Indoors vs. OutdoorsI've sold my work in a variety of places. In general, my work has drawn the most attention & has sold well when it is displayed outside. Why has this been? Well, first, I have a big canopy tent when I exhibit outside; my booth space is clearly delineated. Also, I have a big sign/banner that is hung in my tent identifying my business name and tag line, "Handwoven Textiles, Londonderry, New Hampshire."
|Me, exhibiting outdoors in August at the Morrison Museum. See the apple trees?|
There are several things that I've found to be difficult about exhibiting indoors, but for me the big issues are space and lighting. Space: at most of the indoor events that I've participated in this year, I did not have the amount of space available to me that I paid for (and neither did anyone else, for that matter). A 10' space was an approximation at best. I don't have "indoor walls" to delineate my booth space at this point, so this might be something to consider. I don't have a "Nutfield Weaver" sign that works well for an indoor space. Another something to consider. Lighting is somewhat controllable, provided you have the money to purchase the necessary lights for your display, have a way to utilize them, have access to electricity, and have the means to pay for the electricity fee on top of your entrance fee. And one last thing: just because you exhibit indoors do not assume that you will be comfortable. I exhibited in two different indoors venues this fall and both were extremely cold. Bring enough layers to stay warm. Fingerless gloves were an absolute necessity for me on these occasions.
For 2014, I would like to add a visual aid to my display. A friend of mine, who is a seasoned and successful fiber arts exhibitor, suggested that a short video of the weaving process would be helpful, and I believe that she is absolutely right. A lot of people are new to the idea of handwoven cloth. "No, this is not crochet." "No, this is not knitted." "No, this is not fabric from a store that I hemmed." My loom is housebound; it is an 8 harness Nilus II Leclerc with 10 treadles; it is not feasible to disassemble and take to an event. I'd like to be able to show people how cloth is made, and this might be a practical way to do so.
Do any of my friendly blog readers exhibit their wares? What are your experiences and what lessons have you learned? If you'd like to share one of your pearls of wisdom, please do so in the comments section below!