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arrowmont conference

updated mon 30 sep 96


Linda Arbuckle on fri 27 sep 96

Arrowmont conference was non-stop pottery club, and I had a lot of fun. It
was limited to 200 people + presenters. Gallery has a great show installed
that included work from each of the presenters, and a person each presenter
invited (who was supposed to be someone he or she thought deserved more
exposure). If you're in the Gatlinburg, TN area, it's worth seeing.
Presenters show: Linda Arbuckle, Mary Barranger, George Bowes, Bill
Brouillard, Linda Christianson, Val Cushing, Frank Fabens, Sylvie
Granatelli, Mark Hewitt, Gloria Kosco, Jeff Oestreich, Pete Pinnell, Diane
Rosenmiller, Ellen Shankin, Michael Simon, Chris Staley. Invited artists:
Carter, Michael Corney, Terry Gess, Debby Hagar, Sarah Jaeger, Jenson, Gail
Kendall, Michael Kline, Elizabeth Lurie, Lisa Orr, Adelaide Paul. Geoff
Pickett, Liz Quackenbush, Neil Seidner, Mark Skudlarek, Kevin Snipes,
Taylor. Perhaps someone else can help where I blanked on first names.
Arrowmont was offering a slide set of one slide from each person in both
shows for about $53.00. I don't know if you can still order them, but you
can call: (423) 436-5860 and ask them if you're interested.

Behind the scenes show in the new wood studios included beautiful work by
the people assisting at the conference, Bill Griffith, and Peter Beaseckers,
conference planners. More great stuff to look at!

Unlike NCECA, the conference was kept small enough that eveyone could fit in
the dining hall or at picnic tables, and ate together at scheduled times.
The dining hall was jammin', but it was a lot of fun to sit with a different
table of pottery club at every meal.

Multifple demos, lectures, etc. went on at once, so there were usually not
more than 30 or 35 people in one place. Hard choices about what to see!
Panels in the evenings in the auditorium were usually attended by all.

Henry Glassie, a forklorist from Indiana U., gave the keynote. Henry has
studied crafts in several countries (Ireland, Bangladesh, Turkey) in depth
and written a number of books. His huge tome on contemporary Turkish craft
is quite something. He spoke about pottery and its relationship to life in
both Turkey and Bangladesh. Turkish work featured Isnik style painted plates
and their revivial during the mid-20th century. Bangladesh pottery covered
some water jars, as well as wonderful unfired, painted sculptures meant as a
place for the god to come down so people could talk with them and ask for
help. After the god departs, the figures are kept for a year, then given
back to the river. Poetic talk, lyrical subjects.

Dave Shaner, who was unable to attend, contributed a great idea. Presenters
were asked to bring the handmade pot they used most for a "user friendly
pottery" display. Each presenter gave a very brief speech about why they
used that piece. To tell a story on Bill Brouillard... he brought an elegant
Tom Turner porcelain bowl. Tom is the king of "tight-is-right" pottery, and
this was a lovely bowl with Tom's signature ash glaze, very refined. Bill
said he lives alone, and Tom's bowl had great moral fiber: it was virtuous.
This bowl helped saved him from sliding into a bachelor life of underwear
and cigars. It was a funny moment. Maybe you had to be there?

Met some fine ClayArt-ers (Dave, thanks for introducing yourself!), and a
lot of new clay pals. Hope Bill Griffith and Peter Beasecker are willing to
do it again. I thought it was an opportunity!


Linda Arbuckle E-mail:
Associate Professor, Graduate Co-Ordinator
Univeristy of Florida
Department of Art P.O. Box 115801
Gainesville, FL 32611-5801 Ceramics: (352) 392-0228