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midnight musing on nceca

updated tue 26 mar 02


k. sam miller on mon 25 mar 02

Well, it's into the twilight hours here in Dallas & my dang allergy
medicine has me wide awake! After several days of pondering what kind of
inspiration I brought back from NCECA, I think that I can finally verbalize
the impact.

Quick intro since many newer list members may have missed my original
opening lines. I've been a Clayarter for over a year now, but am an
infrequent poster (usually keeping quiet & soaking it all in until someone
prods me into activity - thanks, Mel ;*) ). My work is mostly
sculptural, though I avidly collect vessels, teabowls, etc., and love the
idea of bringing art into everyday living. I am also a book fiend and love
gaining inspiration from viewing other's work. I guess I'm a "dabbler"
since I'm an Engineer by day & an artist by night.

This was my first NCECA. It was everything that I had hoped for -
almost. Tons of great art, opportunities to meet the living legends in our
field, and great vendor exhibits to shop. The thing that was missing for
me was the opportunity to have dialog about my work. I didn't come
prepared. Only had impromptu pix of most of my work. Finally forced poor
Ken Nowicki to flip through those pix in the Clayart room towards the end
of the conference (Thanks for the encouragement, Ken).

I guess what I'm getting at is that I realized just how important those
slides are in facilitating a dialog about one's work. Unless you have your
slides prepared so that they seamlessly offer up your work to the viewer,
you are destined to talk about slide critiques rather than the work
itself. Good lesson! I'm motivated to get slides shot now because I'm
ready to start sharing my work.

The other interesting thing about NCECA is that I didn't feel COMPLETELY
blown away by the work I saw in the galleries. Now this doesn't mean that
I didn't like or appreciate the work or that it wasn't inspirational. It
just didn't have me in awe. The only reason that I can think that this was
the case is the fact that I'm such a book hound. I buy any book on ceramic
arts that I can get my hands on. I had already seen pictures of many of
the better known pieces in the galleries. Or I had visited the gallery's

At first I was concerned that I wasn't dumbstruck by the quantity & quality
of the exhibits, fearing that I had not received any creative inspiration
from the trip; but I have seen a new idea - a new technique - germinate
since returning from KC, and it has me excited. I can feel the opportunity
to build a body of work around this technique.

So NCECA's influence on me as an artist was subtle but persistant!

Finally I regret that I didn't spend more time at the lectures/demos & in
the Clayart room. I came with friends, and we spent a lot of our time
trying to get to all 60+ galleries (and still only made about one third of
them). In retrospect, I think that spending more time interacting with
other artists would have left me more inspired than checking out all the
work in the galleries. Lessons learned for San Diego!!

Thanks for listening to my "trip report"!!

'Nite from Sam in Dallas