I got back from Penrith late on Sunday night after an amazing experience. It was a weekend filled with firsts… most notably my first show and my first sales.
On Thursday afternoon, after weeks of making and days of organising, I loaded the campervan full of my things and set off. I was excited at the prospect but horribly nervous too. After a five-hour drive I arrived at Skirsgill farmers’ market, registered and was given my pen number. I walked into the hall and, after being greeted by the lingering smell of cow, discovered my space – which was much larger than I had expected.
I spent the next three hours setting up and meeting my neighbours. I had been told that Potfest was a great event on many levels; the first of which being that you meet so many like-minded individuals. I was struck by how generous people were – lending me things I had forgotten; giving helpful advice; offering to mind things if I needed a break and so on. By ten o’clock my stand was pretty much complete and I headed off for a well earned night’s rest.
The next three days were a wonderful mix of hard work, happiness at making sales, delight in meeting and talking to customers, and enjoyment in discussing a shared passion with other potters.
As I drove home again on Sunday evening I had time to reflect on the previous three days. I came away feeling elated at having made my first sales and I think I did alright in comparison to most others. It was fascinating to see the range of work on sale which comes with an unselected, clay-only event and it was interesting to think about where my work fitted in amongst the rest. I received some kind and supportive comments both about my work and the way I had displayed it. I’m now sure that I’ll will do more shows, but try to space them evenly throughout the year.
So now, after a couple of days rest, it’s nose back to the grindstone in preparation for North East Open Studios (NEOS) in just over a month’s time.