Thursday, June 14, 2012

Symposium's End: "'Bye for now"

Like the last day of senior year at college, the last moments at the clay symposium were hard. Too many goodbyes of new friends. How hard is it to leave people you just met? Am I being silly?
Here are Marita and Liz, and me.
Marita, Mimi and Liz (left to right)
We are all three wearing necklaces by Marita. It's a gesture of friendship from a lovely lady to the two of us, and to others here, as well. We each chose our pendant the second morning, and yesterday at breakfast, Marita presented them, strung and with her tag: Earth2Ware by Marita Early. Liz and I were delighted to be recipients. We were also delighted to find each other to sit with at meals. It is a joyful thing to meet people like this, and I am hereby counting a blessing. I hope to see them back here next year, but I also hope to exchange thoughts and photos over the course of the year with them.

Potters in small studios spend a lot of time alone, and when we make friends with other potters, they don't usually live next door. They are, in fact, hard to find. Well, voila- two here, and numerous more to talk to and sit beside.

I would never have met these wonderful women, or the other friendly potters, sculptors and poets with whom I have had such good conversations, had I not come to Virginia for these four days. 

As for all that I've seen and listened to at the symposium, my notebook is not just full of notes on the thoughts, techniques and quotes from the presenting clay artists, it also contains notations of books I want to read, improvements I want to make to my kiln, and even a design change to the layout plan for the new shelves I want to build in The Gallery Downstairs. And all the pottery I have looked at and touched (dude, it was an informal exhibition, wasn't it? And no cameras..?) have given me a deepened discontent with my glazes, that desire to add to the palette and to experiment with layering colors and varying the textures. 

More than anything, my personal motivations and aesthetic considerations have had a bop on the head this week. I see some gravitational shift in my work ahead.

So here's to Liz and Marita, Hollins University, Donna Polseno (artist, teacher and symposium coordinator) and all the people who made this symposium so good. Or as Mom used to say at the end of each phone conversation, "Bye for now."

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