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Nashville ‘Art Destination’


American Artisan Festival 2010 - Nashville, TNIt is not surprising that Nashville made the American Style Top 25 Big Cities, destinations for art. We certainly love our music and we have some amazing venues for hosting music, theater, and art exhibits.  From my perspective, the fine arts dominate the studio, gallery, and museum scenes in Nashville and that may be the justification for the American Style selection.  Of course, I would love to see clay artists (potters or sculptors) take a more prominent position in the community (and there ARE some notable choices among clay artists)… but as for a sense of community among clay folks in the area, it is a weak link in the arts’ chain and that is reflected in the absence of public studios, workshop opportunities, and cooperatives.  Perhaps Nashville is just a little too far removed, geographically, from the traditional arts of Appalachia to be a mecca for clay people. I’ll not even entertain the stale, potters aren’t artists debate…save that for the classroom.

This coming weekend, the 40th American Artisan Festival will take over Nashville’s Centennial Park and will provide a great fair-style show with 165 exhibitors. This is a show that I will meander through in spite of the hot-humid forecast.  If the attendance at the Spring TACA show is any indication, the era of run-and-gun sales at outdoor craft shows in Nashville may be on the decline. I am still hopeful, however, that low attendance is just a cyclical economic indicator.  Ya’ll come on down!

P.S.  No. I am not showing at this event.

Pondering Promoting Pots


Most of these ideas on meylah for promoting handmade products aren’t particularly new, but they do look good when posted in one place.  I do find it interesting that the art and craft community seems to embrace social media (Twitter, FaceBook, Etsy, etc.) as a means of promotion and marketing when much of the corporate world seems to be focused on the risks.  As a whole, crafters are not considered to be particularly tech-savvy…but they have adopted technology to create on-line communities and to keep their crafts in the public eye…and it is working!

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Getting Started with Etsy


Etsy Start for MugPhlutesOne forgets that there are several aspects of setting up shop online for an artistic enterprise.  There is a community of artists and crafts  people on Twitter.  There are numerous artist’s pages on FacebookFlickr accounts and badges appear on numerous web sites for artists.  What seems to be  the most popular outlet for e-commerce is Etsy.  It is a site that I have explored before, but not seriously…until now.  There is nothing on the MugPhlutes Etsy Store today, but there will be before long.

This exercise forces a chain-reaction of events.  Pieces that are to be sold have to be identified, photographed, described, packed, and most importantly, priced.  The whole pricing thing is the toughest thing to do.  I have done some of my homework to see what the market expects to pay for unusual/creative pieces, but there is always a level of discomfort in placing a price tag on something, knowing that there are (hopefully) better pieces coming out of the kiln in the future.

Stick around.  This is a work in progress and Etsy will play a role very soon.  Here is the first view of Ceramic Musical Instruments and MugPhlutes.