Day At The Kit Fair
I attended the Craft & Quilt fair on Saturday and went to see Indiana Jones on Sunday. It was the first weekend in months that I’ve gone somewhere that was fun and not stressful.
As I walked around the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre I listened to the crowd, overhearing bits of conversation amongst strangers, people say the funniest things when they assume their conversations will be lost in the noise.
“I tried lampworking once and burnt off my eyebrows.”
“There are a lot of men here today. They’re either gay or selling something.”
“Someone should make a quilt to put in her mouth.”
“I loved my last enema.”
“If I buy this I won’t be able to pay for my weekly erotic massage and bottle of wine.”
“Before we go I want to check out the stall with the crap bags”
I noticed that most items for sale at the fair were in kit form; bead kits, quilt kits, teddy bear kits, knitting kits, kit kits, kitted kit kits, etc. In amongst the craft stalls was the token guy with the iron shoe that no one pays attention to. I was saddened at the lack of creativity. Sure, it’s creative in a sense. You are making that quilt or beaded necklace. But the pattern isn’t yours, and I personally wouldn’t feel a sense of accomplishment that comes with creating something unique that is a reflection of your creativity.
I started beading when I was ten. Back then there were no kits for sale, I learnt how to string a simple seed bead bangle from a friend and was hooked. Soon my friend and I had our own store at the school fete, our items – although simple and cheap – sold amazingly well and we made hundreds of dollars during those years. Which is large sum for a ten year old. The only problem was that all proceeds were meant to be donated to our school, a rule which I decided to bend, because I didn’t feel our hard work should go unrewarded. When the vice principal came over to collect our takings – much like a pimp – I handing her a jar containing $20 of coins and kept the notes that added up to $100 hidden away. She was surprised. “Oh no” I thought, “she knows and I’m going to have my kneecaps broken with plastic baseballs bats hired at lunch time!” Then she said, “you’ve done well, $20 is a lot of money!” I nodded and smiled. Later that day I went to the local store and bought as much junk food as my $50 cut could buy. It was delicious.
I tell you this devious story not because I want you to know I was once a kid who totally owned my pimpish vice principal, but because it was my grounding in beading. Where my love for beading blossomed and was allowed to take form without the need for a kit.
No photography was allowed at the fair, which struck me as odd rule for an event which is meant to inspire. Why is no photography allowed when kits and patterns are for sale? I was personally inspired quite a few times, not by an entire work, but by little things. The way a clasp was attached or a stringing method. But the inspiration was lost amongst the cluster of everything I saw that day.
A few items and products did stick in my mind…
- Microwave kilns – They entice me to finally purchase a lampworking kit and try making my own lampworked beads.
- Shop in a Qube concept store – If you want somewhere to sell your products, check it out. It’s quite an interesting concept.
- Beading supplies – I purchased some interesting glass beads and some half price gemstones.
- Clover wonder knitter – It looks like a toy, but once it was demonstrated to me I had to have one.
Before I left I decided to buy a late lunch, as I had been walking around for a good two hours while my stomach protested every few minutes. The best option for a cold winters day was hot chips. Alas, the chips tasted like six month old oil, looked like deep fried carrots, cost $6.90 and were possibly the worst food item I’ve ever consumed. At least they weren’t selling them in kit form.