Monday, August 15, 2011

"Been there, done that, now let's move on."

Well folks it's bound to happen. Every artist in our business will sooner or later hit a complete klunker. That show where you wonder why the heck you're there and what planet did you accidently land on. We had such a show. Most of the time it's not the shows fault nor is one's artwork terrible. I chalk it up to being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Actually to be more honest with ourselves it's being in the wrong place no matter what time it is. I always blame myself for not doing enough homework, always wondering how I let this show slip in because I (Victoria) am the one that does all the show research and books them all.
"Hi. My name is Victoria Terra and I booked a klunker!"
Michael was not feeling well and so (to break the norm) I took our studio assistant, Laura, and went to the show without him. It was a good thing. Poor guy would have been really frustrated all weekend. I can't tell you how many times over the weekend that someone walked into our booth and asked me if Michael's work was made out of 'taters'. I kid you not. 
I was floored. 
Jaw drop to the ground. 
I am reluctant to put the name of the show in writing. But then again it's really not the show's fault. It was us just not being in the right place to sell Michael's work. The show was 'Arts & Crafts At Iroquois'. It's an art show that is part of 'Kentucky Music Weekend'. I thought it had all the right components that would make good selling for us; folk music that draws an intellectual thoughtful crowd, a music festival that's been going on for 35 years, and at an amphitheater in the city of Louisville. I was wrong. "Go me!"
For those of you that know me and/or follow this blog you will know that we're not ones to let a bad situation get us down. So I want to share with you some of the fun things that came out of our bizarre weekend. 
Believe it our not, this was the first time that I set up the booth without Michael. I was a little concerned about a few of the technical things about stabilizing our panels. But with Laura's help we did it. We got the booth set up, stocked, and the office all ready to go about 40 minutes before the show started. All in all it took us the same amount of time that it takes Michael & I. Laura and I were proud of ourselves:

 This is a picture of the exquisite frozen grapes that were a gift from the food vendor across from us. Why I never thought of freezing grapes for a treat I'll never know. Those grapes rocked my day!

This is a picture of an antique Ford that Rick Thum took two years to restore all by himself. He is a very talented Dulcimer maker and a really nice human. I fell in love with his truck.

There was lots of great music that we listened to all weekend. There was a storyteller from Oregon that told the absolute best stories about Woody Guthrie. There was a dulcimer competition and the winner won a handmade dulcimer (score!). There was a terrific neighbor named Paula who is a very talented self-taught nature photographer.
This is a picture of Laura working while sitting in the booth. Yeah, it was that slow....

And this is the 'Best of Show' award that Michael won. Go figure. Life is ironic...

So that was our klunker of a show. I feel like we can now say, "Been there, done that, now let's move on."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Yay Baltimore!

Wouldn't you love to have a box of these chocolates?
Trust me, I think that you would. We were driving to our annual wholesale show and stopped in Jonesborough, TN to meet with the buyer for the gift shop at the International Storytelling Center. We here at Terra Cottage think that Michael's work is a great fit for a  storytelling center. Now we just have to wait and see if the buying committee agrees with us. We had some time to wander about town and happened upon a chocolate shop. Earth & Sky Confections is a delight and we had fun talking with the father/father-in-law of the owners. Michael and I new at once that this husband and wife team had studied at The French Pastry School in Chicago. We had taken a tour of the school years ago with the girls and we recognized the chocolate design sensibility right away. We knew we had to try some because the chocolates that we had at the school were outstanding. We were not disappointed. We saved our treats for the hotel that night. In our house we like to share our chocolates. First one person will take a bite and then the next. We love to watch each others expressions to see how much they like what they are tasting. It can get rather comical when it's the four of us! Michael and I had a great time sitting in the hotel catching up on cyberspace stuff and trying our boxed chocolates. These chocolates have a great 'mouth feel' and the flavors are wonderfully complex. We know exactly what were getting our best friend Andy for Christmas (he loves good chocolates just like us).
The next day we drove into Baltimore to set up for The Buyers Market of American Craft. In the biz we call this wholesale show 'The Rosen Show' because it is put on by The Rosen Group. We've been doing this show for about 6 years now and we've made a lot of friends. I always look forward to going and seeing everyone. At a wholesale show all the mediums are groups together in rows. So we are in the midst of clay people all weekend. It's nice because there are other husband & wife teams and I get to talk to other spouses that do what I do for a living. We get to kibbitz  about shows and about how to find the best hotel deals & how to better promote our spouse's work. 
Last year the summer Rosen Show was moved from Philadelphia to Baltimore. Which is fine by us because we've got some good friends that live there and we can visit and stay with them. Now I don't know about you but when I think of Maryland I think of crab! And what is more fun then a pitcher of beer, good friends, and pickin' crab?!

This is our very dear friend Peter of Mudpuppy Pottery.
And look at all these yummy crab.....

The Rosen Group is always real good to their artists and there was a party at the American Visionary Art Museum. Very cool museum. This is Peter and Michael getting ready to stuff their faces:
And these are sculptures outside of the museum:

I could totally dig a mirrored tree in my front yard. 
The show went extremely well for us. We had our best show ever. Retail or Wholesale. EVER. The folks at the Uncommon Goods catalogue put in a big order for 'Writer's Block's' and three different 'Reading Glasses: thera P, N spire, & carpe DM'. We are very excited and have hired some local artists and clay people to help with the production. So keep your eyes peeled for the Holiday edition of the Uncommon Goods catalogue. 
It was so worth 16 hours in the car to get there. Besides we had each other for company. 
Yay Baltimore!