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terrible workshop and the village

updated wed 22 aug 01


primalmommy@IVILLAGE.COM on mon 20 aug 01

When I was young, inexperienced and naiive about the ways of clayart... (heck, it was MONTHS ago)... ;0) I posted an irritated question about Pottery Making Illustrated dropping the ball on mailing me my issue that month. I asked who had gotten theirs, and who to contact. I was feeling quite self righteous. Then I called the folks at PMI and learned that I had sent in a "bill me later" subscription card and never paid the bill. I printed an explanation and apology of sorts on clayart but wonder whether folks read it, or remembered it, or still had some bit of tarnish associated with PMI in their minds, thanks to my hasty post.

Here's what makes sense to me: in any village, there are the things said aloud in the marketplace, at the well, at the town meetings; public things, spoken to an audience. Cautiously worded, diplomatic things.

Then there are all the discussions that rise from that; private conversations with chosen friends, pillow talk, gossip, secrets, opinions and indiscretions spoken to people we know and trust, and who have a context; they know our biases, can call us on it when we're wrong. Private conversations.

This list is a public marketplace. Anything posted to the list should be something you would publish in an international forum, irreversible, and available for years to come in an archive anyone can search. (Many of us can go check out our earliest posts if we need to be humbled a bit.)

But behind the scenes, there are a lot of private conversations going on here, too. In fact, some of us are downright gossippy off list, nattering away in personal emails about characters-- and posts -- on clayart. Some people are out to get the untold story. (you know who you are.) Every post to this list has an email addy at the top. If you want the scoop "in person", click and ask.

But there needs to be a line separating private from public. When a clayarter sent me ugly, insulting posts off-list, I had no reason to air that laundry here -- because this is the marketplace, the town square.

People (like my in-laws) go through ugly divorces and manage to be polite to each other at family reunions, and have the decency not to "poison the well" against their ex among shared friends. People who detest each other off duty can be polite in the workplace. So clayarters can maintain a certain decorum, IMO, in front of 3000 virtual strangers. We feel warm and cozy here, like we're among friends and can "scratch where it itches", but how many of the 3000 here do you really know? Or the members of the future, finding you in the archives?

My kids used to run to me to tattle on each other, hoping to bring down the wrath of mommy on the offender. Instead I would calmly respond with, "and how did you handle it?" Mostly they'd look sheepish, because running to tattle had been plan A. My approach put the power and responsibility back in their hands. Soon they learned only to complain to a third party only as a last resort. To me, that sounds like the good advice clayarters have given the unhappy workshopper. And I applaud the decision to keep the name unnamed in the original post.

Anybody looking for a workshop can always ask advice on clayart; belive me, if there is dirt to be dug, the gossippy villagers will be willing to fill you in -- OFF list. (won't we, pals?)

Yours, Kelly in Ohio (pondering how to spend the handsome bribes Vince, Dannon and Mel gave me for telling clayart they give great workshops... )

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Dannon Rhudy on tue 21 aug 01

.............>Yours, Kelly in Ohio (pondering how to spend the handsome
bribes Vince, Dannon and Mel gave me for telling clayart
they give great workshops... )..........

Dag nab it, Kelly, you weren't supposed to tell. NOW look what
you've gone and done. I'll get nasty notes for a week, and one
or two requests to know just how to go about arranging for such
bribes........can't never trust nobody no more.


Dannon Rhudy