Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2009 Provincial Craft Wholesale Show

Traditionally, the Provincial Craft Wholesale Show is held on the March weekend with the worst weather. This year was tricky, since we had great weather for the weeks leading up to the show and there was some concern that we might not get a blizzard at all. But sure enough on Saturday morning we woke up to snow, blowing snow and a Winter Storm Warning.

Saturday was a day of seminars and booth set-up. I was on the Cultural Product Development Panel and we had a surprisingly well attended session with 12-15 producers in the audience plus 8 or 9 panelists and organizers.

Sunday, the show opened to the buyers. At a wholesale show the buyers are placing orders to stock their shops for the summer tourist season. You don't see a lot of people, but those who do come through the door are placing sizeable orders. The weather was good on Sunday (well, better, at least) and I found this year to be one of the best in terms of orders. Half the orders came in from new customers and half were from people who have been carrying my product for years. Both are important, you want to see growth, but you also need to see that your product is selling and the retailers are coming back for more.

The seminars and workshops continued on Monday, but I took most of the day off. Lori and I had to sign some papers with our Mortgage Broker. It took a couple stabs to get the re-financing approved because the first lender that our broker tried had never come across a Self-Employed Archaeologist before. They had no data to put in their magic formula to assess our potential income and/or risk. When they questioned "archaeologist" as a profession, our broker, Ian, said " * ".

Today, I need to layout a production schedule for the wholesale orders, clean up the workshop and put away the trade show boxes. I'm also ready to drop of the Dorset Palaeoeskimo Harpoon for Terra Nova National Park. I used it as set dressing over the weekend in the booth, but now its ready to deliver it.

I tried something new with the endblade and I'm happy with the results. Its tricky to make very thin Dorset tip-fluted endblades. Thin is easy and tip-fluting is easy, but to get both features on one endblade is difficult. I started on an oversized microblade this time and was able to get good tip-fluting on a very thin biface.

*Something funny, which I'll tell you later, but which I removed here on advice from my **.

** Omitted at the request of Lori.

Photo Credits:
Top, Lori White
Middle & Bottom, Tim Rast

Photo Captions:
Top, Me in Elfshot's 2009 Provincial Craft Wholesale Show booth
Middle, The Dorset Palaeoeskimo Harpoon bound for Terra Nova National Park
Bottom, The tip-fluted endblade (chert), harpoon head (antler), and line (faux sinew, hide glue, seal skin)

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