Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Scholastic Art Awards

Last Month I took part in the jury for the Scholastic Art Awards. I felt honored to sit on the 3D jury, mostly because I had received three gold key awards when I was in high school over 30 years ago. This year was the first year that the artwork was chosen from all digital images ...quite hard for 3D, since you can't get the best view of the pieces. On the jury for last years awards, we made our selections from the actual art work. To see the pieces them self, you can get a better idea of technique, scale, and details. Digital/slide images are subject to the additional hurtle of the photographers skill...or lack of. I won't be showing you any of my early slide photos...! (it took me several years and dozens of rolls) and learning that the right pro can do a better job than I.
...but I digress.

I started thinking about my home town high school art class, and wondered what's happen there. It looks like the next generation has taken over, and all is well with a new art teacher getting her students involved in community art projects...score one for the A-TEAM.

Here is a photo of one of the pieces that I received a Scholastic Art Awards Gold Key for, in 1977...! On exhibit in the permanent collection of...MAMA...(not to be confused with MOMA)...to the left is a photo of me...working on another piece that same year.

We're planning a trip to Seagrove in March...maybe I'll go back to see what the old home town classroom looks like these days... IF...they let me through the door...!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

In The Service Of Others

Now for a few words about working for other potters...

I have spent a large amount of my time at the wheel, making thousands of pots for other potters...some days painful, most of the time, a pure joy. I started throwing professionally, in Wilmington, NC, at a pig bank factory that evolved into a dinnerware production studio. I got to work out a design for a casserole form there, that I still make for myself. A couple years later, I made pots for Lanney Pelletier, a potter in Emerald Isle, NC...around the same time I was also working for another potter in Bayboro, before heading to Seagrove, NC, to make pots for a few folks up there....Turn n' Burn, Holly Hill Pottery, Tom Gray Pottery, Wild Rose Pottery, and Dirtworks.

And...then there are the nine years that I was a full time potter at Salmon Falls Stoneware, a factory in Dover, NH, that makes utilitarian Salt Glazed Stoneware styled after 19th century New England Pottery. I have made pots for SFS off and on for the last 10 years. I think that I can make pots for other potters because the thing I like most about being a potter, is touching clay...and production pottery is all about that, over and over again...thousand of pounds of clay, touching hundreds of pots... watching them appear in front of me filling my ware boards, loading my ware racks....seeing them on shelves in the retail shop...And getting paid weekly(I really like that part).
Yes...I am getting myself all worked up...gotta go...the clay is calling. Porcelain today...yum...