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potfest uk

updated mon 31 mar 97


Hiro Matsusaki on mon 17 mar 97

Thank you for your Clayart post dated 15/03/97 on your DOs and Potfest UK.

I take offence, however, since you did not invite or even mention potters
from Canada, a member of the former dominion, the comonwealth or something
(does the definition matter?). We are different from the U.S. We are
outnumbered, and Americanized, but our pots are different, or at least so I
would like to believe. Our winters last too long, that's why they may not
weather as well. Anyway, here we are, nonetheless.

You mentioned selection, venue, and location. What about the bottom lline?
Over here we have craft shows with 6,000 attendance over three days in
abundance. I must have attended tons of them (well, a lot of hard work, for
sure, maybe that is the reason for the weight). So I ask. How much rent did
you have to pay for the location? Can you sustain it year after year at that
price? What did you charge the potter for a single booth (stall)? Or, what
was the formula you used? Did you make any provisions for corner booth? How
did you eliminate "favoritism" or "preferential treatment"? The question
continues. You don't have to answer them. I want to know, however, what was
the rent, the promotion cost, the stall charges, and the like essential

Can you give me any hard facts or figures? If you cannot, I respect your
privacy. But, without the numbers, it will be a hard sell. How much did you
charge, and how did you spend the money? Not in absolute numbers. Just
percentages to give us some ideas, if you so wish. The allocation of the
money collected from the potters (the take) for the sponsor or the organizser
is the bottom line. Some craft show organizers here make too much money for
the little they do. And many do not last. Hence there is a general distrust
and skepticism about any new venue.. I can cite you dozens of horror stories.
.... ...Among the crafters in general, this belief is almost universal.
Granted, there are well established good shows, but they are not without

I do not wish to stifle your enthusiasm. I think your effort is well worth
it, and shoul be commended. But the experiment is not an experiment unless
you show us what you had expected and what you achieved, and the reasons why,
and if you do not give us the data to back up your assertions. No
promotional hype, just hard facts. Some of the things you achieved, you
explained very well, admirably, but in North America, it's the numbers in
rows and colums that count. And the grand total must agree with the
subtotals from horizontal rows and vetical columns. If everything is
transparant, the viability of the experiment should last forever, I think. It
is a genuine innovation. The rent may increase, however, it they (landlords)
know you are making too much money. Whatever the case, I can understand why
your effort is a genuine innovation. But, if things are transparent, or if
it is free to participate, we will be joining a genuine festival, and we will
all flock to your alter, hopefully.

You see, a festival does not have to charge admission fees, if the
participant does contribute something to the spiirit of the festive occasion.
On the other hand, you can charge them for the privilege to participate. As
far as I am concerned, the Potfest cannot be the festival without some
numbers shown to the potters, something about spectators, customers, crazy
affectionados, or simply the number of pots sold. In North America, we are
so bottom line infected that a little more information, instead of the hype,
may help us to make up our minds and make appropriate plans.

Am I asking too much? It was minus 20C last night. Too much snow and too
cold. The sun is bright, but the temperature went up to just minus 7 today.