Hey....what's that red box?

Oh...that's our show box.  Typically the next question is "what's a show box?"  Over the years we have come up with a list of things we typically need to set up at a show or festival.  For a long time all this "stuff" was just at the bottom of one or several packing tubs and we were always digging for something.  Sometimes we would forget something and then I'd be going down the line of booths asking to borrow tools or bumming a zip tie off someone.  A little over a year ago I had one of those hand smacking your forehead moments, like in a V8 commercial, and came up with the show box.  Since then show set up and take down has been much smoother and my forehead hurts less.

Lots of folks ask about the box and when I tell them what it is, it nearly always starts a conversation.  It usually starts with a guy saying "my dad had a sawzall", "I haven't seen one of those in a long time" or "I cut a bicycle in half with one of those when I was a kid".  Then we are talking about tools or good memories before we get back around to pots.  Either way, the box seems to draw attention and people are usually interested to hear about the contents.

The box is an old Milwaukee Sawzall, metal carrying case.  It may even be vintage but I'm not sure.  As for the contents....it's pretty much jam packed with stuff.  For us, all of it seems necessary.  We don't need every item at every show but our set up revolves around that box and it has become a show saver for us...and for several other artists too.  From left in a zigzag pattern to the right, this is what's in the show box.

Zip ties: we use them for all sorts of thins from zipping the tent to the display rack when the wind kicks up to zipping the business card holder to the display rack.  Zip ties are my duct tape.

Phone charger: the first time your phone dies and you can't run a credit card through Square...you start carrying a phone charger.

Money bag: the bag has our "bank" in it, our Square readers, tax ID certificate, ball point pens for folks who write checks but don't carry pens, a calculator and a BIC lighter for the space heater we take to colder shows or for the occasional lighting of incense sticks.

Weight handles: our tent weights are made of PVC pipe filled with concrete and have an eyelet in the top each one.  These handy little devices allow Candice to carry all four weights in one trip from the truck to the tent/booth.  Just hang a weight on each end of a handle and you are off....one trip...four weight.  Yeah Candice!!!

Business card box: the box has 250 business cards and a business card holder in it.  The little holder is made of clear acrylic. It has two small holes in it that allow us to zip-tie it to one of the front legs of the display rack.

Tape: blue tape (once you go blue you will never go back) and electrical tape.  If you have ever needed to repair an extension cord at a show you will never leave home without electrical tape again.

Display hooks: these hooks clip over the display rack and the pots and price tags hang from them.  They are very reminiscent of old shower curtain clippie hooks without the clippie part.

Tools: hammer, tape measure, multi-bit screwdriver, scissors, dykes, small linesman pliers (good for squeezing and twisting), small crescent wrench and a sharpie marker.

Price tags: these are 1 1/2" brass key tags that we use as our price tags.  We write the price on them with a sharpie and then hang them on the same hooks that the pots hang on.  

Koozies: these keep our beverages nice and cool.

Lastly, all the way to the right are the pot hanging wires: these are the hanging wires I make for the pots.  They are made from 17 gauge, galvanized electric fence wire that is purchased in 1/4-mile rolls.  Each bundle has 20 pot hanging wires in it and we carry one hanger for each pot we bring.  When we take 100 pots to a show we have 5 bundles of wires in the show box.

This is what the show box looks like all packed up and ready to go.  Close the lid and slide it into the back of the truck.  It's always the last thing loaded and always the first thing out...just open the lid and start setting up the booth.  I hope you have enjoyed the show box tour.  If you have a show box or if this inspires you to put a show box together...I'd like to see it.  I love containers, boxes and such and I've got all sorts.  Remind me sometime and I'll show you the tool box I carry my clay tools in...it's super cool!  If you have questions or comments just let me know.

See you at the next show.