It's official, I have made the decision to come to North Carolina to the "Clay and Blogs: Telling a Story" exhibition at the Arts Council of Moore County, Campbell House Gallery, at Southern Pines, NC.
A Great Idea
The exhibition will be featuring the work of potters that blog, and I think that about 50 of us from around the world will be taking part. Meredith Heywood, of Whynot Pottery came up with the idea for the exhibition, and the good people of the Arts Council of Moore County have added their enthusiastic support.
I think that the exhibition is a great idea and it reflects very much how technology has made a difference in our lives, sometimes for the better! Times have changed, few potters work with other potters in a studio as they might once have done. There is a very real danger that the relative isolation of so many potters could lead to a loss of skills, and a smallness of vision. For some of us, the blog has become like an extension to the studio, that lets others in, and some light and human warmth too. It is a place to share ideas, learn from others, and give something back. I have been blogging for over a year now, and I have learned so much from others, and have hugely appreciated the kindness, friendship, and support that people have given me.
Persian bowls from a long, long time ago with animals that remind me of the lovely Lascaux cave paintings.
A real pleasure I have is that it is not just potters that read this site, or who leave comments. I love being able to share some of the "how to" information with people who haven't been behind the scenes at a potter's workshop.
I had the joy once of demonstrating how I make pots on the wheel to an elderly retired Minister. I remember the look of wonder and the delight on his face as he saw the lump of clay rise and take shape in my hands. There are so many references in the Bible to the Potter and the clay, and the Minister would no doubt have referred to them in the sermons that he preached, but this was the first time that the he had actually seen a pot take shape on a wheel, and he was quite moved by it. Me too!
Just the other day, a little boy visited the studio, and I threw a small bowl on the wheel. He glowed with excitement, and cried out... "it's magic!" It is, and it is good to be able to spread some of that magic further through the blog.
In a Tangle
Having made the decision to travel to the show, I am now in the tangle of applying for a passport, booking air tickets, worrying about driving on the "wrong" side of the road, and struggling to sort out the best options for accommodation, and travel. It is one thing to decide that there might be just about enough money to purchase a passport and an air ticket, but quite another to pay for a roof over the head for a couple of weeks or so whilst in another country. So.... if you can point me in the direction of something really cheap to rent (without too many snakes, bears, or other things that might eat me..) , I would much appreciate it. I would love to meet other potters too and learn as much as I can whilst I am over. I am quite good at mopping studio floors!
This reminds me of the form of some lovely bowls that Jim Gottuso made recently. He posted a photo on his July 9 post. I love the way the bowl lifts gently to its widest point, and then rises and slightly tips in at the top.
I say programme, you say program
Many years ago we spent the night in a low cost hotel in Christchurch, where all the guests shared the TV lounge. Some American tourists staying there asked me if we had some sort of cable or satellite TV from the States playing. We had so many programmes, sorry... programs, from America on that evening, that they genuinely thought that cable must be the explanation. In fact, New Zealand gets so much of its Television content from America, that our language is changing and adapting. Music that young people listen to also has a big influence of course. Taxis have become cabs, camper vans are making way for RVs in our car sales yards, and terms have been replaced by semesters at university. When food is placed before you at a cafe you are commanded to "Enjoy". If, and miracles do happen occasionally, you actually do enjoy the meal, and pay a complement to the "Wait Staff" as they are now titled, they will respond, "You're Welcome!"
There is nothing wrong with "You're Welcome!" but it is not quite the NZ way. It has a generic, learned at charm school, feel to it that makes me a tiny bit uncomfortable. I am trying hard to think back to what words might have been said if you had thanked someone at a cafe 30 years ago for a particularly fine serving of mince on toast. I think it is likely that the Wait Person would have reddened slightly with shyness, and muttered, "Yer, um.. thanks mate, I'll tell the misses!"
Nearly, but not quite!
It is when attempting to find out about camping grounds, car hire, motels, inns, and B&Bs that you discover that, "Americanized" as our NZ English seems to be, our usage of language is still not quite the same and this can mess with Google and make searching more difficult. You really have got to know the right words to ask Google in order to find out useful information, and it also helps to know where things are, geographically speaking. A list of Cities, small towns, lakes, roads, and villages, needs to be kept handy to the keyboard whilst investigating motel chains. I have been printing out a pile of maps, courtesy of Google Maps, and the cat has been busily randomizing them in various corners of the room.
At this time we are not certain if I will be coming on my own, or if Laura will come with me. It is most likely just me, but.... we will have to see!
To be quite honest with you, I was not absolutely sure what an RV was, I kept finding RV parks mentioned on the Net, I sorta knew... but....., so I looked them up.
Wikipedia: Recreational Vehicle
"In North America, the term recreational vehicle and its abbreviation RV are generally used to refer to a vehicle equipped with living space and amenities found in a home. A recreational vehicle normally includes a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom and a living room. In other countries the terms caravan or camper van are more common, and the vehicles themselves vary, typically being smaller than in North America."