Author: Parker Stafford


A Handy Calculator For Determining Empty Box Weight

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It is helpful if you ship to know the approximate weight of a box for determining overall shipping weights. It’s possible that you don’t want to order every single box size that you might be using for orders in order to weight it. You might own an online business and you might need a fast way to get your total weight prior to putting those values into your website’s shipping calculator. Never fear, the corrugated box calculator is here. Look for the direct link at the end of the post.

When I first used this calculator, my biggest concern was over accuracy. I need the calculation to be as close to real life as possible so I don’t wind up inputting empty box weight along with packaging and product weights only to find I am losing money on each and every order that I send out because I have the weight underestimated. If I underestimate every order by half a pound, the result is I am not making as much as I thought because I am not charging the correct amount for shipping. For me, I want to know each cost as closely as possible. That way, I get to decide how much of that weight I will give to the customer on shipping price at checkout if I want to offer shipping as a freebie, a flat anount, ir some other shipping cost as an incentive to buy. This way, I don’t have to guess. It is also possible that I am including shipping in my price for product to make checkout simpler and faster. This allows me to do that much easier.

The calculator that I found is very close to actual weights. I weighed one of my boxes and then calculated the same box size using the calculator and it was very close to my measured weight. For me this will keep me from having to buy a box for each new size just to weigh to determine overall shipping weight on an order.

The site is a little clunky, but once you get there and familiarize yourself with the calculator, you can calculate all the box sizes that you need in no time.

The link below takes you to skunkworks packaging. You will see a container that looks like it is filled with orange juice. Look closely at the options and select the calculator for boxes.

Once there, skip the first two fields (“blank” fields) and just enter the three dimensions for your box. Tap the “square footage” field which is grey and all fields will self calculate (mobile version). You can recalculate any size by entering new values and tapping the calculated weight field. By doing this, you are given weight in both lbs. and grams.

This calculator will calculate two weights or “gauges” of cardboard. Since this calculator offers calculation of a basic board thickness or weight, this is a great calculator for me. Make sure that you hace the correct type checked (“ECT” type).

If you found this information helpful, click “like” and share the link with your friends. Follow us for more helpful tips on shipping, online business, and the beautiful glass that we sell.

Art and Design, Education, glassblowing, Uncategorized

Glassblowing Classes At Stafford Art Glass

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Classes in glassblowing are without a doubt a blast. This entry will provide you with what you need to know when registering for a class.

First, you need to know that most of our classes are actually one-on-one instruction with time slots on our registration page so we can teach each person one at a time. That means that each slot on our registration calendar is for one person making whatever item they have chosen to make. There are a couple of exceptions to thus rule, such as our day-long and weekend classes. More about those later…

A light moment with an evening group of enthusiastic glassblowers

This also means that if you are coming with a group and you are signing up for slots on a per-person basis, you will each want to book a slot that is back-to-back with the other people in your group.

Helpful tip:

Check out the length of our classes that require one person per time slot to figure out the amount of time your group will be at the studio. This is found on the booking calendar where you go to register. If you have seven people and everyone wants to make an item that takes an hour to make (again-see the time allotted on the registration form or class description) and decide if your group is willing to wait that long. In some cases, coming to the studio in batches of two or three people might make more sense.

Basic Requirements

Okay, you are signed up to make a suncatcher, here is what you need to do to blow glass…

Cotton shirt & jeans. Gloves and eye protection: Judy is ready to blow glass.

Your clothing needs to be cotton because synthetic melts. Check your clothes and yes, Spandex is synthetic. Dress comfortably. Shirts with long sleeves are a plus because they protect your arms which will get the most heat exposure. We have arm and eye protection.

Shoes must cover your feet. No sandals, flip-flops, pumps, or slippery shoes. Sneakers are great.

Age Range

Age ranges are ten years and up. Anyone younger can be on the blowing floor selecting colors and directing the making of a piece but children younger than this are too small to handle the blow pipes safely. However, we encourage young children to come and watch and have input on their own custom design. It is still lots of fun. All minor children must be accompanied by a parent.

Other Important Bits

Other things to consider are whether you are sensitive to heat. Elderly often have less ability to manage keeping their bodies cool. Please let us know if you are heat sensitive so we can keep you safe.

One-on-one Classes Vs. Group Classes

As described earlier in the post many classes are designed for one person at a time. These include ornaments, suncatchers, paperweights, drinking glasses, and bowls. Our group classes are a different animal entirely.

In a group class, namely our day-long and weekend class, up to four people per instructor needs to be registered for a class to “make.” If you can find four people, we will provide you or your group with discounts which save us from advertising for and finding the participants. Often if you are short people, we can try on our end to find participants.

These classes are taught to the entire group, with participants watching as each person has their turn making a variety of items. There is less “hand-holding” in these classes and participants do all of the steps involved in the making of pieces. This is a slower process but you will learn more. In our ornament class, for example, you will do about 70% of the steps with our instructor doing the other 30% to make sure the piece turns out near-perfect.

A day or weekend class takes you through vessels like tumblers and bowls, and also includes paperweights and suncatchers/ornaments. Depending on what time is left in the day, participants can choose additional pieces to make if they want. This is decided as a group.

You Can’t Take It With You?

All glass blown must anneal in our kilns. That means items made cannot be taken the day you make them but must be picked up later. Each class description on our site will tell you when you can expect to pick up your pieces. And yes, we are happy to arrange to ship your pieces to you if you can’t pick them up later.

To see our classes and what is available right now this link will take you to that page on our site:

Parker Stafford is the owner of Stafford Art Glass, a gallery and studio that produces a broad range of original designs in glass. The studio is located in Newport, Virginia.


New Glass Designs: Orbitals

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I hope everyone had a great holiday. It’s been a busy one at Stafford Art Glass. A shout-out goes to all the people who helped make our Fall season so much fun!

For years I gave been making oversized suncatchers for our clients. This came about organically when someone who was looking at my small 4-inch ornaments wondered if I could make them way bigger for a large window in their new home. The Orbital was born.

Orbitals are about 9 inches in diameter and are made to fill a window with color. Hung by a thin stainless wire, the piece doesn’t get lost like smaller suncatchers do.

In the Fall of 2017 I began designing new Orbitals for the line. Up until that time every piece was unique and people were wanting us to make them copies of pieces they had bought for themselves or for their friends as gifts. The idea was to go crazy with color…and with the names for them.

Blown glass suncatcher, rich transparent colors, nine inches in diameter
Orbital-photo by Stafford Art Glass

That’s Blue Sky Riot, in the picture above. It’s blue with a riot of other colors thrown in, naturally!

  • Approx. 9″ diameter
  • Ships within 3 days of your order
  • Includes story card and stainless wire with directions for hanging
  • Made by hand in our studio

Handblown suncatcher in rich colors, nine inches in diameter
Orbital-photo by Stafford Art Glass

Purple Mango Multiverse is a great pairing of purples, oranges, and reds. Perfect for a lover of all things purple.

  • Approx. 9″ diameter
  • Ships within 3 days of your order
  • Includes story card and stainless wire with directions for hanging
  • Made by hand in our studio

Milette's Garden is a large scale suncatcher in light green, golds, with light splashes of purples and pinks. This suncatcher is handblown and is approximately nine inches in diameter.
Orbital-photo by Stafford Art Glass

Millette’s Garden, which is lighter and has ribs that fold color, seeks to create a feeling of all things natural. A splash of blue, a hint of cranberry, this piece is subtle while elegant…but in a country garden kind of way.

  • Approx. 9″ diameter
  • Ships within 3 days of your order
  • Includes story card and stainless wire with directions for hanging
  • Made by hand in our studio

Caliope is a large scale handblown suncatcher in a beautiful mix of colors and is approximately nine inches in diameter.
Orbital-photo by Stafford Art Glass

Caliope is a georgeous mix of colors including blue, green, purple, orange, gold, and red, a combination that works in virtually any decor (hint: it’s also very popular with our customers).

  • Approx. 9″ diameter
  • Ships within 3 days of your order
  • Includes story card and stainless wire with directions for hanging
  • Made by hand in our studio

A handblown suncatcher with bands of color from reds and golds to blues and green. Nine inches in diameter, approximately.
Orbital-photo by Stafford Art Glass

Earth Wind And Fire. This piece reminds us of Hawaii. There, you will find active volcanoes spewing molten lava into the ocean. At that interface all of the colors in this piece are represented in dramatic fashion.

  • Approx. 9″ diameter
  • Ships within 3 days of your order
  • Includes story card and stainless wire with directions for hanging
  • Made by hand in our studio

There are many more Orbitals to shop for in our online store. Every piece is made here, is signed and ships with stainless wire for hanging along with instructions on how to hang your piece. Look for the link at the end of this post.

A Closeup & Our Promise To You

We pack a lot of color into our pieces. No two are precisely alike, but we guarantee that if you like the sample, you will love the one we send to you. If not, you are welcome to return it, no questions asked, up to two weeks after its arrival.

We hope you enjoy this closeup of a Caliope piece!

Beautiful closeup of transparent colors of a Caliope Orbital, a large nine inch handblown suncatcher
Closeup of Caliope Orbital – photo by Stafford Art Glass

Saving Money With Stafford Art Glass

I have announced specials on Facebook in the past and found lots of people asking me where to find the specials once I had already announced them just the day before. I would explain, “I just put it up on our Facebook page!” But a lot of people weren’t seeing our posts. I wondered why. For many, it was because they didn’t “follow” our page. Facebook has been throttling our exposure on your feed unless our fans click “follow” not just “like.” Talk about setting up hurdles. Sometimes even if you are a follower, you can miss our announcements in the tumble of the Facebook feed.

This got to be a problem. I decided to solve this problem and put all of my specials, offers, events, and promotions into one email that would get sent out each month. Then our customers would have all of the most important information at their fingertips! The V.I.P. Insider was born. I found out this was what other businesses have had to do because on social media, data is constantly moving, and if you snooze you can lose important announcements. An email is they way to deal with this.

This is the best way to save on our glass. Promotional pricing can be up to 60% off regular retail through our specials. Some specials, like Seconds, which are only available at the studio, are off even more! We recently sold a vase that would have been $80.00 for less than $20.00. It wasn’t even a second. The customer asked why it was a second. I explained I had no idea why it had not sold. It was beautiful, but it simply sat. It was a classic shape, and beautiful color. The customer felt the same way (and saved a lot of money!), so I decided it was time to mark it down. These are limited to sales at our studio and we announce them through my Insider newsletter.

I issue coupon codes good for each month for specific items bought online. I issue coupon codes for $ off classes or workshops at the studio too. In 2019 alone, customers saved over $1400.00 on classes at the studio. Some discounts were $6.00 for ornaments while others like pumpkins were $10.00 off per piece that they made.

For example, for the month of March, Orbitals will be 30% off. There will be a coupon for free shipping, too. You can get this and other discount codes by subscribing to the V.IP. Insider.

We promise we wont load up your inbox with spammy emails and it’s super easy to unsubscribe at any time. You can sign up for our V.I.P. Insider HERE.

Here’s the link to our SITE

Here’s to another great year. I’m looking forward to it!