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:
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:
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…