Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Predicting

It is so very difficult to predict what will sell at an art show.  I have until July 6th to make stuff for the upcoming
Art in the Vineyard art show in Eugene, Oregon and then it will be time to move in, too late for more stuff and too late to change my mind.  After thirty-five years in construction and the last fifteen in metal arts I can really make just about anything, but what to bring?  That is always the dilemma.  Last Sunday I found a little Farmer's Market, a six hour affair in a not too far away town and set up a booth across the street at a Mason's Lodge along side five or six other artists attempting to cypher off from the crowd buying fresh locally grown organic produce and artisan foods from the vendors at the market.  We didn't get the traffic of the market but a few crossed the street to see our space and look at our stuff.   I didn't take a lot with me but enough to gauge the reaction to what I make which is what I was there for.  I can imagine myself madly creating garden trellis easels in my shop and ending up owning all of them!  I am always creating new stuff but suffer the fear of people wanting standard cookie cutter items.
Bench on a Street corner!
   During a break and smelling the great smells of food being cooked on site across the street I went for a walk about along the isles of the farmer's market.  It was an established market, about two city blocks worth of produce, food vendors and some artisan crafts.  I found a metal worker there, a guy about my age and skilled at what he does.  But what he does is copy.  He had the almost identical metal items you would find in a big box store imported from China!  The standard Shepard hooks, the flimsy trellis's and plasma cut salmon and fairies.  He has turned a potential craft and an art into a job.  He is a fabricator and I wonder if this is really what people want and maybe my crazy stuff is just that, too crazy!
    You can see my bench on the street corner, across from the Farmer's Market and get an idea that people would really want to see my stuff to cross the street and look at it.  Some did and I sold this bench.  The buyer's, the new owners of this bench wanted to leave it there for a couple hours and that was o'k with me.  It is where I sat!  As it turned out I could have sold it about six times!  It would drive me nuts to make another one like it.  That would make me a fabricator!  Besides, they are too damned heavy!
   It was an interesting day and I learned a lot.  I can't predict what will sell.  The key, for me, is to make what I like, what I enjoy making.  I am always flattered and honored when I make a sale, when someone wants my art in and around their home.  And I think there must be kindred spirits out there, people wanting something... a little bit different, not seen before, something unusual and calling.  So I will make something today, I just don't know what but it will come to me and something different will give birth!

4 comments:

Kay said...

I love that bench..what a great experience. I was sure I wanted to have a bonfire with my old paintings just to get them out of the way of new stuff. And that is what sold at the last open studio. Now I wonder if I should feature the old stuff again...but I think not...I don't paint that anymore. Good luck in July..I think your items are so unique..I could furnish my acre and 1/3 with a bunch of quirky benches...wouldn't that be fun?

CrimsonLeaves said...

I thrive on the different and unique too, Jerry. I don't like cookie cutter things. Funnily enough, when I was in elementary school (not high school quite so much but a bit), I wanted what everyone else had, as far as clothes, hair, make up, just overall style. Now? I want to be different and unique. I like the unique. You'd get my business easily if I had the money to buy, Jer. You be you; the rest is gravy. Each event will be different crowds and different mindsets. It is all live and learn.

Barbra Joan said...

I think you'll do so well at that show that we just might get to Paris after all. !!
What's that Chinese proverb?
"Plant a green tree in your heart and the singing birds will come."
So you just make what you want.. BJ

Constance Stanza Extravaganza Extraordinaire said...

Hmmm........