Sunday, September 14, 2014

After Kings Mountain

I thought I would get this collage of jewelry images posted sooner than now but that proved not to be true. These are all pieces that we displayed for the first time at the recent Kings Mountain Art Fair on Labor Day Weekend. About half of them were purchased there and have found new homes. The show was very successful for us , it is certainly now our best fair each year, and last year, it's 50th anniversary turned out to be our best show in the over 45 years we have been doing fairs. It's encouraging that we can still break those kinds of records.

Back when we started doing fairs, we were living in Berkeley at the time, I was wholesaling jewels to shops all over the bay area and sometimes in southern California, I really didn't know what a craft fair was, but one day a friend mentioned that there was a craft fair the coming weekend in Live Oak Park in north Berkeley. I went and checked it out on Saturday and met a ceramic pipe maker who agreed to share his space with me on Sunday. I returned then and, not having a display of any kind, just spread an Indian bedspread out on the ground and put out what jewelry I had. I think I sold $3-$400 dollars of work that afternoon, which doesn't sound like very much now, but, at the time, was a significant sum to me. The next week I started checking out other fairs in the bay area and heard about the Kings Mountain Fair, applied and got accepted. My display the first time I did the Kings Mountain fair was an old piece of plywood I found out in the redwood forest there, set up on rocks, making it about a foot high, and then covered with the same Indian bedspread from Berkeley. Well, the experience I had there changed the direction of my life and here I am, still making a living selling my work at art fairs. I don't remember actually how much money I made then but I do remember basically selling just about every single piece that I displayed (this was before Carlie became a creator of jewelry). I also remember that the most expensive piece I had at the time was less than $50. As our jewelry making and selling career gradually winds down, Kings Mountain will be the last show that we let go of I expect. Not only because of the money making, although that's important, but because of the other aspects of our experience there, seeing artist friends that we only get to see once a year, getting to spend a wonderful weekend up in that beautiful redwood forest and the first rate job that the fair organizers and volunteers do to make the weekend fun, easy and successful.