[Clayart] nceca stories/long

tony clennell smokieclennell at gmail.com
Tue Mar 25 16:06:53 EDT 2014

I guess since it was me who was asked to address the question of "Where
have all the potter's gone" I had better weigh in.
A brief precis of what I said-
I paid tribute to the Unknown potters that are unable to afford travel,
luxury hotel rooms, and $8 whiskies.
The best pots in my brief 62 history are being made today.  I am always
humbled by the quality of the work I see at NCECA. (And for the record I am
not going to butter up folks and say they are the ones from electric kilns
and two car garages- that is simply patronizing)
I changed my talk a couple of times cause there has been so much change in
the past 10 years. Here are some facts that I presented
1,000,000 lbs of B-mix alone are being produced per month by Laguna. That
is a lot of clay being used somewhere.
The average annual household income of subscribers to CM earn in excess of
$100,000 per year. If you asked what their annual pottery income was it
would be embarrassingly low. Certainly not enough to raise a family on.
A strong foundation in ceramics is what you build a career on. People are
being taught to make pots from the shoulders up. Too much thinking and not
enough grunt work.
I ended by telling young people to move to Detroit. A collector I met at
Ron Meyer's house said he knew of potters that bought a home in Uptown,
Motown for $500. Craft has always been subsidized by those of us that do
it. If it were easy everyone would be doing it. The smart ones keep their
jobs with a steady paycheque and benefits and do it later in life and then
call themselves potters. I wasn't that smart!
I no longer call myself a potter since I can't sustain myself solely on my
pots. I do other clay related activities that allow me to still hang out in
the clay community.
I take exception to bashing Lisa Hammond for putting her charitable cause
forward. She came across the puddle and paid all her own expenses to better
the cause. That is called putting your money where your mouth is.
She is the real deal and one of the world's best potters functioning on a
level most of us will never reach.
There has been some good dialog on FB as a result of my blog postings. I
wish that dialoque would have surfaced at the panel and on Clayart.
 It may be a good question to ask of Clayart- Where have all the potters on
Clayart gone? Many of you know where!
ciao for now.

On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 11:17 AM, Taylor Hendrix <wirerabbit2 at gmail.com>wrote:

> I think that many of us have already been looking past NCECA and certain
> academic clay programs for some time. Not that we don't engage with these
> foregrounded things--they are an important part of who we are right
> now--but we are beginning to crane our necks around such things to catch a
> glimpse of something very interesting cresting the hill just there. Still
> too far away to say exactly what it is, but it's coming. I can feel it.
> As for me, I'm in clay for the long haul no matter what comes. Let's not be
> afraid that the nexus of clay may be decentralizing, becoming more diverse
> or that markets dry up. Let's keep making and trust that folks will always
> respond positively to things well made.
> Can I get an Amen?
> Taylor, in Rockport TX
> wirerabbit1 on Skype (-0600 UTC)
> http://wirerabbit.blogspot.com
> http://wirerabbitpots.blogspot.com
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/wirerabbit/
> https://youtube.com/thewirerabbit
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