Thursday, May 6, 2010

Load 'Em Up, We're Heading To Palmer

It’s (almost) show time at the new Half Moon Creek Gallery in Palmer! Willie and I loaded an entire U-Haul of my art this morning and I delivered all the pieces to the Gallery!! I couldn't believe we filled it up -both of our trucks wouldn't hold all the pieces but the 14' rental worked fine, full but fine. What fun it was putting the HAUL in U-Haul -ha! Or as Daddy-O says "drive it like you stole it!" My favorite part of a Show is the “day of” because the schedule leading up to a Show is a killer. It’s not only all the work of making things (the fun part) but it’s the business end of being an artist that I dislike dedicating time to –pricing
(absolutely my least favorite part), inventorying, tagging, delivery and set up. For large Show’s like the Half Moon Show and Bad Girls of the North, over the years I’ve kept track of the number of items I’ve made, their price points and what things sold best. Each year I like to have new ideas and completely new designs for returning customers but there are certainly customer favorites. The one year I didn’t make any Garden Ravens customers screamed! I thought maybe customers were getting burned out
on seeing my “Ravens on a stick!” Gladly, no they weren’t and my Garden Ravens have been a production staple for 8 years running. Other customer favorites are the large Garden Chimes –I may change up the design but customers year after year love the wind chimes that can also hold a outdoor hanging basket. Another favorite I had almost forgot about until I was reviewing last year's list are Dragonflies. The ones in the photo are for hanging on the wall. After seeing these finished I forgot how much I liked them -I think I’m going to make some giant ones that are mounted to a base and “float” above the garden for the upcoming Alaska Botanical Garden Fair…hmmm.

I stress most about whether or not I have made enough pieces for my annual Garden Show at Half Moon Creek. Sadly, as a one woman operation, I physically can never make enough stuff to sell and it causes me

anxiety when I know there is a tremendous selling opportunity and not an endless supply of art! It’s tough trying to balance making money and not burning out –or worse making crap art just to fill out inventory. What has been helpful for me in Show planning is referring to last year’s inventory list and planning months ahead for a REALISTIC production schedule. I need to remember I’m only one person who can only make so many pieces in a given amount of time. Sometimes, I’m a time idealist or get sidetracked by inspiration and deviate from my best laid production plans(!) - though usually that’s when some of my best work happens –think of the Sheep... I also

stress about cash flow. Like it or not it takes money to crank up the production machine –there is metal and clay to buy, hardware and fittings, welding wire, gas for my tanks, consumables for the plasma cutter, paints and glazes, grinder and sanding pads, chop saw blades, drill bits and the occasional daily special at Taco King! Hopefully, I’ve planned and priced well –I mostly hope I’ve CREATED well… we’ll soon see, the customer has the final say. If you’re in Palmer, Alaska this Saturday stop by Half Moon Creek Gallery because one thing is for sure –the place will look GREAT and those girls know how to throw a party!

At the intersection in Palmer...


cookingwithgas said...

I have to love a girl in a u-haul!
Thanks for the fill in on family- being one of five I always look for those things that make you the same but different, like art.
Best of luck on sales!

Tracey Broome said...

Best of luck with the sale, hope you come home with an empty truck!

Patricia Griffin said...

Oh, I dooooo wish I could see the show. Afraid Palmer is just too far a stretch! I enjoyed reading this post and could relate to the challenges of inventory, pricing, time constraints, life balance... Hey, the dragonflies are awesome!

Orion Designs said...

See you Saturday!

Christine B. said...

I'll be there...if I can navigate my way around Palmer;)

Christine in Anchorage

Christine B. said...

Oh, forgot to mention, I linked to you and the gallery opening in my blog sidebar under "Alaska Garden News". Hope you don't mind.


ang said...

have a brilliant show season cindy you should have a great guide from the previous years work plus all that tool expense add on but it is a challenge i know.. I put what i thought was an out there price on my big pot at campbelltown and sold it so it wasn't that out there after all..! all the best cheers ang


Happy Mother's DAy Cindy! I hope you have a wonderful day.

BTW, I am deeply in love with your dragonflies. I think I need one for my garden. Can't you just picture it on the side of my barn?