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nceca impressions (long)

updated sun 31 mar 96


Russel Fouts on sat 30 mar 96

CyberNCECAers (groan),

What a gas, nothing but looking at, photographing, hearing about, talking
about, art and pots and potters for a whole week (I got an extra two days with
the Robin Hopper workshop. BTW he was very "amused" to hear that he was
included in a list of influential women potters on Clayart. I wanted him to
sign my copy of Ceramic Spectrum as Ms. Hopper but he wouldn't, guess I can
understand that). I have about 10 rolls of film to develop and wish I'd
brought and shot more and brought a tape recorder (watch out next year!).

The Clayart buttons were a big hit (all three versions, thanks Leona,
Jonathan and Shatzi boys). I ran into many buttoned and buttonless clayarters
in elevators, standing line, at workshops; a lot of people who never made it
to the breakfast (thanks Paula). There are a LOT of lurkers out there! Many
people had heard about it and were curious.

The breakfast was fun to finally put faces to names. That golf coach, Nils
Lou sure knows a lot about kilns ;-) Carla and Vince kissed and made up (for a

Yes we all got to meet the infamous Carla Flati! We'd become fast friends
online and I don't think we stopped talking about pots ONCE. And the
Flati/Fouts Memorial Pottery Collection was threatening to take over the room.
I had a head start since I'd brought some from Boston (wonder what the maid

And the collection continued to grow. Call me crazy but, yes, that was me you
saw 2nd in line at the Cup Sale! I got mine and a few others. So much fun
spending other people's money! Packing to go home was "interesting". The xray
man at the airport noticed the large wrapped bundle and said "looks like
you've got something real fragile in there". I said "Yeah, how're they doing"?
"Looks like they're still in one piece", he replied. Who says that security at
the airports is a nuisance?

The cup show also turned out to be the only way to find out what some
Clayarter's work looks like. I saw cups from Barb Mazur (carla bought it),
Eleanora Eden, Ron Roy (perfect glaze as expected), Paula, Leona, Lee Rexrode
and a host of others. Next year bring slides or photos (as well as cups)
please. The world want's to know! I did get to see Bacia's and Karl Knudsen's
slides. And I, of course, was shoving my test tiles under the nose of anyone
who would look at them!

Some of us got the jump on and snuck into the vendor's show on setup night on
the excuse of helping Shatzi Boys set up their booth (good way to resell those
Ginsu knives you got for christmas, Karl!). Janet Mansfield, Polly Beach,
Chilton Books and Axner (no Judy ;-( ) now own a large chunk of my change.

Speaking of large chunks of change, is anyone going to rush out and buy a
kilo or two of Mitsubishi's Precious Metal Clay? I have rarely seen people so
excited by a presentation, the Mitsubishi engineer could barely get his words
out for people interrupting with questions. Then at the end, 100 printed
hand-outs vaporised (I saw Bacia wrestling her way to the front!) and the
panelists were bombarded with questions. For those who missed it, this is a
new material that can be handled like clay, glazed and fired and IS GOLD or
SILVER! I though the most exciting results were obtained when you treated it
on it's own terms (presentation #1). When you tried to push it you got hints
of really interesting possibilities though (presentation #3). FYI, The price
is tied to the price of gold and silver folks!

Who went on the Alfred tour? Great food (if you stayed for dinner), great
pots and wouldn't you LOVE to get a chance at ALL THOSE KILNS? In the realm of
the weird and wonderful was the "junk yard" of high tech ceramics that John
Gill had collected. We got a great guided tour from John himself and got to
play with and hear how a lot of the stuff was made and used. Dilbert lookout,
I think john's an engineer in potter's clothing ;-)

And next year in Las Vegas? Well, it's not a city that's ever "drawn" me but,
hey! if Liberace made it........

When I ran into "Greeny" in the cup show line, the first thing he said was
"Yeah Russel! You post long". Wonder what he meant?

Fouts Out! (well, he gave me one of his screwy brick pins anyway)

* Russel Fouts, CI$: 100021,23,
Bruxelles, Belgium
Internet: 100021.23@CompuServe.Com
"Eat your dessert first, life is too uncertain!"