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international clay art

updated tue 4 apr 00


Janet Kaiser on mon 3 apr 00


Clay Art may be a tiny bit US-biased, however I suspect there are more =
in the US/Canada with internet access than the rest of the world put =
Hosted by the University of Kentucky, moderated by Joe, Mary and Richard and
used by 3000+ subscribers, of which the overwhelming majority are =
Well, it would be a strange discussion group indeed, if everyone suddenly =
had an
=22international=22 perspective.

I, for one, do not cross the border into England more than once or twice a =
How can anyone who works in one place for most of their time suddenly have a
global view? How would you want the character of Clay Art to change exactly?
Surely only the privileged few can talk with authority on issues outside =
own country? They include people like Russel F. (Belgium, UK, USA) or Nikom
(Thailand, USA) or Heidrun (Singapore, Germany) or Alisa (Denmark, USA) or =
(Japan, USA, but is not allowed over the border into Canada for lack of a =
Cherry visa stamp in his passport=21 :-)

I am sorry if you feel Clay Art is too parochial, Feri. I have never found =
it to
be anything other than informative, knowledgeable and exciting... And I have=
to think I am in any way excluded or out of touch... Indeed, all the =22real=
people=22 are very tolerant of a gallery interloper from the UK. I have made=
friends all over the world and we enjoy an rapport both on-line and off, =
we would not have but for Clay Art. Many know some of my comments are
tongue-in-cheek, whilst others just ignore my faux pas and excesses=21 I =
feel I am
one of the naughty children in this big clay family. Or maybe the village =
in this community of potters and clay people?

I also do no feel that the information and exchange is only applicable to =
US, except perhaps for info on wheels and kilns manufactured in the US and
generally not available or used elsewhere. I just delete those mails... Does=
mean that the exchange is not vitally important to 80=25 of other =
subscribers and
therefore 100=25 valid. And I am sure the majority of the exchange is =
relevant to
everyone, no matter where they are. If it were not the case, there would not=
subscribers in Europe, Africa, Asia, S. America and elsewhere... Even in the
Antipodes a.k.a. Down Under=21

We can all only talk from our own perspective. A potter in New York, NY is =
to have very different experiences and worries to one in York, England. =
as long as there are ten potters in NY partaking in Clay Art discussion but =
a single one from York, we are naturally only going to hear from NY.

Clay Art will not change, until many more potters around the world take part=
a regular basis. Non-US potters could form a discussion group within Clay =
but first find participants=21 It is a democratic institution (even if Mary =
says it is a =22benign dictatorship=22) and like any democracy, you have to =
get more
people taking part and talking before the nature of the institution will
change... If at all.

I recently (and rather clumsily) tried to encourage Sibylle in Germany to =
part, because it is dear to my heart to hear from more people around the =
I personally rather like hearing the US perspective(s) although some =
can be confusing. If I hear talk of =22Rome=22, I do tend to think of the =
City in Italy, not some tiny town in the American Mid-West=21=21=21 I also =
agree with
Mel about the annoying use of abbreviations. But these are just minor
irritations. In the UK, we know what is happening in the US today, will =
here tomorrow, so hearing from the horse's mouth helps prepare for the
inevitable=21 Good or bad, it is a fact of life that the vogues, fashions =
issues concerning our friends in the US will be affecting us in the UK =
rather than later.

I repeat, MOST of the exchange is basically applicable to clay people the =
over. Some ideas develop into lively discussion, others do not even get a =
reply or reaction. It is rather like living in a noisy, boisterous family
get-together or joyous street party... The adopted child or late-comer needs=
little time to find their niche. Anyone who is impatient needs to just cool =
a bit and go with the flow. Whether grandpa, baby or long-lost relative, =
is room for everyone.

I personally would not have Clay Art change for the world. It may develop as
more clay people around the world get a PC/Mac/Laptop and can subscribe. I =
also warmly welcome that.

Janet Kaiser
The Chapel of Art, Criccieth LL52 0EA, GB-Wales
Home of The INTERNATIONAL Potters' Path
TEL: (01766) 523570