This Jubilee jug by Pat Culpin was the first thing I ever bought from an art gallery, and I can't help but compare the experience with my most recent purchase which was online. (Click on photos for full view.)
It was at a private view in a little gallery in the Ochil Hills near Stirling. I had a painting in the show and was thrilled to be showing in the same gallery as the artist Bet Low. The atmosphere was friendly and chatty, there was wine, there was a buzz about the place as the red dots were going up, and I thought this handsome jug would look very fine in our old cottage and we agreed to splash out.
I was very excited by it all and when we went back at the end of the show to collect it we were told that the Duke of Buccleugh had wanted it, but we were in front of him in the queue!
Buying from eBay was a very different experience. (See this post.)
I was confident I would like the print because I know the artist's work so well, and it was quite exciting to wait and watch then make my offer, but I did feel I had to jump through hoops - open an account, create passwords, navigate the site, and communicate with the seller only through eBay for security reasons. Part way through eBay decided that my email and password didn't match. I tried a new password. Still no success. Apparently it was the email address which was the problem (although they were still sending me emails - lots of them). To use the helpline I had to log in - which required my email and password. I was at the same time getting quotes from Shiply for carriage which ranged from £93 to £364 and meant lots more emails.
Thanks to the patience of the seller with whom I finally found a way to communicate directly all ended well, but the security aspects - and I fully appreciate the necessity for them - removed the pleasure of the face to face personal communication, the social side, of the gallery experience.
I have just sold the jug to a potter friend who came to the house to see it. We had coffee and a great chat about our favourite potters, being an artist and buying and selling our art.
I love this video of slipware maker Clive Bowen (20 mins).