As mentioned in another thread, we did another art show this weekend. It was another del Mano show, the Mission West Fall Art Festival in South Pasadena. This was the fifth Mission West show we've done, and they have always been pretty steady producers. Not our best shows historically, but better than many others. In the case of this one though, we've had better weekends.
It was 100º in the shade Saturday, and about 91º Sunday. The booths were set up back to back down the center of Mission Street. Our booth faced south. so it was warm, to say the least. We set up our chairs in the shade by the sidewalk, since at least out there we had a bit of a breeze sometime. Due to the wonderful weather, the crowd was out in force. Here's a cell phone pic from about 1:00 Saturday afternoon:
With the cooler weather Sunday, the crowd was much bigger. This was about 3:30 Sunday afternoon:
And of course with the wonderful state of the economy and a 12+% unemployment rate here, all the people were clamoring to spend all their money. And all the vendors were making so much money they were renting wheelbarrows to haul it back to their vans and trucks.
I made a total of four sales. In the end, we came out $50 over our $280 entry fee. As a lot of other vendors were saying, we made the entry but didn't pay any bills. I could have made a little more money on one of the bowls, but the couple that bought it also bought $530 worth of stuff from me last fall, so they got the frequent flyer discount. I'll sell to them again, too.
I did have a casualty from the heat. (The direct sunshine, more specifically.) Even though I was swapping the pieces around on my tables to keep from baking anything for too long in the sunshine, the walnut hollow form with the ebony finial I showed here a while back developed a thin crack from the rim to the shoulder. I'm going to have to CA the crack, then completely refinish it. Nobody to blame but myself, but I was not happy when I saw it.
There were two other turners at the show...we all know each other and get along well. They both also had slow weekends. One of them, a guy named Art, specializes in pens, and he usually does pretty decent. $1000 or more a weekend is not unusual for him, but last I heard I don't think he did much more than double his entry fee for this show. After watching Art at several shows, I can see he's a sharp businessman and a prolific woodturner. He can mass-produce 50 pens in a day, and they all look top notch. But he's a technician, not an artist. He does display some bowls and hollow forms in his booth, but doesn't sell many. They are nice, but predictable. He's more interested in production than creation. It seems I'm about the exact opposite. Right now I could stand to be making $1000+ per show, but I just can't bring myself to going into production mode making something like hundreds of pens. I just want to make what I want to make...but I need to find a more reliable outlet for selling it.
Oh yeah, here's the obligatory booth shot. It was taken with my iPhone Saturday morning before I moved my chair out to the sidewalk...
We did have a good time at the show, the heat notwithstanding. One of the neighbors behind us is a good friend from previous shows, and LOML was one of her steady customers for years before we got started doing the shows ourselves. Her next-booth neighbor was a good friend of hers, so by the end of the show we were all one big happy family. (We opened up the canopy walls to let the breeze through the booths, and that allowed us to visit with people on both sides or in back of us. And with the crowds the way they were, we had lots of spare time for visiting.)