Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ishpeming Gem and Mineral Show

Over the last several years I have exhibited my art at many dozens of shows. Although there have not been a whole lot of outside shows, this one last weekend was the most challenging in terms of the weather.

I arrived on Friday night and met my friends, Gerald and Jill. We decided to set my new art tent up on Firday, planning on filling it with product on Saturday morning before the show's 9:30 a.m. opening. They have an RV and I have a bed in the back of my Suberban (which is a challenge to have enough room when I still have product in the car). When i woke up, it was raining for the first of many times during the day, but at that point the wind wasn't too bad. Everything went great for the first hour or so, but then the wind started to get worse. For the next two or three hours, I split my time between helping customers and holding down the tent. We were in a parking lot, so you cannot stake the tent. Instead, I had made some 30" PVC tubes and filled them with sand. Each weighed around 30 or 40 pounds and were tied to the four tent poles. I also had 10 metal gridwalls and 5 tables -- all attached to the tent to weight it down. When the big 60 mph gust hit mid-way through the show, I realized that there was not enough weight. The wind picked up the entire tent, gridwalls, and tables around 2-3 feet in the air! Two tables fell over, so I had some loss of product. Other artists were also having problems, but show attendees pitched in to help. I decided that it was not worth it and with help we had my tent and most of the product (now wet) packed away in less than 20 minutes. Of course, right after that the sun came out, but I didn't re-set up the tent since the wind was still strong. For the rest of the afternoon, I just had a couple of tables with a few items. Here are a couple of shots I took of some of the product in other booths.

That night, we attended the club's crackerbarrel at the Cliff's Mine Shaft Museum. They allowed us to camp on the grounds. The next morning I walked around the grounds of the outdoor part of the museum and took the following shots. I couldn't beleive how sore my arms were from trying to fight the wind and be a human tent stake.

It certainly was an interesting place to "camp."

There was no memorial sign, but we assumed that the cross was to honor those who gave their lives in the mine.

The mine entrance.

The engine house.

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