Morgan Britt on thu 25 mar 99
Finally, the luxury of a few extra minutes to put in my two cents about
NCECA. - What a great experience!
I arrived alone, feeling very of place, from California. First off, a
dinner invitation from Barbara Lewis and a few of her Maryland friends
made me feel very welcome. My roomate (my husband thought I was nuts to
room with a complete stranger), Margaret Arial from South Carolina,
turned out to be such a sweet, neat lady.
I went up to the Clayart room on Wednesday after running into Mel and
Vince downstairs. There I met Ron Roy (Ron, when a glaze is developed
as blue as your eyes it'll be a gold mine!), and after that the names
just all ran together, some familiar, some not, all very friendly. I
picked up a glaze recipe for Lana's Aqua Bronze that I can't wait to
try. Is that from Lana Wilson?
I was totally intimidated as I've only been working with clay for a
short time, but everyone was very friendly. I didn't say a whole lot -
with all the MFA's and successful full time potters I had a real
internal battle going on with not wanting to appear ignorant (my own
insecurity that probably cheated me out of some real opportunities to
gather information and learn). Sylvia, I understand what you're saying
about a wallflower. I don't see myself as old, fat or ugly on the
outside (those things are truly a matter of perspective anyway), but
inside I felt just as vulnerable as you describe. I very much related
to a lot of what you said. I could feel my mouth trembling every time I
opened it to speak, and the internal dialog did a great job of
mantra-ing that I didn't fit in, but it certainly didn't come from any
single person I met.
I spent most of my time on the exhibit floor. An acquaintance from Lake
Tahoe (Sierra Nevada College), Sheri Sweigard, became a good friend, and
introduced me to more great people so I never had a shortage of company
(and still won't even now that I am home).
Of the few presentations I attended, I was most impressed with the one
on subconscious creativy. I had my sketchpad out the whole time - the
ideas from the words I was hearing were just flooding in. A mini
workshop by Rosette Galt in the Axner room about paper clay set off a
whole new avenue of inpiration for putting these ideas into form. I'm
fortunate to have a supplier in town so as soon as I write this it's off
to the studio to experiment. My opinion about the bus tours does not
need to be repeated, but you can't ask for everything.
The dance was a lot of fun - PACKED! - I was pretty shaky the next day
gallery hopping. I didn't drink that much so it must have been the 2
hours sleep. I bought a piece of Beth Cavener Stichter's work at
Elements - I've been fascinated by "Bringing Down the Moon" ever since
she asked for a critique on ClayArt, but had no idea I'd be bringing it
home with me! She is a truly talented artist and I think she's going to
really go somewhere. Such a nice person, too.
The installations at the Columbus College of Art and Design were
incredible, the Shot gallery was impressive, Chilhuly's glass and
Eberly's ceramics at the CMA were fantastic, and to top it off the
figurative sculpture show at Riley Hawk Gallery was truly incredible
(sculpture fascinates me). Come to find out that several of the artists
in that show where from California, one of them the teacher who taught
me to throw.
Thank you to Bill at PMI and Mel for making the Clayart room possible.
It was great to have a place to sit, relax, rest my sore feet and be
invisible if I chose. In the last year I discovered the medium of my
heart - clay. Having been involved with two dimensional art for many
years, I find the clay community is so much more down to earth
(literally). They are friendly, caring, open to sharing ideas and
experience, the list goes on and on.... I finally figured out what I
wanted to be when I grew up. Now I feel I'm a part of the family that
goes along with it.