Reverse auctioneering (Pilchuck auction)
October 16, 2010 by Cynthia
They tell me I’m doing this exactly backwards.
Artists are first supposed to take a class at Pilchuck, the famous mountaintop glass school in the northwest. They fall in love with it, then tenderly, timidly offer their art to Pilchuck’s big fundraising auction. Wait to breathe until it’s accepted.
The second year their work gets in, they’ve arrived, so they actually GO to the auction.
Or so I’m told.
Me, I’m cutting to the chase: Tonight I’m going to the Pilchuck auction. Maybe someday I’ll take a class there. Prolly never donate my work (long story*), but hey…
My friend Becky and I decided to build a mini-weekend in Seattle around the auction. We’re staying in the Hotel Murano (actually, it’s in Tacoma, but what the heck), visiting a bunch of glassblowing buddies who live up here, and doing the museums and a few galleries.
Now, me and auctions go back a looooong way, usually to bankruptcy. I admit to being a tad competitive (my family will roll eyes as they read THAT), which is deadly when somebody bids against you.
So Becky’s promised to nail my hands to the table if I do something stupid, like maybe try to outbid a Rockefeller. I’ve promised to return the favor. I realize this is not exactly what the Pilchuck organizers had mind–the shiny catalog they sent included an insert describing how to order packing and shipping for the dozens of things you’ll be buying–but hey–ya gotta start somewhere, right?
*The first time I donated my art to a charitable auction, the woman receiving it sniffed and rolled her eyes. “What is that thing, a pansy?” It was the only piece in the auction that didn’t sell, and she smirked when she gave it back to me. Ever since, if a group asks me for charity, they get money, stuff or me. The art stays home.