Frank Gaydos on thu 24 aug 00
OK, enough is enough!
I'm shocked by the reactionary response this thread has taken on Clayart.
I'm especially disappointed by the people doing the reacting.
First, you only heard one side of the story.
Second, Mel ,you have talked about your disasters here on Clayart. Did you
offer a complete
refund for problems encountered in any of your workshops? Do they all go
How about you Vince? Never had a blowout? Never had a young Tech make a
Never had a disgruntled student? Your 'appalled"? Give me a break!
Ray, did you know that this summer is one of the wettest in memory on the
Trying to get the maxium amount of work dried in the shortest amount of time
means pushing the envelope. They did not have the luxury of time.
I know for a fact there were rank beginners in that workshop and their work
was not exactly eggshell thin.
When I was at the Valley a week later the county next to us received 17
inches of rain in 24 hours.
We were reduced to drying work in the big gas kiln where, horrors we lost
some work due to cracking.
Stuff happens, we adjusted. It rained four of the five days. No one went
crying for a refund. We still managed to fill the Anagama.
And Janet, you take the cake.Never having met the good folks at the Valley
you ascribe the following:
"arrogant ,dilettante ,rip off artists, and students that go there are
masochists." Pa lease. Give us a break!
This holier than thou attitude has gotten old, fast.
Clayart is a great resource, but sometimes you guys go off the deep end.
Ray Aldridge on fri 25 aug 00
At 11:08 PM 8/24/00 -0400, you wrote:
>OK, enough is enough!
>I'm shocked by the reactionary response this thread has taken on Clayart.
>I'm especially disappointed by the people doing the reacting.
>Ray, did you know that this summer is one of the wettest in memory on the
I've lived on the Gulf Coast for 20 years. It's always wet.
>Trying to get the maxium amount of work dried in the shortest amount of time
>means pushing the envelope. They did not have the luxury of time.
Many, if not most workshops are in a similar bind. However, I agree with
you that it's unreasonable for folks who weren't there to be making serious
judgements about Peters Valley, which by all accounts is usually a fine
facility. My remarks were aimed at the idea that explosions in the kiln
are somehow unpredictable. They aren't. Competent firers will _never_
have explosions, unless they do something foolish. Competent firers will
take into account the thickness of the ware, and the atmospheric
conditions, and will not rush a firing through the critical points-- after
all, no matter how little time there is, there isn't much point to firing
ware if it's only going to be destroyed in the firing.
>I know for a fact there were rank beginners in that workshop and their work
>was not exactly eggshell thin.
>When I was at the Valley a week later the county next to us received 17
>inches of rain in 24 hours.
>We were reduced to drying work in the big gas kiln where, horrors we lost
>some work due to cracking.
That seems an acceptable loss, to me, because the cracking may have been
due to errors in construction or too-fast drying or an unsuitable body, and
in any case, you agreed to dry the work in the kiln, so you knew the
risks. But _explosions_ in the kiln are due to one cause, and one cause
only-- incompetence on the part of those firing the kiln. Doesn't matter
if the humidity is 100% or if the pots are thick as sewer pipe. When
people are paying money for firing services, as in this case, and
incompetence causes the loss of their work, they should be compensated in
I suspect that if Peters Valley had made even a minor gesture in that
direction, such as offering a small discount on future workshops, to those
who complained, everyone would have gone home happy. It would have been
not only the right thing to do, it would have been the intelligent thing to
do. Workshops, even more than other business ventures, depend utterly upon
the goodwill of their customers. While I agree with you that some of the
reactions here on ClayArt have been a bit overwrought, the reputation of
the workshop has suffered-- which probably wouldn't have happened had they
been willing to offer even a modest compensation to those who lost work
In the world today, with the net's ability to spread bad news
instantaneously, businesses have to realize that there's been a shift in
the balance of power, and that the consumer is in the driver's
seat. Businesses need to evolve strategies for remedying complaints before
the world hears about them, because afterwards it's too late.
vince pitelka on fri 25 aug 00
> How about you Vince? Never had a blowout? Never had a young Tech make a
> Never had a disgruntled student? Your 'appalled"? Give me a break!
> Ray, did you know that this summer is one of the wettest in memory on the
> east coast?.
> Trying to get the maxium amount of work dried in the shortest amount of
> means pushing the envelope. They did not have the luxury of time.
> I know for a fact there were rank beginners in that workshop and their
> was not exactly eggshell thin.
Sorry Frank, but based on the information we had, most of theresponses were
completely in line. We could use a nice impartial response from someone at
Peter's Valley, but nothing has appeared so far. It is true that such
things are apt to happen from time to time in a workshop, but in this case
the problems certainly seemed excessive, and the result of incompetence on
someone's part. There should have been some compensation forthcoming from
As I clearly said in my post, we have had our share of rough spots during
workshops, but nothing like what was mentioned here in the original post.
If we assume that the problems were represented accurately, then it
certainly was appalling that Peter's Valley handled it in such a callous
way. They had absolutely nothing to gain by that, and everything to gain by
being more graceful and accommodating. Instead of arguing among ourselves,
why not contact Peter's Valley and get them to respond to this directly.
You have taken lots of workshops there, so you are in a position to do that.
Thanks, and best wishes -
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