Sunday, March 25, 2007

Shadbolt Clay Conference

Just got back from the Shadbolt Clay Conference in Burnaby, British Columbia. It's a 3 1/2 hour drive from home, but well worth the trip. It was a great conference. Small, but quality offerings in the way of demonstrations and information. The highlight for me was to meet Magdelene Odundo whose hand coiled, burnished pots I've seen in museums and admired for their beauty. We were able to chat for some time about her work, the UK, and travel.
What a wonderful thing--to be able to meet one of the giants of the ceramic world in such an easy atmosphere. The problem with these conferences and conventions though, is deciding where to spend your time. There is so much stuff going on and so many things that you want to see and do. Too bad you can't clone yourself just for a short time and go everywhere. Choices, Choices!
I decided to get out of my comfort zone and go to demos that were about techniques I know very little about. I was a total sponge in Kinichi Shegeno's newspaper resist demonstration. He not only worked live, but had a video explaining the technique. He also did a slip mold of a very large teapot form and threw a giant platter. So generous with his information and full of great tips. The only disappointment I had was he ran out of time and didn't address overglazes.

I then went to a demonstration by Jeannie Mah of transferring printer images onto procelain. An extremely interesting process, I decided that I loved the idea and can adapt it to drawing my own images, running them through a printer and transfer it to a porcelain surface. Can't wait to try it! She is truly a master of this process.
The final session was with Diane Creber who does crystaline glazes and has written a great book on the subject. I chose to go to this one because these glazes both attract and repel me. The ones I like, I really like; the ones I don't I really can't stand! Diane works in small crystal formation. The process is very involved and regimented, it seems to me with much technical ability both in formulation and firing control to produce the growth of crystals in the glaze. Diane's pieces were stunning. Especially a totally new matt kind of result. Sorry, my pictures didn't turn out for an example. Anyway, I resolved that should I decide to tackle these kinds of glazes, her book will be the perfect guide.
And speaking of books, I was asked to autograph one myself. I was standing at one of the commerical booths and a lady was buying "500 Teapots". I pointed to the teapot on the back cover and said, "That's my work." She was flabergasted. I said that I had three selections in the book and she asked me to sign the back cover.
Beside the talks and demos, there was a gallery show of participant's pieces and/or any interesting piece owned by anyone who wanted to display it and write a small blurb on the placecard that went with it. I took the white teapot that is at the beginning of the blog and a mug to donate for the sale. There was one corner in the gallery area that displayed donated mugs and sold them on the spot. They were selling just about as quickly as they were being put on the wall.

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