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Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

I'm a ceramic artist (AKA potter) from Greenwich, CT. I had only 3 shows - two of which were pretty minor league - under my belt when just for fun I applied to a major crafts fair and was shocked to be accepted. The booth fee is pretty hefty, so I have to be somewhat successful to cover it. Hoping to get lots of tips, pointers, and caveats from you all.

My stuff is somewhat strange - it probably fits best into the steampunk category. Steampunk hasn't really hit the northeast, however, so either I'll have to find other promising fairs or really dig hard to find the few that are around. 

I work in cone 6 porcelain. Here are some images: 

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Hi Ginny, Really, really interesting work. Steampunk definitely has its audience. 

A tip for you that might get you some responses is to add the images of your pottery instead of a link to it. Look at the top of this page where it says "get Started" and you'll find a link for posting in the forum or blog AND a tutorial on how to put images into your posts. Do that and then we'll share your query.


Ginny, I just uploaded one of the images ... by having the images in the post you'll get better feedback.

The links make my security program "scream"..... However, you might want to check if there are any near-by sci-fi/comic conventions with art shows coming up. Steampunk is still doing well at them, and ceramic pieces would be "different" that the usual media.

Table space tends to be inexpensive, compared to "craft fairs", so you might check re: mail in possibilities-- I know Comic Con International (San Diego) accepts mail in art, and the staff is experienced in setting it up, and re-packing any "left overs". Currently, the Art Show is to be held at the Hyatt Manchester, and open to the public, so there will be the "geeks and nerds" Comic Con attendees and "regular tourist" attendees visiting the San Diego summer tourist attractions (two of which next door to the hotel-- Sea Port Village and the Marina/Park).

Thanks, Kaytee. Sorry about making your program scream. It was the only way I could figure out to share them. Have now read the procedure and have posted some photos on my page. I'm terrible at the photo end of things and really need to get some sort of photoshop-like program.

Yes, I did a couple of steampunk fairs and yes, the tables are much less expensive. The clientele, however, tend to be equally financially constrained. I will be doing a mainstream crafts show with very high booth fees this fall - we'll see how it goes. Strangely, steampunk seems to have largely bypassed my area (NYC & its environs) - most people don't even know what it is. Thank you for the leads, however. I didn't realize that some accept mail-in submissions.

Do you have any suggestions for researching upcoming comic con events?

There are quite a few "comic cons" now-- Comic Con International is the oldest/largest. Dragon Con is a large sci-fi con in Atlanta; WesterCon is a large western US con; World Con can be just about anywhere world-wide-- all these have art shows, and accept mail-ins.  NY and Philadelphia do have comic cons, but not sure if they have art shows. Probably the best way to check on such things, would be to Google "comic cons", or "science fiction conventions", then go to the websites to see where they are, and if they 1) have an art show, and 2) if the A/S accepts mail ins, and of course, what other criteria you need to meet to enter.

There are also "furry cons", if your pieces are ... adult... oriented-- most of them seem to have art shows, but they can be ... peculiar.

If you can/do make "yarn bowls", those sell well at fiber oriented conventions/meetings, like the KGOA and CGOA meeting; quilt shows may also be a possibility.

hmmm. yarn bowls emblazoned with skeletons...could be interesting. especially one wearing a nice knit scarf to keep his bones warm. ok i'm on it. i did know about the NY one - more of a parade than anything. Very grateful for your input!

The images need better cropping. But here's the thing. If you have the skills to create pieces like that you can also create a more mainstream line that can get you into better shows.

Larry Berman

Yes, I'm not sure how to crop the images to fit. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. Do you have any advice?

As for the second, well, this is what I do. With the jellyfish theme I'm trying to move into the realm of weird critters (already do Godzilla and Gamera) but sad to say, I think I must be a lost child of Morticia and Gomez. I love doing skeletons with personality at mundane human pursuits. There is a market - I just have to do some intelligent research.

Really like your work. You might check out the Steam Punk community in the York & Lancaster PA area. I have participated in a Steam Punk Market in the York area 2 years in a row and it was lucrative and very well attended.There is a strong Steam Punk community in the York area.

Really? That's only a couple of hours away. Do you happen to know the name of the festival? I will get on the internet & see if I can find it. 

There is a Steam Punk Market in downtown Lancaster but I am not sure of the dates and times of that one. The show in York County is usually in August and is a New Freedom Farmers Market Special Event. The contact for the Steam Punk market is Melissa Emerick and her email is I haven't set anything up with her for this year yet  so am unsure of dates etc. Good luck.


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