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Mark C.

Selling Pottery in the old days

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Well back in 1976 on the 4th of July I was selling Pottery at a local street fair in Old Town Eureka Ca,

I was doing stoneware mostly and had some slip cast porcelain bottles with decals(ships and other items) and some luster work for our countries  200th birthday

This was my 3rd show I think there in Eureka-It's also the same year I graduated collage with my BA in Art just prior in May.

I had a pony tail at that time (16-35) and usually had a straw hat on the summers. I had a partner for about 1 year and his name is on the sign and I think he must have taken this photo with my camera.

I just found this old photo recently-you will notice this display is really lacking  in so many ways-pots on wooden vegetable  crates and on cloth over plywood homemade tables -clay boxes underneath but its the beginning of my  wooden tiered racks . They started very low and grew up over time.

That after about 7 generations of remakes I use to this day. Those old display are old growth Redwood as thats what we had lots of back then in this area of tall trees.

This is my humble beginnings way back in the day. I think my 1st show was more crates and blankets on the street but I have no photos.

I sold at this venue  on the 4th of July until giving it up in 1999-that was my last year there.

For about 20 of those  26 years years I did two 4th of July shows simultaneously one  is in Arcata a small town nearby. I kept doing Arcata to this day on the 4th and have done 4ths shows continuously since 1973.

Some day soon I look forward to staying home  that day with the rest of you.

I thought I could fine the sales records from that show but my only records that year in an old book are wholesale to a shop that is still in Old Town. Large Mugs where 3$ back then wholesale.

On a very much side note one of my best friends runs a bagel shop now it that location and thats the same doorway to his shop. This shop is a satellite shop to His Main Location in Arcata-Los Bagels

This realization had just occurred to me a week ago with this photo .

Small world indeed.I sell my mugs in his two shops so its really a full circle.

 

4th of July 1976.jpeg

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On July 4, 1976 I was at Plymouth Rock, watching a small town parade.  I was between my first and second year of graduate school, working for the Summer at a think tank in New Jersey, and living in Manhattan. It was my first time living in the East, so I took the opportunity to check out bicentennial things in Massachusetts and in DC.

But in terms of crafts fairs, I remember well the look. I lived for a number of years across Live Oak Park in Berkeley, where an annual crafts fair happened pretty much right outside my front door.

There were no fancy booths, lots of pottery and leather (sandals and belts), beads, and such, and people looked either like Mark (but maybe not with shirt tucked in) or like me, which is to say long hair, tie-dye, funky...

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Great photo!!  I like the booth; it is one I would have had to taken a look at.   Trash can....what a plus!!!

Was is really that long ago??  I was mid way through undergraduate school.   

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3 hours ago, Pres said:

Oh the days. . . .great shot, sure it brings back memories. What does your ex partner do now?

He was roommate-for 1 year then moved away and later in life had issues with drugs and alcohol (was a Viet Nam vet). The funny part is late in life he moved back to this area for retirement . He still has the problems he  had before. I'm not in touch with him but every so often I bump into him.

I had 3 sepearte short term partners in the beginning of my pottery making -one became a teacher and she  is retired in Monterey . The other became a teacher for short stint then a mill worker-now retired.

I stayed with clay.I'm also in the best health of them all.Go figure?

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1976.    4th of july.   a sunday.   the bicentennial fireworks in DC was planned to be spectacular.   i lived about 35 miles out in virginia, city of fairfax.   i took my kids downtown to see them from the Mall, yes, that one.

we could not find a place to park so i slipped down a ramp to an underground garage whose door was locked for the weekend.  knew nobody would want to get in that night, it was a government office.     the fireworks were spectacular, over before 10 pm and we got home before the 11 o'clock news and watched the event from the photographer's view in a high rise across the river.

and the traffic,  which had hardly left the city by then.  (that parking space just happened to be one block from the highway access ramp.  i did not know it when i parked there.)

 

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1976 was my 3rd year of teaching HS, graduated from Mansfield in the Winter of 72, married on the 29th., worked in a mom and pop 7-11 type for a few months then started teaching. in 76 my daughter was 1 year old. 

best,

Pres

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4th of July in my home town of Greeley, CO is very special. Greeley is home to the country's largest 4th of July rodeo, the Greeley Independence Stampede, now in its 98th year. The week long event features daily rodeos, plus a carnival, county fair type activities with animals and baked goods, and nightly concerts by big name country music stars. For me as a kid it was especially fun because my grandpa always worked at the rodeo, and I would get to see him there and he'd take me around to see the horses and bulls. In high school, our marching band raised money by setting up  and taking down a couple semi trailers worth of folding chairs in the rodeo arena for the concerts. We'd get free concert tickets as part of the deal, but we always just hung out at the carnival instead.

On July 31 of 1976, the weekend of Colorado's centennial celebration, was when the Big Thompson canyon flooded. We tried to go camping that weekend, but the rain was so bad we went home, missing the flood by just a few hours. Colorado averages about 14 inches of rain per year, and that day 14 inches fell in just a couple of hours. Being a steep V-shaped mountain canyon, all that water flowed down the hills and right into the Big Thompson river. I was only 4 years old at the time, but it's an event that became part of the culture of the area.

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1976 was the summer before my Junior year in HS. Too bad I was 15 and didn't know what a great year that was.

Great booth! I bet that would work just fine today. Saw horses and canvas looks great. I think everyone should  just let their booth evolve, do more of what is working and less of what is not working but not letting yourself get too anal-retentive about it all or bowing to some uptight promoters. Just go sell your wares and enjoy and almost everything else will in time take care of itself.

I guess my way you lose out on some great shows but you also skip the stress :-) 

Edited by Stephen

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On 3/10/2019 at 12:45 PM, Mark C. said:

Well back in 1976 on the 4th of July I was selling Pottery at a local street 

 

4th of July 1976.jpeg

What advice would the nowadays Mark give the young Mark I wonder?

Edited by Babs

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3 hours ago, Babs said:

What advice would the nowadays Mark give the young Mark I wonder?

Right now it would be take better care of your back sooner and switch to Porcelain sooner as it sells better

Also say no to customers on special order about 25 years earlier -I would have made more $ on making new work than on Uncle Toms tea cups

Maybe keep the hats as well as I miss them

as to the rest I would not change a thing

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14 hours ago, neilestrick said:

4th of July in my home town of Greeley, CO is very special. Greeley is home to the country's largest 4th of July rodeo, the Greeley Independence Stampede, now in its 98th year. The week long event features daily rodeos, plus a carnival, county fair type activities with animals and baked goods, and nightly concerts by big name country music stars. For me as a kid it was especially fun because my grandpa always worked at the rodeo, and I would get to see him there and he'd take me around to see the horses and bulls. In high school, our marching band raised money by setting up  and taking down a couple semi trailers worth of folding chairs in the rodeo arena for the concerts. We'd get free concert tickets as part of the deal, but we always just hung out at the carnival instead.

On July 31 of 1976, the weekend of Colorado's centennial celebration, was when the Big Thompson canyon flooded. We tried to go camping that weekend, but the rain was so bad we went home, missing the flood by just a few hours. Colorado averages about 14 inches of rain per year, and that day 14 inches fell in just a couple of hours. Being a steep V-shaped mountain canyon, all that water flowed down the hills and right into the Big Thompson river. I was only 4 years old at the time, but it's an event that became part of the culture of the area.

My husband and I were probably at the Greeley stampede that year.  We lived in Johnstown and I worked in Loveland, he worked in Ft. Collins.  I lost a couple of co workers in the Big Thompson flood.

rh

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23 hours ago, liambesaw said:

Thank God!

I have only shaved twice in my whole life-thats only two days in 66 years.Both times it turned out where a mistake.

Once was at 30 years old the other was when I was 50 to show my wife what I looked like.

Beard is staying

Edited by Mark C.

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17 hours ago, Mark C. said:

Right now it would be take better care of your back sooner and switch to Porcelain sooner as it sells better

Also say no to customers on special order about 25 years earlier -I would have made more $ on making new work than on Uncle Toms tea cups

Maybe keep the hats as well as I miss them

as to the rest I would not change a thing

You can replace the hats! If I am outdoors, I am in a hat, and often also indoors if I am away from home. My favorites are a red boiled wool hat with a "floral" band and black rim and a wide straw hat with a black band.

I wish I had started on hats sooner.

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My story is the same on all 4th of Julys including this one coming up-yep I'll be selling pottery this year as well. 46 years now-not sure I'll be doing it on the 50th year.I plan on stopping the 4th sale in the next few years.

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