Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Art Fair Booth Project

Remember the 90's? I do. I lived in St. Paul for most of them, weighed 20 pounds less than I do now, and I mostly sold my work at arts fairs. And made a living!

I've been saying for years that I am should go back to doing art fairs; my obstacles have been vehicular and boothal. (Do you like that word I just made up? It means "of, or related to, a booth.") Recently, as I've mentioned, I was invited to do a local art fair, one close enough to make multiple trips to bring the wares and the display, so the vehicle part is solved: now I just need a booth display.

The display in my head is awesome, and I was holding out until I had time and money to build it, but with less than three weeks left before the show it's time to admit that the awesome booth is not going to happen, and to settle for the adequate booth: a rehabbing of my old display - the one I used in the 90s.

So, let's see what needs to be done.
  1. After a decade of schlepping and another of unheated storage, the stain and urethane are looking pretty shabby, and even flaking off in places.
  2. The hinges are rusty and ugly
  3. And, last but far from least, one of the ladder-supports has been cannibalized for another project, and will need to be rebuilt.
Surfaces first - I can get some sanding discs and re-purpose the angle grinder I bought to clean the kiln shelves.
To save time, I decided to paint rather than sand right down to the wood and re-stain and vanish. Ain't primer wonderful? Sticks to anything, and covers a multitude of sins.

Now, I've got to make a decision for the final color. Everyone tells me I would be wise to paint it white and keep it simple, and I'm sure that's true...but I can't help wanting something more fabulous than conventional wisdom allows.

When I think about what draws me in at a fair, honestly, at first, it's not the work. I get pulled in by the booths that are appealing, the booths that
are themselves artworks, and then look at the work once I am in. Am I alone in this? I think not. On the other hand, hasn't this resistance to conventional wisdom lead me to some spectacular failures? Why yes. Yes it has. Sometimes the fabulous in my head does not translate, and even other artists don't see what I was trying to do.

Still, like Popeye, I yam what I yam, and even though this will not be the awesome booth in my head, I am leaning toward some and pattern that harks back to the colors and patterns on the pots.

I've got until tomorrow morning to decide.


Linda Starr said...

I just redid my shelves and was going to stain them. But after I saw my work on the plain wood I decided to leave them that way. The other's I built had paint which never dried and they kept sticking together and then the paint got scraped up. Good luck with your's can't wait to see the finished project.

smartcat said...

When I did shows I painted my shelves white and covered my tables in black felt. I had many different runners of various colored felts that I could use on the shelves and tables to provide the contrast I wanted.
Felt is generally 2 yds wide so you can get long pieces of any width you want. Just be sure that the person doing the cutting makes a straight line.

sheapottery said...

If you decorate your shelves, you limit what can go where. "If I put this pot here, will it clash with the decoration/color scheme of the shelf it sits on?"

Your work has glorious pattern and color in it, why have your display compete with that?

Especially when the show is only 3 weeks away and you've got a lot to do before then. Don't add to your stress level by trying to figure out patterns and color schemes at the last minute. It's a lot of work to have to re-do at another time. If you decide you do want to decorate your shelving/display at a later time, painting things white now isn't a waste of time, it's a primer layer that would have had to happen anyway.

Your pottery is the artwork in the booth. The shelves are the matting that sets the artwork off and makes it stand out.

Melissa Rohrer said...

I have a file with some examples of pottery displays in case I get ambitious. Here's one by John Bauman that you might be interested in:

Sheri Bare said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori Watts said...

So far: horizontals white, verticals "oribe." Lattice in back will probably be white, or maybe the russet color of the flashing slip; If there is time there will be canvas panels with patterns like the patterns on the pots.