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A Yummy Binge

I have to confess I’ve been bingeing on Britbox. They’ve just added a show called Make It at Market and I can’t get enough of it. Each episode features two disparate artist makers who have been invited to work with a professional in their medium for advice on how to turn their passion into a business that can sustain them financially.

Meeting the makers is fascinating because they’ve chosen artists who are interesting in what they do and why they do it. They are asked to make three pieces. First they make a piece that they can produce efficiently in volume that is not too pricey and could form an excellent financial base for their business. For many of the artists, measuring the time taken to make these pieces against what they can charge is their first shock. However their mentors often have ideas that simplify and speed the making of these volume pieces. It is clear that making over and over makes for better speed and accuracy.

Next the artist is asked to make a high end piece to show off their talent and bring in more income. This adds the other bracket to the high volume, lower price pieces. Lastly they are asked to make a piece they really are passionate about. What do they love making. After getting lots of advice on where their special niche may lie, where their best sales outlets may be, they head home to work on what they’ve learned and put some action steps in place. For instance, you’ll have to tune in to see how adding honey to his glassblowing opened a very special business niche for one mature beekeeping maker. No spoilers here. For many of the artists, better photography, improving their websites and reaching out to appropriate galleries are part of the advice mix.

I’ve been especially entranced by seeing the many steps and all the time and learning that goes into turning the raw material into the finished product. It takes so many hours of preparation and so many steps to carve stone, to weave, to paint, to work with clay and much much more and how hard it is to be adequately paid for the many hours spent behind the scenes.

Check out Make It at Market and see what you think. As I’m watching I’m seeing the remaining number of episodes dwindle and that makes me so sad…

Upcoming binge for art and craft makers, collectors and lovers: Head for the Baltimore Convention Center March 3-5 for the American Craft Councils Baltimore Marketplace.

Breaking News: You don’t have to wait until November to catch up with the Studio Tour artists. Enjoy our art at Evolve in Shepherdstown on Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 21-23 (hours to be announced). We’re already looking forward to seeing you!

Encaustic Artwork shown by Anne Rule Thompson

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