What a busy time it has been lately in our local clay community! But now that many of my colleagues have taken themselves down to Portland for this year’s NCECA Ceramic conference, and I try not to be too jealous of their adventures, I’ll post a blog or two about my experience at our own Clay Symposium.
I arrived at the Shadbolt Centre before 9am last Saturday and joined a long line-up of potters waiting to register. The day was very well attended I gather. Next step was to drop off my selected piece for the Ceramic Roadshow. I had no mugs available to donate for the Maureen Wright mug wall, and actually didn’t buy one there either this time. Instead I wandered outside to the Canadian version of NCECA’s Airstream, a smaller one which Robin and Eden Dupont and others had fixed up to be a travelling pottery gallery. There I selected a super mug, with a Winter tree, made by Fernie potter Sarah Pike and enjoyed using it all day.
Much as I did at the last Shadbolt Symposium I chose to spend my time listening to panels and talks rather than watching demonstrations. Luckily I had spent Thursday afternoon listening to Jason Walker and I had attended a Fraser Valley Potters’ Guild workshop with Ruthanne Tudball some years ago. So I popped in to check some demos but then chose to relax and watch the technology and clay panel moderated by Brendan Tang. Related to the symposium’s title this year ‘R:evolution’, this group discussed ‘CyberCraft: Ceramic Detours on the Information Superhighway’. Sunshine Cobb explained how the internet has played a huge part in her evolution as a successful clay artist, from crowd-funding to establish her well-appointed studio and home, to her ongoing use of social media to market her work.
StevenYoung Lee discussed his role as director of the Archie Bray Foundation, and Aaron Nelson explained how technology is an ongoing part of work at Medalta and in his own ceramic explorations. Later in the day I listened to further presentations of his technology research in his own illustrated talk.
But I found myself wanting to record Katrina Chaytor’s work. She has taken technological icons as decorative elements in her carefully designed and skilfully made creations. So my record of this panel discussion mainly features her work.