Monday, December 5, 2011

Artisan and Farmer's Market

The Inverness Artisan and Farmer's market is from 8 am to noon so I only set up a quick display. It's open air so no one puts sides on booths which invites more visitors. Even so it takes one hour to set this up or take down, mostly due to pottery which has to be wrapped well to avoid breakage. I took these photos before I was completely set up. I switched to lighter color table cloths and a more minimalist look to the booth. Wish I had a carpet for the ground; I'll have to watch the ads for one.

With the open sides to the booth the pottery glazes really show to their best advantage. So many folks complimented my pottery and I was surprised at how many folks loved my group of wall tiles. Every age group seemed intrigued by them. Especially the young adult crowd. I like the rotating display for booth sales; I plan to cover the pegboard with some grass cloth and just have the hook poked through, which wouldn't show once the piece is hung. The unmatched chairs distract, especially the lime green one, will think about that. I have to take small breaks in a chair so I have to have one. I notice some art booths utilize a director height chair which would make the artist appear more accessible to the public.

I had a young male tattoo artist who spent over an hour looking at each one of my wall tiles and discussing them with me. He had so many ideas about art. A ninety year old man said he was so happy to see hand made work. He's been a cattle farmer in Florida all his life and plaits Florida cow whips by hand to this day. Another man told me about a location to dig Florida clay from the river bank where the Native Americans used to get their clay for pots. It was so energizing talking to the public about my art - very rewarding and stimulating. My head is ready to burst with new ideas.

There were a few requests for custom work, I don't want to get into those. And then there were suggestions of what to make, winter scenes and a santa claus. One woman said she visited Seagrove and couldn't find a shot glass after visiting five places there. Not sure which potters she visited. She said her father likes to use a shot glass to hold the pills he needs to take each day. I might make a few shot glasses, never have. Thanks to those visiting my booth and my fellow bloggers and potters in blogland, I really appreciate your comments, encouragement, and support of my art.


  1. Oh boy, I have done my share of those farmer's markets! You meet the nicest people. Wesley used to come with me before she went off to school. I would use the money I made to buy our groceries for the week from the farmers that were there.

  2. A beautiful post, Linda. All those nice people warm my heart. The cattle farmer who plaits cow whips, wow, what a treasure he is to keep those old skills!

  3. The set-up and break down time/effort has kept me out of Farmer's markets, you're smart to keep it minimal.
    I got some of those large foam floor tiles for my booth. Some people comment about how good it feels underfoot after standing on concrete looking at art all day and it helps protect my pieces if one does get knocked off a shelf or dropped. I'd hate to have to enforce the "you break it you bought it" policy.

  4. Happy Success! I like Lori's idea of foam tiles. A good indoor-outdoor carpet with a padded backing is also a good option.

  5. Gosh...I like the idea of shot glasses. Small, affordable piece of art!!! Lots of time, I love someone's art, but simply can't afford it. Small pieces, I can sometimes spring for. I'm always on the lookout for magnets or Christmas shot glasses...

  6. don't you just love those "suggestions"... i have a very good friend who is always giving them to me.
    well the woman who went to 5 shops in Seagrove obviously didn't stop at ours! we have lots of little shot glasses ranging in price from $12 to $65... of course the $65 dollar ones are actually sake cups fired in wood and/or salt.
    we have a directors height chair for shows and it is comfortable and it's easier to get in and out of quickly.

  7. Your photo gave me a shot of sunshine today!! It warmed my heart to read about your Farmer's Market! I'm the volunteer vendor/media coordinator for the Spenard Farmer's Market here in Anchorage. I LOVE it! We also encourage artisans, farmer/growers etc. though we are very strict about everything has to be locally hand made and we get our fare share of VERY interesting people as well. Our season is only able to be from June -September due to our weather restraints. Thanks for the sunshine cheer and reminding me about one of my favorite things of summer -the Farmer's Markets!

  8. If you don't mind explaining...why the reluctance to do custom work? It sounds challenging & interesting to me, but of course, I don't have to do it,so..

  9. I like Farmer's Market selling, it's pretty grassroots and real. Glad to read your post. For seating, (which I also need) I found those stepstools with folding steps vintage 1960's are great. Thrift shops are a great source for them, and they are also a great conversation starter with customers. Mine is orange!
    Cheers Linda!

  10. Sounds like a delightful show and your display looks fab! I always loved talking with people at my craft shows. So inspiring!

  11. Hi Dennis, thanks, yeah I was happy for the opportunity to talk about my art.

    Hi Tracey, thanks, yes there were so many nice folks to talk with, exhausting though.

    Hi Kittie, thanks, you would have loved that cattle rancher, he was so energetic and he didn't look 90 either and he appreciated hand made.

    Hi Lori, thanks, oh what a great idea I'll have to check into those carpet squares would be much easier to pack than a huge carpet.

    Hi Smartcat, thanks, I was just looking at the indoor/outdoor carpeting on the net, will check into both. Looking at photos here it's much easier to critique a booth than when I'm hurrying to set up at the market.

    Hi Turquoisemoon, thanks, I have lots of magnets I've made of some of my flowers I won't use in wall hangings and small pinch bowls and tea bowls, now I'll make some shot glasses too, or they could be juice glasses. Ha.

    Hi Michele, thanks, yes some of the suggestions were good, but then others, by the time they were made the season would be over, or I'd make them and no one would buy them. The woman who was in seagrove said she mostly went to those close to town and said folks looked at her strange when she asked for them; which I found strange, but she broached the subject not me so I know she was authentic.

    Hi Cindy, thanks, this market is the same as yours, it all has to be locally and hand made and there was quite a selection, really more artisan made things than vegetables. There was even an older gentleman grinding grits with a steam engine contraption.

    Hi Mary, thanks, the reason I am reluctant to take commission work is because I don't fire that often and then if the item doesn't turn out exactly as the person envisioned then they may be disappointed and not really want the item and then what would I do with it? Then there is the storage problem of work which might not sell. Also the inspiration - I seem to work better if I am inspired to make the piece not the other way around. That being said I do take suggestions of work I might make that is more vague as in the shot glass idea, etc.

  12. Hi Nancy, thanks, I have one of those vintage step stool and it is covered with paint and very rickety. I have used it in four different homes for my paint cans to sit on while I paint, it's the perfect height for that purpose for me. I'll have to look for another one, I just don't have the heart to refurbish that one with all the layers of paint. I'll have to post a photo of it sometime on my blog Ha, thanks for the great suggestion.

    Hi Marguerite, thanks, yes was well attended and lots of new patrons of my art and so much inspiration.

  13. I'm lucky that our farmer's market has a building to use. I can keep my stuff set up there. Didn't used to be that way- that packing and hauling can get old.


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