Derek Melton Posted October 24, 2016 Share Posted October 24, 2016 I had my first craft show on Saturday. I setup a small table and brought equipment to demonstrate basic items. First of all, I learned what to take and what not to take. I took 2 anvils, an 81lb Peter Wright and a 125lb SISCO Swedish anvil, one for me, one for my son who was working with me. The 125lb won't be going to a craft show again and, as luck would have it, I was offered a 65lb NC anvil while I was at the fair which will make a great demo/portable anvil. I also took a portable forging cart that held my small propane forge and had racks for tongs and hammers. I brought several varying sized bars of mild steel stock for making small items and one 3/8 round bar of 5160 in case someone asked me to make a knife. I also brought an assortment of hammers, tongs, punches and drifts as well as a few top tools and hardy tools, a couple of hand files and a wrench for turning, all of which fit into one 5 gallon bucket which I used for a quench tub. In retrospect, I think for demonstrations a coal forge (burning coke) would be the better option. I think I wasted a LOT of propane when people would stop to talk. Second, I learned that the sweet spot for selling is 5-10$ items. I took about 25 of my 4-5 inch split crosses made from wrought iron, which I thought would sell at 20$. I was wrong. I lowered the price near the end of the day and wound up selling 3-4 of them. The items that did sell were the ones I had the least of, small 5$ & 10$ items like hooks, leaf key-chains, necklace pendants and the weirdest one of all, 'cursive letters.' Someone came up and asked me if I could make a cursive 'Q' for them and after that I had a couple more folks come up and ask for their initial to be made. I used small 3/16 round stock, twisted into the letter of their choice. One thing that was really successful, (which perhaps we should have charged for) was making small swords from double-headed nails. My son really enjoyed doing that and the kids that got them really liked them too. Maybe we should have charged 1$ each for them because word spread among the kids like wildfire and my son spent the majority of the day making them and handing them out to little kids. He had fun and they seemed to be treasured by the kids so it was well worth it regardless. Last, I learned that doing a demo is a LOT of work and it can be difficult to slow down, I don't think I sat down or took a potty break the entire day. When I ran out of small items to sell I began trying to make more of them and then I was moving from making one item to the next so fast it made my head spin. I also found it a bit difficult to concentrate on responding to questions and putting my mind on the work so I wound up tossing more than one ruined item into the quench bucket. There's definitely an art to 'entertaining' at the anvil. Overall, my layout worked well but I'd like to refine my mobile anvil stand now that I have a nice, small anvil to use and next time I will definitely spend more time in preparation making smaller items for sale. I received many complements for my work and was asked to come back next year so, all in all, I learned a few things and I count it as a success. I've attached a few pics showing my booth and the little 65lb NC anvil I got. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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