Monday, May 23, 2011

Lessons from the Farmers Market.......

16:  Matt Gaddie
17: Martha Puckett

Added to the mug collection this year!

Pulled out of the driveway at 4:02 a.m. and hit the road south to Louisville, KY.   As a member of the Louisville Clay Guild I was excited to participate in the Home Grown Home Thrown Guild sale.  Anxious to see what was new in the potters realm of Kentucky.
Six and half hours later I pulled into the Deer Park Baptist Church parking lot to see Ms Linda Bowman waving, smiling and showing me where to park.  Set up started at 11:00 a.m. and I made it by 11:04 a.m.

It hit me on Thursday, while packing that I was not going to the Smithsonian but an asphalt parking lot on Bardstown Road.  Why did I need the trailer?  But I packed on......... I took bee plates, I took woven pots, I took lanterns, I took tied down urns....... I took it all, because you just never know who is going to show up at a farmers market!  I took shelves, I took pedestals, I took the big canopy and on it went.  The truck was packed, the trailer was packed, the thermos was full of hot coffee and I held a piece of toast clenched in my teeth as I waved goodbye to the dog and husband.
Butch and Abby were staying behind to attend the opening at Lakeland Community College.
Yeah for the "Art Pot" that was accepted and won the Jurors Award for Three Dimensional Media. The electric bill will get paid!  Thank You Lakeland!!  (very cool because it's where I took my first clay class so many years ago)    Lakeland CC May Show

Back to the Parking Lot.  Not wanting to impede other artists from setting up, I parked in the back lot and lugged my stuff up hill and across gravel to the display area.
Remember the Hungarian Motto is:  "Why Do When You Can Over Due?"  
Or as Dolita reminded me several times....... If there is a hard way to do it you and Gene will figure it out!
Setting up the Craft Hut took a bit longer than the potters around me who brought the EZ UP...... there is a reason it's called an EZ UP and since there was no wind or rain and just sun the EZ UP was the way to go.  Drilled the shelves together and put the pedestals together.  It took me until 4:00 p.m. to set up.  I was still pricing when shoppers were coming through the door.  And can I say I was icky sticky and not so fresh!
Looking like I had been dragged behind the trailer from Cleveland.

Sales were good and expenses & gas were covered!
Sales on Saturday were better than Friday and I was so thankful as my brake light was on all the way home.  The weather was hot this year but no rain, Happy Dance!

Best part of doing this show is dinner.  Six tired potters rolled down the sidewalk around 9 p.m to a great little eatery for drinks and serious noshing.  The company at the table was fantastic.  We talked pots, shows at the regional level, shows at the national level, studio sales, teaching private lessons and how to make a living at this thing called pottery, can it be done?  The foibles of the day........

Saturday was hot and I was the last to pack up and leave the lot......... simplify, you must simplify!!!!!  

The weekend was mind boggling and so much was learned.  After not participating in street shows for the last 10 years or more there was a lot to learn......... again.

Re-cap of the weekend............

1.  Get rid of the stainless shelves.
2.  Hollow-core doors are fantastic!
3.  Art does not sell at the farmers market leave it home.
4.  What did sell?  Anything with a bee on it, lanterns, flower frog vases, pate' dishes and anything with chopsticks, pate' knife or candle.
5.  Talked oil spot glazes with Sebastian and there will be testing in my future!
6.  Scheduled a show at the Mary Anderson Center for July/August 2012....... plenty of time to load the trailer!
7.  Be the grape and not the raisin....... stay hydrated!  Put water out in a hand thrown bowl for our 4 legged friends, they are way hotter than the nut holding the leash.
8.  Added to the mug collection and scored an awesome wood fired batter bowl from Matt Gaddie, yes, I'm a fan.

9.  Spandex looks good on a table but not on people.........
10. Plan two studio sales a year, this year it will be one and it will be on July 16th & 17th. 
11. Do at least one or two national shows a year.
12.  Enter gallery exhibitions too.
13.  Nothing more joyous than taking a weekend to hang with friends, fondle pots and bask in the company of hard working potters..........
14.  You're not getting any younger......... damn.

I am having trouble splitting my work into the world of "Art" and "Craft".  Each takes just as much thought in the execution.  The bee plates, pumpkin pots and lanterns took just as long to get to as the woven rimmed pots.  To stay financially afloat right now it was a general consensus around the table of wise potters you need to be in both worlds.  Which is great because I love both worlds.

The batter bowl is just screaming for Sunday morning pancakes! 

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