Sunday, May 17, 2015

My Experience at the Tour of Artist's Homes and Studios

This weekend I was at Michelle Wyles' studio with the Yakima Pottery Club. The weather was nice and quite a few people visited. 

half of my work for the show, happily set up in the shade

My daughter was with me the entire time and she managed to stay patient and mostly enjoy the 6 hours of the show, though I had to bribe her with the promise of a book to get her to help me pack up at then end. She brought her own work and set it up on the end of one of my "tables."

my daughter's plate seemed to have been designed for containing roll-y grapes

My daughter's patience started to wane at the end of the the show. Earlier she had taken over the money purse and declared herself in charge of sales and making change for purchases. She also kept a runny tally in her head of sales to that point. Unfortunately, sales were slow enough that she had no trouble with this task. 

the pea hens/guinea fowl were SO noisy (and right across from us)

My studio is getting fairly full and I had made some functional work earlier in the year as an experiment, so I priced everything very low with the intent to sell well, make some money without a commission and clear out the studio. I was a little surprised that $10 and $12 bowls didn't sell, though people admired them, and I only sold a handful of $5 handheld sculptures, though people expressed how much they liked the work. My daughter, too, was surprised. She expressed her reaction with this question "Why do people say they like the work but they don't buy it even though it's really cheap?"

I did get some work done on a planter

This was a reminder to myself to say "no" to events like this and June's Art Fest. I decided about a decade ago that I liked making my own work and teaching, but I've never much liked making work that will sell. And I've never been a big fan of the effort it takes to sell the work at a fair or similar setting.

and I started a small sculpture during the show

I used to assume that if the work is well made and interesting, and people say they like it, they must not be buying because it is too expensive. Saturday was an experiment, I lowered the prices to the ground, and I did not see a jump in number of sales or total money taken in from sales, though the complements continued fairly regularly. If I were spending the entire day (about 9 hours total, though I haven't unpacked the car yet) doing a show like this to get a verbal boost to my ego, maybe it'd be worth it, but that's not why I make the work. I'm looking forward to the start of my summer studio hibernation (next month).

1 comment:

  1. Your work is great. Next time raise the prices and give people 10%off. They think that they are getting a good bargain. Don't sell yourself and your work short.


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