Cyra DuQuella on mon 3 jun 96
> Some fellow potters and I are planning to form a potters guild and would
> like to hear about your experiences.
> like whats the point?
> what will it help you do
> what are some creative ways youve seen it used?
I have been a member of the Oregon Potters Association for 6 years. It has
been a wonderful experience. I feel as if I have an extended family...that
are all potters. Our organization has become quite big (somewhat a
con)...over 300 members...so it impossible to have that closeness with
everyone. Some potters are more involved and active than others. And we are
the ones that benefit the most from the support and camaraderie. So I
believe "the point" is what you want to get out of it. If you want sharing
and caring...then approach it with that spirit.
As a group, it is amazing what we can accomplish. We have a large pottery
showcase and sale each spring. This year was our 14th year and our 3-day
sales total was approx $375,000. This show is produced by OPA...we do all
the organizing, advertising, bookkeeping, etc.We each have our "talents"
other than clay that we bring to the group. I also have a graphic design
business so I do all the newpaper and magazine ads. My fiance -also a
designer- did the art direction on the tv ad this year. Others are great at
organizing...adding up all those sales, etc.There is much competition to
have a booth at this show and this has brought some dissent between
long-time members and newer members. Our steering committee devised a point
system to qualify for a booth...those who are most involved throughout the
year...earn the points.
We receive discounts on clay and glazes the the local pottery supply store.
We also do group buys....but the association has become so large, that
these are becoming hard to manage...so they are becoming more
informal....smaller groups buying.
We participate in the community with an Empty Bowls booth set up during the
4th of July weekend blues festival here in Portland, OR. Proceeds go to the
food bank. We also fund teaching programs....from part of our annual dues.
Other special projects are taken on to promote art within the community
Some people join because of the opportunity of Showcase. And that is very
attractive. But for me, the friendship, sharing of ideas, the creative and
emotional support from my fellow members is the real payoff from belonging
and participating. Tho, that Showcase check helps pay the bills!
I wish you the best in your guild.