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nceca view from a newbie

updated tue 20 mar 07


pam blessinger on mon 19 mar 07

This is a personal journal, just my opinions of the events.

WOW!! When I walked into the Clayart room at 5 pm on Wed., there were about 20 people sitting around tables. I walked in and said my name, and almost everyone said hello. There was a table of ladies with boas on, and I joined them--pulling out my knitted scarf, which was my boa imitator. A few minutes later Logan arrived. Boy is she a blndle of joy..she had taken on the job of getting shirts made for any takers. All the buyers were aware that she had a surporse for Mel--under the CLayart logo was the line"Mel speaks--clay trembles".
Mel was quite surprised about the well deserved tribute, and I think he actually blushed.

I was amazed how friendly everyone wasand easily made dinner plans. The next day was off to the convention center where Marcis Selsor and Stephanie Stephenson gave a great talk on Mosaic tiles. It was fascinating to see how complex these designs really are. Stephanie had the priviledge of meeting a man who is tiling his whole house. He has been working on it for 16 years, and its outrageous.

I stopped in the display room where hundreds ofpeople were watching three demonstrators on large screens. I found this too confusing. It was very like like being at the circus, and having all three rings going. Who to watch?? Was a pressure that I would not shake.

When I went into the exhibit hall, there was a wonderful Korean potter dressed in navy blue pjs. He was terrific, centering 50 pounds of clay like it was a pound. He threw off the hump, and made it all look simple. I spend a great deal of time watching him, and he was very gracious and explained what he was doing as he went along. I'm sure as soon as I can find myself some navy blue pjs I'll throw just like him.

I had to tear myself away to go back to the Clay Art Room, because there was a paragon man deomostrating how to change elements. Having just spent a small fortune having my elements changed, I was very interested in learning how to do it myself. Of course I'm terrified of electricity, but happily there were a number of other potters who were in the same boat. What was especailly helpful were a few more experienced women who said it easy.
We all asked questions, held the pigtails, and generally became less intimated by the prospect of doing the job. It was wonderful. I wish I remembered his name.

At about 5 pm this day, the room was filling up. It was great. People brought food to share, and some brought little treasures. I think it was Lois, who made a number of little bats with magnets on them. I was lucky enough to get one. Someone else had made a number of stamps, and I scouffed one of those up too. I had a number of chocolate covered pretzels.

Later that afternoon, John Hesselberth, Lisa Skeen, and someone else did a lecture on how your slides should look. Lisa had asked people to send her 3 examples, and I had. God they looked awful. Luckily, the critiques were anonymous, so no one really which ones were mine. But I learned a great deal, and with that knowledge and my blue pjs I'm ready to set the world on fire.

I want to thank Mel, and all the other Clayart worker bees who made the conference such a success.

The cup exchange was a little like Christmas morning! At one point about 40 people were holding their mugs up in the air, so the maker would find them. It was really good fun, and I got a treasure.

During the festivities, I met a number of wonderful people,. Wayne Seidl was a joy, as was Miriam Shilsmith. Friday night I was in the big group who went to Sooners. I sat near Elizabeth Prddy, Snail Scott, Lisa Sheen, Maysann, with Wayne, Ilene, and a large number of others.

All in all, NCECA was way more fun that I imagined. The clayart people were wonderful. I never heard a bitchy remark, or any gossip. Thank you all for being so kind to a newbie.

Hugs and Kisses from

Pam Blessinger
in Delaware

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