Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Almost Ready for Baltimore!

(Above:  Fourteen new brooches!  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

This time next week will find Steve and me in Baltimore setting up our 10' x 10' Pro Panel booth in space 701 at the convention center for the ACC (American Craft Council) Show.  I'm nervous.  Sure, I'm always nervous but this year is a little different. Why? Well, last year I bombed in Baltimore.  I wasn't alone. The weather was horrible. Television weathermen urged locals to stay home. The roads were ice covered. Eight inches of snow fell on Saturday afternoon ... on top of the first foot of snow. Attendance was off by 50%. Many didn't make booth rent.  Even seasoned professionals who have been on the high-end, juried circuit for years had a "bad show".  They know that disaster can happen. They know that there are forces beyond an artist's control.  In theory, I've known it too, but last year I learned it "for real". Thus, preparations for this year have a new, ominous feel.  My solution:  Make more work!   

Last year I had framed brooches.  The idea was that the brooch could be attached to a little frame for wall display when not being worn. People liked the idea but no one made a purchase.  By Atlanta, I created other work for the frames and tried selling the brooches alone.  Almost all sold.  So, I made fourteen more.  Most of the stitching has been done in front of the television in the evening.  It was fun.  They are each only $50.  I plan on wearing one every day while in my booth.

(Above:  In Box CCXIII. Unframed: 27" x 15". Framed: 34" x 22". Inventory # 3637. $550 plus tax and shipping.)

This week I also finished several other new pieces to take to Baltimore.  I'm working to increase the depth of color in these works, experimenting with new ways to apply my heat-activated adhesive.  So far, so good!  

(Above: Window CXIX. Unframed: 12 1/2" x 10 1/2". Framed:  17" x 15". Inventory # 3639. $265 plus tax and shipping.)

I also returned to an older idea!  I made five new "Window" series pieces as if a view to an imaginary building facade.  I've done this before but not for the two years.  Instead, I've generally focused on symmetrical designs, motifs from a building's embellishment.  I'm really pleased with these new works!  The other four are below!

(Above: Window CXVIII. Unframed: 12 1/2" x 10 1/2". Framed:  17" x 15". Inventory # 3638. $265 plus tax and shipping.)

With luck (and God willing ... good weather!), I'll be able to gauge if my new ideas and work make a good (and profitable) impression.  Many people don't know that doing a show like this is REALLY EXPENSIVE.  Booth rates for a standard 10' x 10' space start around $1500 and don't include electricity.  That's another $150.  Add to that hotel bills, a cargo van rental, food, gasoline, and parking ... well ... it's a real commitment! 

(Above: Window CXX. Unframed: 12 1/2" x 10 1/2". Framed:  17" x 15". Inventory # 3640. $265 plus tax and shipping.)

 No matter how good an artist is, no matter how wonderful an artist's work is, regardless of the price and the attendance numbers ... being one among 650+ of the nation's most talented fine craftsman is an experience that puts the creative life into perspective.  Being an artist is RISKY!  There's no such thing as a "sure thing".  All one can do is work, work, work ... and mentally prepare for anything!  That's how my week is going!  I will blog about the set up, the show, and the results very soon!

(Above: Window CXXI. Unframed: 12 1/2" x 10 1/2". Framed:  17" x 15". Inventory # 3641. $265 plus tax and shipping.)

I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber art work.

(Above: Window CXXII. Unframed: 12 1/2" x 10 1/2". Framed:  17" x 15". Inventory # 3642. $265 plus tax and shipping.)


Sandy said...

Love the new bright colours, Susan.
Hope the show goes very well.

Els said...

Always and always wonderful to see your "windows", Susan ;-)

Wanda said...

The pins are wonderful! I can just imagine them attached to a pretty silk scarf. The new windows look fantastic. As always, my thoughts and prayers go out to you. I know this is a very big deal for you guys.

ElaineM said...

I love these pieces. I cannot see how they are made but they look quite detailed and lovely.
I am sure you will have a great show!

Angela said...

Your work is stunning! I hope you do really well at the show!

Norma Schlager said...

These pieces are gorgeous! I hope the weather is on your side and that you sell them all.

Margaret Cooter said...

Best wishes for a great show - and why not, the work is super and speaks for itself!

Unknown said...

Wowsers! I had no idea of the show costs...what a risk you must feel you are taking. But your work is wonderful and my best wishes for the outcome. It will be interesting to see who is actually selling what in this pre-election economy.

As for the piece you've been coaching me through...the felt comes off tonight. Here on the Oregon coast' it's been raining almost every day since November. It's too smelly to work indoors and wind and rain doesn't bode well when I decide to work outdoors. So, it's been slow going but I'm loving every step.

Thanks again for your answers to my questions. The trial and error has been extremely educational as well.


Unknown said...

I received a prompt and well thought out reply from Susan reminding me that the "smelly" part of this process can be quite hazardous. I absolutely should have remembered to include in my original comments that the use of a respirator is imperative. I purchased mine at a local hardware store for Raku firing. It was under $35.00 and does the job.

Just to remind anyone out there....God gives you one set of everything if'n you're lucky. Don't mess with the big guy!