My lathe journeys. #48: ... Results from the Arts & Craps Fair this weekend

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Blog entry by JoeinGa posted 04-11-2016 12:58 PM 2031 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 47: ... few more bowls for the sale Part 48 of My lathe journeys. series Part 49: My aluminum lathe tools, how're they holding up? »

Some of you do read my drivel, so this is a follow up to the Arts Fair I went to this past weekend. I’ve posted before that I really don’t have much interest in sitting out in the sun for a day or two trying to sell the bowls and things I make, but my wife and daughter concocted a plan whereby my daughter would be my “Sales Agent” (for a small cut of course :-) . She went to our first fair 2 weekends ago and did surprisingly well. More than once she was told that we were pricing my items “too low”, so this time we adjusted the prices up just a skosh in trying to get a feel for what people will pay for bowls and bird houses.

So the wife and I drove 4 hours across the state from our house to our daughter’s in Columbus, GA. The fair was in Warm Springs, GA not too far from her house. The ONLY reason I agreed to go to this one is because Warm Springs is only 4 miles from where we used to live and we had attended a church in Warm Springs for almost 11 years, so I knew I’d see a lot of old friends there. Our booth was actually right next door to the church so I did get to visit with some folks I haven’t seen in 10+ years.

We were on a concrete pad with about 16 or 18 other booths. And even though we got the LAST SPOT available, we were positioned at the end of the pad where they put the opening in the ropes for the entrance from one of the parking areas, so we actually had a real good spot. We set up the booth on a windy Saturday morning, and every once in a while the wind gusts would come thru and almost blow everybody’s tents away. One couple across from us lost a number of glass items to the wind and they gave up and left after only a couple hours. I helped them take down their tent and told them ”Well IF there can possibly be a good side to this, it’s that you only paid $20 for booth space and not $200.”

All in all. I’m pleased with the outcome. The first fair ( the one my daughter did alone) netted us just over $200, and this one we did just over $400. Not too bad for our first couple of trys. My daughter has signed up for another fair In a couple weeks not far from her house. So I need to make a few more bowls. Here’s the booth we set up.



This shot was from the entrance to the roped off concrete pad, so folks coming in saw this view of my booth. (The jackstands are what we used for “ballast” because my son-in-law didn’t have any concrete blocks. )


And here’s the opposite view from the booth towards that entrance.


I made the “A-frame” shelf from a piece of scrap plywood and it comes apart to lay flat.


And here’s just a few random shots.





These pictures were taken at 7:30 in the morning, hence the long shadows, and it was only about 40 degrees… luckily I had brought a light jacket !
Oh, and in case anyone was wondering about that huge walnut bowl I made from the blank that fellow LumberJock Arlin Eastman had sent me… It fetched $100, and that lady was SO pleased with my prices that she bought THREE PIECES!

And of course .. as usual, comments welcomed. Thanks for taking a peek at my stuff.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

13 comments so far

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3577 days

#1 posted 04-11-2016 01:31 PM

Good news like this is always nice to hear. Carry on Joe.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View doubleDD's profile


9471 posts in 2816 days

#2 posted 04-11-2016 02:11 PM

Impressive sales Joe. Gives one a good feeling about their building capabilities. As long as you’re having fun, it’s all worth it. Nice price for the walnut bowl too.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Greg the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg the Cajun Wood Artist

515 posts in 1716 days

#3 posted 04-11-2016 02:17 PM

I’m glad to hear you had a good show…your bowls and other pieces look really nice and i can see why the sold.
If you plan on doing other shows I would recommend getting some tent weights for those windy days. Many people use 4”pvc pipe filled with either cement or sand and fasten them on all four tent legs. Many shows require it.

My wife and I have been doing shows for the past 5 years and it gets very addictive for us. We look forward to every show and do about 20 a year.

-- Wood for projects is like a good Fart..."better when you cut it yourself" Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does

View shipwright's profile


8555 posts in 3571 days

#4 posted 04-11-2016 02:22 PM

Well done Joe. You have a good sales agent. :-)
Sometimes higher prices actually make things more attractive.
I’m happy for you.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View htl's profile


5128 posts in 1933 days

#5 posted 04-11-2016 02:36 PM

Glad you all had fun.
It’s funny how that works high price it’s Art, low price it’s Crafts.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 2403 days

#6 posted 04-11-2016 02:44 PM

Congratulations, Joe !!!

It sounds to me like you netted WAAAY MORE than $400.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Vicki's profile


1127 posts in 4118 days

#7 posted 04-11-2016 03:30 PM

That was a real nice set up. I’m sure that attracts customers too. Congrats on the great prices you got. It is so hard to price items, at least for me it is.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View Jerry's profile


3388 posts in 2421 days

#8 posted 04-11-2016 05:04 PM

Wow Joe! I am mightily impressed. You obviously have some talent to be able to sell your bowls so well. I smiled all the way through this story. Good job man.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View RootandBranch's profile


241 posts in 1878 days

#9 posted 04-11-2016 06:21 PM

Nice write up and pics. Looks much like the stand we did last year every Sunday at a Farmers Market hereabouts. I’m kinda with you on the sitting in the sun, wind or cold (our market is year round). I also did the math and found that after expenses I was working for less than minimum wage. Found that high priced one off cool stuff would sell as would the >$20 items. Since I have a day job and a handicapped wife, I decided that my weekends were better served at home than manning a booth that wasn’t profitable. Plus, there was too much crossover from other vendors. We actually had to have a sit down to discuss merch and how not to step on each others business. May ramp up for the fall holiday markets.

-- Don, -

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2780 days

#10 posted 04-11-2016 09:00 PM

Thank so much all.

While I did enjoy this weekend, it was mostly because I was re-connecting with old friends. My daughter has the “Gift of gab” (like me) but she is comfortable with it (UN-like me), so she was talking up the customers as they approached the booth.

The jack stand weights was a last minute thought and that was the heaviest thing we could grab at the moment to use for weights. We discussed investing a couple bucks in some concrete blocks for future shows.

I was lucky in that no one else was selling bowls and such. There was a couple booths with bird houses which were mostly painted bright colors and decorated with painted scenes or flowers, so there was enough difference that we didn’t clash. As far as I could tell, no one else was selling cutting boards and we sold a couple of them too.

All in all, it was a good weekend. Thanks again.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2830 posts in 1836 days

#11 posted 04-11-2016 11:50 PM

Joe, I haven’t even read the whole first sentence, yet, and, already, I have a question. Do you own a drivel cup? I go back to reading, now, and await your pithy reply…

-- Mark

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2830 posts in 1836 days

#12 posted 04-12-2016 12:00 AM

Good on ya, Joe. (Yes. I read all of it, including Comments, save for mine -I already knew what it said.) Bar-bell wrights make good hold-downs, and, they’re (I don’t know, mebees,) cheaper than cinder blocks. But then, you are Joe, The Magnificent, so, you probably have those lying around.

-- Mark

View kiefer's profile


5717 posts in 3440 days

#13 posted 04-12-2016 12:27 AM

Good looking booth Joe and the location was perfect right at the entrance but too bad about the weather not cooperating but it sounds like you had some good sales and that and getting to meet customers is what matters in the end .


-- Kiefer

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