What Goes Up, Must Come Down
The Show is Over
Sunday evening at 5:00pm the gong rang and the Baltimore American Craft Council show came to an end for 665 fine craft vendors. Within minutes the 5 huge halls of the convention center became a beehive of crazy tear down activity as all traces of our existence had to be removed by 11:59pm.
It took me 2 days to set up my booth and I was given 7 hours to pack it up and get it out of there.
Here’s a look into that process:
5:15pm My Empty Boxes are Delivered to My Booth for Teardown
I had a general idea of the process I would use for the tear down. First I removed all the small art from the wall, which is about the state of things in the photo at the top of this page.
My next plan was to get the panels in the middle of the booth out of the way so there would be a place to put my empty boxes. I wasn’t fast enough – the boxes arrived quickly and were shoved into the booth where they would fit.
6:30pm – I’m seeing no light at the end of this tunnel
After an hour and a half I was in the weeds as I forgot the lightbulbs for my lights had to be packed with my small artwork. So I had to hunt around in the big boxes to find the box for the bulbs and the booth became rather chaotic. So much for my great plan to be all systematic and orderly.
Who made this big mess?
7:30pm – Hurray – I see progress!
Two and half hours in and I’m back on track. All the artwork is packed. The lights are all down and the top row of the booth has come down.
8:45pm – All That is Left is the Taping
At 8:45 it was pretty clear I wasn’t going to make my goal to be out of there at 9pm. Even though I had 1/2 the big boxes done, taping shut the boxes and putting on new shipping labels takes a long long time (over an hour for my 11 boxes).
Ditto for stacking up these huge boxes – which weigh right about 70 pounds each.
9:15pm – TaDa – The Booth is in the Box
Not too bad. I had to ask for help to get that last big box on the very top of my pile even though it only weighed in around 40 pounds. I was just too exhausted to do it myself.
As you might notice by the booths around me – I was in the later group of people finishing packing. The whole taping and prepping stuff for a truck ride back home is more work than stuffing all the junk back into a van for the ride back home.
The 2 other artists near me packing up for shipment back also finished right around 9:15.
I was back to my hotel room at 9:25 and to the hot tub by 9:35, which sadly closed at 10pm – but I had this waiting for me:
My 4th and final crab cake for the event
After what probably amounted to 3-4 hours of actual sleep (note to self – it’s not good to run out of advil after much lifting) – I was up at 5am for my 7:30am flight monday morning.
My original plan was to work all day at my day job so I could avoid taking an extra day of vacation. Well, that didn’t happen. Way too tired.
So instead I got a massage (one of my smartest decisions of this entire process) and went out to a very nice dinner as it is restaurant week here in Denver – yum.
Hey What about the Show?
I know, I’ve shared setup and now the tear down but nothing about the show itself.
I was going to do a little photo documentary of each day but I brilliantly left the memory card for my camera in my hotel room not 1 but 3 full days. So that idea went out the window.
I will do a review of the show itself – I promise. I just need to digest it a bit more and then I’ll share my thoughts on how it went.
But mostly I just need a few good nights of sleep. And to catch up on my teaching tasks.