Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Second abyssmal show of the year so far
I know "business is always good"... but it ain't. Anyone who argues that this whole economic slow-down will blow over is either obscenely rich and insulated from this insanity, or they are just living in dreamland. This past weekend we watched for three days as sales went from bad, to worse, to nothing. In the 20 years I have made pots and the 24 years I have sold pottery (previously for my aunt Beryl in Miami).... I have never seen days with NO sales. We had wonderful crowds at the show, but no sales on Sunday. Maybe it's one of those towns with the blue laws still on the books.... no pottery sales after 8am on Sundays. Who knows?! All I can say is that we lost our shirts.
The upside: the promoters of the show were wonderful. For the greatest part, our fellow fine-crafters were amazing. There was a much smaller quotient of the artists as hacks. No buy-sell. Overall, there was a really good showing of the state of fine crafts.
Typically, on a given day at any show, we get all sorts of questions. People want to talk about their experience with clay, with what they've collected in the past, whatever. I LOVE IT. The exchange is probably one of the biggest reasons I make pots. I love that sharing! There was precious little of it at this show. Probably our biggest shock was the number of people (42) who asked us if what we were making was Fiestaware. Not comparing our color range to early 20th century American Art pottery.... but asking us if we were SELLING Fiestaware. Mind you, the show is called 100 American Craftsmen. I think the name of the show should have been a clue.
We met a couple at the show where the gentleman was downing a Starbucks tall at 9pm... So I had to know why... late shift? All night drive? Nope. He has 4 daughters that range in age from 4 to 2.5 to 2.5 to 2.5..... yep, triplets.... talk about the estrogen ocean! After ordering some footed mugs we talked about how much they enjoyed the textural elements of our work. Usually we hear the words COLOR first... texture later... so this was interesting. Turns out, like many men, he is partially color blind. Red could just as well be green or dark brown. BUT the texture is what caught his eye. All the raised slip trailing and textured stamping... really made an impression (pardon the pun). I love doing custom orders, but I LOVE doing orders where I know that the pots are going to be used and loved. I look forward to the day when all four daughters in tow, they come to visit the studio. Guess I'll have to make sure to have more mugs on hand!