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day 1 of show -stories from the edge - long

updated sun 4 dec 05


claybair on sat 3 dec 05

Setting up on Thursday was extra special.... it was snowing....
carrying tubs, shelving, etc. up slippery steps wet with the slushy stuff.
Fortunately my son helped carry the stuff into the studio
where it was 47 degrees and took several hours to get to
54 degrees. I spent a long time putting the display together.
I changed a lot of things in my booth after gleaning bits and pieces from
recent Clayart threads.
I have an 18'wx51/2'd space. I placed the tables right up to the
isle so no one had to enter the space. Two wooden shelving units
are on one table with like designed pieces on them. My production
soap dishes on the flat of the table in front of the shelving
units. Wire grids in the shape of a square for hanging items is
between the 2 tables.
The second table has boxes of varying heights for vases and soap dishes.
I bring out my halogen lighting for this show.
Oh... at Ace hardware I bought a 25 ft. heavy duty indoor/outdoor cord that
has a plug every 8ft. it's great!!!!
I printed out some pictures of my studio i.e. wire rack with green ware
ready to be fired, one of me decorating a leather hard bowl, garden art
in my garden, my daughter's cat on the slab roller. I mounted them on
some black corrugated card stock & placed them on shelving and clipped
to garden art.
As I pulled garden art out of my snowy garden this morning I inadvertently
broke off some golden bamboo and recalled saying at so many shows...
"they look better when you see them in the garden". Duh... it finally struck
take some bamboo for the display.

I went with little expectations for day 1 as there was still snow and people
in this neck of the woods are fairly skittish driving in the stuff except
the SUVs
frequently seen in ditches. On the 10 minute drive my son told me a HS
friend had
committed suicide on Thursday. This kid was in a circle of friends that
frequently spent time at
our house. So I'm driving, crying, attempting to counsel my son while trying
reconcile how one can take their young life when someone like Jared tried so
hard to stay alive.
Switching gears to face a holiday sale was difficult.
Ten o'clock came and went and we had a mere handful of people.
The day continued with dribs and drabs most of the day with a few waves of
One woman asked for a price on one of the garden art pieces I told her
and she walked away to Joe's booth. I second guessed that my price was
too high and I should have told her it was less. She bought a piece from Joe
then came back to me and bought 3 from me. After helping her carry them to
her car I ran back out to tell her that because she bought over $100 she
could pick out a soap dish. I brought one I thought she'd like
but she got so excited she came back into the studio to pick one out
Another woman spent 35 minutes picking out a few items for her brother in
law. She
spent so much time getting what she felt were just the right items that I
said pick out a
soap dish for yourself. She then said.... you gave one to my son last year
at the Farmers Market.
I remembered they both had picked out gifts so thoughtfully and her son was
so sweet.
An elderly woman told me she had a soap dish she bought 2 years ago and
asked if
I had any more in "that blue".... I knew exactly what she was referring
to....a cobalt wash I don't like and discontinued. I had one left and took
it out of the tub.
She saw the price $12 and said "The last one I bought was $8." So now it
became a game...
I said ok how about $10 at which point she pulled out her credit card......
So I wrapped it put it in a bag
handed it to her and said "Put away your card" and "Merry Xmas". She was
pleased and reminded me that last time we had done a trade as her potter
husband is in the same show at another location.
These soap dishes are made from my reclaim, take so little time to produce
have become my goodwill ambassadors.
A woman who works at a great teaching facility on the island called
Islandwood said my soap dishes would be good items for their gift shop. I
said, "Pick some out and show them to the buyer." The buyer showed up about
an hour later and took some to test. I gave her 40% discount and said if
they sell well we will go to 50%.
A photographer from one of the local papers took a lot of photos of my
booth. I warned him I take horrible photos his reply was, "I have a filter
for that". He asked am I camera shy I said, "No just fat!" He said' I have
a filter for that!"
Many repeat customers adding to their Gayle Bair collection. One saying how
she has been following the
evolution of my work.... she keeps coming back.
Joe also told me some more good ole days NCECA stories and I heard how he
and his wife met.

These shows are so much more than just selling my work to people ...... each
person is a wonderful story be it happy, sad, tragic or comedic. I bitch
about doing shows because they take so much effort but the stories are just
too wonderful.... I cannot stop.. I have to hear the next one.
Bottom line...... I made more $ today than I did at several recent multiple
day shows.
Onto day 2....

Gayle Bair - yikes it's almost 2 am....... night all
Bainbridge Island, WA
Tucson, AZ
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