Hello and Happy April,
NCECA happened last week. It was my first time attending.
At the airport, on the way home, I ran into a man I had met briefly at the conference. He was reading Ceramics Monthly. I said, “How was the conference for you?” He replied, “Are you as excited to get back into your studio as I am?”
Conversations about making art can be delicate. What do you answer when someone asks if you aren’t an artist? At NCECA I learned a ton, met wonderful people, saw amazing ceramic art, and felt like an imposter because I’m not a ceramic artist. When he asked me that, I wanted to be able to say “YES!”, and I got a little bit jealous of his enthusiasm to get back into his studio and make new work.
On the flight back to Baltimore, as often happens when one is overwhelmed and tired, my mind tried to tackle existential turbulence and I wondered about my own lapsed studio practice. Then I binge watched YouTube videos of closing speeches delivered at other NCECA conferences, listening to stories about people’s paths to the medium of ceramics, how they have made clay applicable to social movements and abstract concepts, ways that lives have been transformed through the process of making. I thought about the nature of my job, reconciled my place in the world (for now), and realized I was excited to get back to work.
There are so many exciting programs that Baltimore Clayworks produces, pioneers, and emulates, and so much more innovative work to tackle in the field. It’s a thrilling time to be involved in the arts! Thank you for what you do in this intricate and fabulous community.
And how lovely is it to go away for five days and come back to daffodils in bloom?
Back to work now!