Right now, I am missing the day to day reminders of how many good people there are in the world. I live in a vibrant community in Chicago that has felt like a ghost town for months, and as we “roll-back” into earlier COVID-19 response phases state by state, I’d like to propose that we as an art supply industry connect as a community with The Rainbow Glass Project: rainbow digital galleries and/or window display installations of colored glass.
How does this project connect to your business? Stained Glass is on-trend, up cycling is on-trend, and National Spray Paint Day is right around the corner! Everyone could use some creativity in their lives right now, and this outdoor, gloves and masks required, self-led, socially distanced community project is the perfect way to celebrate. Try out the Rainbow Glass Project to bring a little color to your neighborhood and connect you with the rest of the art supply industry community.
Invite your customers to join you for a virtual demonstration then drop off their pieces curbside for a community built installation of rainbow glass. This is a vibrant way to join together in a community project, and who knows, maybe we’ll go viral!
Before the event: Share posts on social media. Tag local newspapers in your social media posts to help spread awareness. Connect with local organizations to spread awareness about the day. Create kits, to be available for purchase, that contain a glass spray paint, some colors of alcohol ink, and a paint marker. Let customers know they will need to provide and up cycle their own glassware that can then be donated with curbside drop off at your store any day you are open.
The Digital Event
Here are some suggestions:
- Have completed samples to show and tell.
- Demonstrate with a hands-on approach, you will want to do the entire project from beginning to end in real time with a slight pause after each step to discuss
- Avoid dead air! Keep positive and relaxed, but fill the times when you are working with tidbits about the brands you are working with, why you like using them, what other projects you are working on, etc.
- If spray painting isn’t your bag, that’s okay! Your customers will be just fine going through a project with someone else who isn’t a pro. It’s approachable and highlights the community element.
- While attendees are captivated, it’s time to put your best graFEETti forward and discuss the versatility of spray paint as well as show off the different Effects that are available. For a DIY crowd, the Crackle Effect and Marble Effect will be of interest.
For those who might not want to use spray paint, or for another pop of color, a great addition to your event would be alcohol ink. Drop 1/8 teaspoon of isopropyl alcohol per 8 oz and 3-5 drops of Pinata Alcohol Ink into the jar. Put the lid on tightly and shake it up. Let it sit for one minute then swirl the color around the jar again. Educate your customers to leave the lids to avoid mess, then pop them open to let them air dry.
Sell a Kit containing:
- Montana Glass Spray
- Alcohol inks in a variety of colors
- Tape: Painters Tape or Washi tape will do
- Paint marker in cream/white/black
- Clean glassware—dig through your recycling bins, or clean out the old china cabinet. Yogurt jars, spaghetti jars, wine glasses, figurines, vases—all will do. If you put together an installation, you are looking for a variety of sizes and shapes.
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Paper grocery bags
Running the Digital Event
- Set up an area downwind of anything you wouldn’t want to risk spray paint particles on.
- Cover your work area with brown paper bags and put plastic over any nearby cars, plants or precious items.
- If you are working above a hard surface, tape down plastic below the tables; it will assist with clean up of any breakage. We live in a chaotic world, so have a broom and dustpan available as glass can (and likely will) shatter. Speaking from experience.
- Ensure all glassware is label free and clean.
- Use painter’s tape or Washi tape and paper if needed to cover the bottom of the glassware, where it sits on a shelf. Tip: cut out pieces from the paper bags or butcher paper to cover the bottoms of large pieces of glassware.
- Demonstrate the spray paint process. Here’s a loose script:
- Before we begin, is your mask covering your nose and mouth? Do you have some protective eye-wear? How about gloves? Great! Pick your color, and let’s go!
- Practice how you will rotate your piece while you spray.
- Shake the can vigorously before you spray and between sprays. This is a thin paint and we need to keep that pigment moving around!
- Let’s spray a test line or two on a piece of foam core, white or black paper to practice even spraying pressure and avoiding short spurts that can drip.
- Apply the paint to your glass in THIN even layers, with a steady stream of paint rather than short spurts. Carefully rotate your piece for an even application.
- Let it sit and dry for 2 minutes between coats. Optional: 2 minute Dance Party.
- Don’t touch the paint while it’s wet unless you want to leave your fingerprints and reveal your secret identity!
- Once your piece is dry to the touch, add another thin coat. Repeat until desired frostiness is achieved.
- Remove the Washi/painters tape.
- Sign the bottom of their glassware with a paint marker.
- When you are done working, tip your can upside down and spray until it runs clear.
Provide instructions for participants to leave their pieces at the “donation station” for you to create your installation with. Provide a deadline and an installation launch day. You can always add more pieces as they filter in and customers want to participate. You will have the video instruction to share on social media later for those who cannot attend the event!
Showcasing The Finished Work
- Physical Installation: If you have the ability to display an installation of these pieces in store, or in your storefront, great! Keep the pieces your customers bring to your “donation station” to combine into an installation. I am partial to the idea of a window display to get you Social Media points—selfie opportunities at all hours! Make sure you have a sign near the installation that has your information, how to reach/follow you, and #RainbowGlassProject #AloneTogether #ArtStoresUnite. If you don’t have space in store, ask if you can donate the installation to a community organization.
Digital Rainbow: If a physical installation isn’t possible, invite attendees to take a photo and email it to you. Assemble these photographs by color into an Instagram post or on your website. Use the hashtags #RainbowGlassProject #AloneTogether #ArtStoresUnite