rainy day break

well, i survived another show.
today is rainy and my car is still packed with my booth. i’ll wait for a break in the rain to unload (i hope!) or just go ahead and do it in the rain i suppose.
the surfers in the house thought they would be going surfing today and i decided in my head that i would join them- build a fire in the rain and cook some food, perhaps sitting in the car, stitching or reading while watching them out on the horizon. but they have checked the surf report and seen that the waves are not to their liking so who knows what will happen today? in the meantime, i curled up on a couch and read some more Burchfield. i find a lot of comfort in his writing- his ups and downs, his highs and lows, torn between belief and disbelief. such passion. i read:

Salem
August 30, 1914
I sometimes feel, as tonight, that not until I at some time give my passions full play will I ever attain any kind of peace. And yet I fully know that such indulgence brings a worse state of mind. Thus is a man always fighting.

i see my feelings about doing shows changing these days. there are lots of reasons-many having to do with the changing tide of my own work. perhaps it is the moon’s gravitational pull on earth. as if the recent moon work is creating its own spring tides and pulling me towards it. i don’t know.
some of the other reasons have to do with the fact that i am creating work that is simply less commercial these days and still trying to support myself. and the work i am creating simply takes a lot of time. while everyone that passes by my booth is quite taken by the beautiful silk, the riotous colors, the fine pleating of the scarves and ribbon, the price remains higher than affordable to many in this economy. i am still figuring all this out and the current economy is proving quite the challenge. i do find it interesting though that while sales are down all over, costs continue to rise. booth fees, shop rents go up. one would think that in order to keep vendors coming back the fees would stay set or even drop a bit but apparently there are waiting lists (or so we’re told) of many waiting their chance to take an empty space.
i do so enjoy the contact with the customers though- really a necessity for me. if i don’t see them face to face from time to time i can’t come up with ideas that inspire them to use what i do make. one of my favorite things at a show is when a mom will bring her kids in. really. i love to talk to them about what they like to do with their creative time. i always give them a length of ribbon to take away and explore. the way they fondle the pleated ribbon, opening and closing it, feeling its softness- you can almost see the wheels turning in their heads. they pick a color- such unexpected happy fun- for both of us!

-then there are the stories like this-
two women come into the booth- gaga over everything- love this, so beautiful, etc., etc., and upon seeing the silk shibori pocket squares, one remarks “oh! my husband would LOVE these!” sensing a sale, i encourage her to open some of them up and as she does she sees the price ($20) to which she says “he’s not worth the $20!” . trying to recover the moment i say “oh come on now, you don’t really mean that”. to which she says, “oh yes i do!” her friend nods and they leave the booth. thankfully. the stories i could tell. well, as you can see, shows have their ups and downs.
i was heartened however, to sell some of my indigo moon bookmarks (a few left over and available at the etsy shop). they took a moment to stop, look and read the description i had written and loved them. you had to slow down a moment to appreciate them and it pleased me greatly that some people did take the time.

Burchfield later wrote:

Salem
September 27 1916
Sometimes I wonder at the Multitude of Ideas I gather- does profusion breed confusion? I think it is rather like the prolific quality of Nature, who scatters seed in such great quantities where only one out of a million may grow.

if i only felt i knew which ones to spend my time and energy on…

15 thoughts on “rainy day break

  1. neki rivera

    good to hear you survived another show.:)
    that customer unabashed by being married to someone not worth $20 didn’t realise it had to do more with her than him, did she?
    love your bookmarks and the last Burchfield quote.

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  2. jude

    thanks for these stories… it is heartening to know yours. i just posted these beauties on my facebook page, not much in my shop so i figured i could point to your instead, cuz i love these! i might need more moons, i am using them in magic…..

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  3. Nemo

    Ha! Those stories, yeah. One month out in the cold with the public this winter has given me so many of those I don’t know where to begin. But I hear you. I hear you.

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  4. Connie Rose

    Show Stories! I used to do shows in the mid to late 1990s when I was making beaded jewelry — and for a multitude of reasons, a couple of which you mentioned, I stopped doing them. The costs, even back then, outrageous. The negative stuff I had to deal with quickly began to outweigh the positive. Anyhow, long story short, stopping doing shows allowed my art to change dramatically, and despite the fact that periodically I miss that influx of cash, the show thing wasn’t worth for me, in the end.
    All the best to you and your art this year, Glennis!

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    1. shiborigirl Post author

      honestly, like i said to nemo- the stories are part of it. more good than bad. and the children are priceless. i wish there were more. i did though get a chance to mention my Family Day workshop for kids (and any adults they may bring) at the Japanese American National Museum in march (13th). it’s gonna fill for sure. can’t wait!
      also, i find that i enjoy working off my customers interactions. they do change what i do – not in a bad way. they give me ideas and inspire me as well. (jude! neki, wendy and others) i do enjoy when i get to work completely on my own and the indigo is what i am doing right now in that regard. the fact that all the bookmarks are sold tells me that some of the multitudes of ideas i’m choosing to work on at the moment is growing.

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  5. Susan Fennell

    Loud and clear, Glennis. I can certainly relate, as do many, I suspect. I also love the Burchfield. I have one of his books too and haven’t spent enough time with it. Thank you for the inspiration! It is heartwarming.

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  6. velma

    glennis, you wouldn’t believe my shock to hear you thought of going surfing! wow! once at a fair (teeny tiny folksy) i left my table briefly and returned to find someone had spilled coffee all over my handmade paper/books/handwoven rugs, and vanished.

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  7. shiborigirl Post author

    ayyyee. one thing i will say about quilt shows. they DO NOT allow people to walk around with food and drink. there is some respect. as for the surfing- they didn’t go and we had a tornado in long beach today! crazy rain and i was sweeping 2″ of water out of my garage/studio. gonna be more tomorrow. glad you liked the bookmark! yours is #1

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  8. grace Forrest~Maestas

    glennis…I have been following Spirit Cloth closely since I discovered Jude’s work in November. Have
    been working in fiber art, mixed media fabric figures for over 20 years and am transitioning to
    “story cloth”. All slow and all handwork. I have looked at your etsy in hopes of finding indigo pieces, any size, there. Actually, looked this morning for the moon bookmarks and as you noted, gone. I would just like to say that I would be very interested in indigo cloth, cotton would be my primary preference, but also anything else.
    Looking at your past blog post that you gave today, the particular pieces that appeal to me very strongly are the first in the first horizontal line of the nine patch and then the 3rd squares in the next two lines. hmmm. going from left to right?
    If you were to offer pieces of any size, yardage, I
    would be very happy. Will be keeping an eye on
    your website in hopes….

    thankyou for your beauty full and sensitive work,
    grace Forrest~Maestas
    Polvadera, New Mexico

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