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nceca: my cup runneth over

updated fri 1 apr 05


Alisa Clausen on thu 31 mar 05

Baltimore was the first NCECA I attended. In a way, I am glad that I =
had to wait so long. By now, I know so many Clayarters personally or by =
name, it was that much more fantastic to be a part of the Clayart crowd. =
After 4 years of writing and getting to know people by their areas of =
expertise, personal stories, their work, etc. it was more or less a =
family reunion. Great. I also met Clayarters who I did not know that =
well from list and made lightening fast friendships right there on site. =

I am sure that I did not experience 50% of all that was offered. =
However, I thought the event was an entirely positive experience. The =
combination of NCECA and Clayart is what made the conference both =
socially and educationally richer beyond my expectations. The sheer =
number of participants, all that was planned and offered, in reach of =
just one city, was a extraordinary experience for sure. I personally got =
a lot out of the Venders' Hall, where I met lots of people who are =
authors, experts, information fountains, and much more. I learned a lot =
about my extruders I never would have, without Baird's and Robison's =
demonstrations. The big screen demonstrations, with non less than Ann =
Linnemann, director of the International Ceramic Center - =
Guldagergaard, (my Danish ceramic sanctuary) was exciting to watch. I =
am admittedly more drawn to demonstrations than lectures, but some of =
the talks I attended were also interesting/educational. I felt proud =
that there was a delegation from little Denmark talking about their =
projects early Thursday morning. I saw some exhibitions and I =
particularly liked meeting a few of the ceramists that were represented =
in Alleghany Meadow's Art Stream. Great idea and project. The Clayart =
room in the evenings was very much looked forward to each day.

One of my observations that has influenced my greatly positive =
impressions of NCECA, was the amount of young people who attended. =
Students in the ceramic arts. It was a good feeling to see young =
people and think about the great opportunities they are being offered =
in ceramic programs all over the world. I admired them for their new =
energy and demonstrating their interest by attending the conference. =
Their youth influencing the future of the our ceramic society is a =
security for maintaining and developing the craft.
The other side of that equation is my admiration of all of the ceramic =
teachers who are dedicated to this future via their role as mentors for =
the younger generation.

If I had any feelings of anything other than happy for everything I =
could be a part of, it was only my sad thoughts about the =
circumstances that kept Steven and Jared from being there. I know we =
all share these feelings and have the Branfmans foremost in our thoughts =
and prayers.

For everyone I met and had a chance to get to know a bit better, thank =
you. I feel much more connected to our global community.

regards from Alisa in Denmark again.