THEY may be closing down their shopfront, but Mark and Linda Floyd are looking at the future through rose-coloured glasses.
The owners and creatives of the award-winning Volcania Art Glass in Nundle, the Floyds cite drought, health and freedom as among their reasons for change.
In a few months’ time, they’ll be shutting the doors and taking care of business online and through a few outlets across the region.
Volcania Art Glass has been operating in Nundle since late 2013, after the couple started their business in 2000, opening their first shop two years late in Dungowan: Edelweiss Gallery.
“In the last few months, the drought has taken its toll,” Mrs Floyd said.
“The last thing people are thinking about is buying art instead of food, fuel, food for their animals … it’s not a necessity of life, it’s a ‘want’ or ‘I would like’.”
She said their lease was ending and the new terms were “not conducive for us to continue”.
“There have also been a few health issues, so we thought, ‘Well, let’s reassess where we take our business; what we’re going to do at this time in life as we’re getting older’.
“Hopefully it’s going to free up some time for us to see the grandkids, get our health back and just continue doing what we love doing, which is make our glass.”
Mr Floyd said there was “a feeling of loss” but “although we’re losing our physical presence, the business continues”.
Mr Floyd said their lives in the region had been quite a departure from their old lives in Sydney before a treechange.
He is a former commercial pilot and she is a former registered nurse.
“Making your living solely from art, that is particularly satisfying,” he said.
They will continue to create their sale items and commission work from their home studio in Ogunbil, and also plan to reinstate travelling workshops for small groups.
One of the quirkier commissions they’d had over the years, Mrs Floyd said, was for the Centenary of Federal Policing in Australia exhibition last year in Warwick.
It represented the “Warwick Incident”, in which protesters threw eggs at then-PM Billy Hughes.
Furious that Queensland Police would not charge them under commonwealth law, he created the first federal policing agency within two weeks.
“The Australian Federal Police contacted us and said, ‘Can you do something in the form of a raw, splattered egg?’” Mrs Floyd said.
“We sort of scratched our heads … it was one of the more bizarre ones. It sort of stretches the imagination, sometimes.”
To be missed
Nundle Business Tourism and Marketing Group’s Megan Trousdale, also a fellow business owner, said the village would “miss them for sure”.
“Their business is only open a few days a week, but it’s definitely something that I point visitors to on the days they’re open, because they have that handmade artisan product; it is what people come to Nundle for.”
Mrs Trousdale said they would also be missed on “a peer and friendship basis”.
”I am excited for them as well … I can understand the change is a loss for Nundle, but it opens up opportunities and freedoms for Mark and Linda.”