Open Studio Signs, a Confessional
My first seven years or so of doing Open Studio, I was sign-challenged. I hated scribbling an arrow onto the signs with a Sharpie. I hated nailing the signs onto stakes. I hated covering them with plastic. I hated especially trying to drive the stake into the ground.
Then, inspired by a talk given by Sandy Lance at the 2010 Open Studio Seminar, I rehabilitated myself. I decided to make a bunch of sturdy signs once and for all, and not have to recreate them every year. Sandy had made clever sandwich-board style signs out of wood, but I felt this was beyond my carpentry skills. So I went online and found REALTOR signs. I was able to purchase 6 on sale for about $60. (Have not been able to find that link again, but Amazon sells sign frames for about $14 each – and I bet if you dig enough you could find something cheaper). Also, you can get little wire realtor frames at the hardware store or Home Depot, but they're not as sturdy.
Here is one of my permanent Open Studio Signs:
I realized when driving around before Open Studio weekend that the wording on the sign should be MINIMAL. At 40 mph, No one can read your name, or description of your craft. I made the arrow out of black electrical tape. I tied on plastic orange ribbon just to make sure no one would miss it. I placed signs at every important intersection, starting about 3 miles out. As I live at the top of a long, windy mountain road, I added this sign to keep people from being discouraged:
This year all I have to do is stick on one of the new little date and studio # signs Martha has so cleverly devised, and I am all set. Thank God.