Yesterday I had the privilege to show my pottery at the first ever “Steampunk and Pioneer Festival” in downtown Poteau Ok, the town where I live. We have a very ambitious downtown management team and they are trying all sorts of new and exciting things to bring excitement back to our tiny Oklahoma downtown, and doing an outstanding job, I might add. As is usual for Oklahoma, the wind was a problem especially when you are under a tent canopy filled with Pottery! The wind is always present and often quite strong. especially with a hazardous storm warning with possible tornado activity forecast for the evening. For this show, I did my best to prepare for some wind but it just wasn’t enough.
For the most part, pottery is heavy enough to stay put (unless there is a tornado) but the tent is another thing altogether and yesterday mine became a parachute.
I thought I had it covered because I was utilizing these canvas canopy weight bags I got on Amazon. Because I did not want to lug around little bags of sand I used pinto beans in small zip lock bags. I obviously did not have enough since the tent took off, weights and all. Ok… sand bags it is. I was thinking also that maybe filling plastic water bottles with water would give me enough weight. Four would fill the pockets of each sock and I could dump the water at the end of a hot tiring day or drink it if I find myself lost in a desert!
A few things I did like was my new chair and table risers.
At a previous show, I saw a vendor with a tall chair and equally tall table and questioned her about it. The higher table, she said, looked more professional and put your product at a more comfortable level for customer viewing.
For the tables, I bought these Table Risers and adored them. They raised my table enough to keep my tablecloths from dragging on the ground, raised my table up to a more comfortable height and were very solid.
Next on my new list was my E-Z Up directors chair. I bought it because most of the reviews were excellent and that the chair was heavy-duty! There were cheaper ones available but they did not get good reviews and I read one where the foot rest was a flimsy piece of cloth and not suitable for helping you get into the chair. At 5’2″ I knew I would probably need a solid footrest.
I chose well. The chair was a dream. Easy to get in and out of, sturdy and yes, I needed the foot rest to push myself back into the chair. But what it really did was kept me at eye level with the customer without getting up and down a zillion times. Oh, and it comes in a great carrying case and is light weight. After packing up yesterday I threw the table risers into to the chair carrying case.
One thing of caution on this chair. It can bite! When I was opening it the first time I did not read the instructions and got my finger caught. If Ben had not been home when I started yelling I would have been dragging a chair attached to my hand all over the house looking for the phone because there was no way I could have released it without help. So be on the cautious side and if you buy this chair have a spotter ready the first time you use it.
Before the wind really kicked up I started having problems with the tablecloth blowing up and over my goods. With the fear of the cloth pulling all my pottery onto the ground I had to find a way to secure it down. In my jewelry making tackle box I had a Spring Clamp that Ben had given me. It was a life saver in clamping together and adding weight to the corners of my tablecloth. I secured it in a way that made the corner more form fitting,
Note to self…..get more!
Although I did not lose any pieces to Mother Nature I did end up packing up about an hour and a half early as the wind really started whipping us about. I was not alone. Most of the vendors came to the same conclusion. It was blowing so hard that I did not take the time to carefully wrap each piece. My husband asked “what if they get chipped” to which I relied I would rather one or two chip then all of them go smashing to the ground.
My question now is “Do I continue to do outside shows?”. Yesterday my answer was “no more”. Let’s see how I feel in the fall.