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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cup Therapy

 First of all, thanks to all of you for your comments yesterday. I didn't get a chance to reply to all of them, but I love what each of you posted and appreciated the thoughts, thanks!!!!
I spent the day with Wesley yesterday. She helped me unload my car, then we had lunch, then movies all afternoon, curled up on the sofa with my down blanket and warm drinks.
I started the day with coffee from Three Cups and my newest Jennifer Mecca mug. I have always loved Jen's work and decided to treat myself at the CDCG show since it was such a miserable experience. My day brightened as soon as I bought it. Jen makes some really beautiful work.
 Then for lunch, I had soy milk in my new Anna Branner cup. Anna and I did a trade last week and I let her pick a cup for me. I think the barn is most appropriate don't you? perfect for a glass of milk!
Then hot chocolate in my Barbara McKenzie mugs with the movie Detachment. Great movie if you haven't seen it.
So the day was spent licking my wounds and spending time with my favorite girl and it was great. Feeling well rested today and I'll be setting up my studio for the tour all day.
I know my blog post was rather bitchy yesterday and a blogger hesitantly emailed me last night to order stars and a little barn ornament, apologizing for not being able to buy a larger barn. I totally understand that not everyone can afford my larger pieces. Heck, I can't afford them! The thing that I was so annoyed with is that I spent $575 on booth fees $40 on a tank of gas to get there, $10 for lunch one day, not to mention the cost of materials and labor to make the stuff. So I'm way over $600 in expenses for this show and sold very little. The buying public for this show was for the most part wonderful. Appreciative of the work, lots of wonderful comments, very kind and nice to talk with. It was just the lunatics that they let in that drove me nuts! and they all found my booth. Yes, I even had one lady ask me if I could give her a ride home!
Last year at the CDCG, on Saturday I sold $2000, mostly my larger barns, and this year I didn't sell one barn on Saturday, just two stars and my total sales for the day were $48. I really don't know what the difference was, I had even better pieces this year than last. I'm just not sure who this show is attracting. People that love art and want to come look at it, but can't afford it? Mostly..... I would be one of those.Women that buy expensive jewelry, yes. Women buying garments, yes. People buying clay work, no. I think the jewelers did great, the weavers across from me with their mass produced $100 mohair scarves did great. But the clay folks, not so good. I'm not sure how other fiber artists, wood workers and metal artists did. It seemed to me to be a jewelry, scarf and leather purse show! I do know that this was maybe the worst show I have had dollar wise except maybe for that stupid Hog Days festival I did last year. In perspective- I sold more at the Shakori music festival to stoned hippy chicks buying beads, how's that for an oddity! and that booth cost me $200 for four days and I had a front row to all the music and a free camping spot. Not to mention, it was waaaay more fun. Maybe I'll just start doing stoner shows again, haha!
Wesley put it in great perspective for me. My friend Shannon Bueker is probably my favorite painter around here. She has a llama painting that I would love to own. It's $1200, and I can't afford it, but I love it and would buy it if I could. Shannon has even offered a payment plan and I have considered that option. But that $1200 is Wesley's college tuition. So, that's how it was for many at the show, I'm sure. They loved my work, but couldn't afford the $150 or $325 prices. So what to do? Only make stars and little barns and sell lots of them at $24 until people have money again? I have no idea. We'll see how the next two weekends go and then time off until the new year. If I have anything left after the show, I'm sending it to local galleries and let them deal with all of this. I'm seriously thinking of going the way of Sandy in her comment on the last blog posting.... family time, garden and home studio sales. I don't have chickens or I would do that too! I am befuddled and mystified by all of it, but today is another day and I'm just getting on with it! There is yarn to weave after all, haha! That's all I got for ranting on this show. Loved the people that run it, loved the artists, loved the art, loved the nice people I met. Hated everything else about it!

16 comments:

Shannon said...

Tracey, you have a lovely self-care support system at home. It's always a good thing to buy yourself something that restores you and keeps the big Art- Money -Wheel turning. And you've got a survival plan in the works, too. January and Feb are always that for me, too- Pull it all in, get quiet, just do some work and forget about all that sales/schmooze/promo stuff for a while. Get dormant.

Anna M. Branner said...

Soy milk is appropriate. :)

Who knows what is in the air to make shows so different. Last year I sold SO many yarn bowls at the Fiber show I vend in October. This year everyone was asking me what they were!

Tracey Broome said...

but I still want your llamas!!!!! one day...... that would be the best self care, haha! but yes, dormant it is. I'm starting to feel like I must have bear ancestors :)

Lori Buff said...

The mugs are great, no wonder they helped you feel better, that and spending time with Wes.
It's impossible to predict what people will want until we have advertising budgets that are large enough to tell them what they want on TV. Having some items that you enjoy making in various price ranges can help and enjoying the good customers and letting go of the DA's helps.

Tracey Broome said...

Anna, haha! How could you NOT know what a yarn bowl is! and yes the soy milk was even better in my new morning sippy cup :)
xo

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Lori, so true. I definitely could use that ad budget!

Tracey Broome said...

hey, my comments are randomly placed because every time I replied to one, someone else had posted, haha! sorry!

Susan Wells said...

Fibers.

Dennis Allen said...

Charming little Anna cup.Has Wes thought of being a traveling Monday morning therapist for artists with the post show blues? Sounds like she is pretty good at it.

Melissa Rohrer said...

In one of the last shows I did a jewelry person was selling like crazy. I commuted, but she lived further away and could easily afford a motel room for two nights with what she was making. Yeah, I was jealous. Got to give her credit, she had some unique and well-made pieces.

Melissa Rohrer said...

In one of the last shows I did a jewelry person was selling like crazy. I commuted, but she lived further away and could easily afford a motel room for two nights with what she was making. Yeah, I was jealous. Got to give her credit, she had some unique and well-made pieces.

Sandy miller said...

Welcome to the age of adornment....... So many stories this year! Sitting in my booth 10 hours from home the jeweler next to me complained her sales were down. Had to ask..... So what's down for you? "I'm down $10,000 this year".
After I cleaned the coffee off my sales table I just blew out my nose I had to laugh. Told her that was more than half my annual income. Then and there I thought, Wow, life is short and you better love what you're doing. I'd rather be home! Still making pots but home! More hiking, camping, and stuff that makes me smile. I begrudge no gallery owner charging 50%. They can open the door every morning, they can talk to the crazy people, they can deal with packing and wrapping; frankly I'd rather go for a slog on the river or hang with the head mutt. Time is precious and maybe that's because I'm over 50 and pushing 60. I say more mugs ;)

Laura Farrow said...

it's well known that marshmallows cure the blues, especially with hot chocolate in a handmade mug. if you add in the Wes factor plus down blankets and movies on tap, you're getting pretty close to happiness. xo

Tracey Broome said...

Susan- YES!
Dennis, Wesley is very good at making me feel better!
Melissa and Sandy, I KNOW! What up with the jewelry?!
Laura, mostly BLISS!

JUDI TAVILL said...

Same shit different day. Seriously! This is why I backed off of shows. Womem(in particular) will always go with stuff they can wear(remember a manufactured dress I simply designed was sellng at $200+ and it was one of thousands made in a factory). Clay for me is different. I did Peters Valley 2 years in a row a few years ago... The first year was 3x better than the 2nd. And my work was BETTER or so I thought. It is painful. Really makes you consider wholesale...

Tracey Broome said...

So right, Judi. Wholesale is looking better and better!