The One of a Kind Show has been a daunting goal of mine for a long time and this year I was incredibly fortunate to have a booth in the Craft Community of Canada section where I was featured among a dozen other emerging artists. By the end of the show, we were a tight-knit little community all our own and I was so honoured to be surrounded by each and every one of them.
The benefits of doing this show (in my experience):
1. THE EXPOSURE. You get tons of it. Not only did I get featured in the One of a Kind email blast (which went out to thousands of people) my wood grain pieces were showcased in the main display at the front entrance, and my hawthorn mugs were on television! Even more than this, I had retail stores and galleries approaching me wanting to wholesale my work. Which was incredible and something I didn’t expect. Honestly, it was worth it just for that.
2. THE COMMUNITY. I’ve been working with clay and doing shows for a long time now and one of the best things about being a maker is the community of artists you become a part of once you start showing your work. Artists and artisans are not only some of the hardest working people I’ve ever met, they are also some of the most intelligent, funny, kind, and supportive people out there. They are the treasure you didn’t even know you were looking for.
3. THE FEEDBACK. Feedback is invaluable. One of the most helpful pieces of feedback I received again and again were on my wood grain tumblers. So many people asked about handles, which I’d refrained from putting on because these pieces in particular were designed in such a way that handles would really mess with the design. So now I know that I need to incorporate handles, which is a fun challenge.
4. THE ACCOMPLISHMENT. At so many points leading up to this show, whether I was sanding the bottoms of hundreds of pots or carefully wrapping and packing each of those pots, I would turn to Joe and say: Can you believe I’m doing this? Well, I did it. At six o’clock last night, when the official closing announcement was made, cheers went up from all down the Direct Energy Centre. Cheers of camaraderie, solidarity and celebration. It felt so good.
And now I need to clean my studio and get back to work to prepare for The Potters Market (which you should totally come out to).