Hi Karen, Most outdoor shows don’t provide electricity unless the
hours go into the evening. That being the case, jewelers are often at
a disadvantage. My case lights definitely bring out the best in my
pieces… especially the opals. Occasionally I have been able to
"help myself" to an outdoor electrical connection that was nearby on
a street light or outdoor landscape lighting. You can’t count on it,
My case lights (Dynamic Displays) are low voltage, DC halogen
lights. I think it was Kathy Palochek who suggested I clip off the
transformer connector a few inches from the end and attach
male/female crimp on connectors to the loose wire ends. This way I
can use the AC transformer packs when I have 110 power, or use a DC
power source (i.e., battery) when I don’t. Some artists actually have
a set of marine 12 volt batteries on wheels that they take back with
them every night to recharge for the next day’s duty. I lug along a
set of six volt lantern batteries (one per light strip), but haven’t
ever actually used them. I don’t know how long they will last. A
whole day? A weekend?
There are some new, very small and quiet generators that are ideal
if you’ve got the cash to invest, and don’t mind handling the
gasoline. I looked into them and found that they were running in the
few-hundred-dollar range. I know a jeweler who won a cash award at a
show and used the windfall to buy himself one. He actually has a flex
shaft and small buffer in his booth! Some shows specify in the rules
that no generators are allowed. I don’t know if this is a throwback
to the days of old industrial generators, or if the rule would be
strictly enforced if one was discreet about it.
As far as the credit card issue, and not having a phone line…
that’s tough. My CC processing system is (was) software on a notebook
PC that dials up through the modem. I spent lots of time and energy
trying to make my cell phone work as the dialer, but it seems the
cell phone companies want to sell you their Web services, not have
your modem cut them out of the loop.
I ended up buying a LinkPoint 9000 wireless credit card machine.
Check with your service provider before you buy a machine to make
sure it is compatible with their system. I bought the machine on
eBay, and it has worked pretty well. Until that time I manually did
an imprint and ran the batch when I back at the end of the day. I was
always very nervous about fraud, but thankfully never got burned.
Let me know if you need me to elaborate on any of this!
All the best,
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)