When I signed up to participate in the Ikebana Container Sale, I didn't realize there was an ikebana display in the gallery at Linekona at the same time. Many people who visited the ikebana display came to the pot sale which was right across the hallway. The sale went pretty well for me and I sold 10 pots. Some potters did much better because they made pots specifically for ikebana, something I've never done. Below I have images of some of the ikebana on display. I'm also including close-ups of some of the pots as well. Ikebana has traditionally been understood in the West as "Japanese flower arranging," but it's more like "Japanese plant arranging." I found out there are different "schools" of ikebana, different philosophies on how to arrange plants, and the Sogetsu school was the one putting on this display. One of the ikebana teachers told me Sogetsu allows people to use found materials, man-made materials, paint, etc. in their arrangements.
I'll be participating in an Ikebana Container Sale at the Honolulu Museum of Art School at Linekona beginning next Friday, May 23. The sale will be May 23rd through the 25th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm each day. The Museum of Art School at Linekona is at 900 South Beretania St., almost right across the street from the museum. It should be a great sale because some of my colleagues at Linekona have been working for several months on pieces specifically for this sale and the stuff they're making is pretty fantastic. It should also be great because they've been talking about how much they should charge for their pieces and I think they're planning on offering them pretty inexpensively. So far as I know, the sale will take place in the Mezzanine which is located in the open area in the middle of the second floor. I should also tell you that the sale raises money for the school's programs, so come out, find some treasures and support a good cause.
I should have said something about this earlier, but let me encourage you to help out HPG's Educational Outreach program. They're in the middle of an auction that will run through this coming Sunday evening. I really believe in what they're doing with underserved kids here on Oahu and have donated 31 pots to the auction (one is attributed to someone else but it's mine). Everything's selling at very attractive prices, and while most things for sale are made of clay, there's also some jewelry, glass fusion, died cloth bags and paintings. So take a look and make some bids. Let's help these kids out! Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.488006641322631.1073741934.225603334229631&type=1
Sanford Murata selling his beautiful tea bowls for $5.
Well, I'm done with my two sales in April, one at HPG and the other at Karen Kim's house. The first sale at HPG was a little disappointing because almost no one showed up. Like most of these events, the sale was well organized and everything looked great, but almost nothing was done to promote it. I think the rule should be this: don't schedule a sale unless you can both organize it and promote it. You really need one group that organizes the sale and another that promotes it. I'm really preaching to myself right now since I have experience in promoting events and haven't helped at all to promote pottery sales at HPG or at the Honolulu Museum of Art School. To promote them well, you can't depend on a few lines in the classified section or a public service announcement on the radio to get the job done. You need to hold your event in the right place at the right time, you need to get the word out in as many ways as possible (magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, etc.), you need signage and you need brochures and posters in places that will be seen by people who are interested in what you're selling. So I'm going to volunteer to head up the promotion for the next sale and we'll see how that goes. And by the way, I didn't sell a single pot. Not one! So can I say I had a sale if I didn't sell anything?
Lori Nakatsuka trying to persuade me to buy one of her pots.
The sale at Karen Kim's house went well because Karen did a better job of promoting the sale. She sent out notices to us that we could forward to our mailing lists; she had signage up for at least a week on a major road; she even used her contacts to get an article and photo in the local MidWeek newspaper announcing the sale. It was the second annual Pots 'n Plants sale, and many who came mentioned that they'd seen the MidWeek article. I met some great people during the day. Of course, all of my friends who came bought pots from other people and not from me, but that's how it always goes. Early in the morning, one couple picked up one of my bowls and brought it to me to purchase. Of course my card reader went on the fritz, so I had to manually enter their credit card information. And then when I was done the whole thing froze up and wouldn't process the transaction. I told them I was having trouble completing the transaction and asked if they could pay with cash or a check. "No problem," they said, "We've got $45 right here." "Oh, I think that bowl's actually $75," I said. The woman looked like she'd just caught a wiff of limburger cheese. "Really? Well, that's more than we're willing to pay." And that was the end of that sale. Later I saw them drive off in their BMW sports car that looked like something out of the Jetsons. Within an hour or two I saw another lady looking at the same bowl. She was holding it upside down, turning it at different angles like she was straining to see something. "Can I help you?" I asked. "Is this bowl $115?" she asked. I could see she liked the bowl so my inclination was to say "Sure......." I guess I need to learn how to write more legible numbers. Instead I told her the price was actually $75 and she bought it. I suppose that's how it goes. One person likes a piece but walks away from it for one reason or another. Later someone else comes along, falls in love with it and takes it home. Such are the ways of love and pot sales.
I began potting in January of 2012. Because I'm so new to potting, I think I understand the challenges of beginning potters and hope this blog will be encouraging to them and a source of helpful information and comment. I hope you'll join the conversation!