Does Anyone do *public* - Open House - art/ studio/pottery/weaving etc?

I work at home (painter) & always hoped to have exhibs/ & visitors to my tiny studio, maybe with cream teas, (or something english), carrot cake…typhoo…on the terrace.

No hopes of massive income, but maybe a sale now & then.

I have just got all the rules and regs, and as my house is ex industrial, its easy to make it accessible for people with mobility probs. etc. so…it all looks quite easy, and possible, now.

Does anyone else do ‘at home’ exhibitions etc, or have their workshops/studios open to public view, please?

If so, do tell…?

What have you found most fun/most harrowing? Any warnings? Suggestions? etcetc

Thank you for reading my message!

If anyone can persuade them it’s…They are rather tasty and I resent them being wasted on foreign people who don’t appreciate them.

I resent the mince pie comment!! As the one making the mince pies I feel insulted. When he’s finished watching the Grand Prix I will slap him!! It is difficult to ‘explain’ mince pies but our French friends and visitors do usually like them, if they can be persuaded to actually try.

One lady in the village came back and asked if she could buy 20 to give to her family on Christmas Day.

We have converted our barn into a gallery for a couple of Christmases which has been quite succesfull. We also offered coffee,tea and cake but never offer a French person mince pies as it only confirms that the English can’t cook! Leaflets out at the local supermarkets, tabacs, boulangeries, Maries, etc plus posters and info on sticks all over the place.
The barn and house are normally let as a gites during the summer so the paintings and prints are left on the walls.


We do this, We are artisans making statues in reconstituted marble. We are in the Gers.

Our start point was because the Chambre des Metiers was asking for people to join their booklet which they put out each year . It grouped together some 25 artisans. They only proviso was that you had to offer at least one visit time per week and they ran from June to Sept. They were very helpful about what to say & how to put the end/ sales exhibition in place. They emphasised that you don’t have to tell everybody all your trade secrets, just say it’s a trade secret.

We offer Monday and Thursday afternoons from March to Nov but offer other days or times by appointment if we are available. The biggest problem is having to be in on those days, you can’t go anywhere unless it’s an emergency and if you do have an emergency which I did once, leave a note and an alternative time . I had to do this once to collect a child from the airport and proposed to do the next day(Friday) and someone came on the Friday who had come to the atelier but seen the note. We find 95% of people who visit do make a purchase, it’s good to have a range of prices. The other day someone only spent 6€ but that’s OK, they were spending their money on desil to get to me, all I spent was half an hour of my time having a nice chat.

Make up a flyer bright simple and clear is best not to much information crammed onto it, hand it out. I suggest you contact your offices of tourisms, get friendly with them. You could have an open day for the people in the office of tourisms so that they know what you are offering. I now also put our opening times on all our business cards and our website.

By the way, we tried offering teas just to keep up the British bit but the visitors didn’t really want it, they weren’t expecting a salon de thé. Most visitors seem to want a quick look at all the machinery, a run down of the basic stages and then a look at what’s for sale with much chatting about colour, texture, which piece they prefer, some just want to go straight to the shop!. If you want to set up a tea rooms on the side that’s another ball game.

I would also add make sure you are really well signposted . You would be surprised how many people can’t follow simple written directions. We are on a camping as we also own and run a camping. At first we had a great many people who didn’t think they could come on the camping as they didn’t want to camp but visit a workshop!! I had to put a seperate sign for the workshop on the entrance and that worked a treat!!! Getting permission to put up signs may be another minefield

Hope some of this helps. Claire