In March, I went to the annual NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) convention in Minneapolis. Land of the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Warren McKenzie. I found inspiration traveling by bus through the Upper St Croix River Valley, visiting the studios of Matthew Krousey, Will Swanson, Janel Jacobson, and Linda Christianson(one of the guest artists in our pitcher show). The numerous gallery exhibitions offered drool-worthy and jaw-dropping examples of what ceramics has to offer, I even had the great pleasure of seeing my own work in an NCECA sponsored exhibition, "You've Been Served" organized by Clay Arts Vegas and the University of North Dakota ceramics department. The vast array of studio tools in the expo hall is overwhelming and covet-worthy. All in all it's a highly stimulating and overwhelming experience, brought to its apex by the community of people that readily embraces each other. I feel fortunate to have found myself in this tribe of clay people, who understand the struggles and triumphs and why we keep repeating the madness that is ceramics. This, my 5th NCECA, did not disappoint when it came to the people. It strengthened existing friendships and built new ones, and was just what this working potter/gallery owner needed to energize herself for the coming year, both in the studio and the gallery.
So much fun to be far from home, yet running into familiar faces everywhere!
From second photo on down: Irene Lawson, Heather Hitt, Amy Song, Simon Levin, Meredith Chernick, Sarah Bak, Linda Christianson; Andrew & Quinn from Clay Art Center, Ken Turner, Valeri Aleksandrov & Sean Roberts of Forest Ceramic Co., Stephen Robison, Amanda Salov; the ol' Pottery Northwest Crew: Ellie Weber, James Lobb, Amanda Barr, Coleton Lunt & Chase Lilleholm.
Less than a year until we do it again!
In February we had the joyful experience of partnering with the Washington Clay Arts Association for our 2nd Annual Juried Teapot Show. This year's juror was celebrated ceramic artist, Ken Turner, from Seattle. Ken did a splendid and thoughtful job selecting pots to include in the show, as well as determining his favorite. It was an educational and entertaining process for me to watch him handle each pot before he selected the one that met or exceeded his expectations, and that teapot was made by Reid Ozaki, of Tacoma, WA.
50 years is quite the milestone for a small business. While I have not been the owner all that time, this is my tenth year working here. I treasure this place, and recognize the importance of its legacy. In the coming year I will gather and share historical stories and memorabilia, while simultaneously continuing the evolution of Good Earth Pottery. I hope you'll join me on the journey!