Monday, October 12, 2009

Spruce Pine Potters Market

The Market has just finished with some very good traffic and quite a few folks carrying bags of pots. As a general statement, no surveys or market analysis taken, I think most of the sells were in the moderate to mid level price range, but the best is that people were buying. Saturday was a strong selling day for everyone that I had spoken.
The show keeps growing and the quality of the work is high. A note for show organizers, when you bring in junk to a show, your educated buyers will not show up, they don't want to go to a flea market. I've seen lots of shows bite the dirt because organizers were just making extra spaces to jam in as many booths as possible. I feel that these shows will usually self destruct, but with most of the expense, usually thrown on the backs of artist doing the show.
I had gone to south Florida to do a show, several years back. The promotions had declared the shows virtues and its visitors/ sell numbers were very high. Well, there was no mention that a lot of the booth were low and in a flood plane. If it had rained, I would have been fishing from my pedestals. An "artist", used very loosely, sat in his booth and cried most of the show, this raised the water level up an inch or two. Then, there was the young couple who bought a double booth on another side of me and they brought most of their living room suit, to make the customers comfortable, while they, the customers, looked on to black velvet paintings, that kept me nauseated most of the show. Actually, I was waiting for the belly dancing to start. So, to make my point, If I had not won best of show in clay, I would have had to max out my credit cards to get home.
I have a point to this story. I believe that craftsmen are going to have to ban together and create their own specialized shows, potters markets, glass shows, and/ or sculpture shows, etc.. Inflation, gas prices have made a demand for centralized markets. We are fortunate here, in that there are enough studios to make a fairly large show, with an above average quality of work.
In this economy, artisan works are usually the first thing that will slow in sells, and it is usually the last thing that buyers will start buying after money has loosened up. So, creative thinking will be the way we can survive in a tight economy. Let me know your ideals, I'd love to pass them along and give me a better insight to selling in better ways.