search  current discussion  categories  forms - misc 

mug exchange happening? -- explain?

updated wed 6 dec 06


Fred Parker on mon 4 dec 06

For those of us who are relatively new and have never attended NCECA or
participated in a mug exchange, could someone explain how the mug exchange

Many thanks,

Fred Parker

L. P. Skeen on mon 4 dec 06

Hello Fred and all other newbies:

There are two "thing" exchanges that happen in conjunction with
Clayart. The first and original one is the one that happens in the
Clayart room on Friday night at NCECA. The second is a stay-at-home
exchange for those of us who don't get to go to NCECA. Here are the

1. The NCECA "Thing" exchange -

It was and still is by some, called the "mug" exchange because it
started out as a mug exchange, but some people don't make mugs and got
offended thinking they had to make a mug in order to participate. Au
contraire! :) You do not have to make a mug, and you do not have to be
a Clay Expert to participate, although you will want to bring work that
represents your best effort. Make a clay object no larger than 9x9" and
place two of your business cards inside. Take ye olde object with you
to NCECA. When you get to the Clayart room, place said object on the
Exchange Table. (You will recognize said table by the abundance of clay
objects thereupon, unless you are the first to arrive...) Over the next
couple of days, more and more objects will arrive, and much oohing and
aahing will ensue. On Friday night, everyone who is participating
gathers in the Clayart room. The first one of these I attended, one of
the business cards in your object was placed in a box, and then drawn by
a person in line to be retrieved by one of the Mugettes (one of the
organizers), but I don't think they do it that way any more; I think
each participant gets a ticket of some kind now. In any case, each clay
thing is placed in a paper bag and each participant picks a paper bag.
No looking! Once you have your bag you can't trade it in again. So
then there's lots of talking, squealing ("O LOOKY, I GOT MEL's MUG!!!"
or similar), Pirate wenches, etc. If you don't know the person whose
object you got, then you hold it up in the air for recognition by its
maker, at which point then you get to meet the maker of the object, thus
meeting in person a Clayarter you might not have met before. All in
all, it's mucho fun!

2. The Stay At Home exchange was first organized around 5 years ago (?)
as a perk for those not attending NCECA. The responsibility for the
exchange has shifted from the original volunteer to another volunteer -
I can't remember who did it last year and I don't know who's going to do
it this year, as they have not announced themselves yet. Anyway. This
exchange is usually only open to those NOT attending NCECA. You send
your name and address to the organizer. She/he sends you the name of
another participant, and you send your pot to the other participant in
the mail. Not as time consuming and exciting as the in-person exchange,
but fun, nonetheless.

SO, I hope now you have some idea of what the exchange is all about, and
will plan now to participate.


Fred Parker wrote:
> For those of us who are relatively new and have never attended NCECA or
> participated in a mug exchange, could someone explain how the mug exchange
> works?
> Many thanks,
> Fred Parker

Graham Mercer on tue 5 dec 06

Hi Fred and others,

In addition to Lisa's summary I will offer the following to hopefully entice
participation in the "Stay at Home Clay Exchange" if there is one next year.
As Lisa says it has been running for a number of years and is great fun. I
have participated for the last four years, in fact Lisa was my first ever
exchange buddy!
Chris Schafale has been kind enough to maintain a page on her website which
shows the pieces that have been exchanged each year. You can view the 2006
offerings at
If you are not going to NCECA this is a great way to be part of the
worldwide clay community here at Clayart. There is DEFINITELY no
expectations or 'minimum skills' requirements, this exchange is open to
anybody interested in being part of it, so get involved and have some fun.
Here's hoping that Chris or someone else will be prepared to carry on the
tradition and arrange an exchange for 2007.
Melbourne, Australia