April 22, 2013 § 6 Comments
Pulse 2013 is around the corner, just three weeks now. It’s going to be interesting to see how it compares to the British Craft Trade Fair, which finished in Harrogate a couple of weeks ago. From the amount of emails I am receiving from companies riding on the back of it wanting me to use their services for this and that, it must be a very big event. And I know it will be. And I also know that it will have a completely different feel to the BCTF. I have had good feedback about Pulse, though, from people who have participated before. Paul and Lydia, from the wonderful Zinc White, were there last year and will be returning this time. It will be a relief to have some friendly faces to peer at and wave to across the vast hall. They said it was a brilliant event and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is.
Coming on the back of the BCTF, I am really excited, and tremendously nervous, about going to Pulse. I am hoping that my clean, minimal stand will stand out amongst the crowd. I will be in the right place (according to Paul and Lydia), which is in the designer/maker section, called Launchpad. Tomorrow, I am going to try to throw a bowl the size of a fruit bowl (30cm diameter). If it comes off, I will take one with me, as an addition to the stand. I am hoping it will have some impact.
I have orders pending for 5 new stockists from the BCTF, including Yorkshire Sculpture Park to be delivered in October, as well as orders to re-supply current stockists. And I have yet to chase up the other galleries and shops that showed interest. I am hoping that my intention behind doing these two trade fairs, in Harrogate and in London, which was to help me become a full-time potter, will be able to happen sooner rather than later.
April 15, 2013 § 4 Comments
So, it is almost a week since I took down my stand at the British Craft Trade Fair. I cannot speak highly enough of the event – the organisation; the lovely, supportive community of makers; the buyers, who come with focus and intent. It has been running for over 35 years and you can see why it is the only trade event on some buyers’ calendars.
I was delighted with how the show went. The reaction I got from visitors and buyers was extremely positive. The clean lines, simple shapes and muted, natural colours proved to be popular, as was the fact that my pots are firmly on the functional end of the pottery spectrum. There are some very exciting leads that I need to follow up and top of the list was a small order received from Ruthin Craft Centre. It became clear that I need to make a larger mug, which I will do this week, and I’ve been commissioned to make a larger bowl, up to 30cm wide at the rim. I’m excited about making the larger bowl. And I was pleased with how the two new glazes went down, especially the black.
While setting up for BCTF, I made some changes with regards to how I display my pots. Before, I had displayed each item in 3s or 4s – so, 3 blue beakers together or 3 of the same jug in the same colour. Below are two examples of previous stands:
When I got to Harrogate and began to set up, I did the same again.
But it just didn’t feel right. I finished setting up and then hung around, not wanting to leave. I paced, and I looked, and I paced. My problem was that I couldn’t really see each individual piece, the eye couldn’t focus. It was cluttered and even though there was 3 of each pot, each collection of 3 pots looked isolated on the table. So, I decided to leave just one of each pot but still group them in 3s, which meant that there was a mug together with a beaker and a salt pot and 2 jugs of different sizes together with a candle. It meant that each pot was clearly displayed with space around it to breathe but you could also see what a collection of pots would look like, how they related to each other. I feel that this was a much better display and have decided to use it at selling events as well and see how it is received.
The other thing that I felt was better about it was that there were mugs on the table and a water jug. It is clear that my stand, and my range in general, would benefit from having some larger, more substantial, pots on it, which is one of the reasons why I’m looking forward to making a much bigger bowl. At MADE LONDON last year, I was given some advice by another potter. She said that I needed some pots that cost anything up to £300; she said I would need to shift a lot of £12 beakers to make my stand costs and then more. Well, I’m not at that point yet but I have begun to plant some footsteps along that path.
April 7, 2013 § 6 Comments
Just come home from the first day at the British Craft Trade Fair. It’s been a good, busy day. BCTF always has a great buzz and today was no exception. It’s a good event to be a part of, with a friendly and engaged atmosphere. I also really enjoy the community feel of these events, chatting with makers I already know and meeting others. There’s over 500 makers with work on display and some fantastic quality amongst them. Another two days to go… If you want me to put your name on the door for Tuesday, let me know.