search  current discussion  categories  teaching 

subject: inspirations from mentors and difficult times - long post

updated tue 3 jul 07


Candace Young on mon 2 jul 07

At 12:00 AM 7/2/2007 -0500, you wrote:
>Subject: inspirations from mentors and difficult times

Quick background:
College for Music Ed, then Special Ed, taught 8 years in 4 different states.
Poured ceramics classes as an elementary age kid ( fascinated by the
alchemy of glaze)
Always played with modeling clay and the elementary school had lots of clay
Nothing in high school, clay took a back seat to horses and a wide range of
Nothing in college, didn't even know it existed.
Entered the world of adults and had the first job in education from
hell. Roomate tired of bitching and enrolled me in a clay class at a
private studio for 6 classes. Thought it would be soothing. Wasn't, but
from the first touch of wet clay on the wheel it was like being hit by
lightening. Bought wheel, books and struggled. 1970 Went full time after
I bought my basic equipment and could leave teaching in 1981.
Early inspiration and mentoring by Charlie Brown in Mandarin, Fl, and CC
Bookout on Long Island. I was aware peripherally of other clay things but
working, parenting and spending all other time teaching myself clay
resulted in being turned inward. Just didn't pay attention.
I am a inspired now by evey potter I've seen on the street at shows and any
workshops I've been able to take. Amazing talent out there.

Clay has been like a fugue in my life, it is always there, the theme with
unlimited variations moving along as I go. During difficult life
situations and the regular human hell that is visited upon us, clay has
been my life ring. I have found when I focus on clay at these times, I am
the most creative. The work keeps the useless mental obsessions at
bay. The only time clay is not a refuge is when business is bad. Rained
out shows, high expenses, the year no one likes my favorite work, van
breaks down on THE WAY TO A SHOW, no van rentals, etc. Then, financial
panic comes in and clay becomes a luxury, a chore. I also struggle when
I am working out of my comfort zone on new designs, trying to pull stunning
mental visuals out and make it happen in the clay. I quit a thousand times
until I remember that I am the world's worst potential employee and so
would be faced with cruel starvation. Then I quit sniveling, draw on my
Tai Chi lessons and get to work. It is the best and the worst and the best.

Thanks for posing the question, I'm looking forward to the list's responses.

Candace Young Mailto:

Bay River Pottery
pob 394
Bayboro, NC 28515