Several weeks ago, right in the middle of the moving madness, I had an opportunity to participate in the Winter Market, a community cooperative craft venue here in Eugene, designed to span the time between the end of the Holiday Market in December and the beginning of the Saturday Market season in April. I had no idea what to expect from this, my first-ever experience in selling my handcrafts live (rather than online), so I went into it with no expectations whatsoever, just grateful for the experience of setting up a table and getting some local exposure for my work at very little cost to me. (The entry fee was only $5, and the organizer even loaned me a table for the day.)
In the midst of our whirlwind moving preparations, we had very little time to devote to a craft show, so I spent only two evenings sorting through and pricing my wares and putting together a very basic table design. (Oh, the ideas I have for the next time I do this, with a table of my very own instead of a borrowed one!) Nevertheless, I was quite pleased with the way my creations presented themselves when laid out together as a whole; my table included a variety of items such as bags, dolls, jewelry, magical oils and bath salts, and yet there was definitely an underlying style uniting all of these items that is distinctively and uniquely mine, and that several passers-by remarked upon when they stopped to admire my wares. If I had to try to verbalize my artistic aesthetic, the closest I could come would be a juxtaposition of old-fashioned femininity (fluffy and silken yarns, ribbons, lace and pearls, pink and white and soft earth tones, hearts and flowers) with the hard-edged, dark and macabre (black and red, bones, teeth and claws, poisonous plants, ravens and bats, skull charms, and other reminders of death and decay). This is a thread that runs all through my work, and is also a reflection of my spiritual life, and particularly of myself in relation to my god-husband, Odin. This pleases me immensely, that the most sacred aspects of my spiritual life and Work, so hard to express or articulate in words or in any other way, are finding expression in my artwork.
The venue itself was, however, a little disappointing; despite being listed in the Eugene Weekly (a free local newspaper) every week, there was very little traffic during the course of the day and only a few other participating artisans. The organizer, while well-intentioned, seemed mainly concerned with a children’s charity he was involved in and a Reggae event taking place later in the evening, with very little attention or time spared for attracting either vendors or the general public to the market itself. There were, however, a number of people who trickled in, and several of them stopped by my table to browse and had a favorable response to my work. One in particular, a craftsperson with Saturday Market experience, gave some very encouraging feedback about my knitted jewelry, which he felt was definitely good enough to compete on a local level. (I took this as pretty high praise, considering the surplus of talented artisans we have here in our little city.)
At any rate, I had no time to post about this before now but wanted to share this small milestone with my blog readers. I’ve uploaded some photos of my table to my Flickr account, and you can see them here.