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junk and the uptown fair/make it all

updated thu 8 mar 12


mel jacobson on wed 7 mar 12

at my last uptown art fair 1960 something/ the guy in the
next booth melted beer bottles. added some color and sold
everything he made in like three hours.
another booth had a gal with painted milk cans.
she sold them all. welding rod flowers went like hot cakes.

i thought...`well, good that they make a buck, but it is time
for me to re-evaluate if this is my venue.`
i packed up and went home after the first day,
never been to an art fair since. of course i predicted
that art fair organizers would figure a way to make big
money on the artists. no one believed me...was i right?
some artists would sell their kids to be in a big fair.

i set up my deck to sell pots, got my mailing list started with
carbon paper labels. went to garden parties, local organizations
and did demos and talks.
built my business. it was hard, but has been more than worth it.
i know it is not for everyone, but it works for me. still does.
i don't go to the mountain, it comes to me. and, i have total control
of the entire process from clay to sales. i pay me 50%.
(and, i am doing color.)

you cannot blame the crafters, it is what they do. good for them.
they have a right to do whatever they want. the galleries need
to make money..they do not give a crap about you. bottom line
rules. if not, they are on the street.

we had a great `hand made` upper crust shop here in mpls.
it is now all mass produced glitch. i don't care what they sell.
never go in there...they tried with hand made...went bust. so
they turned to something else. they seem to be making money.
bottom line rules.

as to `doing it all`...there is a thing that gnaws at me.
it is about independence, back to the earth, do it yourself,
strong sense of personal value...being exceptional. be a total
artist and crafts person. i hope it never leaves me.

many want that dead. parents do their kids homework, take them
all this for them, do that for them. everything is tooo hard.
don't suffer. don't ever try to work for yourself. let others do it for y=
or, maybe we can get the government to pay your way.

many colleges are being invaded by mom's that get a small room and
live at college with their kid*. do the papers, do the research...they are
called helicopter moms. hover. it is not a joke. with the advent of
skype and can do the papers, the extra home work and
send an email. it happens all the time. my grand daughter went to
frat parties at her university in the south.
there were mom's there. drinking, smoking
dope and going to rooms with college boys. she saw it. one night
she counted 7 moms at a party. made her sick. she did not go back.

i have academic college prof friends that have told me that parents call
them...this is college...`you give to many assignments, you have too
many papers, i am going to the dean.` a mother/dad. the dean tells
them to cut back.
one friend...a few years back retired because of pressure...he was the
chair of the english can you even think of
calling your kids college prof and bitching about too many books to
read? its english class. you read. can you spell dumb down?

i guess my final thought would be: you may not do everything, but you
should make the attempt to understand it all. there are people that
just turn finished work in....have no idea what the kiln is, does or
how it works. that is sad. (and that can be the fault of the center
or college.)

i fired all 125 pots for colleen's last project. she used my clay, my
studio and my kiln. we split the fee. but, she helps load, makes
shelf/loading decisions and if i got sick, she could fire the
kiln...damn straight.
she is getting to the point where she does know how to do it all.
that was my point in making her an apprentice. would i say...`oh,
you are a girl, you can't do that, or this.`? shoot me dead if i
thought it. it is all about her becoming a strong, independent, fearless
woman. she is on the way. 115 pounds of TNT.
* a small private college south of me has a sign on freshman day.
`welcome parents, you have 10 minutes to say goodbye. seniors
will help your child to their room.` in other words, get the hell
out of here, and don't come back. college is for the kid. they
are taking a stand.
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