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nceca: a non-potter's point of view

updated tue 7 apr 98


Giles on mon 6 apr 98

NCECA: A Non-potter s Point of View

NCECA was held the last week of March in the year 1998.
Not a potter in this life, wishing to be with my wife.
What we did there I will now relate.

But first, the University of Dallas
had exhibits meant to enthrall us.
There was one that was keen,
by those six to eighteen,
but the graduate work only bored us.

Then the Arlington Museum of Art
was a bad trip right from the start.
We got lost on the way and to our dismay,
the small sign said "Closed on Tuesday".

We went to the commercial exhibits
to see what new things were for sale.
When I saw my love turn loose of her wits,
I shuddered and turned deadly pale.
" .but I have to have this, and one of these
too, and that widget is simply a must!"
No one told me that the theme here would be,
"Buy one of everything, or bust!"

The work of NCECA Honors and Fellows
ranged from gray to cheery yellow.
Some took their work far to serious
while others were laid back and mellow.

The Studio Potters sale was nice as a whole,
the sales at times near hysterical.
The atmosphere there had a musical air,
as the visitors tuned each bowl.

We went to the lovely Clayart room
for the friendly swapping of mugs.
What we found in this harbor were vessels of thought
assisted by intellectual tugs.

The day we walked to the Radison
it was hard to keep our hats on.
Our badges we forgot,
she went back at a trot,
on time for glaze history we were not.

For the history there was much praise.
We learned if we add rice to the glaze,
the glaze may turn blue, or not, its true,
which may not be news to you.

Korea was invaded by Japan,
to obtain bowls was why it began.
While making their own bowls,
their glaze crawled and pin-holed.
Japan liked the peasants use of bowls.

George Orr was slightly mad.
That he influenced our craft we are glad.
But I wonder, could it be, that manganese ,
if you please, made the Biloxi potter mad?

High zinc in a glaze will seize
and with luck give crystals that please.
But as you all know, chance is involved, had jolly well better not sneeze!

A little tin may sometimes turn
a vase into a rusty urn.
Just how to get a lovely urn,
each craftsman, with help, must learn.

When feldspar hits flint,
now get this straight,
it will alumna mat,
not alumnate!

Where oh where are the demos three?
We wound up at the wrong place, you see.
Oh where can the three working potters be seen,
Dominguez, Gonzales, and Epstein?
In my chair I could go with a zip and a zap.
But I would not get far with my wife in my lap.
My love took the van so she would nothing miss.
My race to the Heritage went something like this.
Up one curb and down the next,
eleven blocks I traversed like I d been hexed.
Dodge that lady and miss that man,
weave past the construction as fast as I can.
Through each light in turn, wait for green to go.
People as they walked seemed to be moving slow.
When at the hotel my love I did meet,
we hurried inside and each found a seat.

In the Heritage room three potters performed
as more and more people the empty seats found.
One animal pinched, a slab form upward inched,
and a thrown pot four feet, top to ground.
At the end a closed form stool tall
and a piece that would hang from a wall.
The animal was short, of the soft furry sort.
But for a while I asked, "hare or hound?"

"No Flash" the signs did read,
though many the request did not heed.
The signs were in plain sight ,
standing in bright light.
It must then be true, of them if not you,
some potters have forgotten how to read.

At this time my soul-mate asked me to stop,
and almost to a bent knee did she drop.
It seemed she wanted a favor of me,
two places at once she needed to be.
Thus to marking marigolds she made,
while I went to discuss the pot wrapping

Double Bubble wrap is a snap and around the pot it should go.
In peanuts inter, in a box secure, and clear packing tape forego.
Now have a care and don t stop there the box in a box must be.
More peanuts around and pack them down,
no breakage then will you see.
Within and without place a label, no doubt,
that lists what you ve packed inside. And finally, instruct,
don t make them deduct, how to display what you ve
crafted with pride.
Now when all is done your work s just begun,
you must tell them how to repack it.
It would be a real shame if your work won you fame,
and for lack of instructions they cracked it.

We went to the dance at the end.
With a hug said good-by to each friend.
Do not be sad. Instead, smile and be glad.
Though our parting brought us pain,
next year we can do it again!

Marvin Giles