Wet weather conditions made 1010-2011 a quiet season for tourist destinations across Australia. Here in Bemboka, after drought conditions the previous year, it rained so continuously that we hardly ever had to water the garden. There were two floods, one in February and one in April. On sunny days we battled to keep the grass down on our 2.9 acres. The upside was that the rose garden bloomed throughout the summer and into late Autumn, and the freshly mown kikuyu grass carpeted the slope down to the river.
While the numbers of visitors was less than we had expected, we had a most enjoyable season, full of unexpected pleasures. It shouldn’t have been a surprise, but the repeat visitors from season 1 caught us unawares. David proved to be very good at remembering faces and what had taken people’s interest the first time around.
Amongst the new visitors were people living in the valley who had only just discovered us, families looking to settle in the area, and fellow art market professionals and art/craft historians. We also had our first visit by a bus, which parked in the cul-de-sac while members of the Cactus and Succulents Society of the ACT checked us out.
More potters came, including Tony Barnes, Poppy Benton, Jenni Bourke, Brett Bowyer, Peter Dobinson, Brigitte Enders, Sue Hewat, Ian Hodgson, Bev Hogg, Ivan Gluch, Stefan Jacob, Ian and Jennifer McRae, Jock Shimeld, Krysia St Clair, Eileen Ward and the members of Imlay Craft, who made a special excursion to Bemboka to visit the gallery.
The online shop came into its own during the year, with works selling to collectors across Australia and from as far away as the United States. We are probably now selling us much online in real terms as through the gallery, and this will likely increase over time.
Because of our presence on the Internet, we have also been receiving a growing number of enquiries from people wanting to sell pottery items to us! Getting first dibs can be a mixed blessing. It has been a constant challenge not to spend more on pottery than we earn through sales. More asset-rich by the end of the season than we had planned, we now have some lovely new pieces to show off in season 3.