Hands up if you know what the difference is between the Shakspeare Gallery and the factory shop.
Ok, so confession time from me. I wasn’t entirely sure – but now it’s crystal.
The gallery is where all the top notch pieces go – as selected by Mr Shakspeare himself, the very best of the best. And these pieces get the extra special seal of approval in the form of a signature from Will.
So what’s the deal with the factory shop, then, because those pieces are all really great too?
Well, here’s the thinking. Will can only make one best piece from each range – so they are gallery worthy. All the pieces he considers not quite as perfect (albeit that us mere mortals wouldn’t notice) go into the factory shop at a knocked down price.
So really it’s a win-win. You get either the top of the pops piece from the Shakspeare Gallery, or you get an absolute steal at the factory shop, because it didn’t reach the exacting standards of the maker.
Will tried to explain things in his words. It went something a bit like this:
“There are lots of reasons why a piece of glass ends up in our factory shop. We try and have as high a standard as we can. Some works get rejected for flaws I can’t even see; some get rejected because they are too big or small or wide or narrow or… or… or…
“It’s like I’m trying to tell a story with my glass, and with some, the ending isn’t quite right. Others just went wrong in the making process. Some have a flaw in the colour or a bubble in the wrong place.
There are lots of reasons. But the bottom line is, if you like it – grab a bargain.”
To make it extra clear, we’ve had a bit of a sort around. One good thing about life in Covid times is that there’s slightly more time to consider things like this, and make things more accessible, obvious, and welcoming.
We really hope you’ll like the new layout. We’ve made it easier to see what the price differences are in the factory shop – you’re welcome to come in and browse. It’s open currently if you ask Will and Johnny nicely on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, but when the restrictions are fully lifted it will be open from 10am-3pm. They’re also up for answering questions, as long as they’re not in the middle of blowing some incredibly difficult piece, or an expensive commission! If that happens, well, they’ll probably just ignore you (in the politest way they can!)
The gallery is also now a little more streamlined so you can see the pieces more easily.
All in all, it’s a rather lovely place to come and shop. So when you get the chance, come and see the new layout and don’t forget – there’s this amazing factory shop where you can get great value glass, all because Will didn’t think it was quite the best of the best.
When the restrictions are finally eased totally, we hope you’ll see a difference in the gallery and workshop areas, and you’re welcome to come and watch glassblowing, and pick up some fine glass from one of the best in the business (no, he didn’t pay me to say that!)