I love the poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling. I believe that it has a really great list of attributes for a true human being. Yet Kipling missed something. Earlier this week life became a little hectic. On day one of the exhibition in Kew Gardens people were crowding into the aisles to look at all the wonderful things to buy but not many ready to part with much money. They were, on the other hand, very happy to talk. One lovely chap was asking about the cost of exhibiting, the time it takes to make each piece and the disconnect between the value and the cost of high quality craft. Same old, same old. We agreed that making this kind of work is a lifestyle choice as much as anything and that one cannot expect to be rich on the back of one’s creativity and he came up with a great extra line for Kipling’s poem. I think it is going to be the way forward for me:
If you can keep yourself amused and still have enough for beer and cheese,
Seems like a plan to me!
On the other hand, Kew has been good for me and I am quite hopeful of being able to afford some reasonably exotic cheese as a result. I began with my stand showing almost exclusively new work. I wanted to promote my most recent ideas. I filled my stall with my fragile, thin porcelain vessels which have inclusions of found clay. It looked good and I was really pleased with it. The trouble was, and don’t get me wrong, this is a good problem to have, so did the customers. By the end of Friday it was looking decidedly bare! So late on Friday evening I made a panic dash to my studio to get some work to fill up the gaps.
This meant that I ended up on Saturday with works which would not normally be anywhere close to each other and that fact alone has led to some interesting thoughts and comments.
I think the time has come for a bit of a rethink – the contrast is great when I sit one of my really rugged, sculptural pieces beside a fragile one. How good would it be if I made pairs using the same material?
I need to get beyond the Open Studios first but, after that, it will be time for some serious research!