Yesterday was the annual Arts and Autos event at the Historic Courthouse Square. I have exhibited my wares there two or three times past and was signed up for last year, but the day dawned to rain and it continued sprinkling all day. Since it is outdoors, I would get all my wax-finished woodwork wet and would have to re-wax every item, so I stayed away. This year was sunny with, a few fluffy white clouds and the high approached 100, as it has for several weeks. Great for Texans. Much harder on Oregonians.
Gates opened at 6:45. We arrived at 6:40. The sun popped above the horizon right around 7:00. The event itself was 9 AM to 3 PM. We were set up by 8:30.. The public began to arrive on schedule at nine. The band (the Lug Nuts) started playing at ten and went all the way to three, with a few short breaks. They look something like the Beatles with a female drummer. They played pretty much nothing but R&R classics and oldies, so I was well pleased.
This year I made a number of new projects unrelated to the automobile and I assigned about a quarter of my table space to them. Boxes, cutting boards and a chopping block. You can see them on the right in the top picture. I was not able to set out all the automotive pieces that I had with me. Evidently, the ones that I left in the boxes were the ones that people wanted because I did not sell anything. But as usual, I had a number of nice conversations with interested people and gave out quite a few business cards, so perhaps something will develop from the event later.
My feature item at top dead center of the U-shaped display was the 409 valve cover desk lamp. It got some attention from several visitors, but no offer to purchase. To its immediate left was a similar desk lamp with a finned aluminum aftermarket valve cover for an air cooled VW engine. (I had to purchase two of those, but for a good price, so I have two of those made now.). Also to the left is an MGB clock in a solid block of bodark. I like it a lot, but MG fans are not numerous in Texas. The Datsun plaque was made because I have had inquiries for Datsun - I think I will add a clock to it . . .make it more useful. To the right is another item I am proud of - a 1958-9 Corvette headlamp door (bezel) with a clock and thermometer in it (Note the temp on it - it was quite warm under the canopy, so we sat behind under a tree). One visitor suggested that it would be better with a slightly larger wood base beneath it - I think I will give that serious consideration.
There were a lot of really nice cars on display. Good music, as I mentioned. I learned a bit about Denton history and residents from home boys. But with it ending at 3 PM we had to pack up and load out in the heat of the afternoon. Took us two hours and seven minutes. We were both about ready to expire. We had each taken a couple short breaks in the shade to recover before we were finished. There seemed to be a consensus that we don't want to go through this again next year. We had decided a couple years ago not to do outdoor shows, This had been the exception. I am afraid that it is no longer an exception to that rule.
I am still trying new show venues to find those that provide the most effective exposure for my works.