Monday, August 13, 2012

Art Sail and Beyond!

Well, I suppose I've been away long enough - two weeks past the Art Sail (my big summer event this year) and I'm ready to get back into the studio. Trying to plan the coming batches of work to be efficiently productive for fall sales and also with enough room for creative growth. I squeezed a little bit of experimental work into the last batch of pots for the Sail, and I'd like to go back and pursue those further. Looking forward to mixing some things up.

But first, a look back!

A great big thank you is in order for any and all who came out to the Art Sail at the end of July! It was a wonderful day for an art fair, with plenty of sunlight, moderate cloud cover and just enough breeze off the lake to keep things refreshing. The sun never stayed out long enough for things to get truly HOT, but it was never cloudy enough to scare anyone away.  Rain fell north and south of town, I heard, but we stayed dry all day long. Late that night, after the pots were long packed away and I was tucked into bed, the thunder finally rolled in and we fell asleep to the sound of the rain pelting the window panes.  Beautiful day.
Looking down Main Street USA the morning of the Art Sail.
Sales were steady and, as far as I'm concerned, very good for a one day event. Seeing as how Clear Lake is my hometown there were a lot of familiar faces - folks I haven't seen in many cases for close to ten years. But great fun catching up and sharing what I've been up to.
Booth Shot.
I didn't know quite what to expect for this show as it was my first year doing it, but the Clear Lake Art Sail attracts quite a crowd from all demographics - young, old, local, vacationers - all sorts. And getting to meet everyone is just such a treat.
Pedestals in action.
My favorite incident from the weekend came in the form of a man who approached me while I was standing out in the street in front of my booth doing some people-watching. After asking if that was my work, he began with "You know, I really don't like pottery," before continuing, "but man, I really like your stuff!" Even from out in the street, he said, the decoration stood out boldly amid the shapes and colors and really exuded the style of my work without getting busy or overpowering. We chatted for the better part of 15 minutes, going over my process and stylistic influence and he left with one of my sgraffito bowls with a Retro Blue-Green interior.

It's for the stories like these that I love the shows.
It's for a lot of the rest of the stuff that I wring my hands and fret and become a mess. I had a few "Ah, #$%&" moments while loading up the chariot for the commute to the show before finally squeezing everything in with barely enough room for my copilots.
That's what we looked like 2/3 of the way through packing. No rear view? No problem!
And then the first in-the-field trial of tent and pedestals and such brought their own challenges (shout-out to my father and brother, Paul and Noah Langholz, for some assistance in my set-up and tear-down!). But overall, I think I'm figuring things out pretty well. Maybe a couple more of these things on the schedule next summer? We'll just have to wait and see!
In addition to the sales the day of the show, I was grateful for the opportunity to fill a wholesale order for the owners of a couple local jewelry & gift stores in northern Iowa, and also took some time to restock the Clear Lake Arts Center with more of my work for the gift shop. All told, I was able to come home with half of my bins empty, which meant that I had a functional rear view for the drive home. Hot dog!
After we were done setting up she ditched me for a long run. Devoted, that.
And no show recap would be acceptable without mentioning that none of it would be possible without the unwavering support of my lovely wife, Krystal. Leading up to the show means sacrificing nights and weekends and free time and many, many fun times of the summer-y sort.  And to top it all off she's on-site the day of helping with set-up and tear-down and selling pots while I take potty breaks (<-"Potty" breaks? It's funny!). So she's awesome and y'all should be amazed.
"Oh, hey - thanks for stopping by!" Just your friendly neighborhood Potterman.
Edit: I realized shortly after I hit "Publish" that I'd forgotten something very important. I'd also like to give a great big thank you to everyone who helped make the Art Sail a great experience - it was a very well organized and pleasant event to be a part of. Big thank you to Jacky Garlock as well as Kim Larson and Amy Palmer at CLAC for all their hard work and for allowing me to be a part of North Iowa's premier art festival!

On the non-pottery front, we were very excited to be in-state for the arrival of the newest member of our family, nephew #2 (congrats to my big brother Sam and sister-in-law Kristin on their beautiful boy!). We couldn't have planned it better, and we were so happy to be near enough to meet him right away!
Krystal loves being an auntie!
I got back into the studio last week a little bit, and so will be back to a more regular schedule of throwing now I think. Tackling some larger mounds of clay, right now focusing more on practice and form than intent of finished project - meaning I'm not so attached to these pieces that I won't decide they need to be recycled at some point pre-firing, but here are a few things I've done.
Vase is 12" tall, for comparison. That's a rather large bowl. Not quite sure where it will be going - either stylistically or  otherwise.
Yesterday's pot. 25#. Not 100% pleased with the top, but there might be some room for adjustment yet. Decent amount of weight to trim out of the bottom, though not so bad as it could be.
In addition to the big pots, I need to re-stock some of the things that sold well this summer. It's always a little predictable, but there are some things that I do always need to have on hand. I also need to spend a little time this fall hanging out with mugs, trying to find common ground that doesn't harbor any hostilities. Explore creative expression with mug as a canvas. That sort of thing. And, always, a couple commission pieces to take care of and fulfill those obligations.

And I'd be remiss to sign off without recommending some music to y'all. This fortnight I've been rather taken with one J. Tillman's full catalog. He released a record this spring under the moniker Father John Misty, and he may be best recognized as Fleet Foxes' former drummer, but his full catalog is phenomenal. Simple, earthy and mostly acoustic (solo work) and all that + amazing rhythmic sensibilities (especially with the FJM project), he will probably comprise the better part of my "official" fall soundtrack this year. Phenomenal. Check it out for yourself. Like in the video below (or here for the e-mail subscribers).

Thanks for stopping by. Don't forget to check me out on Facebook!!!