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Monday, July 6, 2015

Tourist trade and a gallery

Before I go into this topic about marketing my wares, I first must thank the people over at potterymakinginfo HERE for all the mentions of this blog (Alchemy of Clay) in their June Review.

They cover all aspects of the craft and are a great resource for most everything you can think of.

Twisted Laurel Gallery has a nice looking gallery storefront

A well designed lobby with a store-like gallery behind it
The next store east seemed inviting...
Cathy and I were almost the only visitors in an area that seemed lost to trade

The gallery in which we had gladly shared our pottery did not seem to be doing all that great, nor is this whole row of shops in Spruce-Pine, NC.  At least by looking at them mid-afternoon in June.  It wasn't even unbearably hot.

But they don't seem to have a tourist trade like our dear Black Mountain does.

I was so sorry that the gallery doesn't even have an on-line presence.  Their web page was last updated a couple of years ago.  They don't do facebook, nor apparently send out emails to a customer list.  I can't imagine my life without the internet these days.

I was happy to get involved in their 1000 Cups Show...which I found out about through another group which posts both on blogs and on facebook, Western North Carolina Clay Club.  The show got a bit less than 500 cups, and I only saw about 100 on display, but communication is my point right now.  The proprietor did say a few mugs had sold.

They didn't advertise a 1000 Cups Show (I specifically asked this both before and after the show.) Perhaps this isn't a gallery thing to do...?

When I got there to pick up my pots, I found the show was still ongoing, and then the proprietor said that many of the potters had told her they couldn't pick up their work until after the 4th of July.  Well, that makes sense, if you want them to be seen and sold, since that is supposedly a peak tourist season.  It just didn't seem that way on the Tuesday we were there.

I haven't shown in many galleries yet, and want to have some of my work seen, and hopefully sold through them.  Any suggestions?  I would like to hear from someone who has approached galleries.  How do you do it?  Bring work or a thumb drive with photos?  Call for an appointment or drop in at a less busy time?


  1. Ooof, approach galleries? Not easy. I wait for them to approach ME, then look carefully at how they do things, etc!

    1. Well, I hope that someday I'll have work that is interesting enough to be "gallery level." I have learned that it's important to know the percentage of sales (consignment) as well as what happens when things are damaged. Anything else?

  2. Sounds like the people running the gallery either don't know what they are doing or have stopped caring.
    If you are going to approach a gallery perhaps a little research is in order. Will the gallery be compatible with your work? How many people show there? Price range? Commission? Publicity?

    1. Great things to consider, Suzi. Thanks so much for your help.

  3. Hmmm....I've never approached a gallery. I've had a couple people approach me however, about my photos I've put on canvas and sold in my nephew's wife's store. They want some in their gallery, but I just don't really want to do that.


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