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nceca redux

updated tue 30 mar 99


John Neely on mon 29 mar 99

Back from Ohio, both the pre-conference symposium at Ohio University and
the main event in Columbus, and I finally have found time to plow through
all of the Clayart digests piled up in my mailbox to get some idea of what
happened in my absence.

For me NCECA is always old-home week. All of the lectures, demonstrations,
and exhibits are no more than a framework on which to hang a grand potter's
family reunion. I wore many hats this year - including presenter,
exhibitor, and interpreter - but by far the best part was to see my
friends, my teachers (of whom there have been many) and my students,
current and past, and to see them exhibiting, presenting and other ways
participating in NCECA. I'm not sure what the pedagogical equivalent of
paternal pride is called, but I sure had many opportunities to feel it, not
least Saturday morning when current student, Kari Smith, received an NCECA
student fellowship, or when former student, Susan Harris, was made a fellow
of the organization at the opening ceremonies.

I only made it to the Clayart room twice, then only briefly to deliver and
claim cups in the exchange, but at least I got the chance to press the
flesh with some of my cyber-buddies and reaffirm our mutual corporeal
existence, even if we didn't get to talk much. Was blessed with a kiss from
Carla, who ended up with my handleless cup in the great exchange - more
than enough to make a guy wish that life had rewind and replay buttons.

I did feel a bit sheepish about having titled my slide talk "Woodfire for
the New Millennium." Having written the proposal in heat of last year's
meeting, the title seemed way overblown when I saw it in black and white in
the printed program this year. I hope that I will be forgiven that measure
of hyperbole - I've been helping folks build these kilns for the last ten
years or so (Clayart old-timers may remember a long post I made from
Australia in 1993 on the same subject), and this seemed like a good
opportunity to get the design into public forum to see if it would stand on
it's own. It was also my chance to explain it's genesis and give some
credit where credit was due for the help that I have received along the
way. I have to say that the response was overwhelming. I had envisioned a
classroom setting with about 35 or at most 50 in the audience, that
estimate was off by at least a factor of ten. Even better plans are slated
to appear in the NCECA journal and elsewhere, but to anyone in a great
hurry, I'll extend the offer to the clayart community that I made in
Columbus - send me a SASE and I'll be glad to provide a copy of the simple
drawings that I had with me at the conference.



John Neely
Department of Art
Utah State University
Logan, UT 84322-4000