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Tuesday, June 8

100 American Craftsmen

Well, actually, I think now there are 109. But it is still a "small" show. Not one of those that exhaust the shoppers and strain the patience of the organizers. The work is very high quality (I am always thankful they let me participate!) and the organization that puts it on: the Kenan Center in Lockport, NY, couldn't do it better.

So why was almost everyone bummed about sales? Beats me.

Over the years I have heard every rationalization for the success or failure of an event you can imagine. From the economy to politics, weather, advertising, the design of the postcards, hockey playoffs or football games, too many jewelers, too many potters, too many artists, not enough artists, on and on the theories fly but there is seldom agreement or enlightenment.

Here's what I think. When a group does everything right, there really is no "reason" for anything. 2 years ago I made almost twice as much at this show as I did this past weekend. The economy was certainly no better and I remember that it was so hot outside and inside the arena that people seemed to want to bolt the venue instead of shop and schmooze. But they spent money that year.

I had nice exchanges with shoppers, lots of compliments. My art pieces got positive attention but no buyers. They bought the low end stuff like crazy, but seemed to stall at around $25.00. And so it goes. There are no guaranteed paychecks in this business. You pitch your tent and hope for the best.

Chalk it up, move along, stay positive. I made enough to cover the expenses for the next couple of shows and buy some groceries. Not bad.

And I do love that show. So many friends are there. The committee treats us like rock stars. The customers are smart and art-oriented for the most part. I will apply to this show every year until I'm done. Some years I will be bummed about sales and some years I will be giddy over how good I did. It's the way of this life.

A little over 2 weeks until the next one. Deep breath. On we go. Maybe the weather will be perfect and hockey playoffs will be over and the oil spill will be contained and Obama will have surprised us all with a little incentive check.

I can dream.

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