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Mission West Fall Art Festival Results (Read 884 times)
 
Vaughn McMillan
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Mission West Fall Art Festival Results
Sep 28th, 2009 at 4:37am
 
LOML and I did another art show this weekend. It was another del Mano show, the Mission West Fall Art Festival in South Pasadena. This was the fifth Mission West show we've done, and they have always been pretty steady producers. Not our best shows historically, but better than many others. In the case of this one though, we've had better weekends.

It was 100º in the shade Saturday, and about 91º Sunday. The booths were set up back to back down the center of Mission Street. Our booth faced south. so it was warm, to say the least. We set up our chairs in the shade by the sidewalk, since at least out there we had a bit of a breeze sometime. Due to the wonderful weather, the crowd was out in force. Here's a cell phone pic from about 1:00 Saturday afternoon:

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With the cooler weather Sunday, the crowd was much bigger. This was about 3:30 Sunday afternoon:

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And of course with the wonderful state of the economy and a 12+% unemployment rate here, all the people were clamoring to spend all their money. And all the vendors were making so much money they were renting wheelbarrows to haul it back to their vans and trucks.

I made a total of four sales. In the end, we came out $50 over our $280 entry fee. As a lot of other vendors were saying, we made the entry but didn't pay any bills. I could have made a little more money on one of the bowls, but the couple that bought it also bought $530 worth of stuff from me last fall, so they got the frequent flyer discount. I'll sell to them again, too.

I did have a casualty from the heat. (The direct sunshine, more specifically.) Even though I was swapping the pieces around on my tables to keep from baking anything for too long in the sunshine, I had a walnut crotch hollow form with an ebony finial develop a thin crack from the rim to the shoulder. I'm going to have to CA the crack, then completely refinish it. Nobody to blame but myself, but I was not happy when I saw it.

There were two other turners at the show...we all know each other and get along well. They both also had slow weekends. One of them, a guy named Art, specializes in pens, and he usually does pretty decent. $1000 or more a weekend is not unusual for him, but last I heard I don't think he did much more than double his entry fee for this show. After watching Art at several shows, I can see he's a sharp businessman and a prolific woodturner. He can mass-produce 50 pens in a day, and they all look top notch. But he's a technician, not an artist. He does display some bowls and hollow forms in his booth, but doesn't sell many. They are nice, but predictable. He's more interested in production than creation. It seems I'm about the exact opposite. Right now I could stand to be making $1000+ per show, but I just can't bring myself to going into production mode making something like hundreds of pens. I just want to make what I want to make...but I need to find a more reliable outlet for selling it.

Oh yeah, here's the obligatory booth shot. It was taken with my iPhone Saturday morning before I moved my chair out to the sidewalk...

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We did have a good time at the show, the heat notwithstanding. One of the neighbors behind us is a good friend from previous shows, and LOML was one of her steady customers for years before we got started doing the shows ourselves. Her next-booth neighbor was a good friend of hers, so by the end of the show we were all one big happy family. (We opened up the canopy walls to let the breeze through the booths, and that allowed us to visit with people on both sides or in back of us. And with the crowds the way they were, we had lots of spare time for visiting.)
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Ken Ward
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Re: Mission West Fall Art Festival Results
Reply #1 - Sep 28th, 2009 at 7:42am
 
At least you wern't in a dang hurricane  Grin wish I had a tad bit of that sun Sat  Angry nice lookin setup there  smiley=beer.gif smiley=beer.gif
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Vaughn McMillan
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Re: Mission West Fall Art Festival Results
Reply #2 - Sep 28th, 2009 at 4:39pm
 
Yeah Ken, I think I'd rather deal with sun than with rain. (Although my very first show was rainy, and I had pretty decent sales that weekend.)

BTW, I didn't mean to imply anything negative about folks who turn and sell pens by the hundreds. I respect the guys who can do it...but it's just not my cup o' tea.
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Mike Baber
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Re: Mission West Fall Art Festival Results
Reply #3 - Sep 28th, 2009 at 5:03pm
 
Darn Vaughn, the place looks almost deserted, at least you got your entry fee back, I guess if you add up your total cost... gas, food drinks and the likes, you might of broke even. Better luck on your next show!
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David Hamann
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Re: Mission West Fall Art Festival Results
Reply #4 - Sep 28th, 2009 at 5:04pm
 
congrats on the show. smiley=thumbsup.gif
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Re: Mission West Fall Art Festival Results
Reply #5 - Sep 28th, 2009 at 5:10pm
 
Vaughn, no offense taken.  I don't do mass turned pens, I do individual, quality pens and now sell about 50 per year, mostly by word of mouth.  I do a couple of displays at a Senior center where they ask a lot of questions about the process and reward me with generous sales.

I saw one vendor at a craft show where every single pen had exactly the same profile.  I asked and he responded that he used a carbide former, like a shaper blade, on the blank after he got it round, and could completely turn a wood pen in less than 3 minutes.  Allow 2 minutes for finishing, and he is manufacturing 10+ pens a minute.  Not my cup of tea.

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David Hamann
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Re: Mission West Fall Art Festival Results
Reply #6 - Sep 28th, 2009 at 10:39pm
 
where is the fun in production turning??  and using a carbide scrapper to get the same profile all the time??  will stick with what i am doing; having fun

someday, i will do a show, to busy right now.  for those of you who do shows, more power to you.  for those thinking about it (like me), sounds like great fun. smiley=beer.gif smiley=beer.gif
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Vaughn McMillan
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Re: Mission West Fall Art Festival Results
Reply #7 - Sep 29th, 2009 at 2:45am
 
David Hamann wrote on Sep 28th, 2009 at 10:39pm:
where is the fun in production turning??...


I think the challenge and fun for some production turners is figuring out the methods and processes to shave another few minutes off their best time. I've worked at repetitive production jobs before (pulling plastic parts out of a plastic injection molding machine), and you can make it a game of trying to beat your best numbers. I suspect that's where the enjoyment comes from. Well, that and the money.  Wink

I also think a lot if it has to do with left brain/right brain thinking and the personalities that go with them. Left brain people tend to be logical and analytical, whereas right brain people are usually more random and spontaneous.
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Chuck Beland
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Re: Mission West Fall Art Festival Results
Reply #8 - Sep 29th, 2009 at 4:23am
 
Vaughn, excellent.  smiley=thumbsup.gif
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Re: Mission West Fall Art Festival Results
Reply #9 - Sep 29th, 2009 at 1:48pm
 
Wow!  I passed through Pasadena about 10:30 on Sunday headed home from San Diego.  If I only would have known.  I'ld have stopped buy to visit.
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