We only do a few benefit retail shows now as we are kept very busy with our wholesale. Our shops have been re-ordering only what they need to restock shelves without making any large commitment to new items. We have a very liberal return policy which has been very soundly used this fall. We may have to re-visit how liberal due to some folks sort of abusing it. But I understand that everyone is doing what they can to keep their heads above water.
The thing that just makes me livid is the way these big financial executives get to keep all the money they have bloodsucked out of the economy. Those execs with 6 to 8 giant mansions, how crazy. They need to sell those then come asking for a bailout. What the heck does anyone need with more than one house. Why on earth can they continue to keep the fruits of their excesses? How can they look themselves in the eyes in the mirror? I get so angry that so many of us work so hard to live within our means and we get to foot the bill for their lack of control.
Anyway, the show we did this weekend was in an old Victorian house. It can't have been more than 1200 sq ft upstairs plus down. The room we were in was tiny with our two product lines and a lovely potter. Artwork was tucked in to every corner of the house. It was festive and great fun. I got to thinking about something I often think about - our sense of space. I bet the owners raised a family of 12 in that house because it was so opulent for the time. When you are cutting and chopping wood for every BTU that you heat with, you tend to need less space. A room was 9 ft by 10 ft and it was plenty. If you stuck a modern kid in a room that small they'd call the authorities on you for child abuse.
But folks just had less. I am not so old, but I remember having much less when we were children. My folks saved up with Gold Bond stamps to get a new coffee maker and I remember what a celebration there was when it came. Our culture encourages us to throw away something and buy 2 or more something elses every day. It's the economic churning. A huge shopping mall was build up on the east side of the highway a couple of years ago. I would rant and rave about how much more does anyone need to buy?! The churning process: employees of stores earn wages, they walk around in the mall and see stuff to buy and spend their wages in a clearly doomed progression. Just how much crap can you buy?
But there are these homes I visit where 2 people have thousands of sq ft of living space needing multiple furnaces and air conditioners to condition the air. And all the furniture and other decorative items needed to fill the room. Who needs a wrapping room? A room just to hold thing to wrap presents. What the hell?
Anyway, the show went fine, it was down from last year which is sad as this is a major fund raiser for the home which helps children in danger. People were buying some for people and a few things for themselves. There were people aware that it is better to buy from local artists and support the local economy as well as get fine handcrafted art. It seems like such an uphill battle sometimes to make people see that.
Art makes life worth living. One of the things that tells archaeologists that people have inhabited a place is art. Decoration of tools, jewelry, fiber embellishments. I enjoy pieces of handmade art every day. I love functional art like mugs and fibery goodness, but I also enjoy wonderful fused glass suncatchers or my copper mobiles. It's like food for my eyes and soul.