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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Space Craft

I mentioned that I’ve begun knitting. LOVING this! I very much doubt that I’ll ever do more than scarves and, quite possibly, blankets. Warum? It’s the process, the feel of the yarn, the mesmerizing colors that I’m so wild about. The end result is just a bonus.

Who knows though.
I also may’ve already spoken of my intention to begin throwing, working in clay once again. Bowls and plates are wonderfully meditative. Now then, I have clay leftover from the last time I was playing in the mud but it needs to be restored, slaked, made usable again. Some of it’s hard as rocks and some’s a pile of sludge. More of that process shit – reclaiming the clay.

Yes, Zen and the Art of Pottery and all that.

Here’s the thing – I work fast and a lot. One bit that I like about photography is its compactness. That is, I can go all snap happy (and I do) without accruing  a ton ‘o’ stuff. I live in a very small, though not “tiny,” house. There’s only so much closet space. With photography, I can keep every last little image on my laptop and print out only as needed/wanted.

With painting, I work best and am most comfortable on a large canvas but, again, where to keep all those big fuckers? This is why, apart from painting on the walls, I’m switching to paper. Smaller, easier to store (or dispose of if it sucks or I just get tired of it).

You might say “whyn’t you sell your creations, Donna?” Gee yeah, great idea except for that pesky marketing aspect. Finding shops who’ll carry my wares and working the craft fare circuit is exhausting shit. Even after finding a store interested in my work there’s the sales issue. Most craft boutiques take work on commission. If it doesn’t sell, you don’t get paid and if it doesn’t routinely fly off the shelves, you're kicked to the curb.

Craft fairs are fun and it’s cool to meet the people who like my work enough to buy BUT! there’s jury selection and, if you’re lucky enough to get accepted, there are entry/table fees.

A few local examples:
                Cambridge Riverfest – $75
                Harvard Square Holiday Fair – $96 -$120 depending on table size.
                Somerville’s ArtBeat – $110
                The Craft Festival at Fruitlands – $350

This is in addition to the cost of creating the work to begin with, transportation – gas, drive time, vehicle wear and tear – having to create and set up a stunning, seductive display AND spending your day(s) as an upbeat, happy salesperson. After it’s all said and done, was there a profit? Did I break even? See Lori Watts’ post Making Art and Making Money for what the real pros face.

I just don’t have the energy. I want to knit, take pics, throw pots and paint – that's it. Until I‘ve got my very own Theo, all future birthday and other assorted holiday gifts will be handmade.

Consider yourself warned.

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