As well as dreaming of making pots I have also been pondering how on earth to sell them.
Mr H is clear that he thinks a market stall is a good way forward and I can see advantages in selling directly – getting a chance to see how people respond to the work and what they like/dislike as well as not having to give other retailers a cut. Mind you, I dont have a car so I’d have to either do it all by bike/trailer, or find a way of getting a car share either with a friend or through something like zipcar. Logistic concerns aside I got news last week of 2 specialist markets so after a busy morning learning how to roller-skate I stopped by to check them out.
First off was a rumoured new ‘designer-makers’ market on one saturday a month at Spitalfields. I’ve been going to the sunday market for a decade and have long been a fan – despite being a bit sad out all the changes as the area is increasinlgy gentrified. Anyway, apparently there were new opportunities for makers so it had to be worth a look. It turned out to have a lot of familiar faces/stalls, but perhaps 2/5 were different to the regular Sunday offering, with a range of hand-made items; lots of jewellery and clothes etc. I found them in the last corner and dont now have a very clear memory all of 3 days later. (telling???). There were lots of tourists around, but it was a lot quieter than the Sunday crush. Still I imagine the regulars think it’s worth the effort if they are tunring out?
Next stop was the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, venue for the second annual Renegade craft fair. This was a bit tucked away upstairs, but there was a reasonable Brick Lane crowd milling about and finding their way up. The organisers seemed like a friendly bunch, there were lots of activities to join in with, and they were advertising in Time Out as well which cant hurt. There was a lot of print and textile-based stuff that people could do at home (which fits with their renegade/outsider/diy line), but also some nice ceramics.
These included chunky jewellery and small porcelain cups with a great turquoise glaze by me me me, charming pots for succulent plants by Atelier Stella, a company called Ham (which rather perturbed my vegetarian sensibilities) but had a good strong graphic style they were producing on a range of wares and an entirely ceramic range by Laura Lee in a completely different and very colourful style.
Before I set out I had been having the fear – that my work would not be good enough, that I would not be good enough – you know the drill. But oddly, seeing other people’s work made it seem much more possible. Each was of good quality in its own way so it’s not that the standards were in any way low, but I guess reality is much more achievable than the impossible standards that my head seems to set for me sometimes!
It would be interesting to hear how other makers approach the issue of how to sell their work – and how they combat the fear…