And, unlike the old song says, goodbye does mean forever. Goodbye does mean we'll never be together again! It's time to let go of my old art fair set up. I built it in 1994, and while it served me well for many years it has gotten increasingly rickety (not unlike myself) and I have had to resort to more and more desperate measures to make sure it is stable enough to hold the ware for the duration of an event. Last weekend I nailed parts of it together. There was a moment when I was contemplating duct tape. It's time to let it go.
The question is, do I build another one? If so, for what specific uses? If it is to be solely a studio evnt display, that has a different set of parameters than an art fair display, that needs to be fairly lightweight, portable, and quick to set up.
|Here's how it looked, in better days...|
I used to spend a lot of time thinking about booth displays. Lately I am thinking about whether I want to do art fairs at all, given my own increasingly rickety self. Art fairs are a lot of work! And, honestly, I got spoiled in St. Paul; there were maybe 20 top-shelf art fairs within a day's drive; here there's one. Craft Boston used to be, but for the last at-least 5 years it has been sucking mud; the PMA show is headed that way also.
Most of the good shows that I used to do, when I lived in St Paul are still running, but driving 2 or 3 days, staying in motels (I'm too old to sleep in a tent on the ground, at least when I am working), eating out - fast food is both nastier & more expensive than home-food - the calculation is different. The absolute most I could hope to make from a good show is probably around $5000 - & that would be a rarity. Subtract the booth fee & the studio time, & the classes I'd have to miss & the travelling expenses...not looking like such a great dice to roll now.
OTOH, I used to love the art fair lifestyle. Seeing new cities, a group of friends I only saw during that season, trying new restaurants...I didn't even mind the driving. I'd try to find a Spanish-language radio station & listen hard to see if I could understand any of it.
Anyway. The Maine Pottery Tour is over for another year. My event was successful, about 70 visitors & the same sales as last year - which is good, because last year landed in kind of a unique moment, when for about 5 minutes we thought the pandemic which had been keeping us away from public activities for a year was over. (It's still not, of course, but the pottery tour is mostly an outside event, & even a big turnout isn't densely packed, so I felt ok about doing the tour.) Anyway, maybe we've just finally hit a critical mass of people who know about hte tour, return every year, & help spread the word.
This week is always funny for me, because I've spent the last 4 months thinking about & working on the tour in basically all my "free" (lol) time, and now there's a space where that used to be. I have orders to fill & pots to list online & stores to approach, not to mention classes to teach! - believe me I have plenty to do - but I am going to take a moment to appreciate the not-urgency of those tasks.