Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Contemporary Craft Festival 2017

Well it's almost a month since The Contemporary Craft Festival at Bovey Tracey and I think it has taken me most of this time to reflect on what taking part meant to me.

It is one of the most prestigious Craft events and the one I had aspired to ever since my first visit four years ago. 


I applied last September, I think, and just after Christmas found out I was on the reserve list. The weeks ticked by and not wishing to tempt fate, I decided this was not my year. 

Last year I was lucky to attend running a taster workshop for the fabulous Make at Monteray, it was a good experience and gave me the chance to marvel at the wonderful work on display. 
 Anyway back to this year, with just 10 days to go I had a phone call from the organiser Sarah James to say they had a space due to illness. I went into a flat spin and asked for a few hours to think about it. My first thought was to ring my lovely mentor Helen Bottrill of The Creative Business Network.
She was brilliant, told me to make lists of what I could achieve in the time and prioritise. 
And so I agreed sent off my stand fee and stitched like a thing possessed.
For those ten days I worked 12 to 14 hour days, in between caring for my Mum and general life stuff. I neglect my husband who one night, as I came out of the workroom at 11o'clock, declared  'I wish I was a moth!'.
I didn't have much time to think about my stand so I decided to let the work speak for itself and keep it simple. 
The set up day came and with it torrential rain, the mud outside the marquees was moderate Glastonbury level, everyone was friendly though nerves were jingling.

My wonderful husband helped me set up and remained patient when I kept changing my mind over the display. 
So before the four o'clock deadline everything was set , Mr E and I retreated to the Devon Guild cafe for a sandwich. 
I was surrounded by fantastically supportive and amazingly talented people. My immediate neighbour was Jane Sedgwick who creates beautiful striking jewellery. I treated myself to a couple of her gorgeous pieces.
In retrospect I was in awe of the whole event, constantly questioning whether I should really be there. I received amazing comments and so much positivity, sales were good and I had a couple of commissions and exciting leads.
I did enjoy the event; I wish my silly head could have let me enjoy it more at the time, take more photos and speak to more people. 
I was also so fortunate to be able to stay with my lovely friend Linda aka Liberty Linda Lou and her husband who were just brilliant and so kind. 
So there we go my first big Craft event, I learnt so much and in the words of T.S.Elliot
'Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go'