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Friday, October 19, 2012

End of the show season

I am learning to say no to shows. Right now, most shows are a big gamble. With the single exception of the Country Living show, all the shows I did this year have been down in sales. They were down last year and the year before. The current economic conditions have affected sales of arts more severely than any other sector of the economy. Just ask any artist. However, over all this has been a good year for sales at my shop. I have done hundreds and hundreds of shows over the years and it has been crucial to have people see my handcrafted rustic willow furniture at shows and then come to my shop, even if it might be years later. I am lucky to be near Indianapolis and to have a shop that has some historical integrity with its age, over a hundred years old and its peaceful and inviting atmosphere. People have continued to come to Lapel to see what I am doing and to be able to view my inventory. There is nothing much else to see in Lapel, and I would love it if there were more shops, but starting an arts shop would be a big uphill fight right now. I have seen numerous galleries that have sold my handmade rustic willow furniture close down over the last few years. If I had to depend upon sales to live, I could not do it. I am retired and have a pension and social security, and before that I worked full time. My success has only come because I have been willing to work harder than most people would. Any extra time I had always went to making furniture. This is what made me happy and I have gotten a lot of ego satisfaction from my work. It still does, but I am 66 years old and oddly enough, I am starting to slow down. I find it better to stay put at the shop and wait for people to come to me rather than driving to shows in Boston and Pennsylvania or Virginia. I would invite you to come to the shop, which is just a short drive from Indianapolis, and visit me, even if you have no interest in buying my handmade rustic willow furniture. My hours are 11-5 Wednesday through Saturday. Usually I am open on Sunday, but starting in November, I will be closed on Sunday until March. I do not have a website, only this pitiful blog and I lack the capacity to put pictures on it. Although demand for handmade rustic willow furniture is not what it was, I continue to to make it. I have a need to make things, and I have accumulated a lot of raw material that I am eager to turn into something useful.
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