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Posted 23 May 2013Definitely drop the funky tent as soon as you can afford to . might not be able to afford NOT to. It will make you look cheezy, not a good sales approach. unless it is a funky market where you are, would have to visit before to know that.
How your booth looks is everything to getting people to look at your work. The work shoud be what they see, not the tent, or decorations.
I had good luck at outside shows with putting large, flat baskets of small things on the ground at the front corners of my booth. People pasing by would look in , see something that made them want to look through the basket, find a low priced piece that was easy to like and buy. To make the purchase, they would need to come into the booth and then see more that they wanted.
Baskets are a good way to group similar things and keep the shelves from being cluttered. Anything that keeps the booth from looking like a second hand pottery store. Pull colors together, use multiple plate stands, stack sames up,ect.
Carefull planning will boost your sales, if the work is good and the prices right .
Yeah, the tent makes me crazy, and it WAS going to be the first thing I bought with my show earnings, but then the kiln gods said $%*& you! And my kiln died. So now all my fundraising is going toward that. :wacko:src="http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/public/style_emoticons/default/wacko.gif">
I really like the idea that they have to come in (forced browsing!) to pay, but heres a question for everyone-- So, there isn't any electricity, and since I can't afford a non cow-print tent, obviously a generator and lights are out of my price range. So how to I utilize my booth space so that people are encouraged to come in and look around, but so that everything can still be seen? Or is there no good solution to that? It's not dark under the awning, but it still doesnt show off the glazes very well. I hate to ditch a tent altogether because I feel like I'll either bake in the sun or guarantee that I get poured on...
Posted 21 May 2013oh, you are having fun, aren't you? meeting folks and talking pots. and freezing. weather is always a problem. i have done the same show held on the same weekend each year and worn almost nothing once and bundled up in long johns, three wool sweaters and wool socks the next year.
as you gain experience you will find that you will work less by using the simplest, lightest packing and carrying materials. i have seen folks carrying those big, heavy, fully loaded rubbermade tubs. why? cardboard boxes are fine, don't weigh much and can be found easily. cut handles in the ends and separate items with cardboard dividers. boxes come in sizes to match your work and can be stacked easily.
for packing materials used plastic grocery bags cushion things pretty well. i keep them wrinkled and shake a little air into them as i pack. not to create balloons, just not folded flat. haven't had anything break since the 70s and that was because someone else packed one box. i have watched people carefully wrap their work in newspaper. filthy hands after a few minutes and it takes forever.
the absolute worst was the potter who set up using wooden apple crates. great because it was in apple country but can you imagine the weight of all that?
do you make anything that can be piled into a basket with lots of other things just like it? spoon rests come to mind. customers love looking through a basket of differently glazed items searching for just the right thing for a small gift. think teacher gifts for the end of school. tiny christmas items, stuff for tourists if you have them.
i could go on and on but nobody will read these long things.
*raises hand* I'm reading!
Yeah, I am still having fun doing it, its a really interesting challenge for me. I do have some stuff in baskets, but I never thought about putting stuff like my spoon rests or egg separators in baskets. Might help de-clutter my display as well.
Also on my agenda? Get a tent that isn't cowprint. It was free, and everyone laughs and says "well, at least it's eye catching!", but I'm beginning to suspect it's undermining my legitimacy as a craftsperson. lol
Posted 20 May 2013That's why I keep posting this. I don't figure most people aren't terribly interested, but for posterity sake, it's good to hear these things. I know I appreciate show wisdom from people.
This past weekend I did a larger market the next town over, and know what? I made out almost exactly the same as the weekend before when no one showed up and it snowed! (except, of course, that I paid 4 times as much to get in). Basically, I spent all day getting snubbed by a really big crowd instead of a small to moderate crowd. The lesson? Definitely scope out a venue before committing to it. It was totally not my key demographic (who wears stilettos to a farmers market, honestly?!)
But the good news is that the next day when I went to grab some groceries at the farmers market I had been at previously, I was stopped by a bunch of people who recognized me and were disappointed I wasn't there with a booth. Maybe there is something to be said for just getting people used to seeing you.
My layout was better this time around though, I think I'll try this setup again. I put 2 6ft tables out in the very front of my tent half shelves on top of them and with my chairs behind. Inside the tent was just for me and my partner, and a third banquet table that we had setup with all of our packaging materials. I hung all my windchimes and hanging pots on the front of the tent too, and mostly just stood behind. I feel like it created enough separation between us and the marketgoers, so they didn't feel trapped, but we were present to answer questions. It also put all the shiny pretty glazes out in the light where they are best viewed.
So, lots learned once again. I've got a 2 week hiatus now before my next show, thank goodness. All the early mornings and loading, unloading, and setup are brutal.
Posted 16 May 2013Hmmm....I just replaced the elements in my old Cress. It had the same symptoms as yours. Mine has three banks of elements. When I checked them...easy to do, Disconnect each element, then just check em with an Ohm meter ... I found the bottom one burned out. So the kiln was getting hot from the other two but it needed all three to reach final temp.
From experience, check the manufacturers web site, somewhere buried in there should be specs on what each bank of elements should read on the Ohm scale. Mine was 41 Ohms for the Top and Middle, and only 36 for the lower...unless one is broken, in which case your reading will be 1. You need to know these reading to make a comparison.
When you do get the new elements, there will come with a full instruction sheet on how to replace them. It really isn't that difficult.... unless in your case where you can't access them....If you try, be careful these old kiln used Asbestos as insulation.
Sorry i couldn't be more help.
PS The relays make a very loud popping noise when they turn the electricity on and off to the elements. Its really scary at night when you can see the relays flash as the electricity arcs between them.
As I said above, you can't get to the elements in my kiln. They're encased totally. Kiln is a Nova18, a brand that has been discontinued since the early 80s as far as I can tell. No manufacturer to contact.
Posted 16 May 2013
QuoteIf the elements ever become totally shot, so you can't fire it at all, it sounds like it would make a nice little raku kiln! Just make a hole in it for a burner and create a flue in the lid with a piece of shelf for a damper.
OooOOohhh. Valid. I like that idea. It's a decent shell, the metal and the fiber are in great shape, its just old and the elements are slowly going. I think I'll definitely look into a raku kiln conversion once it's gone for good. I've never done raku, but I want to (my mother did it a lot back in the 70's).
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