Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fibrefest 2010: successful or not?

The North Lanark Agricultural Hall was one of two locations for Fibrefest 2010, a celebration of fibre art. Built on 1865, it is a grand building in which to join other fibre artists for an exhibition and sale.

Outside were some animal llama friends to great visitors. These animals are part of the stock of the person in the booth next to me. Her sales of alpaca wool were strong all weekend. And she asked me to take part in her on-farm fibre festival next September during the long weekend. I will be able to demonstrate basket-making as well as offer my baskets for sale.

During the sale, I made a market basket. I am afraid I cannot show you the finished product as it was one of the few sales I made all weekend. If I measure success by sales, this sale was not successful. I made about 1/3rd of the sales I made when I last took part in Fibrefest, and did not cover the cost of renting the space.

I did meet several friends from other art groups I have associated with over the years in Ottawa. One such is Catherine Nutt whose handmade Santa dolls are just incredible to look at and collect. I purchsed two from Catherine in the past as heirloom gifts for my Grand daughter.

Anne was with me for the two full days. This was the booth that was opposite us. I bought Anne a beautiful bag from the owner, Myrna Jack, a couple of years ago. Anne treasures it so much, she bought another one as a gift, and I bought an apron as a gift too. We spent almost as much from Myrna as we took in in sales!

All was not dismal however since I also met two highly rated local basket-makers. Both could be considered master crafts people with particular national and international reputations. One produces videos of basket-making she puts on you-tube where they receive huge numbers of hits and generate thousands of followers. The other's basket-work is known throughout North America. Both were very complimentary about the quality and talent and ability shown in my baskets.

In addition, I was "scouted" to take part, next year, as a demonstrator of the craft for a show in Aylmer, Quebec and another in Spenserville, Ontario. I am certainly interested in taking part in both ventures as well as at the farm mentioned earlier.

Overall, Fibrefest was not a financial windfall by any means, but it may turn out to be a means of introducing my craft to a wider audience.

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