My Holiday Studio Sale is coming up (10/24-25), the third since I’ve set up shop in our home. This is probably the most enjoyable and easily the most intimate way that I sell my work. A small number of people from our community drive to our home in the boonies, walk through our kitchen and down to my basement studio—trying not to bump their heads in the low-ceilinged, c. 1920 stairwell— to chat, snack on local cheeses and purchase my pots.
One couple arrives promptly at 10 am on Saturday every time to have first pick. Some ask questions, but many are very focused, shuffling through the shelves of work to gather their finds, eager to make sure no one will take from their cluster of chosen pieces while they go back for more. From the next town over to two hours away (which could be any of five different states!), they come to my home to buy my work to take back to their homes or, equally exciting, to give to someone else for their home. This both amazes and pleases me to no end.
In my Studio Sale flyer and email, I use a sentence adopted and adapted from a sign I placed in a street-facing window in my last studio, a rental space in an old factory building in Worcester (MA). The original sign, Sponsor Creativity & Community — Support Your Local Artists, was intended to speak to the passers-by about our presence. The phrasing has since morphed into an expression of appreciation to those who venture out to my current studio and share their interest in my work with others:
Thank you for sponsoring creativity and community,
and supporting local artists by buying and giving handmade.
I realize in this format, I am mostly preaching to the choir about buying and giving handmade. But the importance of spreading the love for owning handmade is just that, important. It’s a ripple effect. Fellow MA potter, Arthur Halvorsen came up with a project called Operation C.U.P. (Citizens Using Pottery). His idea and goal is for buying-handmade supporters to give a handmade cup to a friend or family member who wouldn’t normally buy handmade, such a simple idea with only positive and potentially reverberating repercussions.
I hope to see some of you Saturday, October 24th 10-5, and Sunday, the 25th 11-4, for my Holiday Studio Sale. (You can begin your C.U.P. mission in my studio!) Bring your friends, friends of friends and family. Children are welcome, and can even be potential customers. Last year, one seven-year-old promised her Mom that she [the little girl] would definitely drink her milk, even though she hated it, if the milk were in one of my little cordial cups with bunnies. (A true-story sale.) If you can’t make it, I hope you will let friends and family in New England know they can come to my home to Buy to give, elegant and handmade. And everyone can buy here from me any time!