“Sales In The Time Of Covid”

with apologies to Gabriel García Márquez

I received a lovely email today from a customer thanking me for four pieces she had bought online from my website and telling me how delighted she was with each one.

It was such a gratifying message to receive. It started me thinking how very different my “selling” experience is now to how it was before Covid shut our doors and locked us all away from the world.

packing up a large vase to send out by post

The human touch….

Pre-coronavirus I would usually sell my work face-to-face – from the studio or from fairs and exhibitions. As I write this I should be at Childwickbury Arts Fair – a fabulous event and my favourite fair of the whole year.

Before the pandemic, I would be able to talk to the customer. They could pick up and hold the pieces. I could tell them about how it was made or what inspired me to make it in the first place. Sometimes, I would even make the piece for them in front of their very eyes and they would come back a couple of days later (when it had cooled) to collect it. I loved seeing people’s pleasure as they handled the glass or held it up to the light. They would often describe to me where in their house it was going to go or who it was going to be given to.

….versus technology

Now, I get a little “bing” on my computer which tells me I have sold a piece of work. Don’t get me wrong – I am skint – I am extremely grateful for every “bing” and eagerly await the next one! However, it is hardly a warm and fuzzy human experience!

I wrap it carefully, organise a courier and the only person I actually interact with concerning this transaction is the (very lovely!) My Hermes driver who comes to collect it. My piece is then launched out into the world and disappears from view without even a backward glance. It feels a somewhat sterile experience compared to before.

Flinging open my doors to the world again

I am so looking forward to opening my doors again. I will, Covid permitting, be open for Devon Open Studios starting on the 12th September and hope to see as many of you as can make it then. In the meantime, I hope you are all well and happy in these strange times.