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minnetonka 2007/nceca comments - huh?

updated mon 21 mar 05


Vince Pitelka on sun 20 mar 05

> nceca as an entity was rather vanilla.
> i had about 378 comments like.
> `nothing for me as a working potter`.
> `it was a fake philosophy conference
> from a grad student in the bwi airport.
> `hell, not a thing for me, i wonder if anyone
> in nceca fires a kiln, or makes a pot?

Mel -
There's a block of Clayart posts that I didn't receive today, apparently
including your orginal, but I saw the above comments repeated in Tony's
post. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I've got to write again
about this. All week I have been thinking about how much I would love to be
up there with all of you at NCECA. You are always a big part of that, Mel,
with your generous, gregarious, all-encompassing hospitality and your wealth
of knowledge. But the above bugs the hell out of me. No, I wasn't at the
conference and I didn't attend the presentations and demos, but I look
through the conference program, and my god there are so many I would have
loved to attend. Among the presenters are the names of so many amazing
potters who I respect and admire.

I'm starting to sense a tone of Clayart feeling marginalized by NCECA.
That's bullshit. In addition to the wonderful comraderie of Clayart, there
are a zillion great reasons to attend NCECA, and if the Clayart membership
sees some lacking in the presentation, let's become more proactive and help
steer NCECA. That possibility is open to anyone on Clayart.

NCECA is THE national American organization for clay. It is an amazing
organization, and the conference is always a phenomenal experience, even
without Clayart. Anyone who felt otherwise about Baltimore missed their
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee Technological University
Smithville TN 37166, 615/597-6801 x111,

URL Krueger on sun 20 mar 05

Vince, ( Mel, Potters Council,

If I may butt in here with a thought or two.

(Caveat; I've never been to a NCECA conference, or the
Clayart room nor was I able to attend the workshop in
Mendicino, so I'm speaking only from what I've read on
Clayart. I am planning on being in Portland next year so
after that maybe I will have a more valid opinion.)

From the postings made on Clayart the month or so prior to
the NCECA conference I tend to think many people's prime
motivation for going to the conference is for the social
interactions with like minded folks, rather than the formal
presentations. This year I remember many posts about
T-shirts, what to wear (boas or not), what kind of food to
bring/order and how to handle the mug exchange. I also
remember just a single post, with no responses, asking for
advice on which presentations to attend.

Even though I live in an area where there are more than a
few potters I have had virtually no interaction with them
at all. As opposed to you Vince, the people I interact
with on a regular basis would most likely think a shino was
the same as shinola, or a tenmoku was ten monkeys sitting
in a row. In order to grow, pottery wise, I recognize that
I need to be able to stand face to face with someone and
discuss what makes a good pot good. For that reason I'm
looking forward to Portland and the Clayart room next

But, I am also interested in attending formal presentations,
if they are relevant. What I am not interested in is
attending presentations given in Art Speak with
metaphorical allusions that can only be seen from within
the "Artist's" mind or arcane research reports given only
to allow someone to obtain their advanced degree.

So, if you had two conferences (NCECA and Clayart) at the
same time at different locations there is no doubt in my
mind that I would choose the one given by Clayart. You,
Vince, as an educator may choose NCECA which would probably
be more relevant to your vocation.

Perhaps the issue is that NCECA has grown so large that it
attracts two somewhat diverse audiences. Perhaps it is
time for Clayart to split from NCECA. Let NCECA do what
they do best and let Clayart do what they do best.


Earl Krueger
Bothell WA, USA