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Thursday, 7 May 2015

Finding the Right Event

Tactile Disc Bead Necklace
The week started well with a good day at the Affordable Arts Fair at Ventnor.

I've been trying to analyse why one event can be so much more successful than another for me. It's difficult to pin point exactly. I know it's definitely not the number of visitors, as events with a high footfall have so far produced my poorest sales.

It may have something to do with location perhaps? But why a small seaside town like Ventnor appears to be better than a busy Saturday outside John Lewis in Southampton is a mystery.

This leaves me with demographic, which sort of links to type of event. Excuse me if I use West Quay as an example again. There wasn't a vast number of stalls at West Quay, but a lot that consisted of goods [particularly jewellery] that were handmade in a looser sense. It's hard to explain, so apologies for sounding sniffy and snobby, but the stalls attracted the eye of people who were looking for a trinket, an inexpensive treat, a bargain, something nice but ordinary. Whereas an arts event such as Open Studios or Affordable Arts Fairs attract people who spend time looking. The visitors are generally more interested in how something is made and connect to uniqueness.

I don't pretend to be a professional artist. I don't have a degree and I am almost entirely self taught. What I do have is ten years experience in lamp work bead making, an eye for colour and I think a distinctive style of my own. I like to try new techniques and ideas, but don't like to do the same as someone else.

So where do me and my jewellery belong? When it comes to events, I would say somewhere between the craft market and a professional artists' event. Bead making and I however, know exactly where we are. I may never make a fortune, but as long as I continue to get a thrill from turning on the kiln and firing up the flame, everything else is just a bonus.      


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