I had planned one of my grand experiments, and had such high aspirations. As I've written about previously on this blog, Artscape is one of the shows where I typically have very few pots left for the last day. Until last year, I thought there was no point in bringing more pots, because last day sales were always slower anyways, and I didn't want to haul all the leftover pots home. But last year at the Festival of Lights (the show I share with my students), I learned that having a full booth on the last day does significantly improve sales. So for this show, I packed almost 50% more pottery than last year, enough to keep the booth full through the end of the show.
Mother Nature landed the first punch, and it was a knee-buckler. I drove up to Baltimore on Thursday afternoon and setup my display. After I left, a fast and wicked storm tore through the festival site. Around 8pm, someone from the festival called "it looks like part of your display fell." I had just eaten dinner, and I thought I might vomit. I drove back to Baltimore, this time clutching the steering wheel and having an out-loud conversation with myself. It was dark and still raining when I arrived and opened my tent. A tall shelving unit had fallen down, and taken out the table next to it. Another table looked like it had shifted by a few inches. The last table looked fine. There were pots and shards all over the ground. I figured out that a flood of water at least six inches deep had washed across the floor of my booth. Street debris had formed into piles in a directional fashion. A six inch tall plastic box on the ground was filled with water, but any box taller than that was dry.
I got out an empty plastic box and started sorting the shards from the intact pots. Here is the Plastic Box of Sadness ...
The next morning, the casualty count went down by one, when an intact tumbler was found in my neighbor's booth. Stoneware hell yeah!! I tried to keep my eyes focused forward. Mother Nature was not done with us yet. The forecast for Friday was for storms all day. My goal for Friday was to not break any more pots, thinking that if we had decent weather for Saturday and Sunday, the show could still turn out well. Saturday morning I woke up to pouring rain. The forecast said it would clear up around noon. But no. It rained all day and finally stopped in the evening.
So that left one rain-free day of the festival. Could it make up for the other two? I'm referring to the outcome as Reverse Artscape. My usual Artscape was good Friday, great Saturday, very slow Sunday (because I had no more pots). This time it was slow Friday, slow Saturday, great Sunday. In other words, when all was over it was a typical Artscape, only the days were reversed. I didn't get to run my experiment, but that can wait for another day. Mother Nature put up a good fight, but Artscape won.