Monday, September 10, 2012

Art Shows

Once again I hit the road and did two shows in one weekend.Saturday I was in Bellevue Ky for Art in the Park and Sunday I was close to home at the Loveland Art show.

Bellevue Ky sits right on the Ohio river and you can watch the boats going up and down. I love this show and I usually do well. They have a very hardworking bunch of volunteers who always seem to have some kind of event going on to promote their redevelopment efforts. They are the nicest folks you could meet anywhere. They know that an Art Show is about getting a crowd in and keeping the vendors happy. They provide generous free drinks, booth sitters, snack packs etc. The booth fee is also very reasonable. They are not wizards and cannot control the weather. Three days out the forecast was for a rainy Saturday. Friday that changed to a rainy morning. When I got to the park about 7:30, it was raining fairly hard but the show must go on. Luckily, this is one show where I can park 10 ft behind the booth so I was able to start with the tent and tables then bring the pottery boxes in a couple at a time and put the empty ones back in the van. By the time we opened, the rain had stopped and the sky was beginning to clear. What happened after that is anyones guess. Even though the show was well promoted, the crowd was very light all day. Judging from the conversations I had with the other potters, most of us did about half what we did last year. It's all part of the vendors life but when I worked for other people, I would have been pissed if I worked hard all week and ended up with half pay in my envelope ( and full deductions taken out). I'm always thankful that I'm retired and don't have to sell to pay the bills. I always marvel at the people who live off talent and tenacity.It takes a lot of courage.

Sunday dawned much brighter and not quite as early for the 20 minute drive to Loveland. The show is in a park and you cannot drive to your booth to unload. This would be a deal breaker for an aging potter with one good ankle except they have a bunch of the greatest high school kids you ever saw. I backed into the loading zone and said I was going to unload then I would need some help. I unloaded and parked the van. When I returned there were six kids in purple shirts who started picking up my stuff ( and there's a bunch of it) and schlepping it across the park.I didn't have to carry one box. The weather was perfect, the crowd came out and stayed out. People bought pots, lotsa pots. Friends came out, some new some that I went to school with 50 years ago. It was a great day. I want to quickly thank Judy Schneider from clay club. Judy comes to almost every show in the area and even though I spend a lot of time picking on her she is always glad to booth sit for a few minutes while I run to the restroom or grab a sandwich. It really helps.

 By closing time, I had several empty boxes Cookie jars, Casseroles ( open and covered ) utility jars, and baking dishes sold well. I had a woman and two grown kids come in . I think the kids were a daughter+ husband. One of the young folk had bought a cereal bowl last month in Yellow Springs 50 miles up the road. they came specifically to get the rest of the shino cereal bowls and a serving bowl to match. Saturday, a woman bought 4 casseroles, one for each grown kid for Christmas. What nice customers to have. I may even have sold a set of 8 plates. The woman loved the shino and iron glazed plates but I did not have 8. She seems serious about coming back. A lot of my sales Sunday were $40 + and I think using the square for credit cards helped. I previously wrote down info and processed on line after the show. This weekend I started swiping with the square and it was much quicker and it gave me instant approval. I think the customers liked it too. For the weekend, about 2/3 of my sales were plastic, one check and the rest cash.That is a big shift to plastic.

At the close of the show, I boxed the pots, struck the tent, and grabbed a bunch of those wonderful kids. I carried one box. Here are a couple of pictures from Sunday including the big yellow jar that was touched by every body who came to the show. I was afraid they were going to rub a hole in it. Thanks for stopping.


  1. Congrats on a great show! It's always nice to come home with empty boxes and a nice deposit in your bank account.

  2. Yay for selling pots!! It's always fun to wrap up pottery and take people's money! I have my one and only outdoor show coming up in another month. Hoping for a beautiful fall day!!

  3. Thanks girls.Tracey, I hope you have a good one. Michele, there's nothing I can tell you and Jeff about doing shows that you don't know already but thanks for reading. I hope to read your excited report about selling out (of pots not principles) in Charlotte.

  4. It's always such a joy to have volunteers that are willing to help in every aspect of the show. One of my favorite shows is at Georgia Southern University because of the help and interest from the students. Knowing that a show offers booth sitters is nice, but so many of them stand in the entrance way so no customers can come in and look at the pots. I know they mean well, they just aren't in the same mindset that we are as sellers. Of course when you have to leave the booth it's nice to have them no matter what.

  5. Thanks Lori.I stay within 75 miles of home so I usually have a friend or two come by and that helps, not that I ever leave for more than 5 minutes. If I have a booth sitter, I just ask them to chat people up til I get back.But like you I love help with the heavy lifting.


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