The craft sale season is in full swing and the Fairview Studios Pottery Sale is swiftly approaching. I will be there with all of my pots this Saturday (Nov 23rd) from 9am to Noon. The Christmas sale is, as always, a unique event and a good study in human behavior. The lineup starts to form somewhere around 8am. The well seasoned customers who have been to our little sale before know to bring their own bags, boxes, carry alls etc. and they all rush in to the hall upon opening like demented lemmings rushing to the cliff’s edge. Nobody shoves or pushes (we are Canadian after all), but there is a determinedness in their eyes to get the biggest, the bestest, or most fantabulous pot ever. They grab the first few pots that catch their eye and then hem and haw over their selections as they cruise the rest of the tables, setting pots down, picking new fav’s up in their stead, or just going straight to the cash tables without second guessing themselves.
There are also 2 distinct types of people who attend these sales, at least that I have noticed anyway. There is the person who wants something very unique and one of a kind, and then there is the person who brings a ruler and lines up all the mugs in a row to pick out the mugs that are not all the same height. These same people may also bring along paint chips and fabric swatches to ensure that their new purchase matches the paint on their walls, or the fabric on their furniture etc.
But whether you are a matcher or a mixer, we have pretty much everything you could want.
Behind the scenes is just as interesting, albeit unobservable to the non potter. Starting around the 1st of November, there is a mad rush to get as much work fired as is humanly possible (or is that humanely – Dave would think its inhumane to have him work so hard) Pretty much every day people are asking if there will be another glaze firing, or another bisque, or if we think there will be enough time to throw today and get it done for the sale. I even have this insane urge to try to produce work right up to the last second. Granted I have to bob and weave around student firings. I can’t interfere with those firings by jumping in with my work. So last night (Tuesday), I loaded a bisque. I know there is no possible way that I can get that work glazed and fired before Saturday morning, but I was mulling the possibility over in my mind last night. If I go to the studio and unload really hot bisque, I could do a marathon glaze session on Wednesday night and load a glaze to be unloaded Friday, priced and then packed. Doubtful to say the least. I have heard a story or 2 of flaming pots in the back of cars on the way to sales. Not something I want to experience first hand.The second best scenario is that I spend a bit of time on Sunday to glaze at a leisurely pace and have it ready for the Moe Shelly Craft Sale on December 1st at the Bamboo Lounge. This is actually the best option. When I rush, I make mistakes, or break stuff. That is always bad.
Here is a non sale related tip: When someone gives you a ginormous tub of Cornish stone, don’t leave it in your car for a week. I opened my hatch the other day to discover that the bucket had tipped over and dumped about 3 pounds of pale blue grey Cornish stone powder all over. I did manage to get most of it back in the bucket, but I will need to vacuum the rest out at some point. I took the Cornish stone because it is the real deal. We can’t get this anymore. The replacement material did almost the same things, but then there was a replacement to the replacement and it does not do the same thing, at all.