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nceca 96 -long

updated sun 31 mar 96


FMIRANDA@alpha.CC.OBERLIN.EDU on tue 26 mar 96

It was all I had hoped for! (exc for the weather, but then I have many not
so fond memories of trudging in the slush in Rochester).
The throwing demos were what captivated me; from Brad Schwiegert (I'm
sorry, not too sure about last names) who sculpted massive towers and cut
away with the wire tool, talk about lively clay, it seemed to leap out at
you, to Sara Coote's interesting teapots - all the things I've wanted to
watch: spouts, tight fitting lids, faceting with a bread knife, to Peter
Baesecker's wondrous fluted nesting bowls and delicate, fine ewer, with the
handle thrown on to the piece as it was held upside down, still attached to
the bat. He says he lets them set up that way, they look like bats hanging
upside down all in a row.
Glaze Doctor: Angela Fina discussed pinholing in some depth - for her the
problem was in the clay body (and it has not been solved yet), but she also
suggests bisque firing to a hotter temperature. It was nice to hear her say
that learning to calculate molecular formulae was not that hard - she could
teach it in a day or so, and that it was so necessary to understanding
glazes, that a glaze wasn't really yours until you had worked with it,
altered it, lived with it for years.
The Garth Fagan dance troupe did a very good performance, one of the
highlights was the individual, I believe improvisatory, dancer responses to
slides of pottery and sculpture - often funny and relevant. When the
choreography connected to the music in the other pieces, the work was
I wanted to go to at least 3 breakout groups at the same time, but settled
on the one called "So you have a day job, how to keep the creativity going"
where many good suggestions were tossed in: exercise, meditating, setting
aside hours of the day, getting one's spouse to forget about dinner and the
laundry, : )...
Exhibitors: Tucker brushes! I spent dinner money, happily, on these
beauties,which were really not expensive ($8 and up), dolan tools-such good qual
instruments, can't wait to try mine out. I did get a kick out of these
exhibitors -
my past experience of commercial exhibitions being at the stuffy
conventions where suited, vested men are selling rows and rows of Groves
Dictionary and tomes with undecipherable titles. Here they had bags of
Albany slip for sale!
Of course the best was meeting clayarters, and I owe my trophy, the most
beautiful mug by Peter Pinnell, to Russell, from Brussels, who got up at
5:30 a.m. to sit in line until 10 a.m. Oh thank you again!
for anyone who went to NCECA and is still reading, I'd like to know if any
new ideas came out of the group which was discussing aesthetic changes
in mid career-it's an issue I think is important: is it possible to change
styles and keep customers? Why shouldn't it be?
Exhibits: my particular favorite was the one of functional
pottery organzed at Shoestring gallery by Richard Aerni.Absolutely
wonderful forms with juicy glazes. But I also liked seeing
the Strong Museum with the auction pots - AND the regular collection
there, talk about someone who liked to shop!
f you want any other info, just ask - it was my pleasure to go.
sharon on tue 26 mar 96

Great job of summarizing, Sharon! I was at the "aesthetic changes at mid
career" break out group, and it was exciting and scary at the same time. We
went around the room, stating how we were involved in clay and for the most
part you heard "studio potter for 18 years, 20 years, 25 years.... A few
people had already made a big style change and one had negative responses
from the public. She struggled through and has kept changing as she felt she
needed to. Brave woman. Another is still wrestling with being a beginner
again, technically. Some had left clay altogether, or were thinking about it.
Most were contemplating a change but worried about their bank accounts. There
was discussion of whether to change altogether, or sneak up on it a little at
a time. Many felt the trapped feeling of having a successful line of work
that galleries and the public didn't want them to change. Difficult subject
with no easy answers. For me it was comforting to know others are in a
similar situation.
Another show Sharon didn't mention was the RIT alumni show: lots of
diversity, pots and sculpture. 80 artists in a nice gallery. Richard's
"Functional Pots '96" Show was a stunner: each grouping more exciting than
the last. Now that's a show that should have a catalogue!
Now I HAVE to get back to the heap of paperwork on my desk....enough with the
fun stuff :-(
Jennifer in Vermont
snail: Jennifer Boyer
Thistle Hill Pottery
HCR 32 Box 755
Montpelier, Vt. 05602
Voice: 802-223-8926
Fax: 802-223-1180