The past 3 or so weeks has gone by so quickly (for real!) but we're ok with that, as April is usually one of those months that usually drags on and on (at least for us) and personally, April is full of up and down emotions - Andy's birthday is this month, my sister's birthday as well, and 2 friends. In between are the death anniversaries of one of my art teachers (Hollis Sigler), my uncle on my mom's side & another friends dads' death - All of which occurred in 2001.
See? Kinda depressing! I digress.
We've been working on wholesale orders, Etsy orders & Etsy stock while trying to produce work for our first 'official' show of the season on April 28 & 29. In the middle of all that, we've received our acceptance letter to the Starving Artists' Show @ Mount Mary College in Milwaukee for September (PHEW! & YAY!) - Probably the most enthusiastic crowd of shoppers we've ever encountered is at this event - And it falls nicely on our calendar 2 weeks before Renegade.
Their motto & rule for the show is 'nothing over $100' - So a lot of artists & artisans show up with their end-of-season work, making dramatic cuts on the price - But this has to be done prior to showing up to the event, and the staff patrol to ensure and enforce the rules. Last year we had some pieces that we did mark down (like large platters that we didn't want to carry anymore) that we marked down to $100, but the rest of our booth was filled with our usual work.
That image you see here of one of the lines just before opening, where they (when I first heard of this I blew soda outta my nose) ring a large bell to open the show. And people start to run to their favorite artists, grab, and stand in line whilst coordinating their cohorts who stand in other lines to buy stuff. It's really a site to see, and a little scary! People even show up with wheel barrels, wagons (no little Radio Flyers here - Big honkin' things that can run you over) & of course the extra family or friends they can bribe to do things, like stand in a line 20 people deep holding 5 canvases :)
Another event we heard from, and I had a feeling, but was hoping I was being a pessimist, was Art vs. Craft, round 8, which usually happens in the summer, like July or so.
Faythe and Kim have decided to hold it off for the summer (due to their being so busy with the film Handmade Nation) and have it on November 29th. We can actually make it to this one though, as it falls 1 week before the One of a Kind Show here - We love Art vs. Craft - It was our first indie show - And we met & hung out with so many really lovely awesome people! Last year we missed Round 7 (in the winter) because it fell on the same weekend as the OOAK Show, so we were crushed - We can make up for it this year - If we get in :)
Let's see...In the Keeping-Us-Out-Of-Trouble-Department: We were contacted by the previous owner of one of our very first cafe accounts about possibly making some cupping bowls for them - That's always a nice surprise, seeing that we're still in their Roledex, so to speak :) The new company is based in Vancouver, B.C, and is called 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters; coffee connoisseurs know that this is the coffee baby of Vince Piccolo, who started the Caffe Artigiano chain of stores (which he sold to concentrate more of his efforts into 49th). He's known for being a very -cut the shit- kinda guy and he knows his beans :)
Back in 2004, we started to make ware for him and his 5 cafes; we were also commissioned to design competition grade ware for Vince's brother and partner, Sammy, who's competed in Barista Championships in Canada and all over the globe. Last week we received the bowl sample and a cup sample, and now it's just a matter of back-and-forthing emails & jpegs. Andy's excited, as am I, since we've matured quite a bit in the way we produce our ware, and can offer a lot more in terms of shape & surface design.
What else...We got an e-blast from the ACC about their newest event in San Fran, called AltCraft. The name is a bit better :) We received an email asking for our input on how to best develop the event, and we gave them our honest feedback, along with recommendations as to artists to invite to jury - We'll see how it goes! Here's a bit of the email:
"Due to the success of the AltCraft (formerly New Wave) section in Baltimore, the American Craft Council is now accepting applications for the San Francisco show at Fort Mason Center, August 15-17, 2008.
Ten makers will be juried into this bustling section, which celebrates the populist, experimental and youthful vitality of the renewed handmade movement. Artists who have never exhibited at an American Craft show may apply.
Located on the San Francisco waterfront between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge, this show serves a well-established audience of Bay Area craft enthusiasts, including a growing demographic of younger craft admirers. The average booth is valued at $1,000 but as part of the Council’s commitment to indie crafters, the cost of participation is just $300, which includes a 10-ft table in a shared loft space. Plus, there’s no application fee!"
Now, the One of a Kind Show, with your permission, gives out your email address and/or phone number so prospective or new artists can contact you about the show, in your media - If the ACC did that, I'd have to give them a point in their favour :)
That's about it on my end - It's just been work for the past 3 or so weeks - Really intense work!
Andy's going to write about his new glaze formulations soon - We're super happy with them and they're exactly what we needed!