Jeanette Harris on fri 4 jun 04
I'm a first year potter and looking forward to my first craft market
(a farmer's market at a nearby tourist spot). Does anyone have any
advice or ideas on how to set up for this...?
Well, I can tell you that people generally look at things in the area
roughly between a little above their head to about their hips.
Something on the ground or up in the air will be missed unless it's
moving or very bright colors.
So, three tables work well in a 10 X 10 space. You can add risers or
display elements the vary the levels of the work to make it appear
more interesting. Put your most expensive work within an extended
arm's arc. (Think Super Market--their best income-makers are situated
in the middle shelves and at eye-level.)
The closest you can get your work to the front of the booth, the
better. Usually, people don't want to go deep into a booth for some
crazy reason, so get your work 'out there' so that it's easily
You can either stand behind a table and use it as a counter, hiding
your cashbox, wrapping paper and bags under the risers or under the
table. Be sure to leave yourself an 'escape route' to access the
front of your booth, should you need to.
Or you can make a transaction station at the front of the booth and
sit at the side. Some venders like to do this because they feel they
can move around and interact with customers. Some are more
comfortable behind the counter. Try both strategies and see what
makes you the most comfortable. Being at the side also allows you to
keep the display in order and move items around when something has
Finally, try to make your booth easy to set up and take down, since
Farmer's markets are usually only one day and an elaborate set-up
that takes a lot of time to arrange can turn into a killer.
in Poulsbo WA
Ben Friesen on fri 4 jun 04
I'm a first year potter and looking forward to my first craft market (a =
farmer's market at a nearby tourist spot). Does anyone have any advice =
or ideas on how to set up for this...? I have a portable 10x10 shelter =
and I was going to to set up a few display boxes on the ground as well =
as a table. Is this a good idea? Is it better to only use tables? Is one =
table enough? Thanks for any input...=20
Are there any books out there that deal with setting up displays?
Abbotsford, BC, Canada
lela martens on sat 5 jun 04
You asked about ideas for your display. I gather it is outdoors. Nice that
you have coverage with the moisture you get there.
I`m certain there are books, but I don`t know of any off the top of my
head. My advice would be to visit a mall, gallery gift shops, other markets
of similar type, Granville Island,(some great potters there) to really study
how ware is displayed in those places. Notice what catches your eye, colour
combinations, varying heights,how things are grouped.Where are tall pieces
more easily seen, short pieces? What you like and what you don`t. Perhaps
take someone along and ask them upon arriving, what are the first three
things they notice. Boxes are often used as risers, with or without table
coverings. Depends on what you have or want to invest in the beginning.
Personally, I find my eye skimming, but not really seeing things if the
display is very full. Others like it that way. To me, pieces are more
`important` if not cluttered.
And I would be careful about boxes on the ground. Don`t have anything put
where people may not see and trip over. Think about traffic flow.
I`m sure there will be responces from some that are much more familiar with
these venues than I.
So good luck!
Best Wishes from Lela
M. Carroll on sat 5 jun 04
Jeanette Harris gave you some good advice. You might also go to =
www.craftsreport.com/august 99/businesswise.html "101 things you'll need =
for every craft show." (even though crafts...it's perfectly applicable). =
Also www.http://users.skynet.be/sky72974/Files/showprep.txt This is =
a list used when
preparing for a show and is very comprehensive.
I have a 'perching' foldable stool and prefer to perch...ready to move =
quickly. I found
that more people went into the booth if I wasn't sitting there like a =
And I could still keep an eye on the cashbox or move when they looked as =
if they needed help. Good luck. M. Carroll
Michael McDowell on sat 5 jun 04
Ben Friesen was asking about display for a farmers' market. Ben,
anything to get your pieces up off the ground will be a help, and
you need not have it perfect to just give the market a try. But im
my experience, it is difficult to draw peoples attention to things
displayed at less than "counter" heigth, around 30".
I'm just in the process of making new display shelving for my
farmers' market outings. I did a search of the internet looking for
portable display shelves available commercially to get ideas. There
are a lot of design considerations. Beside getting things to at
least counter heigth, I felt I needed shelves above that, to
acommodate more pieces in a limited space. It needs to be fairly
stable, even when set up on uneven ground. It needed to assemble
quickly and easily on site, and break down into manageable compact
modules that won't take up a lot of space in my vehicle. Then of
course, the use of materials on hand enters strongly into the design
process. I managed to reuse some shelving from my old display units.
Made my uprights out of some old cabinet doors I had been saving.
I'm just painting the shelves now. I'll use them the first time next
Saturday. Then I'll have a better idea of how well they meet all my
design criteria. If you like, I could send you some pictures when
they are done. There might be an idea or two you could adapt to your
Whatcom County, WA
Ben Friesen on sat 5 jun 04
I have been overwhelmed by the wealth of info I've recieved on this. =
Wow... I'm new to Clayart and so far I've been very impressed at all the =
tips and info that people are willing to share.=20
snip > I have a portable 10x10 shelter and I
was going to to set up a few display boxes on the ground as well as a =
I should have mentioned that the boxes I wrote about I constructed from =
white melamine... the one measures 4 feet high and two feet square. The =
other is about a foot shorter... I'm just wondering now if they will =
work on a grass surface.... I'm a bit of a freak for having everything =
level and just so.... well, I guess we'll see how it goes.=20
Thanks again and if someone has further help by all means fire away...
Abbotsford, BC, Canada
Concepts in Clay on sun 6 jun 04
In a message dated 6/5/2004 9:43:27 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> I'm just wondering now if they will =
> work on a grass surface.... I'm a bit of a freak for having everything =
> level and just so....
We never go to a show without a box of shims and a level. Pieces of 2 x 4's
and pieces of cedar shingles work great. It seems as if we have never had an
outdoor booth that was level unless we were on concrete. Good luck!
If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Will Rogers
E. G. Yarnetsky on sun 6 jun 04
Was thinking about the comments on the display and heard references to
cash box often. My husband and I bought a leather bag that goes around
the waist and has different compartments for change etc. Very useful,
and don't have to worry about watching the box on a busy day! We
bought it from another vender ages ago. Maybe someone else has a
Mudcat Pottery, Madison, Indiana, USA
logan johnson on sun 6 jun 04
Hi Darlene & All,
In the dark ages, ( my life before clay) I worked in the resturaunt business. When I started doing street fairs & such I pulled out my old waitress 1/2 aprons they had three pockets across the entire front. I used one pocket for my sales book, one for the paper money & one for the change. I even kept a few dog biscuts with the sales book so I had a way to open up a conversation with potential customers. Also, there's no searching for pens to write with cause you always have them handy. You can find them at some resturaunt supply's or, often at thrift stores.
Hope this helps someone!
the waist and has different compartments for change etc.> bought it from another vender ages ago. Maybe someone else has a
Mudcat Pottery, Madison, Indiana, USA
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Jeanette Harris on sun 6 jun 04
>Darlene Yarnetsky said:
>My husband and I bought a leather bag that goes around
>the waist and has different compartments for change etc. Very useful,
and don't have to worry about watching the box on a busy day!
Yes, watching a cashbox is one thing that you have to do at a show.
Especially in all the confusion at break-down with everyone going in
and out. I had a friend who had a cashbox with the entire weekend's
proceeds walk off while she was busy packing up.
One solution I have heard of is to get a small table, drill 3 holes
in the bottom of the cashbox and corresponding holes in the table and
bolt the box down to the table. Rather drastic, but certainly a
I usually put checks in my pockets plus the bulk of the big bills. I
only leave change and about $50 or so in lower denomination bills in
Another idea is to have a packing box that is marked with a symbol
only you know, and at load-out, put the cashbox into the bottom and
pots on top. Pack it up first.
Also, I've used a wheeled tote, stuck the box in the bottom and
loaded personal stuff on top.
Jeanette Harris in Poulsbo
who knows a fellow who carries his expensive camera around in an old,
beat-up metal WWII ammunition box.
Laurie Kneppel on mon 7 jun 04
I was in a restaurant supply store last week and I saw some of those
1/2 aprons on a shelf and wondered if there was a use for them! Now I
will have to go back and get one. I work in an area with about 3
restaurant supply companies not too far away. Very handy when I need
new wire wisks and one company specializes in used equipment - good
place to go and browse on a lunch hour.
rockyraku . com (remove spaces)
Potters Council, member
Sacramento Potters Group, member
On Jun 6, 2004, at 2:32 PM, logan johnson wrote:
> Hi Darlene & All,
> In the dark ages, ( my life before clay) I worked in the resturaunt
> business. When I started doing street fairs & such I pulled out my old
> waitress 1/2 aprons they had three pockets across the entire front. I
> used one pocket for my sales book, one for the paper money & one for
> the change. I even kept a few dog biscuts with the sales book so I had
> a way to open up a conversation with potential customers. Also,
> there's no searching for pens to write with cause you always have them
> handy. You can find them at some resturaunt supply's or, often at
> thrift stores.
> Hope this helps someone!
> Logan J.
Cecilia Wian on mon 7 jun 04
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael McDowell"
Sent: Saturday, June 05, 2004 9:59 AM
Subject: Re: market display
> Ben Friesen was asking about display for a farmers' market. Ben,
> anything to get your pieces up off the ground will be a help, and
> you need not have it perfect to just give the market a try. But in
> my experience, it is difficult to draw peoples attention to things
> displayed at less than "counter" height, around 30".
One thing to remember is the WIND. Here in the Columbia River Gorge the wind
will take just about any canopy or table and toss it Way down the road
without any warning. Most folks have heavy sand filled tubes hanging from
each corner of the canopy.
Just something else to worry about. *grin*