Made By HandPosted: November 4, 2015
Made By Hand is a contemporary Craft fair that is based in Cardiff where it was born. The show is based in the city hall over the course of a 3 day weekend, Friday to Sunday. The show features may makers and craftspeople from around the UK, although from wondering the show I would say most are from Wales or Southern England. Its a bright and vibrant affair which bustles with its plethora of activity, there are people at work demonstrating their skills, artists, craftspeople and makers discussing their work enticing people with the stories and backgrounds of their pieces. There’s music, food, activities and talks – so yes, a lot happening. Some of the stall holders were veterans some young people just starting out trying to get a foothold in the craft world/market.
I was able to show a piece of my work at Made By Hand on the Cardiff School of Art and Design (CSAD) stall. This is the first time I have presented my work to sell in a show! I was showing my work alongside other makers and ceramists. There was a fair amount of jewellery and pots and bowls. Some of the more unusual items where Malwina’s (a ceramics exchange student whose work is most popular) strange ceramic creatures that got a lot of attention. I had some people express interest in my work and even got the contact details for a possible commission for a gallery in St Davids, Pembrokeshire. That’s exciting for me! I have emailed the gallery and am now awaiting a response!
As there was a large group of us showing work we all took turns in managing the stall. I had the Friday afternoon, the first day of the show. There was a fair amount of people there, always a stream of people walking by and stopping. I learnt several things whilst manning the stall and compiled those things into a list in my pocket book to consider for future endeavours. The list goes as follows:
- Have business cards! I did not have any and several people out of the many I spoke to asked for one, others would have picked one up to if they were there I’m sure.
- Either fill the wall space of the stall, use it minimally with a strong composition or leave it blank. The back wall to our stall did not look so great in my opinion it needed more up there I think.
- Make packaging PROFESSIONAL and EASY. I did well here, I made a strong well padded cardboard transit box for my steel bowl which was clearly labelled with essential details and an image of the work. Others did not have such great packaging which was difficult to sort through and looked very ‘faffy’ and uncool.
- Organise the storage space of your stall very well and be familiar with it. We spent ages looking for the ledger, then the right box and the right packaging or the other pieces of work in the other range of colours. There is not a lot of space so be tidy and efficient.
- If possible try and be able to accept Cash, CARD and CHEQUE. It was a bit off putting for some people when they needed to pay for higher priced items via cash.
- Everything MUST be priced VERY clearly. Even if its not on display and under the stall in the box, you may end up getting it out, showing it and selling it.
Those where the main points I felt I should look out for next time.
Overall it was a good experience and I got some interest from potential buyers/commissioners!