Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Antique Stores, Where Our Lives Go To Be Reborn?

This past weekend, my wife and I took a three day vacation to just get away before my surgery as it might be awhile before we can get away again. Since it is one of our favorite places to go through on the way to the wineries we decided to stay near Temecula's Old Town and check out all the shops and eateries.

Temecula is a town I have visited for well over 30 years watching it literally grow from a two horse town to a city approaching 200,000 with some of the finest wineries in the world nearby. The Old Town has also "improved" over the years keeping a kind of Old West architecture even with new construction. It is known for food but especially for a plethora of "antique" shops along Front Street.

Antique Store, Temecula, CA
Visiting an antique store is almost like stepping into, well, a tomb. Trust me we saw plenty of those in Egypt. In fact the National Museum is so poorly kept it looks like someones long abandoned and dusty barn! Bring a dust cloth and a flashlight.

Antique stores are endlessly fascinating yet at the same time, saddening. You have to think that here are items that in their time and place were used and probably cherished. Now, they clutter up endless small consignment booths owned by sellers that spent countless hours at yard sales, estate sales, even flea markets then brought them here to sell yet again, hopefully at a profit.

The question is, WHO will buy this, ugh, crap? Several years ago I helped with a fund raiser at the monthly swap meet at Pasadena City College. As we were setting up the items, several were deemed so bad by the ladies that they wanted to dump them. I insisted that no, they will sell. And they did within the hour to everyone's surprise. My father-in-law used the term "my trash can be your treasure" and he was surely right. Then later on, when I was checking out the other booths looking for a treasure to paint or transform in some way, I spotted some of the items that were in our booth. Proudly displayed at double the price. I was stunned. First because we didn't charge enough I guess and the realization that this is a game, at least for some. Booths are so often chock-a-block filled that it takes a real keen eye to separate the wheat from the chaff. Antiques store are no different. The most successful buyers go with a single purpose in mind and ignore all the rest.

Have you ever wondered what will happen to the items we create and sell on Etsy? I never did until last weekend. Seeing old toys I once had, items my family or grandparents had used, I suddenly wondered is this where it all ends? Yet, as long as you get a fair price for it in your lifetime, I guess it doesn't matter what becomes of it. As I gazed at paintings so dirty you could hardly tell what the subject was, or small items so outrageously priced you had to wonder what they were smoking, it made me think of my our artistic legacy. I guess, we will never know. All we can do as creative artists to create the best that we know how!

Visit KrugsStudio.etsy.com for a wide variety of original hand painted and decorated items.

No comments:

Post a Comment