Getting ready for the RISD sale

Dec 09 2009

Today was another snow day - 6" this time, wet, icy slush.   At least I get to stay home and get ready for the RISD sale.   Do you know it can take up to 4 hours to bag, tag, write up an invertory sheet for stock, pack it and ship it?   Some days are devoted to getting stock out in the mail for galleries.  Getting ready for a craft show usually requires 2-3 days of prep.  Find the booth setup, make sure there's nothing missing, pack it, find wall drapes, boxes, tissue paper, pens, loose change, jewelry tags and sticky labels, the evertraveling calculator, so forth.  I try to tag all the jewelry and flatware ahead of time, make sure it's clean and tarnish free which can take a long time. 

By the time all that is done, I'm exhausted, and I haven't even gotten the car packed.   No wonder I dread having to do fairs these days.   I limit myself to 5-6 fairs a year, but many craftspeople do anywhere from 6 to 50 fairs a year.  I once did 18 fairs one year and that was too much.   It's also physically hard on the body and if you look at the average craftsperson, they are anywhere from 45 to 70 years old.  It's rare to see young craftspeople exhibiting since they are more online-oriented, having grown up with computers.   

I was once asked how many hours I spend per day working on my jewelry.  I think about it time to time, and most days, I'm lucky if I get a hour or two to work on my bench.   Usually once a week or so, I'll get 5-7 hours of work done, but most of the time, it's less than 3 hours per day.  The rest is computer time, commuting, teaching, taking care of the pets and whatever that needs to be taken care of.   I will do some work while watching TV, or if someone is driving, I can do some wireworking.  I almost always have something to work on in my bag.

When I was younger, I used to work pretty much everyday, for many hours.  Now that I'm older ( and wiser), I don't work so much daily, and find I still get a lot done since I'm gotten efficient.   My skills are so well-honed, I'm fast and get things done quicker.   I do drive my students and fellow craftspeople crazy with my speed and skill.  Oh well, I've been doing metalsmithing too long. 

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