It was quite a small group this month but no less varied for it. Tammy Leigh, James Sharp and I started off chatting informally about craft stalls before I’d even really noticed we were properly ‘in session’! We mostly discussed the reasons behind lower than expected sales at local art fairs and festivals and tried not to point the finger too exclusively at the recession without being more widely questioning. We all agreed that there was a tendency for such events to attract visitors who have no intention of buying anything at all, but while these may not be immediately lucrative opportunities they still present a useful method of raising interest in work. This interest can later manifest as online sales or interest in workshops.
Additionally, we talked about the benefits of making whilst supervising a stall to be time efficient and more importantly provide talking points and interest for potential shoppers. This can also be an effective way of demonstrating that the work is genuinely hand made. The potential for selling and running workshops simultaneously raised both pros and cons; a problem if it makes you inaccessible to make a sale but of benefit if you can make sales relating to the workshop content (such as craft kits, etc.)
James Sharp shared three new journals with us today, a Cook Book (with pages for notes and recipes), a Stuff Stash (a book-based format of an existing textile product; for keeping notes and loose pages together) and a Lazy Journal (for those who enjoy the aesthetics of his work but are not inspired to generate their own content!). James will be giving a live painting demonstration at the Creative Recycling Gallery this Saturday (26th of May) as part of the Chorlton Arts Festival and will have a stall at Much Wenlock in Shropshire on the following Saturday (2nd of June).
James Pashley then introduced us to the newest member of the group in the form of Danbo (see above!); a card model robot who will be helping us keep up to date with James’ imminent adventures in Japan by posing for a series of photographs for section headings on the new (and rapidly improving) instantpash site (link soon). I then spent the next 10 minutes working with Dambo on a series of glamour shots and completely failed to support James in explaining our recent collaboration to the others!
The other work James brought along was the latest development in a project which we have started that references the writing of Mitsuri Senda who discusses ‘circulatory play systems’ when designing playgrounds in urban spaces. Senda summarises this in a series of 7 points, which our project looks at applying to Manchester City Centre by identifying existing environmental features with the potential to be used in such a play system. Ultimately, we aim to design a route for use by visitors to Manchester, though we are still in the early stages of this.
To read more, please see the link