Spring Horseshoe Market Wrap-up

On Saturday, I participated in the Spring Horseshoe Market in Denver. My friend Sarah and I shared a booth because we had both just finished the Colorado Potters Guild Show the weekend prior. Needless to say, individually, we had low inventory thanks to the back to back sales. But, by sharing a booth, we were able to fill up the space nicely. Also, we saved a little bit of money sharing a booth – the cost to share a booth as a vendor is $100 each as of spring 2017. The price to reserve an single booth is $150.

Spring Horseshoe Market Wrap-up

Spring Horseshoe Market Wrap-Up - Me (on left) and Sarah Christensen
Spring Horseshoe Market Wrap-Up – Me (on left) and Sarah Christensen

Unlike the Colorado Potters Guild Sale where everyone’s work is all mixed up, we decided to split the booth in half. In the photo above, I took the left hand side, Sarah took the right hand side. While our work is different from each other’s, it complemented and did not compete the other’s. Our booth was sandwiched between an active wear clothier and a personal care product business.

The organizers of the Horseshoe Market do an amazing job curating the event to make sure that there is not too much of any one kind of product and that the indie artisans are interesting for shoppers. Load in and out is very well organized which takes a lot of the guess work and chaos out of set up and break down.

Crowds and Sales

I had really low expectations sales wise at the Spring Horseshoe Market since I had just participated in the Colorado Potters Guild Sale and didn’t have a ton of inventory. 

CeramicScapes - Wall Pods and New Ceramic Wall Hangings
CeramicScapes – Wall Pods and New Ceramic Wall Hangings

I suppose it’s always good to exceed expectations, because that is exactly what happened. There were steady crowds throughout the day which tapered around 2:30/3:00 pm or so. The crowd was very diverse in age, gender and family status. As a vendor, I always love people watching and also interacting with everyone who wanders into my booth. 

Of course there were lots of dogs in attendance. As a side note, I wish I had taken some photos of all the 4 and in some cases, 3 legged creatures who found refuge from the sun in our booth. I recently started following Dogspotting on Facebook and scroll through the photos when I need a pick me up. I could have contributed so many photos of doggos and puppers this weekend. πŸ™‚

The Weather

Unlike the past couple of Spring Horseshoe Markets where the weather has been iffy, we enjoyed beautiful sunny skies and warm temps this weekend. In fact, it was almost too hot, but I’ll take that over the rain and hail that Denver experienced earlier in the week. Note to self – don’t forget hat, spf 60 and more water than you think you can drink. The market is in the parking lot of a funeral home. Asphalt gets really warm as soon as the sun starts beating down. 

CeramicScapes - Spring Horseshoe Market Booth Set Up
CeramicScapes – Spring Horseshoe Market Booth Set Up

Booth Set Up

I used my new collapsible shelves that my father in law made for me at this show. All I can say, is thank you best FIL in the world! The shelves work well and when they’re broken down, take up very little space in my car. Since I shared space this time, I had to fit all of my work on one side. I’ll be participating in the Summer Horseshoe Market on July 8th, so I will be able to spread out my work.  I plan on making an L with my two 6′ long tables on the right, leaving the lattice on a dedicated wall for my hanging work. I might also debut some of my sketches at the next market.  

That’s it for today…I took yesterday (Mother’s Day) off and today, this blog post is my big task. I’m going to the movies this afternoon with my daughter who is home from college for the summer.

 

CeramicScapes Will Be At The Spring Horseshoe Market

I’m still recovering from last weekend’s three day spring Colorado Potter’s Guild Sale. It’s like having a hangover, if one can actually over indulge in pottery. But, there is no rest for me this week because I’ve been getting ready for this weekend’s Spring Horseshoe Market which takes place on Saturday, May 13, 2017 from 9am – 4pm. This event is outdoors and luckily, good weather is in the forecast.

ceramicscapes Will Be At The Spring Horseshoe Market

Spring Horseshoe Market 2017
Spring Horseshoe Market 2017 Poster

I really enjoy participating in one day market events and I especially like the way Horseshoe is curated and organized. There will be over 120 vendors including me and my booth mate, Sarah Christensen Ceramics. Sarah is also a member of the Colorado Potter’s Guild

CeramicScapes - Ceramic Macrame Wall Hanging Test
CeramicScapes – Ceramic Macrame Wall Hanging Prototype

What am I bringing?

In some ways, I will have completely different work than what I brought to sell at the Colorado Potters Sale last weekend. I’m going to have new ceramic/macrame hanging wall art work, 6 hanging planters, wall planter pods, a handful of mugs, and various sizes of dishes (ring – platter sized).

The finished ceramic macrame wall hanging above is the first one that I made and it sold at the Colorado Potters Guild. I just fired my kiln yesterday and have 5 more. (see above) My kiln is still just a little too hot to unload right now, but fingers crossed, they all survived. 

CeramicScapes - Large Wall Planter
CeramicScapes – Large Wall Planter

Larger Wall Planters

Also, I made three larger wall planters as a prototype for a client who is interested in replacing some that she purchased elsewhere that cracked over the winter. In the end, the ones I made are not large enough. Mine are approximately 9″ wide. I took a photo of a standard wall pod next to it for scale comparison.

Horseshoe Market Swag Bags

At every market, the organizers of the Horseshoe Market give away “swag bags” to the first 50 customers in line to get into the market. The bag itself is screen printed with the market logo and can be reused as a market or grocery bag. The bags are filled with goodies that vendors donate. I am donating 50 ceramic heart gift tags. 

CeramicScapes - Ceramic Gift Tags For Swag Bags
CeramicScapes – Ceramic Gift Tags For Swag Bags

They’re easy to make and it takes an extra couple of hours out of my making cycle to finish. I do it for the good will and the hope that at least 50 people will be curious enough to check my booth out. πŸ™‚

That’s it for today. On Friday, I will be sharing the ceramic work of Jackson Gray who hails from San Diego, CA.

Ceramic Bird Totems + Thank you for coming out to the Colorado Potter’s Sale!

First, I want to thank everyone who visited the Colorado Potters Guild Show this past weekend! I am so humbled and honored at how well my new ceramic bird totem sculptures were received and am pleased that all but 1 of my sculptures sold.

Thank you for coming out to the Colorado Potter's Sale!

Ceramic Bird Totems

As prototypes, I made 2 larger stacked ceramic totems that featured a bird on the very top. Unfortunately, I only have a photograph of one of them. I do have some rough photos of the work in progress that I can use for future iterations.

CeramicScapes Large Ceramic Bird Totem
CeramicScapes Large Ceramic Bird Totem – Roughly 2 Feet High

My thought in making these stacked sculptures is two fold. I am interested in sculptural art work and other than the ceramic wall pod installations that I have made in the past, I’ve never made sculpture. I didn’t know if I have the capacity, interest or even the market for the work.

CeramicScapes Ceramic Bird Totems
CeramicScapes Ceramic Bird Totems – The Smaller Ones Are About 8″ High

Amazingly, I have the interest and the market! I am pleasantly surprised at people’s reception. It’s affirming and wonderful to know that people really like the new work. I’m happy to say that I had one of my best shows ever in terms of comments and sales. It’s enough to keep me going! 

CeramicScapes Small Ceramic Bird Totem
CeramicScapes Small Ceramic Bird Totem

Ceramic Garden Stakes

8 ceramic birds that I envisioned as garden stakes also made their appearance at the potters guild show. I will be making more sculptural work for the garden in the near future, including totem stacks. I sold all 8 garden stakes by the morning of the second day of the Colorado Potter’s Guild show. Displaying them required a bit of on the fly thinking. I lugged a terra-cotta pot filled with Mexican beach pebbles to Denver that I picked up at a local hardware store to use for the display.

Ceramic Bird Garden Stakes - Display
Ceramic Bird Garden Stakes – Display

My rigged display is pretty heavy, but it works to hold the garden stakes in place.

Spring Horseshoe Market

In the meantime, I need to finish decorating some greenware today that I plan on bisque firing tomorrow. I’m participating in a one day craft market this Saturday, May 13, 2017 in Denver, CO at 46th and Tennyson. If you’re in the metro area, please stop by and say hello!

I’ll be sharing a booth at the Horseshoe Market in Denver with Sarah Christensen Ceramics.

Olinger Moore Chapel
4345 West 46th Ave
Denver, CO 80212

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Last Making Push Before the Colorado Potters Guild Sale

This weekend marked the very last making push in the greenware stage so that I can finish everything before my next two events.

I’m doing back to back sales in May. My first show is the Colorado Potters Guild Spring Show that runs May 4-6, 2017. I’m also participating in the Horseshoe Market one week later on May 13, 2017. What this means for me right now is that it’s crunch time!

I’ve been making as much work as I possibly can so that I have enough ware for both shows. Inspiration strikes at curious times for me – often when deadlines are looming. So, this weekend really was my last making push with greenware. My goal is to bisque fire my kiln this evening, glaze tomorrow and then we load the soda kiln on Wednesday afternoon at the Colorado Potters Guild.

Ceramicscapes - Last Making Push - Greenware
Ceramicscapes – Last Making Push – Greenware

Did I mention that I’m also the chairwoman of the Colorado Potters Guild show this spring? It’s always a busy time right before the show, but now it feels doubly hectic.

Ceramicscapes - New Form
Ceramicscapes – New Form

New Forms – Creative Exploration

My schedule is busy and also why my creative muse always seem to show up when all pistons are firing…or maybe it’s just procrastination on my part? I’m not sure, but I’m starting to feel the crunch. This past weekend was really the very last opportunity for me to work on any “wet” ware. Of course, I took the opportunity to explore another form that has been lurking in my imagination – again based upon seed pods

This form (see above) doesn’t exactly look like it did in my imagination. I’m going to fire it, but I don’t expect to make it again. It’s just too fussy for my taste. I probably could have used my time a little differently this weekend, but I’ve learned to answer creativity’s call when it happens. 

I’m keeping this post short today, but will return next Monday when I’ll share some of the process of getting work ready to fire in the soda kiln on Thursday at the Colorado Potters Guild.

 

How to Organize a Pottery Craft Show and Sale

I have been a member of the Colorado Potters Guild since 2008. It’s been wonderful to be connected to other potters in Colorado. Founded in 1965, the Colorado Potters Guild is the oldest clay co-op in Colorado that thrives on shared responsibilities and volunteers to make the organization run smoothly. I manage the guild’s website and social media activity on a year round basis. It’s something that I enjoy doing and a way that I contribute best to the guild’s success.

We have other members who serve on our board. Everyone has a skill that contributes to our success including accounting, marketing, legal, construction, kiln operation and maintenance, purchasing and more.

Organize a pottery craft show and sale
Organize a pottery craft show and sale

Pottery Sale

We also host two pottery sales a year in the spring and fall. This year, I volunteered to be the chair of our Spring Sale to learn the skills needed to organize a pottery craft show and sale. While, our show can almost run itself, I want a fuller picture of everything that is involved to put on a sale  – all the moving parts. 

I also have some ideas that I want to try to make the experience a bit more fun for our customers. Ultimately, I’m interested in organizing a pop up sale in Fort Collins or other cities in Colorado in the future and feel like this experience is going to be helpful.

Colorado Potters Guild Sale
Colorado Potters Guild Sale

How to organize a pottery craft show and sale:

Aka – all the moving parts

  • Communication with the members. As the chair, my job is to make sure that all of the jobs for the show are filled, that the venue is paid, and that I communicated with our members. Also, if something doesn’t go well, the buck stops with me. Eeek!
  • Venue rental. The Colorado Potters Guild is located in an old creamery that is far too small to host thousands of shoppers. We have a long standing contract with a local church that leases a large room that holds 37 potters work and there is plenty of parking. The Potters Guild also has use of their kitchen, and another room for our treasurers to work securely in private.
  • Post card invitation and poster design and purchase.
  • Coordinate with the business that handles the mailing of our cards. Additionally, we clean our mailing list after each show to account for people who have moved or are no longer interested in attending our sales.
  • E-vite design and scheduled mailing. 
  • Marketing efforts including print, online, social media, radio and our email newsletter. We have a team of roughly 4 members dedicated to show marketing.
  • Show photography. Every show, we have a dedicated team of photographers that take photos of pots that we use for the website and future marketing efforts.
  • Show set up. Since we’ve been in the same venue for a long time, we have a map that helps speed up set up with the help of a dedicated group of volunteers. Set up takes approximately 1.5 hours.
  • Opening night refreshments. We serve baked goods and a light punch on opening night. Members sign up to bring baked items and the refreshment team staff the welcome table.
  • Moving truck rental to transport our set up supplies including table cloths, risers, shelving, boxes, bags, wrapping material etc. to the venue and back.
  • Show staffing. Everyone works opening night and 2 additional 4-5 hour shifts over the course of 3 days. Members work as cashiers, pot wrappers, floor staff, help pot carriers, pot guards, accounting and staff the jewelry table.
  • Show Breakdown. After the show ends on Saturday at 5pm, everyone collects their pots, inventories remaining pots against sales records and helps to pack up the guild’s supplies in the truck.
  • Treasury/financial bookkeeping. Since we do this sale as a group, everyone receives a standardized inventory sheet that the show treasurers use to cross reference as they keep track of sales. The treasurers also pay show expenses, reconcile sales and pay potters.
  • Signage placement on days of show. We have a crew that places signs near the venue of our sale. We have to be in compliance with the city’s zoning ordinances for signs.
  • Post show wrap up. Two weeks after our show, we meet at a members house for an amazing pot luck. At the pot luck, we have a show recap meeting and choose a new chair for the next show.

Final thoughts:

I’m sure I’m forgetting a thing or two, but the main point is that there is a lot that goes into how to organize a pottery craft show and sale on a larger scale.  Organizing a smaller pop up sale in the future will still require some of the same planning and organizing steps as a larger one, but hopefully with less moving parts. The items of consideration also work with other types of crafts and art – not just pottery. 

Colorado Potters Guild Spring 2017 Sale Info:

Where & When: 

First Plymouth Congregational Church
3501 South Colorado Boulevard
Englewood, CO  80113
(Hampden + Colorado Blvd)

May 4 β€“ 4:00 – 8:00 PM (Opening reception)
May 5 β€“ 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
May 6 β€“ 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Organizing for my next sale – it’s all about the list!

I’m not quite sure when I became a list maker, but it happened within the last 7 years. I tend to be slightly scattered and have often wondered if I have an attention disorder. I think the lists started to become a big part of my daily routine when I was in graduate school from 2009-2012 – I had so much to do and so little time that it was easy to overlook a task or two. We often worked in small groups and forgetting to do your part was not cool. Now it’s just me, and I really hate not being prepared. My list is like a mind map and I really love maps!

Fast forward to today and I write monthly and daily lists, and when I’m getting ready for a sale I write a “things to make list”. I don’t beat myself up if I don’t manage to tick everything off my list because often my “things to make list” is very aggressive and optimistic. Most of the time I come very close to achieving my goals and it’s a great way to organize my time in the studio and out. For example on today’s list I was able to check off:

  • write “things to make list” βœ”
  • social media posts for my business and the Colorado Potters Guild  (I’ll admit I spent about an hour+ wasting some time on Facebook and Instagram after I posted) βœ”
  • create a Facebook ad for my Dabble class on Dec. 3 βœ”
  • make stuff – and start ticking items off my list (ticking things off my list feels like a wonderful accomplishment to me) βœ”
  • unload kiln – happening in about an hour or maybe tomorrow morning…
  • write blog post (working on right now) βœ”
  • get gas heater working in garagio  (there’s a chance of snow tomorrow) βœ”
  • walk the dog and get some exercise βœ”
  • take a Skillshare class on how to make tall pins βœ”

How do I organize my “things to make list”? Part of it is based off of the popularity of my work at my last event – and I’m adding in a few holiday specific items like ornaments for the Holiday Pop Up in Boulder at the Food Lab. I honestly don’t know what to expect because I’ve never done an intimate pop up shop before. Obviously, I’d like to sell enough work to cover my participation fee and then some, but it’s also the last big hurrah when it comes to sales for many handmade makers until late spring when art fairs resume again so I’d like to sell a bunch. I’m making a variety of items at different price points in the hopes that I can appeal to a lot of different people.

Holiday Pop Up at the Food Lab Boulder
Holiday Pop Up at the Food Lab Boulder

If the Holiday Pop Up is a bust, my consolation is that I will have a ton of work to list in my Etsy Shop the beginning of December. I’m a little embarrassed to say that my Etsy Shop tends to be a repository for left overs at this point – with the exception of my made to order wall pods. These listings reside here all the time because I don’t keep them in stock and they’re popular. 

My goal in 2017 is to keep my Etsy Shop stocked with new work all the time. It’s hard to do because I also plan to participate in a number of different craft markets in Colorado next year as well as the biannual Colorado Potters Guild Sales. AND, continue to develop both in person and online classes. AND, find the time to volunteer my time some where in my community which I’ve narrowed down to a few places if they’ll have me. 

Are you a list maker? I’m thinking of making a digital to do list for makers – if I do, I’ll share it with you. 

Thank you!

thank-you-ceramicscapes

Thank you to everyone who took the time to visit the Colorado Potters Guild Fall sale this past weekend! It was so nice to meet people in person and to have such a great reception of my newish graphic work. I’m always humbled when someone likes my work enough to actually purchase it for themselves or for a gift. 

Ceramicscapes - ceramic pottery planters
Ceramicscapes – new soda fired ceramic pottery planters

The good news is that I came home with very little inventory…the challenging news is that I came home with very little inventory. My next show is a Holiday Pop-Up Shop on December 4, 2016 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM at the Food Lab in Boulder, CO and I need to get back to work ASAP to refill my ware shelves! I’m excited to participate in a smaller show with some great vendors in Boulder and intend to make smaller items that will be perfect for gift giving.

Holiday Pop Up - Food Lab
Holiday Pop Up – Food Lab

In the meantime, I will be teaching my first Dabble class this coming Saturday – November 11, 2016 from 4:30 – 6:30 PM at River North Workshop in Denver. (Un)fortunately, It’s sold out – but, I will be offering the class again in the near future. I’m super excited to get my teaching chops on again after an almost 5 year hiatus.

Gotta run – my studio beckons.

You are invited to the Colorado Potters Guild’s Fall Pottery Sale!

Colorado Potters Guild Fall 2016 Postcard

Hi everyone – the day has finally arrived! I’ll be in Denver, CO this weekend for the Colorado Potters Guild’s Fall 2016 Pottery Sale. I have been a member of the Colorado Potters Guild since 2008 and manage the guild’s website and a good bit of the marketing for our shows.

Ceramicscapes - small dishes
Ceramicscapes – small dishes will be making their debut

I’d love to see you there and share some of my new work that I’ve been developing over the past year and a half!

Details:

Opening Reception: Thursday November 3, 2016 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Hours of Operation Friday November 4, 2016 9:00am – 8:00pm
  Saturday November 5, 2016 9:00am – 5:00pm

The members of the Colorado Potters Guild invite you to save the date for our Fall 2016 Show and Sale on November 3, 4 +5.

Members of the Colorado Potters Guild join together twice a year (spring and fall) to sell their work. Approximately 30 potters who average more than 15 years experience will present more than 2000 items including pottery, sculpture and jewelry for you to purchase or just enjoy. Sale items are refreshed daily since only a limited portion of the artist’s inventory can be displayed. Our Fall show is just the place to find handmade artwork made in Colorado for all your personal and gift needs.

The show is staffed by member artists who can help you find just the right piece of pottery, explain the pottery making process or introduce you to the person who made your favorite piece.

Admission is free.

ADDRESS:

First Plymouth Congregational Church
3501 South Colorado Boulevard
Englewood, CO  80113