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outdoor art fairs (was re: discounts/home sales)

updated sat 27 nov 04


Dorie Mickelson on fri 26 nov 04

I too did a scorcher this past July where it was just hot, hot, hot, as
well as very humid for three long days! I thought it was absolutely
unbearable at the time, but will definitely apply to do the show again
next year and hope for cooler temperatures ! I think my worst
outdoor art fair weather experience so far though was at the street fair
I did earlier this year that had my booth right over a storm drain...and
of course the street kind of sloped downward with me at the bottom of
the slope and the first day it just rained and rained and I
had a big river flowing across the back two feet of my booth and dumping
down into the storm drain that I had to leap over to get to any
customers who braved the rainy weather...oh, what a lovely experience
that was !

Still, with the exception of the few really bad weather shows I've
encountered so far, I too am usually energized by the art fair
excitement in the air, the throngs of people, the smell of food wafting
on the breeze, the many forms of artwork, the conversations going on all
around me, the interesting people I meet, the wonderful interactions
with customers, the energy level of the crowd, etc. Not sure if it has
anything to do with it, but I too loved carnivals as a child, loved
doing the ocean boardwalk in Atlantic City, did a lot of tent camping
(in many states and in all sorts of weather), took many long road trips
with my family (six of us squished into a station wagon with lots of
luggage and camping gear), frequented the farmer's markets where
bargaining was the norm, enjoyed large extended family gatherings where
everyone ate lots of food, laughed, waved their arms around, interrupted
each other, and talked loudly all at once, and so on and so on, so doing
art fairs usually just feels very festive and somehow all very familiar
to me!

And if people ask if I give discounts at shows, I just politely say no.
Though for some very large purchases and/or good repeat customers, I too
may give a discount without them even asking.

Dorie Mickelson in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with many pots still waiting to
be glazed and fired for my last two shows of the season next week
(indoors, thank goodness, as it is cold and snowy and icicles are
hanging off the trees!).


From: claybair gayle@CLAYBAIR.COM

Subject: Re: discounts/home sales

Snip Set up tear down and show days were in the upper 90's. It got so bad at
one of them I put ice in a towel and wore that around my neck. I was
giving sunscreen to customers who braved the scorching weather. My
booth was blocked from any add to the fun I set up and
tore down myself.....Glutton for punishment???.....guess so! So what
syndrome do I have..... I do these killer I tear down I
mentally vow never to do them again...then forget about it and rush my
application form for the next year. I think it appeals to the carnival
in me.......from spending summers "down the shore" in Atlantic City
before it was murdered by the casino vampires. Everything was so out
there..... barkers hawking their wares, salt water taffy, Mr. Peanut,
Pennyland, Steele Pier, the diving horse, mysterious gypsies offering to
tell your fortune..>

Gayle Bair