January has been cold but mostly clear, with the surrounding pastures and fields glittering with morning frost that retreats with the advancing sun. With the glass furnace off since the beginning of December, the workshop—a stone building with concrete floors—is gripped in cold and seems lifeless without the low roar of the flame. The single digit readout on the temperature controller seems unnatural and even eerie.
In any other year, we are kept busy during January attending large trade shows in London and Dublin; the beginning of another year in the annual cycle of studio life. This year, not so much.
In a former life as a wholesale supplier, our year would be over by the third week of November, as retailers wanted all of their stock before Black Friday. This year, as we moved online, the flurry of activity around the Christmas holiday ensured that most of December was given over to fulfilling orders, right up until Royal Mail’s shipping deadlines, which was a big change for us.
In that regard, our online retailing—the pandemic experiment that launched in late August—was a modest success and we would like to thank all of our friends and family, as well as everybody who discovered us through Instagram and Facebook, for supporting this new venture. We are encouraged to keep going; to keep developing new products and making new posts about our life as glassmakers on the north Antrim coast of Ireland.