August 12, 2011

Estoril Craft Fair



A very popular summer event around here is the Craft Fair held in Estoril for the last 48 years, yep you've read correctly. I don't know a lot of administrative details, just that it takes place from June 29 until August 28, each evening from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. You can learn about Portuguese traditional crafts as well as cuisine + see & buy (more or less) handmade items in a range from designer jewelry and let's say wool clothing to ceramics and paintings.



What I like about Portuguese traditional arts is the generous use of the color blue (cobalt) as you can see:



Although there were a lot of cute things, I can't say I was impressed much nor inspired. I guess it was the atmosphere, or better yet people's attitude. How come?

Hiding in our booths on a chair in the back or behind the counter isn't exactly the best marketing option. So are not smiling and not saying hello. No matter how tough times are, I believe we should be the first to speak about our work be it through words or body language. We may create + sell the cutest felt plush, customers won't be interested if we look like we're guarding them with a gloomy face.

I understand how a bad day or even a bad year feels like. But if I can't make it (and also not fake it) I prefer to think of other solutions, ultimately postponing my attendance.

We should probably think of ourselves as customers too and ask: what would draw my attention? What would make me want to know more about an item? What would make me buy it?



I was nevertheless amazed by miniature houses + furniture + settings, gosh, I was glad I hadn't seen them when I was younger. You can see a bit in these two photos, for example that scissors in the sewing kit next to the girl (photo above) was about 5 millimeters. Everything was so charming that I almost wanted to live in those settings.

The lowest price for a miniature room was about €70.


I also liked the wood crafts, especially chairs, drawers, trays, boxes and toys. They're great because they're noble and safe. Plus you can paint and decorate them in your own style.

The price for a small wooden box was €3, €7 for a small chair, €15 for a horse etc.



How about you, what would you hope for when you visit a craft fair? How about when you participate as an artist? I would love to share more with you, as the subject is so rich and ever open for improvement.

Estoril Fair was nice, even though I felt like saying: and now people... one more time with feeling!

3 comments:

kittenhood said...

I love the miniature houses! and I guess you're right, a smiling vendor is more engaging, even if it's just that s/he makes you feel guilty and want to buy :)

Cristina Papacu said...

But maybe not all smiles are "marketing smiles", maybe some just mean life is good and we are all here to enjoy we are here.
Leave the guilt aside, people in the handmade biz value every honest compliment & feedback, they are not there just to sell.

radiowhisper.com said...

Buna Seara!
Eu sunt Vlad, unul dintre membri Radio Whisper – un radio antimanele dedicat bloggerilor şi nu numai.
Am găsit întâmplător blogul tău, am citit câteva articole şi nu am vrut să ies înainte să te felicit – mi-a plăcut mult ce am găsit aici. Am fost atras de subiectele interesante si de originalitatea articolelor. Felicitari ! Noi promovăm la radio diferite articole ale bloggerilor, iar azi am promovat un articol de-al tău; am specificat sursa articolului şi am deschis şi un subiect pe baza acestuia. Dacă doresti, poţi să ne recomanzi orice articol, iar noi îl vom promova.
Ne-ar face plăcere să ştim că ai dori să ne susţii în acest proiect de radio şi să accepţi o eventuală colaborare.
M-am gândit aşadar să vin cu o propunere:
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Multumesc,
Cu stimă Vlad!