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results from canal day show

updated tue 30 jun 09


Tom at on mon 29 jun 09

Hi Dawn...really sorry about the show. But we've all done them and count i=
as learning curve. We did mall shows (put those on your list of never), an
early show where we felt 'lucky' get in at the last moment and had a palm
reader on one side, a booth selling Hmong fabric snakes on the other and an
insurance booth behind. Only time we've ever packed up after the first day=

>>>> But really, it wasted my day. I could have been
in the studio. And I didnt really make $100. I paid for the cheap booth, th=
clay, glaze, gas and time to get there, gas and time to get materials, my
time to make it all, etc.

This is the part many forget about...the cost of the lost time when you
could have been making something, getting something else done. The thing
you do best is making pots. That's how you (will) make your living. House
need painting? Hire someone. You'll pay for the painter, have pots to sel=
(which builds your business) and enjoy doing it. Painting your house will
not build your business and will not be enjoyable because it will be taking
you from the studio.

>>>>>The Art Source Book is what I have been told to look at. To utilize th=
info. Any suggestions on specific shows? I don't mind driving and putting i=
the investment (hotels included) if it will get me where I want to be, whic=
is a self-sustaining potter.

I hate to agree with Mel, but start as local as you can to get your feet we=
as to who your customer really is. Then find shows as near to where those
people live as possible. Talk to the "good" artists with work you think is
similar to yours (not necessarily pottery) at shows. What shows are good,
what shows to avoid. Explains you're just getting started. Most artists
love to help each other.

Finally dug into your locale (check the links you're posting, a couple
didn't work). You're in the Philly area??? WOW! You've got to have a
raft of great shows. C'mon gang, what shows in the Philly area ?
See Dawn's event list ).
What I see from your website list is smaller 'event' shows. I'd suggest
looking for shows that are specifically 'art' shows. Like Rittenhouse
Square. Where there are a number of potters, sculptors, painters, ...fine
art/fine craft. There have to be dozens of them in the Philly area. Is on=
direction easier for you to get to?

The site looks hokey, but it may have
listings. Watch out for promoters who do a lot of shows. They may be good
they may be good for the promoter only.

Look at the Pennsylvania Guild of Crafts . They
also have a blog where you could probably ask about shows. I see a
bays-list that seems to list some good ones.

You're looking for shows in population areas that are the type who have
bought your pots. There should be a number of established potters at the
show. (Check past year exhibitor lists and go to linked websites). Don't
be afraid to be a 'newbie' and don't be afraid to price lower than the
established people. But don't way underprice your work. We figure you
should hear "your prices are so reasonable' a couple of times per show...If
you never hear it and aren't selling, you may be too high, if you hear it
all the time, take a few more bucks. Your goal right now is to sell pots s=
you can make more. Raise your prices as you get better. And don't be
intimidated by the old-timers who whine that your prices are too low. Pric=
where you feel you should be. Spend this year doing the shows you are signe=
up for and visiting shows you might looks at next year.

Man, I wish we lived in the Philly area. Remember that you live in an area
that has a tradition of fine craft and which understands fine crafts.

I'll post some more to you off list. Be fired up can do it.
Don't undersell yourself. Go for bigger, better shows than you think your
ready for. You'll get juried out of some, but you'll hit a few. But those
$25 jury fees are cheap rolls of the dice.

Tom Wirt
Hutchinson, MN