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Slide Notes

Introductions: Chelsea & Allan Honc
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Wisdom of the Craft Sellers

Published on Nov 18, 2015

Chelsea Peil speaks of her experience producing shows with artisans and craftspeople using recycled materials while working as a program manager​ at crackedpots.org. This talk was for Secret Knowledge Conference in Portland at the Jupiter Hotel 11.14.15.


Wisdom of the Craft Sellers

Chelsea Peil 
Introductions: Chelsea & Allan Honc


  • Crackedpots.org is an environmental art organization that focuses on waste reduction and reuse. Our events feature up-cycled artwork made from at least 80% recycled materials.
  • Edgefield | Glean | ReClaimit!
In July will be our 17th annual show at McMenamins Edgefield. We host about 100 and have diverted over 100 tons of materials from the landfill.
Photo by cproppe

Know Thyself

  • Know your capabilities and capacity and push it a little
  • Find your fit - show research
  • Design Process
Photo by kevin dooley

Calls to Artists

  • Where? Towns, craigslist, calendars, other artists, RACC
  • Criteria - don't push it
  • Is this a good location for your work? Test? Network
  • Are you familiar enough with computers to apply as requested?
  • *Take Quality Pictures
Artists Community, tell you about other shows, share experiences

*Take Quality Pictures - Minimize background distractions, use good lighting. This is basically what juries use to vote you in or not. (quality, reputation, criteria)


  • Keep things streamlined, short, sweet and professional.
  • Don’t make assumptions - give dimensions, your email, ask questions, be responsive
  • Make it easy to work with you - Don’t be too creative or cute with application
Photo by semihundido

You got a "No"

  • Don’t take it personally & don’t make accusations. We are working under conditions that require certain work for various reasons. Such as criteria, recycled, outdoor, weight of the work, demographics of location, is there work like it already.
Photo by tim ellis

You're Accepted!

  • Read the emails and contract carefully especially in regards to expectations on you. Art focus & sales focus How are you going to take money? Do you have diverse work that will allow you to test the audience?
  • Don't be hard to work with.

Making & Tracking

  • Bust it out!
  • Develop a regular making practice.
  • Over deliver - inventory, set up
  • Know how you work
  • Start Small
  • Inventory Sheets with photos

Set Up

  • Observe: Merchandizing, Signage, Display
  • Tool kit, Packaging, Cards, Story Tags
  • Height, Color, Weight, Lighting, Ease of Set Up
Photo by Theen ...


  • Can be a sensitive conversation - soul forward | boundaries firm - Application Fees - Registration Fees - Booth Fees - Commissions rates (?) - Cost of doing business - Cost of Goods - Advertising
  • Group Shows

Break Even | Make $

  • Do you know your break even point? Set sales goals! What price point do most people buy at ? $10 - 60 @ the store - N.PDX How much do you think you make per hour making and selling your work?
  • Get feedback - go to shows and observe pricing of other folks
Photo by edkohler

Rules of Thumb

  • If you can make $10 dollars an hour on your work you are doing pretty well. Got a time heavy piece no one is buying? Test your work in a different demographic and locations. Alter it. Find out what sells, be efficient at making it and repeat - evolve. What are your goals for making the work. Joy? Money? Both?
Photo by yewenyi


  • Unfair advantage
  • Style
  • Look & Feel
  • Objective 3rd Party
  • There is enough for everyone
Photo by DerrickT

The Model

  • Business looks different - service, rental, offset fees, workshops, education
  • Customer Interface -whincing


  • Competition
  • Copy Catting - Like Work
  • Accountability Partners
  • Business & Art Support
  • Accountability Partners
Photo by Hindrik S

Mind Set Tricks

  • Don't take it personally! Feedback loops make you better
  • Experiment & check out The Lean Start Up - Eric Reis
  • Get clear and honest with yourself about what you want.
  • Make Mistakes & Learn

Play and Explore

Share your gifts with the world 

Contact Information

Photo by Swamibu