Friday, June 5, 2009

Ready for a sale

Several of us from the studio I play in worked this afternoon to set up a booth for a sale tomorrow. I had my daughter with me, it was a lot of fun.

One thing that struck me was the number of people I saw from last years version of the same sale. This sale is the only one I have been in and this is only my second year - but already I am seeing there that the craft and arts people who sell here are a pretty small community. 

What's cool about that is that the two women who had booths opposite our booth last year have the booth opposite us again. As we were setting up our booth I was looking at their work. I can see the progress of their work from last year. Similar styles but with new elements, new colors, new textures via some nice crawl glazes. Similar style but more complex, more interesting. I bought two pieces from one of the women last year and will probably buy a couple more this year - her work is noticeably better.

This got me thinking; has my work grown since last year? How? Is it really better? I don't think I can answer the question. I think my work has changed. I know I have gotten better at throwing, better at glaze creation and application, better at firing. My work is more predictable to me. But does that translate into "better" work? Will the people who saw my work last year think "he has grown"? I don't know. 

The lack of clear feedback makes me want to go back to school to get objective grades. Maybe sales can be that gauge of "better". I think maybe I can use sales as a substitute for a teacher giving that critical, unbiased feedback. Last year I sold two pieces. This year I have probably 30 pieces for sale. About half of them I like, I consider good examples of my work. I expect them to sell. The other half are crap. I am basically donating them so any cash they generate folds back into the studio. 

Tomorrow will be interesting. 

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