• Looking Back.... a bit

    I have just returned from ‘Living Crafts’ at Hatfield House, North London. This was a 4 day fair with hundred plus designer makers which I expected to have been selected or invited, as I was. Yet again there appeared to be work which didn’t look to be handmade and some bending of the spirit of the event seemed to have taken place. I met some great people but I came away with some of the same old questions. How do organisers expect makers to be able to continue in business when they charge such high fees and deliver such a small number of buyers?

    Many makers went away having suffered a loss. Yes the weather was poor but the number of visitors overall was too low. If the event is a day out with a chance to buy and see then stall prices should reflect that. If the primary reason that people are there is to enjoy the demos and take part in classes why should traders subsidise this? If entry charges are too high then people will not feel like spending money on buying craft so why not lower these? Why not take a commission on sales? This would encourage organisers to get people into the event otherwise they lose out too. I even had to buy a program! Shame on you.

    Come on organisers, give the small artisans a chance otherwise we just become cannon fodder and are dispensed with when we have been bled dry by organisers who do not see us as their customers. Without us you have no shows or fairs of quality and you will rely even more on the mass produced ‘gift market’

    Other fairs have been better, although the BCTF has only covered its costs after the event as orders have come in. Again during the event visitor numbers seemed low. I will leave it a couple of years before I go back.

    Local fairs are time consuming but it is good to meet customers and be able to work with them. I shall reinstate the web shop soon and have plans for some new work. New places to buy my work will also be put on the website very soon.

    I am taking part in some Contemporary Glass Society events locally, now I am a member, and I will continue to work on developing new designs.

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