Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thank you Baltimore

The American Craft Show in Baltimore is over for another year. It was a lot of work, but the excitement of being part of the largest craft show in the country kept the adreneline flowing for seven days, from set up day, through the Wholesale days, Retail days, and to the final tear down and packing. Don't let anyone tell you differently, professional craftspeople work hard at their art.
One of the great things about being in Baltimore is trying out new places to eat. Of course, our first night there, after setting up all day, is to go across the street from the convention center to the Wharf Rat Tavern. It's a great brew pub in one of the few (if not only) remaining 19th century buildings by the Upper Harbor area of Baltimore. The ales they make are very tasty after a long day of booth setup, and the pub food is good and satisfying. My wife, Stella, loves their Maryland crab cakes, and I like their beer-battered fish. We're very fortunate to have friends who come down from New York to the visit us at the show, and who introduced us three years ago to their Baltimore friends (and now ours too), who take us to various exciting restaurants. It's becoming an event I think we all look forward to. This year we went several miles away from the downtown scene to a Greek district and had one of the best Greek dinners I've ever had. The grilled octopus was to die for.

Every time I exhibit at a crafts show or arts festival, I come away with ideas for improvements to existing pieces and for new instruments or other artworks. This time was no different. I don't want to spoil it all by explaining my new projects, so I'll just put in a little teaser by saying that I'll post photos when the pieces are completed.

On another note, last year I started Ron Cook Studios, which Coog Instruments & Folk Art is part of. The reason for the new name is because my craft has recently branched out to include original, non-musical pieces, as well as musical pieces out of the ordinary. Coog Instruments will still be my outlet for Early American and Early European instruments. I'm still working on the new Ron Cook Studios web site, and you can see a preview by clicking here.
I'm new to blogging, and never really thought about it until I attended a seminar at the American Craft Show in Baltimore on what a blog is and how it could help your (my) business. So, here I am, starting out with a new technology once again. The instant writing and posting will, hopefully, keep you all informed of things, like new works, as well as gallery and show updates. Keep tuned.

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