Last year I took a book making class. No, not betting the ponies as my good friend Pat likes to say, but taking paper and cardboard and waxed linen and turning it into a book. I really enjoyed this class and having worn hats as an art teacher and then later as a librarian, turning a book into an art piece seemed like heaven. In the class we painted paper for our covers but I wanted to make my books my own so I started looking through my photographs. There was a time I was shooting pictures for postcards but that idea dissolved when I realized nobody sent postcards anymore. However I still had a collection of some fine photos so I mined those for possible images for the covers of books. My first book/journal was a tied binding book ( the signatures are tied to the spine with ribbon or special yarn or cord) and the photo on the cover was of a robin’s nest that resided on a pole leaning against our out building. That was a year and a half ago. I also created sewn bindings and have taught myself two new stitches. Since then I’ve created almost 40 books from travel photos and local images, opened a shop on Etsy (HEUERSontheHILL) and have actually sold 8 books. Hey, I do it for the fun, not to get rich…and good thing since I like to eat.
This past February I was contacted by a local community that hosts artwalks during the summer and September. The organizer explained to me they paired artists with various venues (shops) in the community on four Fridays from 5 – 8pm. We get a chance to sell our work, the shop gets to introduce the residents to maybe a business they wouldn’t normally frequent, and everyone has a fine time walking about, eating, buying art (hopefully), and meeting their neighbors. The organizer found my work on Etsy and invited me to participate. Back in the dark ages Curt and I did our share of art fairs with his ceramics. The, pay a fee to show, pay for meals, pay for somewhere to sleep…not even break even at the end, sit-on-the-blacktop for three days either dying in the heat or battening down the hatches in a freak storm, type of art fair. (We were lucky, just so there wasn’t high wind, we would just empty the water out of bowls and cups when the storm passed and soldier on. The painters weren’t as fortunate). So this deal of sitting inside, dry, with someone else providing the table and no fees, sounded attractive. What the heck! I said I could do June, July and September. I was also secretly flattered that someone had looked at my work and thought it worthy.
In June I was at a tennis Pro Shop, Curt hung around, got me coffee and we went to dinner afterwards.
In July, my sister and her husband were in town. My husband, my mother, my sis and her husband were all going to come and visit me. Everyone ended up too tired, so I spent the three hours on my own. I was set up in a restaurant, Alpha Delights, so I had a great dinner and they, the Family, missed it. nyah, nyah!.
September, it rained and was really cool. Curt dropped me, went off to do errands. I was in a salon, The Studio on George. We had very few customers/visitors but the owner was a great gal. I met the massage therapist ( got a 5 minute chair massage), had coffee and cookies and we called it a night at 7:30pm.
Bottom line, I sold two journals in the three nights and gave out about ten business cards.
Would I do it again? Probably not. I met some really nice people, those looking at my work and the owners of the shops, but to do all that transporting and setting up to sell two books. I just don’t have that “hawking my wares” mentality anymore ( truth be told, I don’t know if I ever did). I’ll stick to word of mouth, and Etsy, and just have fun creating my one of a kind handmade journals….original photograph covers…..make great gifts…..hint! hint! Christmas is coming.