Saturday, 11 December 2010

Craft Markets

Abergavenny today, and despite it being the last before christmas, another dismal sales day. Better than nothing indeed, but not enough.
At least I had an inside pitch today, so I was just cold instead of freezing! Unfortunately the heating seems to be programmed to work in office hours......needless to say, this market is run by the local council!! This is not to denigrate them completely, This is a small town (10,000 people?) and there is a market of some sort here in the Market Hall most days, plus the livestock market which is still in the town. The point is that if you want to attract people into a market, you don't have it colder and damper inside than out on a winter's day!!

No more craft markets until next March.

How can one raise the profile of markets in general? Whether for goods or food, they are seen as somewhere to get something cheap, not as an alternative to a shop. Not somewhere you can buy direct from the grower or maker and get quality goods.

They are seen as places that the poorest people frequent along with pound shops and the like.

Farmers' Markets are keeping up the good work.

How can you change the attitude of people towards markets? If it can work in other countries, why not here?


Zhoen said...

Go online. Etsy or some such. Open the world to your work.

soubriquet said...

I'm very sorry to hear your sales woes.
That was the same stuff that demoralised me, packing up to go to a market or craft fair, and at the end of it, realising my sales had not paid the costs.

Context, context. Like you say, people devalue what they see in a market. Put the same pot on a pedestal in a white-painted gallery, and it's special, they understand that it has value, simply because of where it is.
Because people they think must somehow know more than them have elevated it.

How can we fix these skewed perceptions? Because the pot in the gallery is probably overvalued, just as the market undervalues. Where's the fair ground, the honest appraisal?
Who can do it? Who sets a value? We potters surely aren't the best judges of our own work.

Your experience led me to think of something I read quite a while ago.
Go here and read of an experiment:
Imagine Hamada in Abergavenny.
"Well this one's not quite round, and the rim's uneven. Can I have it for half price?"

English Rider said...

The successful street markets here rely heavily on the link to wine tasting. It's often called an Art and wine festival. There is often a stage with entertainment as well.

Peter said...

You have my sincere sympathy....
The situation with your market seems all too familiar with the experiences that I have had with nearly every market I have taken part in here in my part of New Zealand Fortunately I have not had to suffer one as cold as the one that you will have done. There is a real problem with the "image" of craft markets here. The word "market" seems to be coupled with the word "bargain". The odd thing is that Farmers Markets, which have really gained momentum, seem to be able to sell rather highly priced produce, that is often the same or higher in price than what would be seen at the supermarkets. I wish that I was able to sell my pots at our farmers market, but they have a strict, produce only, rule...

gz said...

Worth reading, thanks soub.

The Farmers' Market could be worth trying again. Need to work out which one.

I need to work out which gallery/ies to approach.

I'm working on my design work.

gz said...

Zhoen, I'm plucking up courage to enter the world of Etsy and paypal.

I'm still not completely comfortable with using computers, but I'm working on it.