Monday, October 29, 2018

Dancing in the crazy........

It is that time of the year; gardens closing down, chores piling up, show deadlines piling up, desk piling up with invoices and tax crap, studio in full swing, kitchen rock'n and wait for it........ time for home repair!  And I won't even broach the midterm election insanity because I just can't.  Facebook is but a distant memory for me.  I tried so hard to pull the reins in on this runaway horse that seems to slip in the backdoor every year.  This year that horse is the size of a clydesdale on steroids.  

My grand plan has somehow gone off the rails, anybody shocked?  Well that would be me because I did everything to keep this horse on tranquilizers this year!  I hit September and I had signed up for two show and just figured that would be enough but then another show called and it's a show I had looked at for the last few years.  Pondered on that one hard and thought oh why not it's on down time, how hard can it be to toss up a booth for three days?  And then found out the booth is 8x10 and no canopy frames are allowed, be prepared to set your booth up around columns and benches in a museum and we won't tell you where your booth is until you show up for set up on Nov. 8th.  My entire lighting system is built on my canopy frame which happens to be 10 x 10.  Then, no complaints here, the October show all but sold out. Undeterred the wheel got bumped to warp speed, Butch was put on notice not to ask for anything and expect nothing and I contemplated a new lighting frame.  November 8, 9, 10 and 11th seems so far away......   

The end of September I noticed a show I had been interested in, more as a family event than anything else; THE OGLEBAY FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS, Wheeling WV.  Mostly because they had Santa's Reindeer Training Camp and Breakfast with Santa and thought Butch would probably wet himself if I got in.   Sent the images in, plunked down the jury fee and thought, snowballs chance in hell.  Trumpets sounded Oct 20th...... Congratulations!  Set up is the exact same time as the other show.  Rolled all this around for a day or two and my gut told to me to cancel one of the shows but my head said; Go for it, just do it!  (Nike, there are times your slogan sucks!).  So I'm going to JUST DO IT.  I will set up at Canton and work the three day show.  I am setting up the booth in my studio and taking copious pictures, numbering everything, loading the van on Saturday morning, Nov. 10th and sending Butch down to Wheeling, WV with a blind dog to help to set up the booth.  Chances are Kirby will come back with a red glowing nose and Butch will be driving a sleigh.  

Oh and I failed to mention I juried into a small competition on for a local advertising company to have images published in their annual calendar.  I've done it before and it's a cool local event.  This was back in May.  Sound those damn trumpets again...... this year they are hosting a gallery show of work accepted into the calendar and the opening night is (somebody hose down the trumpets!)  Nov. 9th!  Sooooo the Canton show closes at 6 pm and gallery show opens at 7 pm.  Anybody want to buy a lottery ticket it snows on Nov. 9, 10 and 11?  

As I rolled all this around in my head and I reached for a bag of clay coming up empty handed.  I called for 500 pounds of Tucker clay.  Normally I run to Avon, NY to pick this stuff up, I love it that much!  Tucker truck was stuck at the Canadian border, standby.  Crap on cracker!  Call Standard Clay in Pittsburgh as my local supplier doesn't stock the clay I use and is trying to train us to order two weeks in advance..... BaHaaaaa, keep dreaming on that one!   Load the Kirby in the van and off to Pittsburgh on a fine Fall morning to pick up 600 pounds of clay.  And can I just say how much I miss Carla at Standard!  Back in time to unload and wedge out two boxes of clay for a morning throwing session.  
Everybody needs a pupperchino on a long ride.......

and then this happened........ 
and the company sent the wrong elements ...... just no words at this point.  (and I am so grateful for email because I went back and pulled up my correspondence and really wasn't me this time!! Phew!) 

and about this time things were spinning out of control so I went to the kitchen and baked bread, lots of bread..... I have fallen down the crevasse' of sour dough.  While I waited for the bread to bake I managed to wade through a mountain of paper work, getting my desk cleaned off, taxes paid and bookkeeping done. 

While in complete denial about deadlines, impending doom and the going gets really tough, the tough go on craigslist!  I am loving that people buy appliances and then become afraid of them.  The Cadillac of canners is the All American canner and here it was; used once by a woman who freaked herself out so badly she vowed never to can again and tossed in jars, lids, and everything else you would ever need to put up a jar of peaches.  $125.... this is a $300 canner and I had canning lust deep in my heart and I am a kitchen sinner! 

The 6 qt. professional, 525 watt Kitchenaid mixer I have also lusted after for a couple years but they run around $600.  Cue the trumpets, there it was, on craigslist but alas it was the other side of Erie PA but wait I am going to Avon, NY to pick up clay if the truck ever get across the border!  Asking price; $200.  Too big and she was afraid of it...... I mentioned I had a smaller 4 qt. Kitchenaid.  So I gave her $100 and my old Kitchenaid mixer and peeled out of her driveway with a new mixer and 500 pounds of clay because indeed the truck has crossed the border. 

and then we had a hail storm and wind storm and neighbors lost porches and roofs and the street was closed due to down power lines and we were really really lucky

and then the drywall guy we talked to in June said he could finally start ........ 

and that leads down the road to new paint and replacing old old old carpet..... old houses are just so damn needy!  I rolled into Home Depot on Sunday morning and in an hour picked out paint and carpet!  Stress can work wonders on decision making..... 

and then this happened and you know it's gonna be OK...... 
The Aconitum survived the hail storm so buck up and get busy!

For all my friends who have checked in because I checked out, thank you!  I will surface soon if this next week doesn't kill me....... Kirby will post an update if it does. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Show Time!

and it's good to be home........ (mug by Lorna Meaden)

My mind is reeling from a weekend of rain, mud and pottery patrons.  The rain, humidity, freezing temps and then heat seemed relentless this year and yet there were wonderful pockets of sunshine.  Set up on Wednesday went pretty well weather wise and other wise too.  Thursday morning the only thing left to do was pricing.  

The show, Ohio Mart at Stan Hywet Hall in Akron is normally an hour drive.  Thursday morning turned into a two and half hour nightmare drive and I wondered if I would make the opening to get the lights turned on.  If we have the technology for driverless cars we should have the technology to disengage a cell phone when your car door shuts!  911 would be the only number you could dial.  I do not own a cell phone as I have squirrel syndrome.  I would also break limbs as I would be looking down all the time and I prefer to look up these days.  I encountered not one but two accidents on the way down.  I was also unaware that the berm is a passing lane if someone is in a hurry.  WTF people!  Also we are just not nice to each other anymore!  Need to do a bit of pondering on that one.  The ride home was not much better.  Friday morning only one accident.  

My brain is playing havoc with me this morning.  I sold well.  What did I sell?  Mostly mugs with gingko designs or bunnies and carrots.   I was sold out by Saturday morning.  I price mugs at $32.00.  I had carved porcelain tea bowls that I personally love and only sold one.  Iron reds just sat there, celadons just sat there.  The end of the show and right side of my booth was pitiful.  The left side looked like the day I set up.

The drive home was great as the load was considerably lighter, my bank account had a reprieve and it was Sunday. 

Soooo here is the dilemma.  I spent 6 weeks weaving pots for gallery shows.  I have sold two pots at the gallery shows for a total of $234.50.  Are pots that are fussy, high end better made by artists working at universities collecting a regular pay check and getting hospitalization?  I don't know and I am not being snarky it is just a reality.  I don't get retirement and I am only as good as my last firing, not so much my last gallery show.   I am now thinking of how many mugs and bowls I could have made in those 6 weeks and had a bit more in my bank account.  Seriously this is driving me bonkers.  I have another show in 4 weeks and will be in the studio with the pedal to the metal trying to catch up on what was sold.  Mother Hubbards cupboard is bare.  I have woven pots coming out my ears but the functional stuff is gone.  I also heard several patrons say ....... "thank you for getting your pottery out of the 70's".  I heard it on Saturday and I heard it again on Sunday.   Over the last 35 years of pots and all things pottery I have learned to be flexible and change up glazes and clay bodies but who knew people would that, out loud.  I always felt hand thrown or handmade pottery was kind of timeless unlike the mass produced stuff which does go out of vogue. 

Ohio Mart is an awesome show in every respect; from the organizers to the patrons to my whacky neighbors.   Peggy sporting a new purse from the vintage tent :)  

We have become friends over the last three years and it is always fun to "catch up".   

I'm not saying I will never make another woven pot by any stretch but I think I will become more judicious about shows I commit to and at what time of the year.  Curious to see if I get my Etsy store updated, will it become active as I do a few more shows?  

I can't even believe I am still vacillating on these issues.  I started with wisteria back in the day and it paid for my studio, kilns and trips to far off places while dragging my kids behind me.  
I need to add a kiln room to the studio in the near future and I wouldn't mind a cover over the exposed outdoor work area.  

Today I will unload a van full of muddy fixtures and wet canopy; hose down the rug and pedestals but first there is time for coffee on the patio and catch up time with a very much missed buddy, Kirby.