I've done several shows this fall and I have to say I've been really pleased with all of them for many reasons:
1. Customer turnout has been very good. Even at one show where it rained off and on all day.
2. People are buying pots. Not just coming to look.
3. People seem to be genuinely interested in what I am doing and in the pots.
I'm thankful for all these things. I've been wanting to write about how much I have enjoyed taking my new work (yes, I'm still calling this earthenware my 'new' work) to shows and how folks react to it.
These pots with the images get people in the booth. First off my pots are not like anything else in any of the shows I do. Granted, some people just walk right by booth. My work is not their taste and that's fine. But many, many people are drawn into the booth to get a closer look at the images on the pots. This is really exciting for me. I love when they come in, take a look, and then smile, or laugh or turn to their friend in the asile and say, You have to see this.
These reactions allow me to start talking to folks about the pots. We usually start off talking about the imagery, but I lead them to looking at the pot, the form, the foot, the handle of a mug or whatever it is. We talk about what they will use it for, or if they'll hang it on the wall or give it as a gift. I share my passion for making handmade pots and how Sarah and I use pots in our home.
Usually it comes back around to the Goat or the Rabbit or the Laundry Line that the person was attracted to when they came in to my booth. They may tell me about when they were children and helped their mother hang out the laundry, or maybe they'll ask what my favorite animal is or why my Dogs have so many teeth. It's really nice to make this connection with people and the fact that the pottery that I make speaks to them and brings up a reaction for them, or a memory. Most of the time it's a smile or laughter. I can't tell you how fun it is for me to stand there and smile at people when they look at my work and have them smile back. It's really rewarding and satisfying.
Most of you who have read this blog for years have heard me complain about finding my way, worrying about being a certain kind of potter, or just getting depressed in general over the state of my work. I'm glad to say that right now I truly feel like I'm making the pots I want to make and I find meaning in them and I feel like others do to. For many years I thought that the meaning of my work should only be found through it's use
. I'm now happy to say that I'm content with being useful and decorative. Most of all I'm glad that it makes people smile and laugh and that I can share the fact that life doesn't have to be so serious all the time.