Welcome to my blog. this is my first one, sorry it’s a week late but here goes.
Standing at the door of my studio on a Friday night at 1:30 in the morning, looking around at my portfolio and boxes full of my framed prints. I realized I was looking at my summer, well at least the last six weeks of it. I could not believe I had everything done for the show.
THE CARLISLE COUNTRY CRAFT AND OLD-FASHIONED MARKET MERCANTILE, Aug 24-25, is were I was heading for to spend the weekend.
This journey started back in March. Julie Johnson who is the organizer of the market,( who also owns her own shop called Rustic Revival). Found me on Etsy. She liked my intaglio print call “Herb Garden”. This inspired her to invite me to be part of her show. This to me was a humongous compliment. Etsy has brought me no sales yet, but it has connected me to the most awesome and creative people. Julie to me is huge support.
Being me, in mid April I thought I had all the time in the world to create and prepare for this show. Spring came and went and I found myself in July realizing I had not nothing prepare for the show yet. I started to panic.Yes, I am the queen of procrastination. I think I must create better when I have a whole lot of stress on me.
It was time to create new pieces for the show. Ideas were few a far between.I found myself taking My Aussie “Nix” for a few extra walks to contemplate what to do. I found this helped the ideas to flow. Nature quickly became my muses. The stories and ideas started to come to me. So for the next 5 weeks I drew, cut, etched, hand painted till I had completed 18 new editions of prints. The work was hard but I loved every moment of it. I finally found myself in the last week before the show. This a was framing week putting everything thing together week, But where were the frames I had ordered at the beginning of August. The package I had did not fit my artwork. I started to get tense I could see all my planing going out the window. I freaked out for a few hours then realized this was not getting me anywhere. I got myself together and everything else started to come together. At 1:30 am on a friday night or Saturday morning I had finally finished.
Saturday 4;30 am we were up and away to Carlisle for the show. The drive down from Peterborough to Carlisle is about a two hour drive. On the drive down I must say I was tired but excited, looking forward to the new adventure. What would this weekend bring?
THE CARLISLE COUNTRY CRAFT AND OLD-FASHIONED MARKET MERCANTILE is a very cool show. I love the vision of the show to depict a 1800 village. Each booth represents a shop in a village and no two shops are the same. Vendors dress up like they are from that period. There were buskers, donkeys and Llamas to see.
Once in Carlisle My husband and I set up the booth like a well oiled machine. Putting everything were it belongs step by step we finally had a booth and we were ready to do business, but what about pricing of the items? I had really though about about this until now. This to me, and most artist, is the hardest thing to do. You are not just paying for a one of a kind piece of art. You are also paying for the artist’s time. You want to sell your art but yet at the same time not rip yourself off . I went through all the calculations you can do, cost of item to make and time. I still had no idea. I actually had some customers help me price the items. One person suggested that some artist’s have a fix price price per square inch. All too complicated for me. I finally settled on on cost to make times 2.
The weekend was fantastic, I met some very helpful people like Monica who gave me some amazing marketing ideas and ways to help my Etsy shop. Her shops on Etsy are called Monika’s Pottery and Feltlikeit222. I am grateful for her help. I did receive interest and positive feed back on my art, but I was amazed at how many people do not realize what the art of print making is about. That there is a difference between a photocopies and an original print. I was happy to have my press and ink to show people what it was all about.
The best part of the show was I was surround by very creative and incredible people.The vendor beside me was “Metalscape” Handmade iron garden decor. Doris Treleaven, garden decor was sensational and she was a very hospitable person. Up the street from her was a doll maker “The Fanciful Doll” Teena Surma made most unique art dolls and puppets. Across from us was Lost Sock Planets, were I could finally, after all these years, get the sock monkey puppet I alway want. Beside them was the Scowling Owl owned by Andrea Simmer. Her art was very whimsical acrylic and mix media painting & cards.
When you first walk in the door you could find the shop Rustic Revival owned by Julie Johnson. Her shop full of salvage items and folk art.Beautiful items!
All very talented and awe-inspiring people.I can go on on and on. I unfortunately spent most of my time in my booth so I did not have time to make my rounds.
What I did I see I found spectacular.
I find it hard to believe that ” Made in China” is better then this. When you buy from these artisans you buying one of a kind art ,their vision, their thought and their passion.You’re supporting your economy and in most cases you are spending less. Let’s be honest you are also getting a far better product.
I think about everything that lead me to this show. When I write I actually mean we. I could have done all this it without my husband (Andy) ,my Mom and my Dad (my father is my unspoken business manager) .
The weekend was phenomenal I met some remarkable people.You know sometime making a mint of money is not the end all . The human connection can be the greatest payment of all. Would I do this show again? You bet!