Saturday, July 17, 2010

North Carolina here I/we come!

She was probably just yawning but....

I'm Traveling
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.

Sharing Magic!
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.

People in a bowl, they love each other, I am sure. A betrothal perhaps. A shared secret.

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!"

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!"

This is sooo beautiful.

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!

Post Script,
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."

The one and only Ginger.... What more can I say!!

*The Persian Bowls shown on this post are examples from the Otago Museum collection.


cookingwithgas said...

Peter it will be great to have you here!
I am going to see if I can work on a place for you to stay.
I have my thinking cap on now.
Love the interest this show has brought!

ang said...

nice one pete! enjoy the trip, i'm sure it will be a good one.. :)

Linda Starr said...

Oh Peter, that is wonderful news, I do hope Laura gets to come with you. If we don't get a small RV between now and then we may drive the bus up there, if we do there will be plenty of room in that "caravan" for more than us, but it will be bare bones and we will have to depend upon an RV park for facilities. We shall see.
I am barel awake, having awoke from a dream about driving our RV into a lake and having to swim out, probably shouldn't be telling you that. OH boy what a dream, more later.

Arkansas Patti said...

Wonderful news Peter. I am one of those non-potters but appreciaters who loves your blog as a learning tool but also for your beautiful work,photography and sense of humor.
I sure wish I lived closer for I know almost nothing about that part of the country. Hopefully I can make the trip to that area to say Hi and see your work up close.
Hope you love America but know America will love you.
Do hope Laura can come also.

Tracey Broome said...

Hi Peter: So glad to see that you are coming to NC! The cost of travel has certainly limited us this year, so I understand completely. Just a passport is $100 here. I do think if you can come from NZ that Ang could make it from Australia, how 'bout it Ang! I would be great if one of the inns near Seagrove could put up all of the out of town artists together and offer a potters discount!

Hannah said...

Oh blimey, off to look at how much a ticket would be. I think probably after my van splurge that an air ticket is out if the question but I will look.

ang said...

ha trace, i wish... unfortunately i didnt get the grant i was going for the show so i wont be able to this time.. :(

Armelle said...

Hi Peter,

Glad to know you will go to America and meet so many friends-potters, say them Hi......... from France.
When I went to Ireland, I felt as I returned back 30 years in the past and worried about driving in the "wrong" side of the road. In USA, I should probably feel as 30 years in the future and driving on the "right" side.
RV is not still in our vocabulary, we have camping-car, which is not a french word, we should say : "roulotte"or "carosse".
Wonderful photos of the cats and also of the Persians ceramics at the Otago museum.
Hope Laura will come with you, and what about the cats ?

Ron said...

Great news that you will be coming to NC Peter! I look forward to meeting you in person and I do hope Laura can come too.

Jewels said...

Hello Peter! Funny picture of Nigella Stopit - she looks like a scary Halloween cat in the photo. I think it is cool I had a part in naming her – makes me feel like a distant aunt. I am excited you are going to travel to North Carolina and meet everyone! It would be lovely to meet you and Laura! I won’t know until the last minute whether I can make it, but am thinking positive thoughts and saving up my pennies. It would be wonderful to see your work in person and buy a piece to remind me of you. There are so many excellent potters going I know I would spend lots and must save money for that as well. I hope you two are able to find a great deal on the plane tickets!

Angie said...

What an intresting post ...lots to read and gaze at ....and that tongue of Gingers is so long. Glad you will be making your trip and that you will have great fun while being inspired.

Judy Shreve said...

Peter - what great news that you are coming to the states! I hope to get to NC too -- won't it be wonderful for all of us to talk in person -- sure hope Laura can come too!

Christine H S said...

Going to North Carolina, how exciting is that! Brilliant that you are taking the plunge and going for it. Good luck with all the travel plans. Wish I could say I could come too. Actually I even think that my passport expired a few years ago, but reading about your trip I must at least show willing and get it renewed.
How beautiful are those Persian bowls, thanks for them and that New Zealand Kiwi fruit is some awesome beast!

Peter said...

Dear All,
Thank you so much for your lovely comments, and encouragement. I am also really touched that some of you are also thinking of coming up to the exhibition to say "Hi". I would so like to meet up with you, but also understand that costs and distances may make even the best plans wobble!

I'm struggling a bit today with passport forms and other bureaucracy, and a cold that is making me tired and muddle headed. I do want to thank you all very much though. I am sorry not to write to each of you individually this time, but you really mean a lot to me.
Kind Thoughts, P.

Kitty Shepherd said...

Great post Peter,
I am very impressed you are going to North Carolina, I admit I did look on Google maps to see exactly where it was and then I was none the wiser as to which airport one might alight at. I asked my sister who is a wanabe travel agent and she was very vague.

I have worked out it must be Columbia that you fly to. Am I right? Flights from Spain are double what they are form London interestingly, £350 return form London, but I can’t go I have to do the NZ trip before I do anything and visit my Dad. Good luck with your forms and bureaucracy!

By the way...Jessie is in love so verification vocabulary has taken a very back seat. And he is a fabulous chap...just what Mummy would have chosen!

Peter said...

Hi Kitty,
When are you coming to NZ, are you likely to get to Dunedin?? It would be so nice to see you.

I will have to fly to North Carolina by entering the States through LA, flying right over to Washington, then back and down to Raleigh in NC. I would suspect you would be able to get over to Washington from your side of the world and then straight to Raleigh. From there it is not all that far to where the exhibition is.

I'm currently boggling at the extortionate rates that my UK passport renewal will be here (double getting it done in the UK, and... I have to download and print out my own application forms!). Sadly, my passport has expired, so I can't just hop over to the UK and get it done over there.

Glad that Jessie is in love and that he is a nice fellow! I was wondering if the VV had died, but it was good fun while it lasted, and it brought some chuckles to this end of the world!

Yana Out East said...

I am incredibly jealous, but so very excited for you. Please Blog all about the trip for us wannabetheres.

Peter said...

Thanks Yana,
Good to hear from you. Sad that you can't be there. I'll certainly blog about the trip. It will be such an amazing thing meeting up with others that I have got to know through this blog. It will also be a hugely important part of the trip to see working potters studios, and the work they do.