Going with the flow at Earth & Fire
Way back in January, I received an email telling me that I had been selected by the Craft Potters Association (CPA) to take part in the international ceramics fair, Earth & Fire on their shared stand. The CPA is the national body in the UK representing studio potters and ceramic artists, so, as you can imagine, I was thrilled! I had sent off my application not really expecting to be selected and nearly dropped my phone in the bath when I read the news. Don't look at your phone while having a soak, it's fraught with danger.
The CPA had selected 6 of us and we each had a small area in which to display our work.
I've done quite a few shows, and usually plan my stand well in advance so that I know how I want it to look and where each piece will go. It's quite normal for my kids to arrive home from school and find me building my stand and experimenting with layouts in the middle of the lounge. Luck favours the prepared, so they say.
On this occasion, my perfectionist prepping habits had to be quelled. The CPA provided all the stand furniture and cloths for us and I had no idea what this was going to be until I arrived on set up day. This was unchartered territory for me.
Not having my own plinths and stands or indeed any plan was tricky initially, but in the end I actually enjoyed playing with new arrangements of my pieces. It forced me to try out new display ideas, as I had to work with what was provided, and also within a much smaller space than I would normally have at a show. There were plenty of plinths etc for all of us and we worked together to make the stand look coherent.
As well as being a great show, with lots of sales and interest in my work, it was also a brilliant loosening exercise for me. I had to relinquish some of the control that I normally have in a strangle hold, and go with the flow. I liked it, I can do it!
That said, I know I will practice my stand before my next show, and take reference pictures like I normally do, but perhaps I won't be so anxious about it all having to fit to my exact plan.
My thanks to everyone who made it a fantastic weekend.