Monday, September 21, 2009

Aaaaaaarrrrrrrgh and all that...

Talk Like a Pirate Day weekend at the Mariners' Museum was fantastic. Among other things, I met some astonishingly beautiful macaws and parrots (including an African grey like Alex), a Jack Sparrow impersonator who was brilliant, and a real paleontologist. I am very excited about meeting a real paleontologist.

I cobbled together pirate garb from my old SCA garb, and I think I did a halfway decent job.

It may not look like much in the photo, but my display is getting better and better. I spent almost all day Friday finishing my tablecloths, which I sewed by hand because I still don't know how to use a sewing machine, even though I own two (and a half). Turns out, the hand-sewn look is a perfect complement to my artwork.

The wrinkled look, not so much, but I haven't figured out yet how to prevent that - I can iron them until I need to turn the house's AC up, and they still get wrecked by the time I get to the event. I don't want to take an iron with me if I can avoid it, so I will have to start experimenting with starches.

In trying to find a way to wrap the newest tablecloth to cover the table ends, I stumbled on the idea of rope and grommets:

Turned out as well as I had hoped, and well worth the pain and finger jabs.

Here are some photos from the Towne Place at Greenbrier show last weekend. The first shot is the "before" shot of the tablecloth above (you'll see that it's too long on the wide ends and too short on the short ends, and why I am especially pleased with the new look in comparison):

The Towne Place show was my first outdoor event with my own tent, and it was very exciting. I have always loved the idea of my own portable, but defined space - I am infatuated with the idea of RVs and boats and tinker wagons - and having my own tent was a thrill for my inner wanderer, even though I only ended up putting up one and a half walls. Just having my own roof gave me a feeling of home.

Initially, I created a sort of hallway, so people could walk in from both directions, and around and through, and keep the flow going, but...

... after the sun started to hit the left side of the tent and heat up my artwork (lesson learned: know which way the sun will move), I moved the tables into an L shape and put up another half wall. I think I like this arrangement better, anyway.

Ultimately, my goal is to create an ambience for the tent that is a total experience - so that when people walk in, they feel that they are walking into a ship-slash-expeditionary camp (a la pirate-slash-Indiana Jones). It's a slow process, and right now, it's mostly in the small details, like my "shipping" crates below, but I definitely feel like I am on the right path.

Next, I will turn my hand to creating bigger displays for hanging artwork and embellishments for the outside of the tent.

I was wary of doing two events so close together, but I am so glad I did. They were so very different from each other, but I learned a lot from each - vending and hawking and selling do not come naturally to me, but I really do like meeting new people and seeing their reactions to my artwork - at least, most of the time - and I am thoroughly enjoying the set design aspect.

Not to mention talking like a pirate, and all that. Aaaarrrrrrrrrrrgh!


Rowena said...

Wonderful. I love how your display turned out. Have you tried one of those steamers for the wrinkles? I think they have travel steamers, or at least, they advertise them during the late movie.

I missed talk like a pirate day, being to tired from the flu. I'm not that sick, just exhausted by the end of the day, which is usually my time to paint... so no pirate painting for me. :( maybe I'll do one anyway.

Misfit in Paradise said...

Call me crazy, but I am not sure what the problem is with the wrinkles. Especially with the grommet and rope. It keeps it all feeling nautical. I think it is lovely!

Barbara said...

Maybe rolling up the tablecloths for transport would help some, but I abet you are doing this already.
Hey in regard to "This End Up" box- at the Air Races, I met some guys from Phila who work with the This End Up furniture company (the owner was out looking at the jets) and told them I have one of the very first bunk bed sets. It was fun!

Merisi said...

Your display and outfit look lovely!

Your tablecloth looks like it is made of linen (brava for hand sewing, vow!). It looks great, linen's not supposed to look ironed, its natural wrinkles are beautiful. You may try to roll it when you pack it away, that way you preserve just the right amount of wrinkles.