Leon & Lulu's Michigan Made Market was such a great experience. First, it's not every day that I get to set up my work in a 'living room' environment. It was just the right cozy vibe and setting. And they have the best, most helpful team. That place runs like a very, very well-oiled machine. It was impressive to watch them work before the store opened.
When I was ready to hang some pieces on the wall, a few of their staff came to take some hanging objects off the wall, found a drill and screws for me, and gave me permission to climb on the couch in my bare feet and get to work. The video above shows a little bit of that.
I haven't participated in many markets, so this was a good opportunity to get more feedback from potential customers. Just watching to see if they looked at my work, what they looked at, and listening to them as they passed by can be useful information. Yes, even if two ladies walked by and one said to the other, "You can totally make that," it's useful in some way. (Especially when the other lady responded, "No, I can't. I don't know how to weave." Thank you, second lady, for appreciating that some degree of skill has gone into this.)
On the home page of my website, it says "please touch." And I do mean that. My work is intentionally tactile. The sensory quality of it is part of its value, almost therapeutic. That said, it still fascinates me when people touch everything, without hesitation. I suppose there is some tacit permission given we are in a retail environment. Customers can pick up, try on, and carry around whatever they may be interested in. Still, it's just interesting to watch people reach out and dig their fingers right into a fluffy weaving.
As usual, the most curious pieces were the "Squishy Vases," a series of big crocheted vessels made with thick hand-felted wool yarn. People understand the wall hangings - they hang on the wall. But the sculptural pieces, even though they are sitting on a table, seem to present a mystery. What are they and what do you do with them? Oftentimes, my answer is not sufficient. Oh, well.
I'm grateful to the wonderful setting and day at Leon & Lulu, and thankful to the owners and team for making it an easy and worthwhile experience.
yarns and snippets is a little corner where I'll share some writing, recording my story in a way that's more comfortable for me - long form over social media. so, a bit of a journal and a record of my work, workshops, markets and weaving and knotting journey.