Every so often I pack up all of my pottery and head off to some festival here or there to spend a day in a tent hoping for attention (read that sales). Before this event happens, I put all of my mugs, dishes and rather random other pieces out on my dining room table and reprice it all. I don't know why I do this, except that feedback from fellow potters makes me feel like I've overpriced some items and under priced others, so I tend to overthink it all. So, after hours of contemplation and days of not being able to use my dining room, I find myself carting my wares across what seems like acres of land to set up my "fort" of goods. I always do this with a partner potter so I have someone to commiserate with when the day invariably drags and heats up. Our first event of the year was this past Saturday. We both sold some pieces, to our delight, but some encounters left me both chuckling and puzzled.
There was the lady who asked if we made all of our pottery on "the turnie thingie". Assuming she was referring to the wheel, we just said yes. Well, my partner did. I nearly fell off of my chair laughing inside. I couldn't laugh outside because I didn't want her to think I was laughing AT her, but well...
My son bought me a t shirt that says "Pot Dealer: Wanna Buy a Nice Pot?" I wore it, and I think that may have brought in more customers than our display. My partner's first reaction was to drag me over to the check- in person and show me off. One of the food vendors read it and then asked me if I was also a vendor. Who would wear that shirt to a festival and not be selling pots? Well, not me. Unless I end up selling pottery at the seashore some day.
I was amazed at the people who asked for things we didn't have, like place settings, soap dispensers, and items in different colors. For example, I was asked if I had cork heads (see above) in the shape of chickens and ducks (I had dogs and cats). As if we were going to say "Oh yes, I forgot about those--here just let me unpack them." We did offer to make special orders, but I know that those people took our cards, stuffed them into the jaws of an abyss -like purse, and forgot all about us as they walked away. . .
None of this made me miffed or unhappy in the least. It was entertaining. I like the festival atmosphere, talking with hordes of happy people out for a sunny afternoon. I like the smell of crispy barbecue and sizzling burgers, combined with the odors of essential oils, soaps, and sundry other products being sold around us. I like meeting the plant people, the other potters, and those who create items that I cannot imagine creating, for better or worse. It's all good. In fact, despite not becoming either rich or famous on that day, I left feeling just fine, ready to go back and make more stuff on that "turnie thing."
It is early in the season, though.