Monday, May 13, 2013

Nice Show

I'll just make a brief post today as there is much to do around here!

The El Dorado Hills Art & Wine Affaire was an o.k. show this past weekend. I did slightly better than I did last year and certainly made back my booth fees, which is always a good thing. But of course, I wanted to do significantly better than I did. I find myself wondering what I'm doing wrong.

"Oh, my God! I just love your work!" "Each piece is so unique! I've never seen anything like this before! It's wonderful!" "Oh, this is just gorgeous!"

Both my Jackalope and my "Conundrum" (A very small dog gazing contemplatively up at a very tall fire hydrant, which is looking down at him) sculptures brought people into the booth, and smiles and giggles with them.

One lady had bought a teapot from me last year, and specifically came to tell me she loved it and used it every single day! "The lid fits well and is tight and it pours just perfectly!"

Yay, me! :D

But then the "Omigherds" would walk away without purchasing anything, when they had a fifteen dollar item in hand. Fifteen! One. Five! Not $625.00 as the Jackalope is priced. (And by the way, people in El Dorado Hills generally have $625.00 to blow on a sculpture!)

As Yul Brynner said, "It is a puzzlement."

Of course, I had one horrible woman (who really deserved a punch in the nose) try to talk me down in price over a hand-carved porcelain teapot, which I had priced low because of a crack on the inside of the lid. I told her it was $16.99 because of the crack (which wasn't going to have an effect the teapot in any way), otherwise it would be $60.00, because it was all hand-carved. "No," she says. "Oh, yes," I said, and turned my back on her so I could continue to pack my booth away. Stupid cow. This isn't a garage sale.
The view from my booth. No, I don't know who that lady is who ruined my shot!
The balance to that was the sweet young man looking for a Mother's Day gift who bought a nice little bud vase from me. That was my last transaction of the day, and really helped to wash out the bad taste in my mouth from that awful woman.

I was very blessed to have a fantastic "next door neighbor," David Chesney of Chesney Studios. He created some truly fantastic bronze wall pieces (and I am really considering doing a bunch of wall pieces because I think that may be some of my problem-in that people don't always have the real estate to put a sculpture that's meant to sit on a flat surface), and was funny and kind, too. We baby-sat for each other when we needed to take a potty break, and bought each other frozen yogurt from a great little store that was only a few steps away. He gave me some names of some solid shows to which I should apply, places where people like it, buy it, pay for it and say, "Oh, by the way, how much was that?"

I need a few shows like that to pay for a new kiln! I will be applying ASAP!

We took a little time to chit-chat, and he mentioned a flyer his friend (also a crafter) had made, the gist of which was "If you love the work you see at this fair, please support it by purchasing a piece today. It costs us money to be here and we can't afford to show up and not make enough to cover expenses." I'm going to email him later to see if I can get a copy of it. He said it was very nicely written and politely phrased. Maybe I'll use it, maybe not, but I'm interested in seeing the exact wording.

On the opposite side of the coin, there's a post that was written by a crafter in the U.K., which has a slightly different view of this phenomenon of "loving" and not buying. She views it as a chance to build her mailing list (and I do, too, because you never know what that will bring!), and warns crafters to maintain a positive attitude during shows, even when sales haven't been good-which I also do. I am almost maniacally friendly and smile nearly constantly, even when I feel it starting to slide off my face in light of not-nice people. Even when people are rude, I keep a rein on my temper and restrain myself from saying anything less than classy. After all, you never know who's listening, and people like that are not worth getting a bad reputation. 

In any case, it's time to prep for West Coast Haunter's Convention, so I need to get moving! (I guess this wasn't such a short post after all!) Any thoughts or comments on this would be appreciated!


  1. Funny how people try to tell you how much a handmade, one of a kind piece of art should cost or how much they would pay for it. And as for loving an item and not buying it, to hell with that. If I love something, that means I am going to buy it.

    Ignore those non-buyers and make up their own pricers, and concentrate on the interested people. :)

    1. I agree with you to a degree, but only because this seems to be a trend in a lot of places, and not just where I am. People go to shows and seem to treat them like a nice day out at an eclectic museum, not as a place to buy unique items. I know the economy is still in the toilet, but it really is weird!


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