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.

Euromax canopy canvas weight bags

Heavy duty canvas weight bags for trade show canopy

 

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!

Table RisersA 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.

E-Z Up Tall Directors chair

 

Boo Boo from new chair

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.