I’ve posted before on the difficulties of demonstrating and the frustrations of trying to please everyone (impossible). I’m certain that many club members view demonstrating as “easy money”, but I’ve also mentioned this before…after you factor in the time taken to prepare for a demonstration, the travel time – often several hours each way – the duration of the demonstration, the materials costs, the stress involved, and the time away from the full-time turning/family, I don’t think you actually earn anything. So why bother?
Well for some it’s obviously an opportunity to sell products – tools, finishes, DVDs, push tuition, or get on the ladder to some perceived woodturning heaven of the national & international circuit. The other reason is simply to share what you do and hope it is of interest.
I don’t sell anything at demonstrations, although you could argue that there’s potential to pick up tuition bookings, but this isn’t something I’ve ever pushed. I started demonstrating because I enjoyed watching demonstrations early on in my woodturning journey, learnt a lot from them, and hoped I could provide the same things. There are times, however, when you question the usefulness of demonstrating…surely everybody has seen everything and all you do is repeat in a different accent.
I mentioned to another turner recently that I had considered stopping doing demonstrations for these reasons, and had almost decided to do just this. Until an email arrived yesterday…I’ve removed the name of the sender to preserve their identity…
I was at the West Suffolk club when you did the demo of your plaques on Tuesday.
I really enjoyed it, and was sufficiently impressed that I am going to give it a go.
You were using a small blow pipe, I would like to know where you got it from as
it seems to work well.
I was given a pack of colors for Xmas but have not really had a go at coloring,
you have given me the kick to have a go, thank you for that.
And that changed my mind. If you can give one person a new direction then it’s a worthwhile exchange. It also seems indicative of a mood change in regard to decorative turning as it supports a number of recent comments I’ve had. Good news I think.