[Clayart] About writing clay books
sumi at herwheel.com
Wed Feb 15 18:18:15 UTC 2023
I guess I could chime in, having just turned in my third book to the
publisher. It should be published by Christmas.
It's certainly not about making money. I write because I feel like if I
spend my life soaking up knowledge about working with clay, it would be
a shame to just lose it when I'm gone without passing it on. I can teach
maybe 12 people in person at once, or hundreds if I write a book. I
started writing magazine articles 30 years ago and I've written dozens
of them. You get some money, and then you have a cool handout for your
students, or to share with people on Facebook. A book is a LOT more work
than magazine articles, but it becomes a resource when you're done. I
refer to my books all the time.
I taught a few workshops after writing my previous books but not a lot.
Probably I could have done more to sell myself but I was teaching full
time already and trying to produce pottery for sale so I really didn't
have time or energy to do more.
> Hi Paul -
> You said, "The real reward is in passing on a helpful body of information and seeing what other people do with that."
> Boy, is that ever a loaded statement, and really at the foundation of teaching. Anyone setting out to become a teacher in any subject at any level needs to consider whether they believe that statement with their heart and soul, because if they don't, then they need to find a different line of work. Grooming a student over a period of years and seeing them evolve into a capable, productive ceramic artist is the most satisfying thing I have ever done in my life.
> But in terms of immediate gratification, WORKSHOPS! I don't do as many as I once did, and I'm not doing any until were all pretty sure that Covid is much less of a threat. But seeing what can be accomplished in a five-day workshop is among the most exciting things I have ever done.
> - Vince
> Vince Pitelka
> Potter, Writer, Teacher
> Chapel Hill, NC
> vpitelka at dtccom.net
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Clayart <clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com> On Behalf Of Paul Lewing
> Sent: Monday, February 13, 2023 9:50 PM
> To: Clayart international pottery discussion forum <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>
> Subject: Re: [Clayart] About writing clay books
> I was out of town when this thread really started, so I’m not sure if I’m commenting on what it was really originally about or not. But I did see Vince’s post about his experience of writing a book, and his saying that Mel had said that no one writes a ceramics book, or really any text book, to make money.
> I made a fair amount of money the first year my book came out, but it’s of course declined every year since. And I got to do a lot of workshops as a result of writing it, but no one does that to make money either. You don’t if you count the time for either of those things. I spent pretty much all my spare time for 3 1/2 years to write my book.
> When ACerS first asked me to write a book, my thought was that that would be a great thing to have done, but not a great thing to do. I was really right about that.
> I would also say that one of the hardest parts of writing a ceramics book is finding a topic or an angle that isn’t been covered extensively already. Vince did that. But no one needs another book on surface decoration or throwing.
> The real reward is in passing on a helpful body of information and seeing what other people do with that.
> Paul Lewing
> www.paullewingtile.com <http://www.paullewingtile.com/> www.paullewingart.com <http://www.paullewingart.com/>
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Sumi von Dassow
President, Beulah Valley Arts Council
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