In recent weeks, via connection through this blog, I’ve been in touch with a gentleman nearing retirement on the gold coast of Australia. He’s in a very nice neighborhood with homes all around, sporting swimming pools and large yards. No aborigines or kangaroos in sight from the Google Earth view of street where he lives.
He is keenly interested in learning what I teach and do on glass. My first inclination is to offer up a trip to ‘down under’ and teach my Seminar there. All things considered that makes little sense unless I’m a rock star with rabid fans in line to buy my ticket.
There is a distance of roughly 8300 miles of North and South Pacific ocean separating us. That’s a flight time of 17 hours, nine minutes. He has an engraving system that has been stored for 8 years. That’s a familiar story I hear often from people 8,000 miles closer….like states neighboring Texas! He knows there’s NOTHING like being in the room, seeing, touching, and hearing live action. But that’s not in the cards for this gentleman. It’s not possible for him to come to Texas and that’s true for throngs of people even here in the U.S.
So, the question arose from the Aussie, “What do you have that I could purchase to learn at home?” The immediate answer was the DVD set which he is about to purchase through PayPal. We’ve just included that in our method of taking payments. In his email yesterday he asked about purchasing the Student Manual each student gets when attending my Texas Seminar. That’s a question I have actually pondered for some time. It’s an invaluable source of information that could be enhanced with a lot more that happens in the Seminar that is not in the book.
Now, I’ve known since day one, in 2001, when I conducted my first Ken Brown Professional Engraving Seminar, that individuals even an hour-flight away, cannot or won’t come here. Again, nothing replaces in-the-room-learning but there could be a great alternative with the right mix of materials. I think a downloadable ebook, including video snippets and top-notch photos, is the answer. My head is swirling with ideas to set this in motion.
To bolster your enthusiasm a bit, I’ll tell you I’m about to ink a deal with a guaranteed 45 events…wine and spirits stores only…in 2014. That doesn’t include customers who come to my location daily with bottles, knives, guns, cremation urns, crystal, and an occasional item I can’t mention in this column.
What are your thoughts and suggestions? Tell me how serious you may be about learning on your own kitchen table, or that hobby room, or your nook in the basement or garage. What would you pay to learn as much as possible without spending three days in a hotel conference room?
So I don’t leave you without a bit of helpful information today, here is a testament to the power of the alphabet I teach, and the ability to do it quickly. This job did NOT include the dental drill. (By the way, have you seen the video where I use a graphite pencil for this script?)
The drill stayed parked in its holder while I used a blackboard-chalk pencil to write names on these 22 flower vases. Though the photo doesn’t show the true color, each was coal-black, and they sit on a black cloth.
The product is called CHALKBOARD CHINA and they have a wide range of dinnerware and accessories that are intended to be personalized at parties and celebrations a bit less formal than the dinners served in Downton Abbey. The customer provided the pencils and I did a name on each vase in less than a minute. No guidelines. Shooting from the hip. She was there watching me on this one; seldom is that the case but she came from 40 miles away and needed the pieces that evening for a function.
I charged her $5. each and spent less than half an hour on the whole deal. She peeled off $110. and was out of there before her engine cooled.
Let me hear from you on the ‘learn at home’ idea. How could that help you?