I’m really excited to be showing my ceramics at the fantastic Art in Clay Farnham on the 13th &14th November and this means I’m busy getting ready and have been for a few weeks now. Preparing for a show means I need to think about not only what pieces I’m going to show but also a whole heap of practical aspects.
The main aspects I need to consider are:
- The work: The first thing I was working on was making sure I had enough work to show that I’m happy will make a good, cohesive display that really shows off my work. I also wanted to have a variety of pieces of different scales across different price points. This thought process is what prompted the development of some new wall sculptures and mini pods (you’ll get to see these soon!) which will be first on sale at the event. I’m really excited about both these developments as people often find it easier to find a wall space to hang art rather than a flat surface to display sculpture and the mini pods are really cute!
- Getting the work to the stand: This is a very practical aspect. You can simply carry the boxes to and from your car and stand but I have a trolley that I can stack boxes on that speeds up the process, although only if there are no stairs…
- The display: Once I’ve decided on the pieces to show I then need to think about how I’m going to display them. The size of the space, the table size, plinths and table covers, colours and textures for backgrounds, branding on signs, lighting, price labels and storage of boxes to name but a few considerations. I did Potfest in the Pens a few years ago so I have the materials I bought for that as my starting point. I’ll bring everything out that I’m planning to take with me to see how it looks together and do some mock set-ups at the studio beforehand to be sure I have the best layout at the event, and to save time when setting up.
- The purchase process: When someone buys a piece of my work I need to have a variety of options to accept payment. I need a float for any small cash purchases and I need to be able to take card payments particularly as I have some expensive pieces that would be very unlikely to be a cash purchase. Once the payment is processed I then have to package the piece so that it is safe to transport home and in a way that is attractive. I may consider offering a gift wrapping service as this event is in the festive gift shopping period…I still haven’t decided about this.
- Promotion and branding: At the event I’ll need to have a sign on the stand so it’s obvious who has made the work visitors are looking at. In addition to that obvious branding, I’ll also have postcards and cards for sale alongside my ceramics for people who just want a souvenir so I need to get the photos taken and designs finished so that these can be printed in time. I will also have business cards that I can hand out and include with every sale. I’ll also have a few leaflets about my teaching and workshops, online and in person. I considered having a laptop/tablet with my website on the stand but decided this was too much of a security issue to risk. In the lead up to the event I’m going to be doing some event specific social media posts and send out my newsletter to spread the word.
- Travel and accommodation: We have a car top box to add extra storage space that will need to be used for this event. I’m also lucky that I have my husband coming with me to help drive to Farnham and be with me during the event (it’s a lot easier if there’s two of you as then the stand is covered when one of you have to pop somewhere). This is a weekend event and I’ve yet to hear when the venue will be open to set up but I need to book accommodation nearby for the Friday and Saturday nights.
That’s everything for the moment that should mean I’m all set when the event comes around next month. You can keep up with my progress on my Instagram account as I’ll be keeping you up to date via my stories.
You can see more of my work that I’ll be showing at Art in Clay here in my shop.