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report from hay creek

updated mon 30 jun 97


Dannon Rhudy on thu 26 jun 97

Just back from Hay Creek workshop. A remarkable experience in
many ways. It is always exciting to share such a time with a
group of committed and intent people. In this particular case
there were a number of factors which made it a unique time for
me. Mel spoke of it as "adult shared learning". And it was.
The age range of the participants ran from the twenties to the
seventies. This circumstance alone made for a lot of varied
viewpoints and approaches. People were without exception open
and generous with experience and knowledge and skill. There was
a wide range of skill levels, as might be expected in such a
varied group. There was an equally wide range of IDEA, and
approach. Work was constant, nearly. There was hardly an hour of
the twenty-four that some were not working. People were working
with paper, ink, paint, fiber, metals, as well as clay. The clay
group was perhaps the largest. There was a wood kiln, a salt kiln,
a gas reduction kiln. A raku kiln, a low-fire salt kiln. A
miniature gas-fired flat-top that was a gem. Indeed, all of the
kilns were gems. They fired smoothly, evenly, quickly - and a
good thing too, because most were fired and unloaded EVERY DAY. A
remarkable amount of work was done. There was a lot of testing,
and stretching, and pushing. Few played safe. There was great
work, good work, disastrous work. No whining. Occasional
swearing. Endless laughter, conversation. Workspace layout
was interesting. Ground floor of huge barn was clay, glazes,
tools, workshop. Loft: metals, fibers, drawing, painting, some
woodworking - a huge space, with a soaring roof. Looking up
was like looking at the ribs of a huge ship, turned upside down.
There were other work areas, spread among different buildings.
More about that later, this grows too long. And I've hardly

Mel invited me, ostensibly to demonstrate a couple of ideas to the
group, share some information. HOWEVER: the real reason I was
there was so that he and Kurt Wild could remedy the lapses and
voids of my education. They are, each and both, such endless
founts of knowledge and information and experience that it was
overwhelming. Both consumate teachers. Totally different in
approach and personality. A great team. Impossible to thank
them enough.

All in all, a terrific experience. (Of course, there are stories
to be told, but they will come later...heeheehee...)