Monday, August 24, 2009

Horse Crazy!

I've been in a super busy mode getting ready for a horse show! It was very different from how my equestrian daughter was preparing. My preparation involved carving clay ponies at warp speed, but the result was well worth the effort!

It all started 3 weeks ago when I showed one of the riding instructors my (finally completed) 12 little clay ponies that I had been working on this summer. That's when she said, "You should be a vendor at our next show on August 23rd!" Of course, I could have settled for having 10 or 20 ponies at my table, but I decided to set a goal of 50!

Well, I exceeded my goal, and ended up with 51! It was a terrific learning experience to create so many little horses in such a short period of time. As I continued to create, I found ways to improve the basic form, and figured out some new techniques that would speed up the process. I bought some new glazes so I could make "paint ponies" - all of which sold at the show yesterday (I'll definitely be making more of those!!).

For each pony, I also sewed a small bag for safe transport to the show which doubled as "packaging" for the buyer (I guess I could call them my shipping wraps!). I started making them out of felt, but then realized that I had several old pairs of riding pants that I could recycle for this purpose.

The best part of the show was watching the faces and listening to the comments of the people who stopped at my table. I loved hearing about their favorite color glaze, and hearing their "oohs" and "aahs" about how cute the ponies were.

Of course, making a sale was fun, too! Not only for receiving a financial return for my creations, but also to hear the reason behind the purchase. One woman bought a blue pony, because she had an old "retired" horse named Blue. Another woman bought the black spotted paint pony for her young daughter who was riding a similar REAL pony in the show (was it Kiki?). She said, "Don't tell my daughter about it if she stops by. It's going to be a surprise for her at the end of the show." (I hope she likes it!!)

I also brought along a "rescue pony" that I ended up giving to a young girl. It was one of those creations that I just wasn't completely happy with, and I almost took a hammer to it and ended it's very short life (artists do that sometimes). In the end, I'm thankful that I brought it along, because now I know that it has a good home with a young lady named Amanda :) I'm also glad that I met Amanda because she taught me that people aren't short, they're fun size!

So much fun!! I can't wait to do it again!! By the way, if my first pottery teacher at the local community college is reading this....Tony, I know we weren't allowed to make anything cute while we were learning at your studio, but it turns out that cute is my niche! I kind of wish it didn't take me 10 years to figure that out...but at least I know it now!!

Last but not least, I wanted to say thank you to some of the people who have been such an important part of my creative journey...Neil, thank you for always being so supportive of my sometimes crazy creations, and thank you, thank you, thank you for selling me your old reliable kiln. It's actually been fired up 11 times (hard to believe from someone who would only make 4 pots a year in your studio space, eh?). Serena, thank you for giving me such a great deal on your old pro camera. While I still have a long way to go, your camera is being used almost daily, and this blog would be pretty ugly without it! Nikki, Rob and have all been such supportive and encouraging friends in so many ways. I'm so blessed to have all of you in my life! Hooray for friends!!!

And hooray for real ponies, too...

Have a marvelous Monday wherever you are, and until next time...


butterfly woman said...

Hi Jean,
So glad I have met you and so love this post describing your artistic pony creations and your own personal process throughout. It is written very well. I see so much love that you put into your creations and what a learning experience for you and for me. I think that is a lesson to all of us creators that we need our "hearts" and unique creative twist in our products. That makes us stand out. For example, those little felt bags from recycled riding pants, how appropriate, and the little notes with the ponies "speaking" is adorable.
And I too truly enjoy getting to know the people who buy our things. It's a deeper connection and makes it all worthwhile.
Can't wait to see your future creations and upcoming fairs. Sorry I missed this one, but glad your post here summed it all up!
Sounds like your journey is really kicking up full force and the universe is welcoming you with open arms!


Lis said...

Hi Jean -

Oh, how exciting to see all those beautiful ponies lined up and ready for their homes! I definitely will need one for my Cowgirl (she visits her grand dad's horse, who she named Pink Bell after one of her stuffed horses.) I love all the thought and care you put into your creations ... obviously that spirit spoke to many who found their pocket ponies waiting for them. Love it! And so nice to find your blog :) I'll be peeking in, so you'd better keep us updated on all your amazing projects (I still think about your journal pages from the Mermaid course)

love & light - Lis

Honeycombs said...

Hi from one Jean to another, just stopped by, enjoyed reading your post and the pony creations look really good. I loved doing pottery for a while and got to make some cute bears but that was oo long time ago,sometimes think it would be nice to do it again. It sounds like you had a great day.