This weekend I did a new craft show put on by the kind folk who organized the Bazaar of the Bizarre! The new winter show, “Frost Bite”, was in a new location – at The Great Hall on Queen Street. For me it was a great show – lots of vendors who have wonderful work – artists, jewelers, clothing designers and more.
The venue was a lot of fun – well spaced out – with enough room to move for the crowds (and yes, there were crowds), and enough space for the vendors too. It almost felt roomy! The lighting was quite good – though the 2nd room had better day-lighting. Unfortunately I didn’t get more then 2 minutes to check it out. Most of my time was spent behind my table talking about the work, and sometimes explaining the Materials.
What makes a successful craft show is, for me, a delicate combination of vendors and the general public. The Bazaar of the Bizarre people really seem to have found a good niche – appealing to alternative folk, artists, goths, geeks, punks and anyone who appreciates the unusual. They seem to have selected a good group of vendors. I was parked beside another jeweler – which often happens – since there are so many jewelry makers around. The woman beside me though had a lot of silver jewelry, so it was a good contrast to my own “mixed media” work. I was quite impressed with some of the jewelry at the show – after a while I’ve started to recognize people and their work.
The jewelry selection in any craft show is really critical. Often people seem to think that jewelry is something that is “easy” to make and sell, but there are so very many vendors, some shows will refuse to take more then 25-35% jewelry. There are just so many of us! It makes it very difficult to get into these shows, though I’ve been quite fortunate with my steampunk jewelry, I’ve gotten into every show I’ve applied to – but then I don’t do a lot of shows. It helps to take good photos and really strive to create something different. So many of my pieces are meant to tell a story – even the simple ones. I also tend to recycle a lot of materials – pocket watches, watches, scrap metal, bits of broken jewelry, glass – well okay, just about anything I can find. 🙂
The biggest thrill this weekend for me personally was quite unexpected. My art piece, “Collapse”, – a wall sculpture was purchased. I honestly was quite unprepared – mostly I had thought people might come and be curious about it – but I didn’t think anyone would actually buy it. I know, silly, but true. I am .. .just thrilled… that it will now be in someone’s home. It was a very personal piece, and I’m so happy someone owns it now.
There were a few special pieces too that were sold. I’ve a good memory for some work – one, the customer named, “Bee on time” was a small woman’s wrist watch case with a partial movement inside, and a tiny bee. Another had a lovely brass stamped angel who arched around a mother-of-pearl button, placed on a movement. Two of my Vacuum tubes went – one a very masculine piece – with a thick copper chain. A U-tube necklace made from a stop-motion flash has found a new home. Sometimes I’m amazed some things have Not sold – and sometimes I instantly wish I’d hung on to some just a bit longer.
I always love it when a fellow is buying something for his partner at these shows. Often they will circle back and whisper, “psst… that necklace my wife liked….” and I’ll slip it into a box. These are always fun little moments of connection. I think i just enjoy the .. sneakiness of it.