Jump to content

Recommended Posts

10 hours ago, Chris Campbell said:

Scary huh? They look at your work and decide if it is worth spending their hard earned money on.

ThumbsUp.gif.9be5936782244ed1a1693bd1ef2002bd.gif

 

 

16 hours ago, Stephen said:

At my shows I get a lot of folks that specifically buy handmade and like to support artist, or at least they say they do. 

I do know since I have been back I have seen several threads on how handmade is in right now and everyone is doing a lot better at shows and shops than they had been doing over the past few years so that seems to support my position somewhat.

Then all you'll need is a sign/banner that reads "Stephan's Handmade Pottery" along with the credit card logos on one of the bottom corners.

The reason people are doing better at shows is because the economy is doing well and people feel that they have  extra cash and will through the coming year.

Edited by RonSa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ha ha, maybe so, but going to do more.

While I do very much respect the brain trust this board represents I do from time to time disagree with some of the input in regards to my direction. Even then it is invaluable and very much appreciated. A good debate is not to simply hear what you want to hear but hear for and against opinions. That rounds out the argument and enables me (and hopefully others) to thoughtfully make decisions.

I failed in my first try at going full time as a potter, lost a year re-grouping and now with this re-boot I am doing a self analysis of what I'm doing.

Skill is a daily thing and always will be. Put in the reps and toss bad work. Do more of what sells and less of what doesn't.  Mixing styles and per another thread of mine last year, mediums (wood cutting boards) is bucking norms but I have decided that that is part of who I am as an artisan. Now of course the level of success that brings will work itself out in time.  The make it or be damned approach didn't work so I am now taking a page out of Mea's always thoughtful advice and sticking with the day job and building pottery up part time. If it works itself up to a full time income then I guess I will be at a new crossroads. Part time does not mean less serious but it does mean compartmentalized.

On this particular subject,  I am just I absolutely convinced that point of sale displays will be good for my booth and will work to increase sales. Many here talk about pottery and art sales in general as not being able to escape the realities of commerce and I do believe that and that means giving weight to those standards and POS displays are considered extremely effective by almost every source I have read.  I also firmly believe that many, if not most, folks that buy handmade pottery do so in part because they like buying artist/artisan products and they like supporting the makers. I do get that many here don't share that view and that's Ok but I think pottery has a rich historical backstory and I think my customers do care about it and playing it up a bit in my booth will help. 

I have this opinion after several dozen shows of dealing with all types of customers and decades of personal experience related to me and scores of people in my life space. Everybody knows they can go to any number of big box stores and buy very nice factory pottery for half the price of handmade.

 

Edited by Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally agree that people buy handmade because they appreciate handmade work and are willing to pay more for things that give them a connection to the maker. I don't think anyone here would disagree with that. I think the argument folks are making is that ultimately, customers don't care so much about how fancy your booth is. They're either going to buy something they like or they're not. That said, a good looking booth may draw in a few more people, and that's always a good thing. More people in the booth don't necessarily equal more sales, though, so keep your hopes realistic.

The last 10 years have been a real struggle for the art market, starting with the 2008 recession. But sales are definitely coming back, people are spending again. I talk to a lot of the 'old timers' at shows, folks who have been doing art fairs for 30 years, and all of them say the same thing- that there's no predicting what each year is going to be like, what will sell, what won't, how busy the shows will be, etc. It's a crap shoot every time. The only thing you can rely on is the quality of your work.

Thank you for your openness to hear other's opinions. That's what the forum is all about. And please keep us posted regarding the results of your investments!

Stephen and synj00 like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Stephen said:

Skill is a daily thing and always will be. Put in the reps and toss bad work. Do more of what sells and less of what doesn't.  Mixing styles and per another thread of mine last year, mediums (wood cutting boards) is bucking norms but I have decided that that is part of who I am as an artisan. Now of course the level of success that brings will work itself out in time.  The make it or be damned approach didn't work so I am now taking a page out of Mea's always thoughtful advice and sticking with the day job and building pottery up part time. If it works itself up to a full time income then I guess I will be at a new crossroads. Part time does not mean less serious but it does mean compartmentalized.

@Stephen thats where I'm at too! I think too much, but I dont think you can overthink your observation for this type of thing.  Static plans don't work. Nothing ever works out exactly the way we plan. I"m old enough to have seen enough of my static plans fail. But a good flexible plan with plenty of analysis and observation to get you -towards something - is a good thing.  I'm old enough to have seen enough of those work.The more we are aware of, the more able we'll be to spot trends, improve, etc.. and when we come to a crossroads, we'll be better able to make decisions when the time comes. And yes, improving skills is a given. It would be just armchair tactics and dreaming to be talking about it as a real business it if we weren't already putting in the work.

I think offering a few different things at the booth wouldn't push people away. There is always the peripheral customer, maybe a woodworker, that comes in to look at your boards, and spots something ceramic, picks it up and takes it home. Or the other way around.  I think I read somewhere that 3 diverse but coherent / related products was a good limit to have. I also agree with the buyers supporting the artist almost as much as the wares they sell. I'm a firm believer in that. What I make, part of me goes into that object and will forever reside there. People huff at that concept but for me it's a reality. I put as much of myself into something as I can. Which is a hard thing to let go of once you finish it, but it's a good lesson in being 100% present and honoring what you are doing it, while you are doing it, and then letting it go. 

Stephen likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having more than one medium in the booth can go both ways. People can say "Wow, he's super talented and can do 2 things well!". Or they can say "He must not be good enough or dedicated enough at either thing to fill a booth." It all depends on how they perceive you, so you'll have to make sure the quality is there in order to convince them that you are able to do both well. Most art fairs won't let you have both in the booth- it's clay or it's wood. Some eve go so far as to not allow clay jewelry and pots in the same booth- you're a potter or you're a jeweler, not both.

Stephen and Chris Campbell like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neil is  right on this as most shows only allow one category to apply to. Stick to that and your life will work better in terms of sales for art shows. 

For home sales and farmers markets take whatever you want. For juried shows stick to one theme and product line.

Edited by Mark C.
Stephen likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.