Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Settling back in after a cold Wellfleet weekend

Wellfleet's OysterFest was cold this year. The past two years the weather has been autumnally sunny and bright, crisp without settling in your bones. Not so this year. The OysterFest hosted thousands of people layered in wool and fleece, but no one needed rain gear. It was just clouds most of the day Saturday, with breaks of sun, and then full gray cloud cover and winds on Sunday.
Still, they came out for the oysters and the shucking contests and the great food of all kinds, and the music. And for the crafts offered at tents in two parking lots and along the town's little Main Street. Some people bought pots, and for that I'm grateful. It was not a great show financially, but it wasn't bad. Lots of talk among the vendors of the effect of the economy on folks like us, selling beautiful things like Washington Ledesma's pots and paintings and the Georgian crafts in the next booth to me sold by the Americans For Georgia (that's the one in Europe, not the one in the American South). Most everyone said their sales were down from previous years. Mine, too. Down about one-third from the past couple of years. But worth doing, for the money and for the inevitably friendly and talkative people who do buy pots.
Every year the same people come back and usually buy. Often, it's younger couples, like the pair who thought very, very carefully before buying a pair of teabowls on Saturday. Or the other young woman who visited maybe four times before coming in on Sunday and buying a hanging vase. Or the woman from Derby, Conn., who spotted a crawled and faceted Shino vase on Saturday, thought about it all night, then came in first thing Sunday and said, "I want that!" Or the woman who bought nothing this year, but came in with her husband to tell me that she uses the teapot she bought last year "every day."
I love that kind of buyer.
I'll attach a couple of photos to the post: the view from behind my counter; a couple's hands working together to inspect the fine woven work from Georgia on the table next to my tent; the woodcarver who worked in the tent on the other side of me.
This afternoon my two friends Donna and Janet helped unpack the pots and tomorrow I'll get everything back on the shelves. And then I'll get back to making pots for the show at Donna's house Nov. 7 and 8.

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