Slugs: Beautiful, Playful, and Made of Glass!
A glass slug is never a project I’d thought to consider, until we were in the middle of a pandemic!
Committed to the cause of staying safe, our family of 4 took the pandemic to heart and we isolated ourselves in our home and glass studio during the months of March and April 2020.
Crazy TV shows like Joe Exotic became the binge watching norm in our house for our kids, while we filled out PPP loan applications and various grants to keep our business alive. Instagram was a great way to share interests and ideas in our family and also unplug from the stress of the situation. Because we all have such varied tastes in who and what we follow on IG, it was a great way for us to learn more about everyone’s interests and what was grabbing their attention at the moment.
Chris followed blacksmithing sites, while Jake was watching political and social issues. Lucy was more playful at first with mushrooms, humans of humanity and houseplants sites, until the social issues grabbed her attention. And me? I was watching natural movement sites, new age spirituality, plants, woodworkers, and ceramics sites.
I’m not a big fan of ceramics but I find the medium similar enough to glass that I like to watch certain sites to see current trends and I’m inspired by patterns and shapes. It was on one of these sites that I saw some colorful ceramic whales. They were adorable!
But whales? Those would never sell in Michigan. I looked up, reflecting upon this idea when I realized we were all still in our pajamas and it was dinnertime! What a bunch of slugs we were! And that’s the AH-HA moment. Slugs!
The next time we were in the studio, I grabbed a pipe and began the prototype process. The evolution would develop over the next few weeks so much so that by mid-April, we had the system down and were preselling them for when we reopened in May. They were super cute and every day we worked on them, the technique got better and better.
Each one is stamped with the GA logo on the underside, and because the slugs are rounded, they actually wobble a bit, which makes them seem alive. Each has it’s own character due to the eye placement and customers started going crazy once they saw them.
Pre-sales turned into an outdoor pickup one weekend in May. People took them home and then started sending in images of their slugs in the garden and on vacation with them at the beach. Super cute!
Today, in late October as I write this, the slugs are selling like mad! We created a puzzle with an image of them and we continue to update and modify the colors as we learn which slugs are the customer favorites (purple for sure, natural colors, not so much).
I seem to grab one or two of them myself every time a new batch is made. You can find one on my desk at home, one sits on the bathroom toilet, and one is on the windowsill in the kitchen. One in my car, in the shipping area, and also one near the key dish at home to greet me after a day of work. In this crazy world where nothing seems sane anymore, I have to admit, I love my slugs cheering me on with their goofy eyes and rounded shapes wobbling a cheery hello! It makes my day complete!