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sfpn juror's statement

updated fri 15 may 98


Jean Lehman on thu 14 may 98

I received a request to post Cynthia Bringle's Juror's Statement, which I
am happy to do...

for the 6th Annual Strictly Functional Pottery National

As a maker of clay objects, mostly strictly functional, I was honored to be
asked to judge this show.

For all of us who are makers, feeling and touching and using are an
integral part of relating to pots, thus judging by slides is a necessary
evil. The logistics makes evaluation of actual objects impossible.

381 people from 46 states submitted mostly three slides each. This number
speaks to the fine job the organizers have done. Thank you also to everyone
who took the time to enter.

As a juror, my charge was to keep in mind "strictly functional." My job was
made easier and more difficult at the same time with the quality of work
sent in by the participants. Having spent five evenings and two mornings
going over the slides was a task but also a pleasure.

You may wonder why you bothered to send in three slides when the juror only
picks one, but the quality of the group of slides counts.

My concerns were: would the piece function as intended? If one makes a
teapot, the lid has to be large enough to get the tea leaves or tea bag in
and out. Could I pick up the casserole lid with a pot holder? Do the
pitcher and mug handles look comfortable for use, and will the lip pour?

Aside from all the functional concerns, does the piece hold together
aesthetically? Would I put it in my kitchen or on the dining room table?
Does it excite me?

Everyone who makes functional objects learns about them through use. During
my beginning years as a studio potter, I talked to ladies' garden clubs and
book groups to try to educate the public. I told them I was out to replace
all the plastic in their kitchens. It pleases me there are so many fine
makers of objects out there. Keep working, and I'm sorry that due to space
limitations, the accepted number is not more.

I look forward to seeing the actual objects. Happy potting.

Cynthia Bringle, February 27, 1998

Jean Lehman, in Lancaster, PA
j_lehman@acad.FandM.EDU (that's an _underscore_ not a hyphen)
Check out the 1998 Strictly Functional Pottery National at: