redwood photoshoot in La Honda

Over the long weekend, I brought a few of my things up to a friend's house in La Honda. Everything made it up the windy road intact, so we brought them into the woods along with a little picnic.

Pottery and prints looked right at home in the habitat that inspired them. Can't think of a more lovely family to spend an afternoon with, eating scones and berries in the forest out of handmade mugs. 

funkhouser-redwood-mini-moss-pots
funkhouser-redwood-moss-vase-stump
funkhouser-redwood-moss-pat-tall

lichen stick studies

A friend collected sticks covered in moss and lichen for my booth display last weekend. Now that the bustle of Renegade is over, I am putting these sticks to other uses: lichen covered stick studies with sumi ink on 5x7" and 8x10" paper. Looking at this growth in black and white pulls attention to the shape and texture in a new way. The drawing are piling up and I must say, they look quite delightful grouped together!

I was a Renegade Craft Fair vendor; here's everything I was scared about but shouldn't have been

I’m still pretty new to selling things that I make, to strangers, in public places. So after a moment of joy, when I found out I would be a vendor at the spring SF Renegade Craft Fair, came the panic. I had about one month to prepare for the biggest craft show I'd ever done!  

I went to the internet with questions like: How much inventory should I bring? Will my booth be an embarrassment? How much money am I really going to make? Will there be a parking spot for me? The internet really let me down. Zero helpful answers. For anyone out there who is suffering from similar anxieties, this blog post is for you.

Huge Fear #1 I am going to be totally embarrassed by my lame booth display

RCF is lovely and organized on the back-end (just as you would imagine)! They give lots of great information to vendors including pinterest boards dedicated to booth design inspiration. These are filled with phenomenal images of people who have built entire kingdoms in a 10x10 space. And, they do nothing to quell the fears of someone sweating about assembling their display with a tablecloth and some wood crates.

Take a Deep Breath: Yes, there were people with amazing booths that they built on-site. AND there were people with tables and plain tablecloths, like me. It was actually nice that nobody’s set-up looked the same. It’s okay if you don’t require power tools to build your booth. If your work is looking good, you’ll be fine with a simple display. Here's mine:

 

Looming Fear #2 I am not going to have enough inventory

300 amazing makers! 20-30k shoppers in a weekend. O. M. G.

Take a Deep Breath: Worst case, you sell out. That’s the worst case. Um... that’s a pretty awesome scenario. I brought what I needed to have a full display and tucked a few containers of back-up inventory under my tables. Back home, I had another container of inventory ready to go in case I needed it for day two. (In this case, I did not need it.) 

Below are charts of # of sales throughout the weekend. I noticed that traffic picked up in the early afternoon but sales picked up later in the afternoon. I attribute this to people arriving and walking around the show before making decisions and actually purchasing. This trend might be unique to me/vendors selling heavy items like pottery :) 

Saturday Sales 

Saturday Sales 

Sunday Sales

Sunday Sales

 

Paralyzing Fear #3 I don’t know what to expect. Where do I go? What does it look like? What is happening??!?!?!?????

Yeah, that was me.

Take a Deep Breath: San Francisco is hilly and trafficy so plan lots of extra time for getting to Fort Mason, drive slowly, and you’ll be fine. Once you drive through the gates of Fort Mason, head towards the buildings along the water. The Festival Pavilion is along the back, jutting into the water, and looks like this:

There is a decent amount of parking. It will cost $14 for the day; you pay at any of the automated stands in the lot. The earlier you arrive, the closer to the entrance you will be. So, if you don’t want to walk really far between your car and the venue, arrive earlier. If you want to get your steps in, then just arrive during the suggested window. Bring your own handcart to make your life easier. Throw down the $ for early load-in if you are an anxious over-prepared freak like me.

When you load in, you tell someone at the front you are there and then just do your thing. If you paid for wifi, you get your password from the front desk too.

This is what it looks like on the inside, before everyone has set up. These are the rental tables -- standard 6ft ones. Consider using table risers if you are building your display mostly with these tables. 

This is what it looks like on the inside, before everyone has set up. These are the rental tables -- standard 6ft ones. Consider using table risers if you are building your display mostly with these tables. 

Pro-tip: Before you leave on Saturday, cover your display with an extra tablecloth or sheet. This is the universal sign for “I’m closed for today.”

Pro-tip: Before you leave on Saturday, cover your display with an extra tablecloth or sheet. This is the universal sign for “I’m closed for today.”

Load out is pretty easy too. In the spring, there is a Sunday farmers market that takes up a bunch of parking spots. Just saying. Consider coming on the early end of the window they suggest, so you'll be able to carry things out to your car and avoid the load-out zoo.

DON'T PANIC -- THERE IS A COFFEE SHOP AT FORT MASON In the back of a cute little bookstore in Building C, there's Goody Cafe that sells good coffee. Just get there for your mid-day fix before they close (4pm on Saturday, 3pm on Sunday).

Irrational Fear #4 I am not going to make any money.

The vendor cost is no small fee. Add to that a charge for wifi, table rental, parking, gas to-and-from, business cards… this is adding up! Is it worth it?


Take a Deep Breath: At the end of the day, I just about broke even. Maybe, maybe there was a teeny profit but certainly nowhere near that whole "you're going to make 3x the entry fee" estimate that's floating around the craft world. Thank goodness I didn’t splurge on a hotel room in the city for the weekend!

But, I think were was a lot of non-monetary value to participating! I had oodles of people take my business card & lots of people signed up for my mailing list. My website traffic surged leading up to and during the show. I talked to lovely people. I made new vendor friends. I connected with some potential wholesale buyers. And, I survived my first big craft fair!

The marketing, new relationships, and experience totally made this worth it. I have a bunch of big shows coming up this spring and feel much more confident about how to be successful at them after having this experience. I'm so grateful to the RCF folks for taking a risk on this newbie; I hope to be back at Fort Mason this winter!

Hope Outdoor Gallery a.k.a Graffiti Park

The Austin street art -- murals, slaps, wheatpaste posters and the like -- is awesome.

And the Hope Outdoor Gallery is like a street art mecca. According to their website, this space launched at the 2011 SXSW with the help of Shepard Fairey. It appears they would like to have some control over what goes up, but there seemed to be plenty of non-sanctioned painting happening.

They're looking for a new home, since this spot is destined for development. I hope they find a good spot! It was so cool to see layers of art, and even cooler to see people hanging out and appreciating this space.

lichen littles

I popped-up at a local venue in San Jose over President's Day weekend and it was suuuuuuuuper sloooooow. (Seriously, I sold 2 things and made $11... which is made worse by the fact that I paid nearly triple that to participate). [insert sad trombone sound] Thankfully, I had packed my paints so I was able to turn my sad pop-up shop into a happy pop-up studio. Busted out a bunch of lichen inspired abstracts. Here they are drying after getting sprayed with fixative:

Some of these are pretty fantastic and seem finished. Others, I want to rework a bit. All are gouache and oil pastel on 5x7" paper. Here are some of my favs before getting scanned + a sneak peak into how they'll look when I post to my webshop:


holiday wheel work

On a whim, I went back to throwing Black Mountain -- a dark clay. It's much groggier and sloppier feeling than what I had been working with, which actually was nice. A more forgiving clay body so I didn't feel as bad about being so imperfect. I'll go in tomorrow to give these a trim. 

Here's a look at what I threw around Christmas, and a hint at what may be in the future for these pieces.

glazes I'm considering for these -- will probably go for my usual painted/layered look. definitely want to leave some of the dark clay body exposed

glazes I'm considering for these -- will probably go for my usual painted/layered look. definitely want to leave some of the dark clay body exposed

The Shop has been updated!!!!

I finally got it together to photograph, measure, write about and post some of the new inventory I've been working on this fall. Check out the online shop for new ceramics, art, and cards. There are still plenty of pieces that aren't online: these are coming with me to the SJMade Holiday Craft Fair next weekend (12/17 & 12/18)! If you can't make it there in person, but you see something on my Instagram that isn't here in the shop, just send me a message and maybe we can figure something out :) 


the world is not black and white

The morning after the election, all I could bring myself to do was smash paper into sumi ink. As weeks have passed, I revisited these to add additional detail and texture. While I've been exploring grayscale textures this past year, these feel less soft, more raw. I imagine this theme will continue...

Several of these are listed in the SHOP

painting big on unstretched canvas

I don't currently have access to the tools I would need to stretch my own canvases. This means, if I want to work on something sturdy, I'm limited in size (since I also don't have access to tons of money which could be spent on shipping large prestretched canvases). Since neither power tools or bags of money seem to be on the horizon, I'm giving unstretched canvas a try.  Honestly, it feels so good to be painting big again, I don't really give a hoot whether or not these works will hold up over time.