Saturday, October 4, 2008

My First Craft Fair

Here is the first shawl on the 2/20 merc. cotton warp. Weft is black 2/10 Tencel.

Being a craftsperson as a profession is a real exercise in ego deflation. People always seem more than willing to freely share their opinion of what you've done with your talents. And while very often people are complimentary, sometimes they are not at all impressed!

My first craft fair I had worked very hard to bring a variety of different textiles - everything from rugs, tea towels, table runners, scarves. If it was a rectangle, I'd pretty much made it!

Unfortunately, not everyone loved what I had done. And I had to come to terms with the fact that I could not please everyone, all of the time.

I thought long and hard about the comments I'd overheard in my booth. Some of the objections I could address - fringes? Okay, I can do fringes. (Can we say 1977?) Texture? Okay, I can weave texture. It became a challenge to see how well I could fullfill expectations, and still maintain my creative integrity.

The following year I was back, and while I still had an array of rugs, placemats, table runners, and scarves, I had significantly changed my designs. And this time, there were a lot more people who expressed positive comments, instead of negative ones. And a lot more people bought my things. :)

There was absolutely nothing I could do about the fact that K-mart still sold textiles more cheaply than I was willing to work for, but I had found a receptive audience big enough to give me hope for the future - and the rest, as they say, is history.

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