First off, you will recall that almost 30 years ago I apprenticed to Dean White, a prolific central NY potter and totally generous and sweet man... he was at this fair too and we talked a lot. He is such an old friend...anyway, he makes stacks of bowls and plates, thousands every year, and if you got his bowl 20 years ago and wanted to replace it, you could simply revisit his shop and get another.
SO, my own sales were good. Definately good, and so was the crowd. The only reason I might not do this fair next year is the distance. As so many other people there joked "usually this fair is in a blizzard" which if you knew Syracuse would be a December FACT. And another fair I like a great deal right here in my very own town happens to be the same day. So, you know, why leave town? I can see the potential for sales in a full-size space would be quite good. They had warned us that we should have some small and low priced items for sale, and I sold a boatload of 4 dollar cat and dog magnets, believe me!
BUT, as wonderful as the organizers are, they had way too many potters at this fair. One artist said "there is so much quality art here, more than there are paying customers" AND the organizers had a whole bunch of us potters together in a row. I have never been to a fair that has grouped similar media together and it is a TERRIBLE idea. Customers just say "oh, pots all down there" and don't bother looking closely at all of us, like they would if it was a mix. The organizers apologized for doing this and said they would never do it again. Lastly, the packing up to go? The crazy and worst bottleneck you have ever seen (I like to time my packing up---38 minutes and I was GONE, fastest ever!!!!! I had parked in a clever spot, easy in, easy out) There were people, I swear it is true, having a fistfight in the parking lot, screaming at each other! These were artists, so mad at each other, and at a Christmas fair run by a peace group!
Anyway, fairs are fun, but holy CATS you get worn out. I do very few of them now. It is nice to get home and find all these orders online, keeping me very busy till December 24....sitting here at the computer in the studio = OPPOSITE of schlepping your display around!
|Dean White- I was his apprentice in 1985! he told me I am the only one of his hundreds of students and apprentices who ever became a potter.|
|Christi Sobel, my awesome friend from Ithaca...she is an illustrator and painter.|