Mother's Day Sale May 4, 2013
This was the second sale I've participated in since taking up potting. A big mahalo to Karen Kim who organized the whole thing, did most of the promotion for it, and (most importantly) held the event at her home. She did better at the sale than all of us, and I'm so happy for her. Five potters and at least three plant experts participated in the sale along with an embroiderer. The sale went quite well for everyone, including me. I'd made a number of less expensive bowls and tumblers that I thought would be more appropriate for the sale, but no one looked at them and not one of them sold. The only things that sold were my more expensive vases. Shows how clearly I thought about who would show up for a "Pots 'n Plants Sale." I'm making cereal bowls and tumblers and everyone at the sale is interested in pots they can put plants into! Jeri, my wife, was a real trooper and helped me both with setting everything up and breaking everything down. Probably the highlight of the day was when my daughter Jenny and her husband Kawika surprised me just before the sale started and gave me a lei. I always enjoy getting together with Steve Martin, Karen Kim, Hank Hansgleben and his wife Bridget. I got to meet Don Fowler, another potter from Kaneohe who made better bowls than me and was selling all of his, and Norah Miller who was doing great business selling her beautifully embroidered towels. I also made good contacts with people who bought my pots and might be interested in collecting more of my work in the future. Hopefully this will become an annual event.
Empty Bowl Hawaii 2013
The last week or so has been packed with potting events. In this blog I'll talk a little bit about Empty Bowl Hawaii which took place on April 26. It was organized by the Hawaii Potters Guild, and every local pottery school that I know of participated. The goal was to make 5,000 bowls, sell them for $25 along with soup, and donate the money to Meals On Wheels here in Hawaii. We reached the goal of 5,000, and I made quite a few bowls myself. HPG was gracious enough to allow those of us at the Guild to use recycled clay to make our bowls. This year Empty Bowl was held in the parking lot at Ala Moana Shopping Center in downtown Honolulu, one of the world's largest outdoor malls. There was a great turn out and we sold quite a few bowls but nowhere close to 5,000. The figure I heard was somewhere north of 3,000. Still, that's alot of bowls and that's alot of money for Meals On Wheels. I did see one thing happen over and over again that night that made me shake my head and chuckle. I had to laugh when I saw so many people agonizing over picking out their bowls. They would pick out bowls they liked, but they'd keep looking, carrying around their bowls and swapping them for other bowls they thought they liked better. Some were having fun with it and enjoying the hunt, but others would get this look of panic on their faces because there were thousands of bowls they hadn't seen yet and they couldn't stop looking because they didn't know if an even better bowl might be on the next table. To make matters worse, the volunteers kept putting new bowls on tables they'd already looked at so they were starting to go crazy. I think it must have been a nightmare for anyone who's indecisive! Mahalo nui loa to all who made bowls, who volunteered to work at Ala Moana, and to all the fine restaurants who donated soup.
I hope this blog will be encouraging to potters, especially beginning potters, and a source of helpful information and comment.