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report on mel's workshop/building the little kiln

updated fri 20 mar 98


Lori Leary on thu 19 mar 98

Things are getting back to normal (sorta) after mel's workshop here.
As usual, mel did a great job demonstrating, telling stories, coaching,
making pots, telling stories......

But one of mel's gifts (besides making one laugh one's a** off) lie in
taking a roomful of students of varied backgrounds and experience levels
and making sure that everyone goes away with something new.

It was great to have Clayarters with us....Lisa, Jan, Terry, Jack, De,
Sue, Dennis, Josie.

The kiln building went well; everyone pitched in. We fired it twice
over the weekend, went well the first time, it went even better the
second time after making a few adjustments to the kiln itself. We
reached ^6 in 4 hours on Sunday (whoa Nellie!). I will be spraying ITC
myself soon. We just did not get to that; mostly because of the
unplanned acquisition and the repair of an old Walker pugmill on
Saturday. (Thanks Jack!)

Mel's workshop was not just about throwing skills, stories, and demos;
it was about being a potter, running a studio, making do, and making
things work. Nothing I can write will ever be able to convey just how
valuable an experience it was for me, as well as for those that

And if I may quote Dannon Rhudy in one of her recent posts:

......And I thought of how valued, treasured even, potters/ceramists
are, in their later years. Far from ignoring the older ones,
people fight for their attention, help, information. Fill up
their workshops, pluck at their sleeves, bask in the presence of
all that knowledge and experience and generosity. How fortunate
that is. For all concerned.......

Thanks again, mel.

Lori L.
Pawleys Island, SC