It was a busy month but I think I made it. Among other things, these three wholesale orders were due on November 1, and finished on October 28. No time to rest, I have 4 shows in the next 6 weeks, and no pots!
Most of the time, I think I understand my own mind pretty well. But I have no idea why I occasionally have the urge to make miniature chairs out of clay. The best reason I've been able to verbalize is "because they crack me up." Not very logical. These little cuties got loaded into Allison Severance's wood kiln earlier today, where I took an entire gang of pyromaniacs from the Greenbelt Community Center for our annual workshop. Tomorrow we fire the kiln! Why is it so much fun to build a 2300°F fire out of wood? Darn, I have to figure that out too.
Maybe some artists would consider the Bethesda Row Arts Festival a "large" art festival, with about 200 artists. But I am calling it "medium-sized" in comparison to the Artscape Baltimore festival that I wrote about in Part 3 of The Hourly Earnings Project. Bethesda Row is mostly just an artists' market. It lasts for 2 days with reasonable daytime hours. At Artscape, the artists' market is only one of the multi-faceted activities at the event, and it is held for 3 days that stretch late into the night.
But even though this is a smaller event in terms of size, it is higher on the "fanciness" scale. Bethesda is an upscale neighborhood just outside the DC border. It is dense and urban but without the hard edges of Baltimore. A surprising number of patrons walk through the festival in high heels! Overall, the crowd was huge but the noise level was quiet and refined.
This is the third year I've done this show. In 2008, the show took place right after a stock market crash, and the weather was gray and cold. Last year in 2009, the show was awash with torrential rain. Both times, I left thinking the sales were pretty good considering the conditions. This year, we were fortunate to have some sunny, crisp, early fall weather, and the economy seems to be on steadier ground. Sales were brisk! And not just for me, I saw lots of art being carried away to their new homes.
So where did it land on the Hourly Earnings scale? $32.20. Not quite as good as Artscape, but way better than the "small" art festival. And still better than all of the wholesale calculations.
One final note ... this show plays a big role in my Holiday Open House, which will be the subject of one these calculations in December. My house is only ten minutes from Bethesda, therefore I use this show to promote the heck out of the upcoming Open House. I almost ran out of flyers!
I made a working tabletop fountain! This was a project from my Advanced Wheel class, suggested by Amy Castner. Yes my students sometimes push me out of my comfort zone too. I hope my sister Jinny, a fluid mechanics professor, approves. Also in the photo (in the upper right corner) is a possible new design for a sugar/creamer set, with a heart-shaped sugar bowl that nestles with a spouted creamer. These are some of many things I will have with me at the Bethesda Row Arts Festival this weekend. My booth number is 49E on Elm Street.
Mea Rhee (mee-uh ree),
American Craft Council
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