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fees, displays, and sales desks

updated mon 31 mar 97


John McCain on sun 23 mar 97


I just returned from a craft show Saturday night and found several
Clayart topics that just happened to center on craft shows including
fees, displays, and sales desks. I will add my thoughts on these

Fees - I do not think that a $50 booth fee plus 25% is too large a price
to pay, especially if you suspect that you may not have very many
sales. The event people are probably trying to give the artists a break
by keeping the booth fee low and taking a higher percentage. I consider
the cost of selling to be about 40 to 50% of my retail cost. It is in
that range for wholesale and consignment at craft shops and galleries.
Sure, you have to work a booth for a day or weekend but that goes to the
difference between 25 and 50%.

Displays - We made a nice set of shelving using new pickets (about $0.81
each) for stockade fencing as the upright ladders (15" wide space for
ends and middle ladders - 12" space for corners - hinged) with 1x12"
rough cut cedar planks for shelving (6 lengths for easy handling). We
finished the ladders with thined gray-whitewash latex paint and the
shelves in whitewash. They look pretty nice. A shelving unit for a
10x10' to 12x12 cost about $200 even with the extra ladders we made to
allow us to use a three sided configuration or four sided with openings.

Sales Desks - We are having three pedestals made that nest inside each
other, 12", 15", and 18". The 18" pedestal will have two removable
shelves and a bottom (open at the back). This will serve as our sales
desk, providing us with a 6" shelf and two 15" shelves for cash box,
charge card stamp, bag and wrapping paper holder, etc. This setup will
cost less than $100. Find a good, hungry woodworker at your next craft

OK, you have scared me - I am removing my functional pieces with copper
red on the food contact surfaces from our pottery booth before we poison
someone with Barium! I have asked a metal chemist friend of mine to run
the appropriate ASTM tests. Maybe in a few months I will be able to use
that 10 gallons of copper red glaze we just mixed for something besides
the outside of bowls!

John McCain
Palo Pinto Pottery