Friday, July 6, 2012

Cool Stuff!

I have not displayed in a garden show for over five years and that was seldom how I displayed what I do. I consider myself a "Home Show Expert" having done them twice a year for twenty-five years.  In these shows I displayed my creativity but I was always after the bigger jobs and just brought the little things to show what I could do.  Sometimes I would get $50,000 worth of work from a single show.  I am retired from that now, no longer have a crew and am not after these bigger jobs.  I'll leave them for the younger people.
    Now what I bring to a show is what I am trying to sell and there isn't much more.  Oh, it is a lure a little bit; I would like to be commissioned to build a custom gate or something really cool, but basically what I am bringing is what I have to sell.

   I moved in yesterday and on the spot sold three pieces to other vendors and that is a good omen for this show.  I got the opportunity to look at their work also and I have to admit that I was impressed!  Their art is different from mine and that is good.  We are not really in competition with each other.  It is apples and oranges and they have worked hard.  I see a winters gathering of gleamings out of their work and they have turned common tableware into magical dragonflies.  Whimsical, fluttering, with the strength of steel. Clever!
   I haven't got a photo yet, perhaps today, but there is an artist there who makes creatures.  A life sized giant sea turtle, a dragon that must be 15' tall, butterflies, of course and other animals.  They are incredible, perfect workmanship, amazing details.  They will bring the crowds.
   I think artists always compare themselves to other artists, steal ideas a bit, incorporate concepts.  My art is different because it is all designed to be used.  I make tables and pedestals and places to perch a cup of coffee, cucumber trellis's and structures for bigger climbers.  Used by people or used by plants. Functional Art.
    There are lots of vendors at this show, some in the "Garden Section" where I am and others in booths packed together along a serpentine walkway with over a hundred vendors.  Artists from all over the Pacific Northwest.  The show is a big to do and is supposed to attract over 25,000 visitors.  I wonder if the public realizes all the work that goes into such a production, renting the park for an entire week for a three day show.  Lots of security, just lots of people working to make this a success.
   Some artists have been here for 15 years in a row.   Months of labor for a three day event.  I am a little embarrassed.  I churned my stuff out in a three week frenzy.  Next year I will do a better job.  I am already thinking about it.

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