Last week started and ended great with a lot of work in between. Monday morning I had a visitor from the South. Brenda Hornsby Heindel of Liberty Stoneware had been in town for a speaking engagement and found time for a visit. Brenda is full of knowledge about early American potting and firing methods. She makes lovely early American style pots and single fires them in a wood kiln. I gave her the tour, swapped a few tips, and she had to leave all too soon. If you don't read her blog you should. period. you'll enjoy it and learn something too.
The rest of the week was packing for Spring Fair, pushing a load through the kiln doing booth layout for the show and loading. Here's a tip if you ever do booth layout for a show. Get two dowels or pieces of scrap wood. Tie an 11ft long wire( doesn't stretch) between them. It is much faster than getting down on the ground with a tape measure. You're welcome.
Spring Fair is usually my best show of the year and this one was no exception. I took my travelling circus to the show site about 6:30 in the morning. I don't like to rush or fight for a space to unload so early works for me. It was in the 40's with a breeze but that isn't bad with a light jacket while you are doing the heavy lifting part of setting up. We had a tiny spritz of rain but it was done before I even decided to cover stuff up. Other than that, it was cloudy, then sunny with a breeze all day and some big gusts in the afternoon. I use a lot of weights and place the pots carefully so I was fine but a few pots were lost and some people took their tents down. Quick tip here. I love my KING BRAND tent . It works and I've had it for 5 years. When I opened it one of the bolts on a connector fell out. I found the nut and was able to lightly spin it into place but it is an Allen head bolt and it is all countersunk on both sides. No one brings and Allen wrench to a show, I checked. I will next time and go over all of them.
I think the brisk temps and wind chill may have impacted the crowd a little. This is our club show with 60 local potters and it is well promoted. We have a loyal following that comes out no matter what but some casual attendees may have stayed home. Early birds showed up at 10:30 and I started selling. I didn't have to make it all $10 at a time either. People bought mugs and bowls but not just one. I sold several big jars a set of plates, some baking dishes, and a number of very large salad/mixing/bread bowls. Longevity is paying off with return customers coming back for more pieces to match what they bought last year and the year before. I end up hurting all day Sunday but I really enjoy seeing my fellow club members and all the nice, nice people who come out. Every other potter who came by liked the new shelves and a lot of the customers liked them too. One even said I had the best booth in the show ! Five o'clock rolled around and I started packing. By 6 everything was boxed. I started knocking down the booth and was on the road 45 minutes later. I was totally exhausted and hurting all over but it was a great day and I sold very well. It was not quite up to last year but last year was phenomenal and you can't expect that every year. As it was, I ended up at over 1 1/2 times my sales for a good show. Can't kick about that !
The week ended with an unexpected treat. I took enough pain killers Sunday to go to an afternoon jam session. We had a new fellow show up this week. Lynn is 90 years old and plays banjo like nobody's business. He plays some when he was young, then he flew dive bombers over the Pacific in WWII . He says he didn't play much until he retired and got serious about it. That's 34 years of being serious. It was great fun and an honor to spend the afternoon with him.
OK, here are the pictures.