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fun2, now kids future collectors

updated wed 9 aug 00


Carolyn Nygren Curran on tue 8 aug 00

When I used to do miniature shows, it was easy to bring tiny pots which
were chipped or otherwise imperfect (not esthetically) and give them to the
patient little kids. (At these shows, the adults were the ones with the
dollhouse or miniaturist hobby, and the poor little kids were subjected to
"don't touch" with all sorts of things which looked like toys.) Now that
I'm back with regular craft shows, I bring fired pyrometric cone pats and
sometimes test tiles to hand out to the kids. I have written up an
explanation of cones-pretty much on an adult level-which I also give out,
and I keep small bags on hand for bagging these "treasures" I give out.
That way, when a parent tells a child not to touch, I hold up a cone pat
and tell the child that he or she CAN touch it, and in fact, he or she can
select a cone pat to keep. Then I bag it (for the youngest kids who like
to carry their own little package) and put the explanation in the bag,
telling them they can bring the cones for "show and tell" in school or
keep as a souvenir of the show. The cone pats are fun, the information is
educational (and also has my name and address, acting as a business card)
the kids appreciate the attention, and people often remember my booth
because of the handout. (I don't give the cones out willy-nilly, since
there are both kids and adults who are grabby, but I do keep the cone pats
in plain sight in a bowl in front of my selling area. People want to know
what the cones are for, and that starts conversation. I often give the
cone pats to teachers and interested adults as well as kids, and the same
thing goes with test tiles. Sometimes I make up flat test tiles which can
be made into a pendant and given away as a free gift after they are no
longer needed---and again, the gift goes along with educational explanation
by me. I am recycling cone pats and old test tiles and helping nurture
an awareness of the pottery process at the same time...hopefully
encouraging future collectors.
And while I'm sure other potters may not agree, I also lower the price of
inexpensive items for some of the kids who come to my booth, and I've even
given away some $10 pots to kids. Very often a parent will return to the
booth and buy something else, but even if they don't, I can make a friend
for life with the gesture.
Carolyn aka CNC---getting ready for Quail Hollow show Labor Day
weekend...and accumulating more cone pats as I go along.