I am throwing this question out to the group regarding displays "again". I am a clutterer (if that is a word).  Most times less is better than more but I have not been able to achieve that when I display in or out. Generally, I am displaying functional, art and jewelry. I have tried so many types of displays, changes in table cloths, changes in risers that I am at risk of driving myself crazy. Making so many changes has a reducing cost benefit. Is anyone one out there displaying all three types of work at a show? Can anyone share photos of their displays  or describe what they like about their display? I think my displays have held me back from a few shows. I often use racks behind a table, adding shelves to give a bit more height. Still, I think my display is not the best. Advise  & info appreciated. Wind and glass don't mix so I am often changing to deflect the problem with wind.


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  • Deborah - one more suggestion as I was thinking about your glass work. Steph Mader is a glass artist who last summer posted a question regarding pedastals and shelving for glass work, obviously she understands the concerns regarding glass and wind at outdoor shows.  She also received some good suggestions, you might want to search for that conversation thread as well.


  • I think narrower tables would be a great idea. I make mine with plastic shelves, RV carpeting, and aspen wood panels for tops. You could make fronts for your grid walls out of the same RV carpeting stuff and cut holes for where the shelves attach. It's plastic and indestructible.

    If you watch the video at the bottom of this page, you'll see how I put my tables together... http://www.evenbetterimages.com/tips.html

    Robin Ragsdale


  • Deborah - I'd suggest narrower tables, if you're going to use tables.  Right now with what looks like 2 3 foot wide tables, you're taking up a lot of floor space, leaving little room for customers.   Can you use some shelving that is narrower but taller?

    One suggestion - I remember a similar conversation thread last summer, as well as a blog Connie had created with some creative booth set ups. Take a look at both this discussion as well as Connie's blog (I included the link to Connie's blog in my response to that conversation), you might find a few ideas that are helpful.  http://www.artfairinsiders.com/forum/topics/booth-set-ups

  • I just looked at your photo and it doesn't seem all that cluttered to me. You have the jewelry in it's own place and I like the shelves on the grid panels. The surprising thing is that you are able to sell jewelry and glass plates, etc. in the same booth. Do you jury into shows in two categories?

    Robin Ragsdale


    • I specifically jury into two categories when I can. I am applying to a few shows this year with only jewelry, just because it is lighter (recent back surgery).

      • You have a pretty bare bones booth and are trying to "cram" stuff into a small amount of space and sacraficing a lot vertical space visually.  The setup also leaves a small amount of floor space for the customer to move around in the table fronts so that not too many customers can be back-to-back in the space, I'm thinking maybe two to three and if you're in mix you've got a traffic jam.  That said, you don't actually have a lot of an overabundance work out.  If you continue to use this booth set up you might want to find a way to make a sleeve to pull over the grid to make the gridwork as invisible as possible.  Perhaps something stretchy, spandexing type of thing that allows you to put the attaching hardware on without wrinkling.  Eliminating the visual of the grid will eliminate the visual noise and it's cluttered look so the eye goes to the work instead of the grid.  It will also "stop" the eye at the work.


        Is it possible to put tables across the back of the booth and perhaps one on the side butted up to the back table, an L shape,  and dedicate them exclusively to fused work?  Then make jewelry displays that hang from the pipe and drape, these can be made from picture frames.  You can find cheap picture frames at yard sales and thrift stores, spray paint them all the same colors and then mount some of your jewelry display inside the frames.  These can hang on the wall that is table free along with a small mirror that is about 18"x 12" hung lengthwise.  You can use the free space  from the short end of the L on the opposite wall for a tasteful wrapping sales space, space for your chair.  I would get some large poster type pictures of your work, perhaps the jewelry to hang in the blank spaces on the other two sides of the booth over the tables.  This will fill the blank voids and balance the other wall of jewelry.  If your backdrop is the same color as your grid then the grid will disappear since the gridwork is up against it.   This type of layout gives you more floorspace for the customer to move around in and still leaves you plenty of room to display all of your work, maybe even a little more if those wall displays are long enough, say 45".



        • I am using framed, painted, cork boards (painted with the same gray as the table cloths), then using push pins to present some of the jewelry sets. I have had those generally on the table. I am not certain what backdrop and can use to hang the pictures away from the tables. Guess I will just have to 'dumpster drive) in my box of "tried that" not certain it works. I do have two white rack wired shelves and perhaps that can be hung in the tent. I know that wreath hangers are good but the wired shelves can still swing. I have not gotten them to be still in the wind.

          • I made my hanging jewelry displays out of artist stretcher frames which I covered with a layer of window screening and fabric.  I put sheets of styrofoam insulating material in the back and I used U shaped jewelry pins to attach the jewelry to the the boards.  I used standard picture hanging wire across the back for hanging.   I bought black plant hooks at a nursery for hanging the boards from the top of the booth frame.  If you're worried about the wind you can always hang a counterweight from the bottom of the board.  The U shaped jewelry pins disappear into the boards and give a nice clean display.  I made all of these boards no wider than the size of a squarish/rectangular trash barrel with wheels.  At the end of the day I plucked the boards off the walls, put them in the trash barrel and wheeled it off to my van and/or hotel room.  Next moring I'd wheel them back and put them back on the walls.  I did not transport them long distances in a displayed mode, I found that they did not travel well.

  • Do you have any pictures of a typical set-up?

    Post them here and ask for feedback. We tend to be a very visual bunch, and having a photo to see would be a huge help in being able to visualize your issues.  But to be clear- "clutter" in a booth just confuses the potential customers.

    If you feel it's too cluttered, then you need to re-evaluate. Either set the booth up with the three types all in their own sections, with the most tantalizing items displayed (others stored under, for replacement/request). Most consumers want to be able to get a visual feel of the booth- if it's cluttered, jumbled and confused, they WILL leave.

    I always set my booth up like a store- neat, clean, organized, and above all visually appealing.

    • Don't pound on me to hard. My nature is to make certain that I have something for all customers which is very stupid. I am really, really trying to do better- not there yet. Clutter is my disease.

      All advice appreciated. Outdoor shows really make a heart beat fast whenever it gets windy.


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