use of QR codes making it confusing for consumers to know how to use them. It is frustrating enough when you can't get the darn thing to work as it is and adding three other tags to the mix means multiple code readers are needed. Yuck! I can't wait until they get the photo technology and image recognition precise enough to just take a photo to of the product to get more info about it. Yikes! That is really on its way folks! Check it out here:  and 

Unfortunately or maybe fortunately (because we are blessed to have the work) again due to a backlog of work and another October deadline this year, we will be unable to attend the Western Design Conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We always look forward to this juried show, the wonderful artists it attracts and the chance to get out of the horrendous Texas heat. We may or may not make the Texas Mesquite Festival October7th-9th in Fredericksburg this year. It is an outdoor show and we just hate to do that to our furniture. The weather can be tricky in October. We do plan to make it to the 12th Annual Texas Furniture Makers Show  November 10th - December 10th at the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center.  Lou has been honored to receive the Best Texas Style Award for the past three years in a row at this juried show that puts about 50 Texas Furniture Makers on display for a full month in a beautiful gallery setting.

Who really knows what artists want from a show? The artists of course!

Several of our extremely talented artist friends recently exhibited at a very expensive but poorly publicized and poorly attended show. This was very expensive show representing top notch artists from all over the country.  We had seriously considered putting Lou's work in this show but could not find time to make it work. We are so thankful now that we did not have the time and did not spend the money to attend this disastrous show. It did however get a group of us talking about putting together our own show or shows. Who really knows what artists want from a show? The artists of course! and the answer really is simple we just want buyers. Well maybe buyers and exposure, but mainly buyers!

If you have never been, you really owe it to yourself to attend the 40th Annual The Texas Arts & Craft Fair with over 200 artists and artisans is an amazing place to discover an artist or unique gift item. It is an outdoor show and really not an outlet for our work, but we love to attend, buy gifts and be inspired.  If you make it to Kerrville on Memorial Weekend you should also check out The 8th Annual Texas Masters of Fine Art and Craft Invitational Exhibition at the YO Ranch Resort and Hotel.  We stumbled on this show several years ago and are happy to see it is still going strong, representing the best of Texas Art and artists. We shouldn't be surprised since the show is organized and run by artists!


Lou Quallenberg's Sculptural Mesquite Furniture
Lou Quallenberg's mesquite furniture has always had a sculptural feel to it but ever since the Dancing Trees his work is taking on more and more of a sculptural feeling.  This was made really evident to us as we finally found some time to photograph the "Curves Table".  

Sculptural side view of "Curves"

Lou Quallenberg's work has always had a sculptural feel to it but ever since the Dancing Trees his work is taking on more and more of a sculptural feeling.
Lou Quallenberg's Sculptural Mesquite Furniture
Our Sell Sheet layout for "Curves"

This table was Lou's first attempt at adding a glass top.  The glass is a beautiful, clear, large, piece of Starphire® glass. It was also a new design look and leg style.  He turned the mesquite slab  upside down from the way he normally uses it.  Isn't it interesting that sometimes when we turn things upside down  we discover that they are more beautiful than they were right side up? Perspective ALWAYS changes things.   The dimensions of the table are 96”Lx 20”Wx 18”H.  

Maybe you have space in a special place for this beautiful award winning show piece?