Saturday, May 4, 2013

"Road Tramps"

The above photo is of the early morning sunrise view at our job. My husband and I are both working on the same job doing industrial electrical work...we also have the good fortune to be able to be "work partners" as well...for safety and productivity in industrial work most construction workers work in pairs.

 Above is a photo of my husband Charlie (left) and his look-a-like Bob...Charlie and Bob had worked on a power plant project back in the 70s ....Charlie and Bob were surprised to see each other again after all those years. Bob is working on the job that my husband and I are now working on.

Pictured above in the top photo shows a small section of the pipe Charlie and I installed...we also installed the 4 ft by 3 ft metal "can" or "junction box" there in the ceiling. The bottom two photos show the hydraulic Greenlee pipe bender that we used to bend the EMT (electrical metallic tubing) metal pipes to offset down from the wall into the metal "can". The pipes do not come from the factory pre-bent....industrial electricians bend each pipe to make metal "raceways" for the electrical wires to be placed into once the pipes are installed.

We used 3 inch EMT...each "stick" of pipe is 10 feet long and weighs approx 30 lbs each "stick". Sometimes a whole stick of pipe must be carried up a ladder to be installed..of course two workers share the weight of the stick of pipe. Want to see how much physical effort is involved? Try carrying a 20 lb sack of bird seed up a 10 foot ladder and place it above your head on a shelf.

Studio painting time....not much time for painting for the past two weeks since I started working over time. 

Comparison: I've been doing some comparison....comparison between painting full time and working as an industrial electrician. Although the two jobs are completely different in all aspects...and the electrical work is so much more physically and mentally demanding on every level..... the stress is not there for me in electrical work....the biggest stress relief is that I know that at the end of my work week there will be a pay check and that I am contributing the my retirement pension as well. I am also physically active in the highest level doing electrical work.

Painting items specifically for sales items my such a gamble these days. My calculations for wages earned for an item that I painted, say that I would sell for $1200.00....the hourly wage I made was $4 an hour. I contributed zero to my retirement funds and I have to pay taxes on that $1200.00.

I am itching to continue painting the items I have in my personal resin collection.... 

Wishing you all a super happy spring!!! Enjoy some time outside in the sunshine!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Picking up old tools of the trade

My early years of work were spent in retail/cashier/sales work. Later in the year 2001 I went back to school for the field of inside journeyman wireman ( industrial/commercial electrician)...the same training that my husband has had.

If you have followed my last blog post you remember that I am putting down my commission brushes and that I am venturing out to locate a "real job"...that phrase always makes me smile...long story there :)

After doing research on the retail cashier wages here at home the wage scale is not what it used to be  years ago when I was doing cashier work. Back then the wages here were starting around $11 per hour for experienced applicants...the wages have fallen to around $8 an hour and some are only paying minimum wage....and there is near zero full time work. Seems that the new norm is around 25 to 35 hours part time work for employees.

With that said I have decided to go back to work as an inside journeyman wireman as the local wages are still holding and higher wages are being paid at jobs out of state.

I realized too that it would be a shame for me to have accomplished and completed the most difficult schooling I have ever had in my life and just leave it behind...forgotten....not to mention working in some of the most fascinating work environments that I have ever seen. The two that come to mind are a power plant and a semi conductor plant.

Working on a job in a power plant I was able to see first hand the inside of a house sized turbine and huge conductor cables which were larger in circumference than my arm.

Working in the semi-conductor work environment was like a fiction movie...all computerized controlled working machinery and these little computerized mobile semi-conductor disk carrier cars that ran on tracks in the air everywhere ....all day long there was the "ding-ding-ding" sound of those cars and the censor lights blinking in several different colors. That job was also the most dangerous job I had ever worked on. The chemicals there running through those clear plastic pipes were so dangerous that one micro-drop getting on your skin meant a regiment of treatments for quite a while and probable bone cancer.

The work is very physically demanding and encompasses lifting heavy loads and carrying heavy loads and heavy drilling in ceilings and walls...anything from carrying a 125 lb bundle of EMT metal piping up five flights of steps to carrying a 14 foot wooden ladder up five flights of steps.

We do a huge amount of bending various sizes of pipes and building pipe runs and cable tray runs to run electrical wire and cables through. We work with wire as small as communications wire up to cables as larger than your arm. We work with pipe from 1/2 inch diamiter to 6 inches in diameter. Click here for a photo exapmple of what we do with here for photos of cable tray and pipe photos.

Today is my husbands last day at his job.As with all of the electricians jobs all work is temporary...once a job is completed we move on the another new job that is just beginning and do the same all over again.

My husband and I will go on the road to sign work books locally in our state and also to sign books here in the south eastern US..Miami Fl, Augusta Georgia, Norfolk Virginia and D.C. We will sign work books in Ohio,Tennessee, and perhaps N.J. Illinois, and South Dakota/North Dakota.

After the signing is over we sit and wait for our names to be reached on the books....each perspective employee waits his/her turn on the work lists. We might be called in a week or we might be called in a few weeks...depending on the work that is available. If we are lucky we will be able to get work in D.C. or in our state....or perhaps later here through our local work office. Our books here at home have had about a years wait for a job unless a big job comes to town and they need a large workforce. Work around the country will prove to be more promising we are sure.

The studio:
Five completed horses were shipped out yesterday. These were horses that I had posted photos of in previous blog posts.
The Bacchus sales item is nearing completion as well as two of the 2013 commission projects... another speacial sales item is about 50% completed.
Photos soon!
I am digging out items from my stored inventory of personal resins to paint as well....

Have a wonderful day everyone!
C.S.Richmond Studios

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Decisions of the Times....

C.S.Richmond Studios :Commission Changes
Hi Everyone!
First off I would like once again to thank each and every one of you for your continued interest in my paintwork through the years! This year marks the milestone of my 10th year painting the 3-D equine sculptures! 

There will be some changes to my studio operations after the end of this year. I will be discontinuing the availability of my commission slot openings beginning January 1st 2014. My painting full time will end and I will obtain full time employment as soon as painting time will be limited to my spare time.

My decisions to stop doing commissions are based on the following:

1)The high ratio of customer commission non-payment/cancellations over the past 7 months.

2) Our 20% drop in household income due to my husbands job paying 20% less per hour plus the 2% increase in tax deductions from his pay check.

3)Due to the factories and businesses closing here in our area our small business has suffered due to the lack of people needing our services and the overload of these services offered by others in the current market with a serious lack of consumers.

My 2013 commission customers have graciously agreed to keep their slots and wait the additional time that will be needed to complete their orders. Thank you all! My commission books will be closed until further notice.

This "newsletter" will still be used to offer future sales items painted by C.S.Richmond Studios. I will also be using this blog to post photos and information about my sales items.

Thank you all again so much!
Sandra Hottinger
C.S.Richmond Studios

Monday, January 14, 2013

Momentum 2013

Hi everyone!

Bright brand spanking new year 2013 progress...can you hear the cogs turning? This year marks my 10th year milestone hand painting the miniature 3-D equines...time does fly!!!

This year will be dedicated to more sales items and fewer commissions. My husband and I talked about my past 10 years painting the horses... we agreed that throughout my 10 year 3-D equine painting journey I have sold every single item I have painted that was put up for sale...leaving me not a single painted sculpture in my collection. As I have written in my past blogs I have accumulated many boxes of unpainted resin sculptures...buying them throughout the years when I had the funds when I was working at my "real" job and had the extra funds. As a side note should the need arise I will go out of the house from painting and into the job force to work outside of our home...doing this would cut my painting time 1/2 to 3/4 if not never knows what the future holds in store.

Throughout my painting journey I have always thoroughly disliked auctions...I'm not sure why. Maybe it is the stress that came along with them...I'm not sure.

My husband has made a good point... "how many horses can you paint in a lifetime? How long can you paint before your eyesight makes it more and more difficult to paint?....There is a limit to the number of horses you will some point there will be no more..that will be it" 

Oh I've had the realization of the above words for quite some time :) Turning 54 this year I might more years..maybe 10? Maybe more? Who is what it is and that's ok.

Conclusion...therefore I will begin building a collection of my own while painting these resins I have stored away.. some of those items in my collection will have a price tag that I will be willing to accept in order to part with them. A set price. Other items that I paint and that I would easier part with, will have a lower set price. These sales items will be visible on my web page sales area and also through my email "sales & commissions" newsletters.

How do I gauge a set price? I have never been good at that either....the main reason for so many past I guess the way to gauge a good selling price for the items that are the items I wish to REALLY hold onto would be to base the price on the highest dollar figure that my work has produced via sales/auctions.....adding to that figure the rarity of the resin and the popularity of the resin sculpture and the sculptor....and how much I really DO or DO NOT want to part with the item.

There are also a few collaborations coming up this year between my self and a one or two customizers/sculptors. The sales prices on these items will be based on the contract between the sculptor/customizer and myself and the current market. These offerings will have a set price as well..

OK! Moving on the studio works in progress! All of the following are being hand painted in oil colors....some at later stages will have acrylic details.

"Bacchus" resin...sculpted by the talents of Emilia Kurila ..I acquired this copy via a cancellation/trade..he will be offered as a sales item at a set price....

Ravenhill Revisited in silver dun appaloosa...sculpted by the talents of Stacey Tumlinson and Hilary Hurley. Customized by me, Sandra Hottinger of C.S.Richmond Studios. This copy is marked in the resin material "RR5" and is one of the very first sold via the pre-sales. Ravenhill Revisited was VERY limited run in casting from what I have read. He will be an item retained in my personal collection but he will have a sales price tag as well.

Next up..."Spago" resin. Sculpted by the talented and gifted Brigitte Eberl and some custom work done by Dagmar. This item is a commissioned work in progress...

Last but certainly not least is the ever popular "Rose Reining Horse". This sculpture was brought to life by the super talents of Sarah Rose. For this project I chose the silver dappled dun appaloosa colors. Many hours of fine hair detailing remain on this project.

Have a wonderful day everyone! Wishing you all the very best of the bright new year 2013!!!
Sandra Hottinger
C.S.Richmond Studios