What is with all this #binpots stuff? Well its a bit of a story. Might be more common among artists than i realize, or it might be just me, but somehow i doubt it. This world where we all try to manage the business of art and to maintain our sanity while dragging our demonds around with us can just be really hard. It can break your heart, challenge your soul and at times allow us to fly for brief moments with angels.
Five years ago i did a really big Christmas show in Vancouver, it wasn’t the first time i had done this show, and i loved that show. This was going to be the second time at this particular event that I was taking the juicy colourful jellybean coloured celadons, and the previous year had been quite good. I have always approached shows with trepidation, my sales never seem to be anywhere near where everyone else says theirs are. But with shaky opptimisum my booth was completely redesigned in white to set off the beautiful translucent glazes and forms, lighting was more than sufficient and i had a great corner booth customers could easily walk through. Set up was fun, my best friend who is brilliant with display came to help and it looked beautiful.
then like a kite spiralling out of control falling from the sky, the show turned into the most painful 7 days i have ever spent. Customers come in, comment, love, look and leave. very few were loving it enough to spend their cash or pull their credit card out of their wallet. (Yes i will admit i am not a “sales” person, so yes my work has to be enough.) comments, i love this it’s so beautiful but i am down sizing. I just can”t buy any more. I wish i could, i have too much stuff….
As i packed way too much inventory up to leave I knew i had lost money. By time i added up the cost of the booth, the cost of gas, ferries, and accommodation. i was in the hole, in the red…
two weeks later there I was at another well thought of show in Victoria, over the years these had been the only two shows i did regularly. Long story short, it wasn’t stellar either
Once again i packed up a body of work i was really proud of and took home way too many pots into all those plastic bins. #BINPOTS
When i arrived back at the studio they were taken to the mezzanine and shoved onto the storage shelves as far back as they could be pushed. As if i was trying to push them so far back, out of sight, out of mind, and maybe i can forget these ever were and that this season ever happened. Maybe i could find a hole to crawl in for me too.
being me, if something goes wrong or doesn’t work out i always think it was me, or my work isn’t good enough. if anyone knows how to overcome that let me know.
depression is always lurking around me, self loathing can be a constant companion, and oh, little miss criticism, she never stops. This work is shit, who do you think you are fooling, you will never make great pots, you will never …….and then the words iv’e heard growing up and through my relationships, why can’t you do this better, that better, be more like…I just needed to try and quite the noise
So i went back to a body of work i had made prior to heading off to art school. It was like an old friend with a new twist and began working on dreamweaver who was originally called akimbo and hung upside down, falling out of control.
and a more critical eye. oh oh…i worked through it, created some cathartic sculptures and got back to the surface.
#binpots well they sat patiently waiting.
it’s been 5 years. teaching and more galleries carrying the current slip decorated work with chattering, my inventory is low and i have a weekly market to set up for looming close on the horizon.
thought bubble pops up ?what about the #binpots
okay, i guess i can pull out a few, enough for my display at the sooke night market. “I will see what happens”
as I unwrapped and pulled them from the bins, i thought “i like these”
The market has reached the half way point, the pieces for the most part seem to compliment one another, and surprise surprise, #binpots are out selling slip decorated work 3 to 1. These are also the pieces getting more interest on my web site.
I still see where i want to make tweeks and improvements, lots of opportunity for more surface treatments and designs. #binpots are gradually coming out of the bins and some new ones are already in the works. They will only be able to be purchased direct from me at the market, on the web site or as they show up on social media. they hold a special place
hang on saff, it’s not the end