Is three months too long for a review and debrief? The craft fair was back in August and here we are in November! Time is just flying! I have been so very busy since the fair, but I still wanted to take a look back and share. As many of you know, I am a juried artist with the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen. This year was my first year to participate in the League’s 84th annual craftsmen fair. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I had been building inventory for this event for months. Nearly all of my studio efforts for the seven months leading up to the fair were for Sunapee. It was an amazing experience — definitely a marathon event. The entire fair is nine days long (open 10am-5pm), and my booth was open the last five day. Each day was exciting, but they definitely felt long. Held at the base of Mt. Sunapee Ski Resort, the fair had huge tents spanning the grounds with a few hundred booths to explore. I was surround by a dizzying number of talented and diverse artists, with thousands of people attending every day.
My parents came and stayed with us for two weeks. The first week was to help me get packed and set up for the craft fair, while the second week was for vacation! I’m not quite sure how many car loads it took to get everything to Sunapee, but every car was used and filled to the brim…more than once.
Since I held a booth for just part of the week, my space was shared with an artist. Her work filled the space the first four days, and then Tuesday night was transition night. She broke down her booth and cleared out so I could move in and set up. The craft fair is run so precisely that no visitor is around to see the changeover. Wednesday morning came and my booth was set and ready to go. I only wish set up went as quick and smooth as it sounds! My allotted setup time was much tighter than I expected, and the majority of it went into leveling my shelving units and building my booth (lighting and all). I was in tent six and my booth faced the base of the mountain, so you entered my booth on a decline. The whole thing was a balancing game and bundles of shims were used. Set up was pretty dark and felt a little stressful, but we got it done. There is no way I could have packed everything and set up my booth without my family’s help. Thank you, Dad, Mom, and Andrew!
Wednesday morning, at the sound of a horn, I was ready for the start of the craft fair. I shared my process and technique with countless visitors everyday throughout the week (marathon). One of my favorite parts was meeting and connecting with people from all over the country, and seeing my work go with them. I always had help in my booth, between my husband, parents, and brother taking shifts, helping with sales, and bringing me smoothies. If you have never been to Sunapee for the fair, plan to go next year! It’s an incredible event!
Setup for the fair was a tedious, lengthy process, but tear down went super fast! I looked back at the empty space when it was all over, and the whole thing felt both surreal and satisfying. I hope to be there next year for the 85th annual craft fair. I kept a long list of dos and don’ts to take with me for next year, along with ideas for new work as well. Maybe I will see you there! In the meantime, follow me on Instagram and catch my live demonstrations on both Instagram and Facebook.