Following an October 3-day craft show at the Texas Motor Speedway, I did two high school craft fairs in November: Billy Ryan High and Guyer High Choir shows. Suzanne did the Ryan H.S. show with me, then left for her African safari tour the next day. My good friend Alan came down from Oregon the following week and helped with the Guyer show. Although it was my first time at both shows, I was assigned good locations - especially at Guyer where I was the second booth from the front door!
I was close to not only the entrance, but also next to a side walkway, so I was able to spread out a little. I could even display some hanging items on the back side of the vertical racks (left photo below), The new '57 Chevy headlight-ring clock sold right at 9 :00 AM when the show opened - it was in the empty spot at the upper, left corner of the display wall.
Above are angle views of the booth. This was the first time I draped cloth over the back of the display racks. Compared with the Ryan H.S. booth below, I think it makes the items stand out better without the distraction of the background.
At Billy Ryan High I was placed in the gym, the farthest room from the school entrance. However, this is a very large show (like Guyer) and there were many other craft venders in the room. Traffic was steady, I sold three items and handed out many business cards to people who may wish to have a custom display created.
Notice in the right photo that you see through my display racks into the back of the booth behind me. I felt that this reduced the effectiveness of my own display. I addressed this at the Guyer show with maroon cloth clipped to the back of the racks. I believe an improvement.
Above are views of the two side tables of my U-shaped display. I sold one of the two mustang plaques I made recently and the second of the two log boxes I made.last year.
What I thought would be a two week project turned out to be two months. Nothing new! Our house came with a poorly designed and constructed book shelf in the small, fourth bedroom, which we converted into a dedicated office early-on. I took down the books a couple of years ago and used it to display my hood ornament creations, but it quickly became too small. There was no back to the shelves, other than the painted drywall. They tended to sag in the center. And they were the standard 12 inches deep.
So I designed a floating, four-shelf system that would run the full length of the ten foot wall rather than stop short of the outside wall with a window and would be 16 inches deep. I also decided to panel the entire wall from the wainscote to the ceiling.
Above is the wall with the old shelves removed and plywood panels installed and stained. Since the window on the left exterior wall is only five inches from the corner, the shelves have to taper as they approach the exterior wall. An assembled, hollow-core shelf is leaning against the wall and another is sitting on a box to its right. The shelf system will consist of eight shelves; four 16-inch deep shelves on the right half of the wall and four half-tapered shelves on the left side. The shelves have not yet been stained in this photo.
Above, the eight shelves have been set in place (after staining) and braced at the front edges by a 2x4 below and short pieces between the shelves. My initial thought was to place three vertical supports at the front, dividing it into four sections horizontally. Temporary vertical face frames are clamped in place.
The four-section design seemed to make the whole unit look too checker-board-y. So I revised it to three sections, which gives it a more horizontal flow (to my eye). I finished the shelves and face frame with clear tung oil I have refilled the unit with my favorite ornaments - not including the ones that I take to the craft shows. Oh, and the tung oil renewed the original lower paneling very well too!
I am still trying new show venues to find those that provide the most effective exposure for my works.