Monday, February 28, 2011

Learning & growing

I have been surprised to learn in this past year that I really enjoy selling my work directly to the public.  I'm a very private person, and I don't much like crowds, so normally the idea of spending six or more hours in a noisy hall with sixty other artists and hundreds of shoppers would fill me with automatic dread.  And yet...

Although working an all-day sale is physically exhausting, when it goes well, it is great for the psyche.  Shoppers' reactions to my work can boost my ego or humble me, or both at once.  And I learn so much each time about how to present my work, how to sell it more effectively, what people like or find lacking in it, and where I want it to take me next. 

I'm very grateful to everyone who stops at my booth, whether they buy or not, and to all show organizers and helpers who make this possible, and for the path that has led me to this point.

As an artist I work alone, and I like it that way.  What I've discovered at these shows is that the feedback generated by public presentation of my work is necessary to keep me motivated, to go deeper with current ideas and give voice to new ones.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New work

Gallery 2 now includes several new vessels I've completed lately.  These will be at the Talmadge show this coming Sunday, along with many others.

Earlier this month I took time away from felting for a two-day class on eco-friendly indigo dyeing.  I've worked a lot with synthetic dyes, but never with indigo, and I wanted to check it out.  I'm glad I did it, though likely will never do it again.  But when the class ended, we got to divide up what was left in the dye pot and take it home with us to finish up.  Along with a lot of cotton fabric, I threw a couple of felt vessels into the pot.  These were pieces that had been sitting on a shelf in my studio because I was too unhappy with them to offer them for sale or display.  I find the indigo a definite improvement -- though neither piece could ever be mistaken for my best work!  Here are before and after images of one of them, a small vessel:
After:  Am I Blue?
Before:  Pewter #3