Harmony Ball Announcement
Bob Olszewski's Personal Response.
February 28, 2011
Harmony Ball Company announces discontinuation of Story-Time collection.
Webmaster Comment: A portion of the original announcement with reference to Story-Time dealers has been removed as the original link is no longer applicable.
"As of December 31, 2006, Harmony Ball Company will no longer serve as the worldwide distributor of the Story-Time collection. For three years, we have been proud caretakers of Robert Olszewski’s delightful Disney miniatures. We feel privileged that we were able to share in Bob’s imagination and are grateful to Bob, the Story-Time dealers, and of course all of the collectors who appreciate the fineness, delicacy and dynamism of Bob’s vision.
Yet we feel saddened and disappointed that our distribution efforts were not enough to sustain a business model. Bob goes to considerable time and expense to create each sculpture, and because he is a perfectionist, he even oversees production in the Far East. With decreased sales, Bob’s design costs have become prohibitive. We apologize for burdening you with our business travails, but we feel that it is best that you understand the situation. It was not due to lack of love or interest on any of our parts – simply market conditions.
A number of styles are still available at Harmony Ball headquarters for immediate shipment to retailers. [The complete list is available by clicking here.] If you do not yet own any of the in stock styles and wish to add them to your collection, contact your favorite Story-Time retailer.
Here, you will also find more information about each piece, including the edition size, retail price, dimensions, and story page. Or, feel free to call us at 800-783-5683, ext. 214 to find the dealer nearest you. We encourage you to visit www.olszewskistudios.com for updates on Bob’s current and future projects.
Wishing you a future full of magic and delight.
Harmony Ball Company"
August 30, 2006
A Personal Note From Bob Olszewski on Story-Time:
If there is anything I have learned to live with in my 30-year career as an artist is that all collections do come to an end and not always how I planned. Story-Time has been one of the longest running collections since I started carving the first releases in 1999. The Story-Time project has allowed me to grow artistically in ways I would never have imagined as the early collection releases were concepts with a heavy influence of my early work. European figurative porcelain, i.e., single figures with no backgrounds, has evolved into an approach closer to "paintings."
Some of my favorite Story-Time approaches can be seen by visiting the collection pages on Olszewski Studio web-site to include:
Complexity - First, the miniature format allowed me to carve complex scenes rarely seen outside of the film in 3-D models. When will you ever again see all the pink elephants on parade from Dumbo, or all of the dwarfs lined up ready to be kissed by Snow White in The Goodbye Kiss?
Fresh Approaches - The art form allowed me to capture familiar scenes in ways never done before in 3-D. When have you seen both the inside and outside of Flower's Cave as in the "Wake Up Flower" scene from Bambi? Have you ever seen "Bravest of them All" and Dopey going up the steps, complete with shadows?; usually, you just get the candle.
Color - Because I have included so many backgrounds in the pieces, when the collection stands together, the color format of each film emerges. Characters alone without backgrounds won't achieve this. Look at the difference in feeling between the blue colors of Cinderella and the warm earthy tones of the Snow White Collection.
Assembled Works - Story-Time was a great step in presenting complex scenes and giving value to collectors. The early Goebel Miniatures collections featured individual dwarfs that retailed between $60 and $75 each. In Snow White's "Going Home" the assembled dwarfs on the log retailed for $165. Under the old approach, the same piece would have retailed for at least $480 to $525. This new assembly approach also allowed me to paint the dwarfs' shadows on the log so I could capture the feeling of the sun going down at the end of the work day. If the dwarfs were separate, I would not be able to paint the shadows in and would not be able to capture the feeling of this special end of the work day piece.
Story-Time may have ended, but the concept of capturing stories in miniatures will continue at Olszewski Studios for many years to come. The new concepts in my Studio begin where Story-Time left off. The first 5 concepts we have are well underway but it will take at least another 6 months to bring them to market. If you like, post your email address with us and we will be glad to notify you upon future releases. This open-time, until the new releases are ready, offers collectors the opportunity to fill in their Story-Time collections.
Also, something else to look forward to are my personal insights on "The Secondary Market of Olszewski" soon to be added to our web-site. When I write up "Story-Time" because of its far reaching impact artistically, I will be certain to identify it as one of the most important concepts of my career. As an example, click on HM and read how the Story-Time work has impacted other ongoing Olszewski projects.
Am I sad about this? Yes, I really enjoyed Story-Time, and I am so happy that I have new opportunities ahead. And, when you have time, check out the complete Story-Time collections we have added to our web-site - Collections and Themes. After spending some time in this area, I am sure you will agree with me that "Story-Time" like the classic films and the stories I have captured will be much loved by new generations of Disney collectors for many more years to come, no matter what the price.
Posted: August 31, 2006
Subject: NEXT CHAPTER
"Life is not a dress rehearsal"....Robert Olszewski. So, Bob, What's next? Every time there is a change in your career something more intense and wonderful emerges. We can't wait! This quote is our family motto. It gave Tom [my husband] the courage to change careers and our 18 year old son is driven by it. We thank you for your contributions to our lives! As Russell [our son] would say - Robert, YOU are the man!!! Fondly, Debbie
Posted: September 1, 2006
Subject: The Sad End of Story-Time
It is very sad that the Story-Time collection is coming to an end. As someone who owns every single piece and who looked forward to each new release with great excitement, I can tell you that I will truly miss the line. I loved the striking designs, the poses and arrangements of the classic characters in ways never done before. The constant striving for improvement. It is an awesome collection I will always treasure and will display side by side with my Disney miniatures from the Goebel days. Thank you for your efforts, for your artistry, for your stretching to make each new miniature better than the last. Your efforts are appreciated profoundly.
Posted: September 2, 2006
Subject: Disney Storytime Collection
Dear Robert Olszewski: I must share the following with you. You have always been a challenge to collect. In the late 1980's and early 1990's I collected some of your Goebel Disney miniatures; stopped midway because they were too dificult to get; later in the internet-ebay era went back and finished the collection. In the late 1990's and early millinium I both wanted and not wanted to collect the Disney StoryTime series. I thought them expensive and like it would take forever to collect them. And so I waited, obsessing all the while that if I waited too long some pieces could sell out and I wouldn't be able to find them later. When you started to go full speed ahead with the Sleeping Beauty series I took the plunge and got all the pieces in Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Peter Pan. I thought collecting the story elements that would be upcoming would keep me busy.
And now the news! How 'angryfying', that the series has been discontinued by Harmony Ball. Each of the stories needed to be finished and now they are not. Some significant missing story scenes are from Sleeping Beauty, such as that of Aurora lying in her bed sleeping and receiving the magic wake up kiss; Aurora dancing with the prince; Briar Rose dancing with the animals in the forest; the 3 faries making the dress - so many. Other story elements are also significantly missing from Snow White - Snow White in her glass coffin; on the bed; any reference to the Evil Queen. Cinderella - references to the glass slipper. I can go on and on. The stories must be told. And I hope they will be told.
I feel like a child in a nursary being told an exciting fairy tale before bedtime without it being finished. And you are a magical artist. And so I must return to you time and time again the way I return to read my favorite bedtime stories by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen and Disney. I shall be here waiting for you to continue your stories and crafts, the way I was here with you since I discovered you all the way back then duirng the Disney Goebel phase; the period of the Jewerly box collections; the Disney StoryTimes, and the future. My Continues support and blessings, Oscar
Posted: September 3, 2006
Subject: Future Releases
Very upset the [Story-Time] Collection is over. I have every piece in the collection. Sadto see it end. Please add me to your email list to notify me of future releases. Thank you Larry
Posted: September 11, 2006
I had the great honor to meet Mr. Olszewski at the Gallery of the Lakes in Rock Hill, NY and cannot wait for new pieces to arrive. Although it is sad to hear about Story Time, I believe things happen for a reason and better things will come as a result. Best wishes in your future creations! Melanie
Posted: December 17, 2006
Hello, Just some thoughts. An extended Disney miniature creation is owed on Sleeping Beauty, maybe because back in the late 1980's and early '90's when the Goebel Disney miniatures were getting done, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio and Cinderella and Peter Pan got the complete treatment and Sleeping Beauty never made an appearance. Then in the mid-1990's when the Jewerly Box collection got under way Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs and Cinderella made it into reasonable completion and once again Sleeping Beauty was missing in action. Then when the Disney Storytime collection made the rounds, Sleeping Beauty was initiated (with 7 issues) but the series ended before it could be completed. And although the Snow White and Cinderella were also left uncompleted due to the Disney StoryTime closure, at least there are a whopping 14 pieces in Snow White and a stunning 11 pieces in Cinderella. I don't know what the future holds. I can see Olszewski continuing to work with Disney. So this is just a wish. Please make some grandiose collection of miniatures on the Disney Sleeping Beauty including environmental settings. Whether these will be done or can be done in the style of the Goebel Miniatures or the Jewerly Box collection or the closed Disney Storytimes or a totally new concept remains to be seen. Think about it in the make a wish department. Sincerely, Oscar