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updated tue 30 mar 99


Jane Danic on mon 22 mar 99

Hi to Clayarters:

Had a geat time at NCECA. Met many wonderful people, saw awesome pots,
and lots of exhibits,
Kudos to all those who worked on this conference. Incredible, the
amount of work involved by so many to put on a conference of this size.
Exhibits, commercial and non commercial, shows, galleries, speakers,
demonstrators, break away groups, registrars, mug fund raising, and on
and on it goes. What a lot of time given and what a battalion of
volunteers! The three muskateers from Sarnia are most appreciative.
Hopefully we will become a little freer, in our throwing and can put to
good use, what we have learned. Somehow,I get the feeling "The Empty
Bowl" program might find its way into this area. It has been incubating
as an idea for a while now. Catching the tail end of the information at
the "Empty Bowl" discussion was inspiring . Maybe we will put something
into action.
The clayart room! What can I say ! How great it was and how wonderful to
put a face with a name! Sam and Carla have already told you who some of
the people were, in the room. Nice to meet everyone.(Must say, Tony
and Sheila were missed by many.)
Thanks to Mel, for instigating this idea of a clayart room and arranging
the Pottery Makers Illustrated to cover some of the expenses etc. ( The
three of us ended up buying a subscription .) What a genuine person Mel
is.He was certainly a marvelous and relaxed host. Alice and Feriz,
were also superb hostess and host What a great spread. And yes , Tony, I
want a small can #100. Didn't make Wendy's breakfast, but I did get a
chance to talk with her at the exhibits, about our Canadian Pottery
Scene. We had a good chitchat.
Russell Fouts brought his wonderful Belgian chocolate and on talking
with him,I was even more surprised, when I found out he knew our eldest
son when our son lived in Belgium. Went to the International slide show
and saw Russell's slides , heard his talk., as well as many others. It
was stimulating to hear all of the International presenters and to see
their pots. Makes our world seem a bit smaller. Saw some of the student
slides as well.Fun to see what is being made at some of the colleges.
Enjoyed seeing the demonstrators throw , sculpt and use molds.
One of the first people I met in the clayart room was Bacia, and I asked
to sign the card for Peggy. I think of Peggy every day. Only sorry I
haven't met her. We certainly e-mailed back and forth for a long time
and I feel I know her. Ron Roy took the time to show me his new
powerbook G3 and the glaze calculation program, as to how it
works..Steered me in the right direction to Tony Hanson so that I can
get a software program that will work on my old mac performa. Thanks Roy
I appreciate the time and glaze calculation lesson you gave me..
Enjoyed talking to Tony Hanson and also seeing his new slab built mug
design.Neat one. Can hardly wait for my version 4 Insight program to
It is hard to say what my highlight would be, but I certainly think one
of them was meeting people in the clayart room. Thanks Mel . I wear my
" Potters Are " t-shirt proudly and think of you, the author. So many
interesting, friendly and kind people were in that clayart room.
Our NCECA high disparted momentarily when we checked out of our hotel
only to have the car valet tell us he couldn't get the van started and
out of the parking building. Brenda, owner and driver of the van,
luckily had her CAA membership number with her, called a garage and told
Maggy and I, to go somewhere for 1 hour. We chose to go back to the
conference for the closing speaker. In an hours time we returned to our
hotel and found Brenda gone. We sat around the hotel lobby and suddenly
a voice came from the desk "Is there a Mrs. Danic in the crowd?" I
jumped up and answered the telephone at the desk and it was Brenda
suggesting that we look around Columbus for another 2 hours. She would
be at least 2 hours getting the car fixed. Again, Maggy and I went back
to the Convention Center, this time managed to talk our way into the
exhibition hall where a Gift show was going on. What a contrast to the
NCECA exhibitors , Saw lots of ugly manufactured gifts, There was also
a "Builders" conference going on in the center and the participants of
that convention didn't appear to be having nearly as much fun or seem to
be quite as happy as the NCECA participants . Potters are friendly
people.! Finally arrived home, later than anticipated but still very
happy with all my exhibitor freebies, posters and nceca/99 clayart mug
of Terrance Lazaroff's making. Have Sam's mugs too, Will hate to give
them up, but am off to London on the 26th and will take them then.

Regards, Jane S, Danic (
Sarnia, Ontario.

Paul Lewing on wed 24 mar 99

Nobody has yet mentioned my favorite part of this year's NCECA- the tour
of the Orton cone factory. This was on a long bus tour, so if you did
this one you might not have had time to do anything else in the way of
shows that day. But when I saw that on the schedule, I decided I'd
rather see that than any show of ceramics.
It was amazing! They make 300,000,000 cones a year, ranging from cone
022 to cone 42. And in the 75 years or so that they've been in business
(actually they're a non-profit corporation), no cone has varied from the
standard by more than one degree Celcius, ever! They are four times as
accurate at measuring heat work as the most accurate pyrometer. They
have a loft full of huge boxes of cones, some of them 60 years old, that
they fire with each new batch of cones.
We saw the mixing room, where they blend the ingredients, then get it to
just the right water content and where they mix in a little corn flour
for binding. We saw the stamping room, where the cones are stamped out
using machines that are as much as 60 years old. They have a complete
machine shop on the premises to make and repair those machines. We saw,
but couldn't go into, the testing lab. We saw where they make the kiln
vents and the controllers. And we saw where the cones are checked and
boxed. Ever wonder how they know there are 50 in a box, not 49 or 51?
The big ones are counted by hand by women who sit at tables piled high
with one temperature of cone. They roll them over, one in each hand,
look at all sides, and count them into boxes. But the small ones are
handled by their most consistent employee ever. He's like the guy in
the movie "Rain Man". He's autistic, and he just looks at a box and
KNOWS that there are 50 there. He's never been wrong.
And all this takes place in a very small building.

Also on that tour was the American Ceramic Society and the Purdy Ceramic
Museum. This was a museum of high-tech ceramics. They had space
shuttle tiles, rocket nose cones, ceramic body parts, semiconductors,
catalytic converters, turbine parts, tools, and on and on, all made of
some kind of ceramic stuff. They also had a lot of pots and tiles from
many eras, and even bricks. You gotta love a museum that will show you
bricks! It was terrific.

Also on that tour was a terrific show of African and New Guinea pots and
other stuff, and a show of contemporary clay work.

And here's my Clayart room story: The mug I got in the exchange was
made by Jeff James, a potter who teaches in the very small art center in
southern Ohio where I took my very first art class, when I was in the
6th grade, 6 years before he was born!

Also I have a few Pat On The Back Awards. One goes to Louis Katz, who
kept on doing a great job, in spite of having no voice left whatsoever.
The other goes to a young potter and teacher I met from Vermont. I
don't even know if he's on Clayart, but here's to Geoffrey, who made it
through NCECA without a drink after only a few months of sobriety. Hats
off to you, Buddy! It's not easy with that crowd.

And if you thought the Alien Invasion Noise in the Glaze Calculation
panel was disconcerting from down there, you should have been on the

See you all, even, I hope Sylvia, in Denver next year.
Paul Lewing, Seattle

Paul Lewing on thu 25 mar 99

As usual, there was WAY too much to see and hear at NCECA. There were a
few panels and lectures I really wished I could have gotten to, and was
wondering if someone else could give us a report.

I got to just the beginning of the "Studio Slip Casting Renaissance"
program. What happened later on in that one? Did they take a lot of
questions from the audience? Did it make you all want to go home and
make molds?

I really would have liked to go to the "Small Studio Marketing" panel.
What did they have to say? Did they offer any good tips on marketing?

And I heard the "Woodfire for the New Millenium" lecture by John Neely
was absoultely packed. Was it as inspiring as people had hoped? And
what makes woodfire for the next millenium new?

Paul Lewing, who wished, like every year, he could be about three places
at once.

Gregory D Lamont on fri 26 mar 99

Good Morning All,

When I was a buyer for a large university book store, I attended the
National Association of College Stores (NACS) convention and trade show
every year. As at NCECA--and at most other events of this kind--there were
always two or three presentations going on at the same time that I wanted
to participate in requiring the need to make a choice between the offerings
and to perhaps miss out on some valuable information. For this reason,
most of the presentations at NACS were recorded and cassette tapes were
made available for later purchase. The recording tasks were handled by a
firm experienced in this, usually one located in the host city, so the
tapes were of good quality. While this might not work for the more
visually oriented events, recording might be something to consider for the
lectures, panel discussions, etc. at future NCECA events.


At 07:45 AM 3/25/99 -0500, you wrote:
>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>As usual, there was WAY too much to see and hear at NCECA. There were a
>few panels and lectures I really wished I could have gotten to, and was
>wondering if someone else could give us a report.
>I got to just the beginning of the "Studio Slip Casting Renaissance"
>program. What happened later on in that one? Did they take a lot of
>questions from the audience? Did it make you all want to go home and
>make molds?
>I really would have liked to go to the "Small Studio Marketing" panel.
>What did they have to say? Did they offer any good tips on marketing?
>And I heard the "Woodfire for the New Millenium" lecture by John Neely
>was absoultely packed. Was it as inspiring as people had hoped? And
>what makes woodfire for the next millenium new?
>Paul Lewing, who wished, like every year, he could be about three places
>at once.

Greg Lamont
3011 Northwood Drive
Ames, IA 50010-4750

(515) 233-3442

Vince Pitelka on fri 26 mar 99

>And I heard the "Woodfire for the New Millenium" lecture by John Neely
>was absoultely packed. Was it as inspiring as people had hoped? And
>what makes woodfire for the next millenium new?

Paul -
That was one of the few presentations that pulled me away from the Craft
Center table in the exhibitor's hall. I thought it was excellent. John
Neely's expertise, his relaxed style, and his quick-paced slide delivery
made for an very informative and entertaining 45 minutes. Some people might
see the total presentation as some kind of promotion for his "train" kiln or
"coffin" kiln, but personally, I think he deserves the promotion. He shares
this information very willingly, and there are many people out there happily
using his design all over the world.

The essential premise of his presentation was that most wood-firers today
are looking for lots of fly-ash deposition on the wares, but in most anagama
and noborigama the flames and ash pass upwards from the firebox area into
the ware chamber area, and during this passage, gravity is working to settle
the ash, often before it reaches the wares. Neely's design uses a modified
Bourry firebox mounted high, which essentially dumps the fly ash DOWN onto
the pots in a long, coffin-shaped chamber, maximizing ash deposition onto
the wares. Results from 24-hour firings are impressive.
Best wishes -
- Vince

Vince Pitelka -
Home 615/597-5376, work 615/597-6801, fax 615/597-6803
Appalachian Center for Crafts
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166

Mason Batchelder on sat 27 mar 99

Dear Greg,
My yes! We certainly need to have the sessions taped and the doemonstrations
as well.I may also add that having three presenters on stage simultaneously
was very distracting and had to be horrible for the presenters as they had
little chance to develop audience rapport.The poor videographer had an awful
time capturing a dialog when three preformers were to be captured by one
single man running with umbilical cords attached to catch an opportune moment
see as the light the craftspeople needed dulled the sharpness of the images.I
spent all the time I could watching but I really felt sorry for the poor
presenters and how distracting it must have been for them and their
audience.They did a marvelous job in spite of all the difficulties they had to
It was also sadened to hear so many of the smaller exhibitors could not afford
the cost ($1200/space,I heard) to be with us this year.They will be missed.It
is so wonderful to see the equipment and toys and great books and most of all
the people behind all this in person.My most wonderful experience was meeting
Susan Peterson and the long talk I was priviledged to have in the AXNER
hospitality suite (THANKS FOLKS) with the lady who started the ceramics
program at Chouinard (now known as Cal Arts in Valencia,CA.) and since I was
one of the last graduating classes from the facility she started I felt this
was so wonderful to meet and listen to her in person as she is a legend in
her time to us.
The Clayart room was so appreciated and meeting everyone was a delight(even
tho I could not get inside the night the chocolates were there) I did get a
terrriffic consolation prize in that I was the lucky soul to have gotten
Russell Fout's lovely "cup".My cup got two people drawing the card for some
strange reason but it went to England I was told (It was floating blue from
Chappell dipped twice fired cone 6 on it according to my records.If is not
like floating blue usually looks it could either be my clay body (old
Jordan/Calvert/Pine Lake fireclay/o.m#4ball clay/A.P.Green coarse grog or my
20-30 years old chemicals (MANY EXTINT)that makes it look different(I don't
know what other's floating blue looks like).
I meet and had a long talk with many people Richard (The claystalker) was very
interesting and sweet Louri Leary and SO many others.ITC is interesting and
I hope to try it soon.I missed the paper clay lecture and my NCECA roommate
Morgan Britt (what a bright, energetic, lovely young lady!) let me look over
her book she bought on paperclay and I got to view the tape on paperclay that
was brought to AXNER'S suite for them to possibly carry (PLEASE DO AND SOON!).
I found my rooommates and preconvention tour thru CLAYART LISTSERVE by
default and never did have the opportunity to meet Paula Sibrack (WHO GAVE UP
HER SEAT) nor thank Francesca "BINI" Bichisecchi for being such a sweet,
thoughtful roommate on the Ohio Claybelt Tour.We had a wonderful time and ate
our way across Ohio while we saw some of the most interesting operations and
hosts.Saw Joe Bova's and Josh Deweese's work at their opening's!Since
I did not get time to do (even though I sprung for the ticket the commercial
booths were a priority)the convention tours I was thankful I did take the
PRECONVENTION tour.I cannot reccommend getting a room at the main hotel enough
for were it not for Tom Buck and John Breamore's lift back to the Adam's Mark
late at night when I had too much to carry I would have been wiped out.THANKS
again fellows!
There is a problem when the open discussion groups meet in the same room as
some of us cannot hear in the room of babble so I was unable to remain.I know
I missed much.I heard Tim Mather gave a good talk on "UP ON 3 FEET" AND I
I did get to the group on casting that spoke and am convinces I will enjoy
Andy Martin's workshop at Penland this summer as his work is just as amazing
as I remembered it from the cup conference mini workshop at "Functional Clay
"at Arrowmont.I also got an autographed copy of his book which I am reading

My only regret was that I could not clone myself to see everything as many
things that interested me very much I missed and would have loved voideo tapes
to have been available, inexpensively, of them for us all who missed out.
Well 2001 will bring NCECA to my back door 100 , very easily traveled on
great highway, miles away in Charlotte and I am wondering how best to

Margaret in Lexington,S.C.,U.S.A.

Wendy Hampton on mon 29 mar 99

I would also suggest that they not only tape the sessions/demostrations but to
offer them for sale to people that did not attend NCECA on Clayart!