I will be doing my first ever big craft show in one week. I was very pleased (and a little surprised) to be selected as it was the first one I had applied for. Being me I have been planning it for months and thought I was pretty much on top of it.
Then I visited Made London and had an unexpected attack of the collywobbles. Seeing all that well made work beautifully presented in a fine setting suddenly had me thinking that my work was not good enough and my presentation plan was nuts and I was crazy to think it could all work.
In short – the standard stage fright script.
In getting past this it has helped me to remember that I never set out to be the same as all the other people already doing craft shows. My aim is to create what I need to create and then to share it in an open-hearted way. So the work is what it is and it wither speaks to people or it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t that isn’t a weakness on my part – it just isn’t what they need right now.
Reflecting on the show I was struck by the performativity of it, of all those smartly dressed people in their booths with their polished up work on smart plinths and ironed natural linen tablecloths and what have you. It’s a far cry from the workshop world of aprons and clay dust and packed up stock. As well as making the journey to Chelsea with all my clobber I shall also be stepping out onto this brightly lit stage and projecting as best I can.
Coming into this with very little training was always going to need a massive side portion of chutzpah and i took inspiration from punk in this – they may only have had 1 chord but they had something to say and they got up there and said it.
I have pots to share and my own approach to presenting them and that’s what I’ll be doing this time next week.
As Sid once said, I’m doing it my waaaaay