Tuesday, April 14, 2015

To Market...

Bodega Bay Fishermen Festival..our "backyard"
     I am daily amazed that I can do what I do for a living.  In my own little studio, in the companionship of podcasts and recorded books, I can feel very disconnected...from reality, from people, from the economics of it all.  Which is why I love selling my wares in person.  Not only am I able to gauge reactions to my pottery, but I collect stories that people associate with different creatures.  Like the ladies who love hedgehogs because they raised a hubub by mistakenly identifying a frayed carpet as one in a zoo.  Or the marine biologists who nerd out on my creatures and introduce me to new ones (from oarfish to roosterfish then nudibranchs).  The familiar context of the marketplace allows conversation between strangers that do not normally occur.  I feel a genuine connection to people, most of whom are not making purchases, just simply enjoying a day out.  Maybe it's because I'm more of a sunlight person than a night one, but I have more interesting conversations in my booth than I do at most parties.  Thank you all who visit!
Tentacle found at Goat Rock Sun morn
     At a market, there are no middlemen (aside from the show promoters & the credit card processors).. it's about as fundamental as you can get.  I love the vendor scene.  There's a nervousness on Saturday morning, setting up expectations along with displays.  We peer sideways at each others' prices and marketing schpiels.  In close quarters, we hear their repeated phrases as I parrot my own ("an you can put them in the dishwasher too!").  This year I got to know the family who raise jellyfish and cast them in resin when they die.  They make great, glowing lamps.  Of course there are always products that you wonder how or why they filled a whole booth with them, though the same can be said of many manufactured products (like shipping containers of blow-up Santas crossing the oceans.. and the engineers who brought them to reality).   There's Sunday sales comparisons and then the joyful closing down racket and dance of the vehicles at the end.  Being so close to home, this time, we even got to squeeze in some boogie boarding at Doran Beach before crashing from over stimulation.
Hanging with my Oarfish.. current favorite
     I can see that, on the whole, I'm bringing joy to people... even if they're just passing by, or noticing that my dress matches the booth.  And I'm OK with that on my tombstone.