Gary's Third Pottery Blog

When the going gets tough, dragons gonna get going....

Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016

Monday, July 15, 2013

a whole lotta tats....

You go to a summer art festival with rock and roll and art and food and warm and sunny FINE weather see a lot of FLESH.  People have their tats on display, on parade....
My favorite was the customer with 2 cute elephants on her leg.  But in some cases, you wonder if that unicorn ages well...or the portrait of the girlfriend on the hairy leg.  I think, ahem, that the person who puts a tat of a girlfriend from a photo on their hairy leg is maybe, well, asking for trouble...I don't know if it is very easy for a tattoo artist to make that girlfriend look good on the hairy leg, you know?  In blue????  Better to go with the line drawing of the unicorn... was a BLOCKBUSTER fair over the weekend.  Looking back, it is amazingly tiring spending 3 days on the road...LONG days.  Customers may not realize what it is like to get up at 3:30, driving an hour in the dawn (see photo below:  sunrise!), then schlepping your boxes and crap, setting up for 2-3 hours, standing in the sun for 12 hours...then doing it again for 3 days....exciting but a lot of work.
But then you go to the bank :)

SO, you like it when it pays off! Oh my, it did.  I think Saturday was my best selling day ever...or at least since 2000.  The whole 3 day thing was great, so many nice people...that is the best part.  You noodle around in the studio by yourself all the time, then you get out and people say nice things to you and throw money at you!  Awesome :)

Some observations about this fair, which other artists will know represents many if not most fairs and fairgoers:

--somebody told me I should "make glug glug jugs, everybody is!"
--ditto OWLS!  "How come you don't make owls?  Everybody needs owls!" (I do sometimes, actually, and the guy with the ugly brown pots over there has 'em, so go make his day, alright?)
--"I saw this potter in Alabama, he carved SAINTS on the bottom of his pots!  You should carve saints on the bottom of your pots!"
--which brings you to people and their ideas at fairs, maybe they are well meaning, but they know NOTHING about creativity:  I want to tell some people (I am a polite person...except here on the interwebs)
"Hey, I could make glug glug jugs, great idea!  And why don't you paint your living room yellow?  Get a shorter haircut???  Maybe you should have pasta for dinner, everybody is having pasta for dinner!  And everybody needs plumbers, why don't you become a plumber!"

----which leads to the different type of art fair customers:

--the psycho, homeless dude:  well, in an urban setting with a Salvation Army shelter on down the street, and a nice day, all kinds of people are out having a nice time....this type of customer may have a lot of stories to tell you, and, sadly, may also prevent customers looking to buy something from visiting your booth...
--there are customers who spend forever looking at and touching everything and talking...and spend nothing, others swoop in, grab something, pay and take off in a quick second
--the "THAT'S DIFFERENT" person, the type you often see browsing a fair late Sunday morning, a person that Dana Carvey did so well on Saturday Night Live with his Church Lady spoof....
--some customers are FRIENDS, and the best part about repeating a fair is people come to find you, including repeat customers---you readers know that this is my job, making and selling, and I am so grateful for the support of all these folks--I had cards printed about my Columbus Day open studio to give to friends and repeat customers....I did NOT give them to the psychos as you would expect...
--finally, the last type of customer is the GASBAG, who has a lot to tell you... their life story, about when they were carving wooden staffs in their garage before their wife left them and the dog died and...

OVERHEARD at the fair:
"I used to hunt, then I came back from 'Nam.  I'd had enough of guns.  Now I just use my camera"
Listen up, America, and learn.....


Sandi McBride said...

next week is the Pageland Watermelon Festival (over 60 years its been going on) so pack up your wares and come on down and visit us here...highways would make a killing with my family alone!

JB said...

Congrats on the blockbuster fair. Makes it all worthwhile when they love your stuff! I particularly like that a customer created the 3D scene for your godzilla!

Lori Buff said...

My favorite word of "advice" from a customer:

"You should make jars that say 'belly button lint' on them."

They are well meaning but don't always get what we're doing...I gotta go make something with owls on it now.

bartster said...

Wow...what a weekend! Energizing? Enervating? Both? Love Penny's picture on the blog this time--that could be placed next to "bliss" in a dictionary and we'd sense the meaning of the word:)

Anonymous said...

All that free advice--who knew an art fair was full of it!
I bet the people watching was spectacular.

Michèle Hastings said...

oh yes we have all encountered those types of fair-goers... the NH potters guild had to have a homeless drunk escorted out of the potters market once.

Glad to hear you had excellent sales. I hope the LNHC fair goes as well for us this year. It's such a crap shoot.

soubriquet said...

And a Watermelon Festival. See! you people has all kinds of amazing stuff. Mind you, there was the Pontefract Licorice festival this weekend. I um...

Yes. correct, failed to know it was on. I might have gone if I'd known.

I'd get the person who claimed she'd bought a pot from me, here, last year, "But I wasn't here last year, this is the first year I've ever been...", No, it was definitely you, I recognise your t-shirt, and anyway, the cat jumped up and the lid fell off and can you make another lid?
"No".... Well can I just buy the lid off this teapot? I don't need the rest, see, "No".

Busy Bee Suz said...

So funny that people like to share their opinions....I suppose most people don't realize it could be offensive.
I love what you do. But I do like owls. LOL!!! And of course, bee's, cats, dogs, frogs....beagles!!!! :)

Tattoo's don't do anything for me. Blah. But whatever....I try not to judge, unless that tattoo is on a face. Then I judge! LOL

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

Your list is a good list for life in general not just art fairs. Last night I was sitting at a pub with a few friends and the guys at the next table were talking LOUDLY about whether it was manly to pee sitting down. Eventually I had to turn and give them "the look." Glad you had a great fair!

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I am a full-time studio potter, sculptor, and dog walker, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.