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updated thu 24 mar 05


Jeremy/Bonnie Hellman on wed 23 mar 05

Hi Clayarters,

When I plan to attend NCECA I approach it the same way I buy a cookbook.
When I buy a cookbook, I'm happy if I find one or two great recipes inside.
If I find a discussion that changes my approach to cooking, then I've
gotten a windfall.

Even if I'm not overly excited by the printed topics and/or speakers, if I
gain a few insights while I'm at NCECA, it was a worthwhile event for
ceramics. More often than not, I don't even know which things I've heard
will have long range implications for my work until long afterwards. More
often than not, it is something someone (often a clayarter) says that is
significant to me, and Baltimore was no exception.

It is rare that I've attended any of the 5 other NCECAs where I was
enormously excited by the planned topics. However, at various times during
all 6 NCECAs, clayart people have said that this or that speaker was
excellent, or that one of the topics should be very interesting, and they
were right.

However, for me NCECA is all about the people. These days we have quite a
few excellent books and videos on all aspects of clay. I can read these and
see these whenever the time is right for me. What I can't do, as someone
in a group studio or in an academic setting, is interact with other clay
people, most of them far more knowledgeable than I. It's even better when I
know these people ahead of time so I have some idea of their perspective
from things they've written or said.

I loved the Baltimore NCECA. It is a vibrant, exciting event for me because
of the people, because of the clayart people as well as the ceramics. I
heard some talks that were on topic for my current interests.

Baltimore seemed to have far fewer presentations by ceramic artists talking
about ceramics. Ron Roy was one of the few exceptions, and his presentation
was excellent. Other big name ceramics people talked about writing, getting
into print, other artists, and similar topics and those talks were
good. IMHO there were too many talks by art historians whose primary
interest is not ceramics and art critics whose primary interst is not
ceramics. In general there was a lot of philosophy presented.

However NCECA for me is really about the people, and so many of those
wonderful people are clayarters.

I'm really happy to have been able to attend, and I look forward to next
year after I come down from the emotional high of this year's NCECA.


Ken Nowicki on wed 23 mar 05

In a message dated 3/23/2005, mou10man@FRONTIER.NET writes:
However, for me NCECA is all about the people.

Bonnie... you hit the nail on the head on this one. I wholeheartedly agree!

- Ken

Ken Nowicki
Port Washington, NY
Potters Council - Charter Member