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learning to make pots at nceca(rambles)

updated sat 18 mar 06


mel jacobson on fri 17 mar 06

i have to side with tony on this one.

nceca for many is a just a great break, see friends, have
fun and be around other folks that think the way you do.
if you have the cash, want some fun...go.

i just like clay people...anyone that makes stuff from clay.
they make me smile and feel good.

but, i don't go to nceca to be influenced in my work, or change
my politics.
i may show my work, i may look at work.
but i don't come home all jazzzed to make a new line.

if i had that thought i would probably reject it as a
`frivolous moment`.

that comes from back breaking study at home.
as i have said a thousand times.
600 pots in a series.
just idea. work.
then fire them. then 600 more.
it is never fun, or easy. but, the rewards come
with the solving of problems. as it should be.

joe has a new idea with copper. i imagine i will get
cookin with that this summer. he does get excited.
we have a new wood kiln that needs pots. so, that too.
always something....but, interesting. i am thinking big slab
forms on plaster. landscape images. we will see. have to get
a truck load of good grog. man, those slabs have to be able
to take a lot of stress.

i love to see the success that others are having. i love to
see friends growing and moving forward. i smiled when connie christenson
showed me her new green glaze...a step away from her great shino.
she has to grow and change. she will. does not mean she ends her
series, just adds to it. she will never be a `one note song`.
now sandy miller will be seeing her pots coming back at her in the
next few shows....and she will wonder, `what next for me?`
and of course, magazine covers, articles, they are fun, but they add a level
of pressure...and if one is not careful, big time pressure. start running
with the big dogs is not always easy. i try to avoid that crap.
i still make my pots, when i want to make my pots. if you don't like someone else's. same with paintings. i just do my thing.
age helps. pleasing `self` is always the first step in art.

it is like being `homecoming queen`. if you have a bad day, kids will
think you are snooty, if you are just plain nice, kids say you are just
sucking up. often you cannot win. so you wear makeup even to
get the paper at 6 a.m. 50 years later, they still call you
`queen`...(not you wayne.) not good. pressure. not needed.
one has to be true to self... always, in art/craft. as i said
the other day...i see maybe one or two pots at nceca that shake
my tree. this year is was a craig martell teabowl. but, then i expect
that from him. he is a terrific potter. he knows blue celedon.
i have one right here, next to me. damn fine work. a humble, quiet
guy, working his tail off. no big changes from year to year...just
quality work. and he shares what he knows here on clayart. and
don't we all smile when we see the wendt's. nice team. great people.
and michael has an idea a minute. brings a ton of stuff to give away,
and his excitement just bubbles over. that perfect combination
of engineer, chemist, and artist potter. but, does he love `systems`.

nceca is many things to many people. some grandstand, just want to
be seen. some come to sell. some just want to be around.
some want to be with great friends...and many come looking for
ideas. as it should be.
for me, it is still the clayart gang. being close, touch them, be
a real person, not an email address in fog. add twenty new faces to
my list of friends. real people. it helps me understand this list, just a
bit better.
if i could not meet folks for real, i would be out of this chair tomorrow..for

"Luck is prepaid."
from: mel/