[Clayart] nceca stories/long

Arthur Lee arlee34224 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 25 10:40:52 EDT 2014

Mostly, I agree with Mel's  assessment. Where I differ is regarding the
English gal's "cause. " What she is trying to do is gather up grant money
to make it easier for potters to take on apprentices by supplementing the
apprentices' wages. It's a modest project - and I'm not at all sure it
would be to the taste of Americans - but in England, where they are pushing
a revival of apprenticeships in all sorts of fields, it makes sense and
deserves encouragement. Here, I suspect we would need more of a sense of
the importance of our craft (less of a sense that it's a "nice hobby") and
more of a sense of all of us working together and helping each other in a
common enterprise.
And now, I suppose, I'm wondering how we can accomplish that.
Wondering while waiting for my flight back home,
Arthur Lee
Englewood, Florida
 On Mar 25, 2014 8:07 AM, "mel jacobson" <melpots2 at visi.com> wrote:

> nceca is an event.  it has its own life and it rolls
> along year after year.
> this year it was very evident.  all the old icons are gone.
> gone for good.  no warren, don reitz, soldner being goofey.
> the glory years are past us right now.  like most craft things...
> things are changing.  it is no longer filled with famous people.
> we are in a time of declining attendance....it is just a fact.
> expenses are horrific.
> by the time you buy your airfare, have sticker shock on hotels,
> many are looking at a thousand dollar week.  even breakfast costs
> twenty bucks a pop.
> only those that can afford it...go.
> it is no longer a whim...`hey, lets go to nceca, get the gang`.
> it is also a fact that many colleges are no longer giving
> a full ride to the faculty for nceca.
> about half the vendors are showing.  and, they all have
> one booth, not two or three.
> if you want to meet friends, the vendors hall is the place.
> yet, that was never crowded.  i worked with arnold some to give him
> a break,
> help him out.  i saw everyone.  they all pass the paragon booth.
> the nceca staff is hard at work.  they plan and do what they can
> to make a great conference.  it is up to the locals to put on the show.
> the board is very pro education.  they want the conference to shine
> to mission.  i am very pleased with their direction.  clayart is pleased
> to be a communication arm for the board.  they do a great job.
> concept art rules.  it is all you see.  over and over the same old
> tired images. it is very boring to me.
> the museum was a total delight.  the show was `oh hum`.
> the clayart room now is a 9-5 thing.  i met many people there.
> i was a bit more busy this year with the eulogy to nils etc...and helping
> in the booth.  but, i saw many clayarters in the room.
> no phil, the mugs are great.  it was a great mug exchange.  improvement on
> all fronts.  we had a full house on friday morning in the clayart room.
> near
> a hundred in and out.  about 75 mugs...and that is standard.
> with the many tours, folks sure were on the run.  and, the clayart room
> was a good deal away from the main center of the convention center.
> you had to make a mission to get there.  but, we are delighted to have
> it.  it works for what is intended...`hey, let's meet in the clayart room
> and gather some folks for lunch.`
> the speeches and stuff are sort of the same.  concept/academic.
> not much new for me.  for a prof giving a lecture at nceca it is a big
> deal.  so..they vie for them.  they often do not meet the standard
> of the billing.
> the `where have all the potters gone` was interesting...it identified
> the problem...but few answers to cure the problem.
> the woman from england was almost impossible to understand, and she
> pimped us to send money for her `cause`.  not good.  as usual, we know
> the problem, tell us how to cure it.  many would have been thrilled to have
> colleen tell us how she sells thousands of dollars of pots a year from the
> restaurant where she works.  she has a clue at least.
> she said...` i know dedication, hard work, skill and passion....but, how
> do they make money?`
> i am willing to bet folks would have listened if i had told them about the
> 50 mile circle, and how i work it.  ( i have a show at a local church for
> may and june.  not fancy, but in my wheel house.  it will get me more
> sales than a show in new york.  paintings and pots...and i will sell
> paintings.
> all colleen's college friends talk and talk about galleries.  she says
> `not a
> chance for any of them`.  she just hustles her pots, and sells all.
>  function.
> who can buy a board full of skulls?  but, so gutsy. hmmmm.
> as many have said here on clayart...academic clay is in a death
> spiral.  and those that are dead, do not know it yet.  college programs
> are like car crashes..just one at a time.  we ignore it.
> i gal told me she has four gas kilns from the university of texas.  a gift
> to her high school.  they don't need them....i wonder why?
> when the cuts come, it is always the same...clay first, then academic
> drawing,
> then music, then something else.  the big boys do not get cut.  we all know
> the drill...we have lived it.
> there will be a need for hand made things.  it still is viable.  we just
> have
> to work it hard.  make a difference.  get after it.  it does not sell
> itself.
> art fairs are dead meat.  we need new ideas and cooperation among
> crafts people.  that should be a main theme of nceca.
> `why are we dead???`  i know that colleen and mel are not dead.
> we are busy, making and selling pots.  we are in charge of our own
> destiny.
> mel
> from: minnetonka, mn
> website: http://www.visi.com/~melpots/
>  clayart link:  http://www.visi.com/~melpots/clayart.html
> new book: http://www.21stcenturykilns.com
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