TONICLAYS@AOL.COM on thu 6 dec 01
After three years of spinning my wheels literally and figuratively in art
center classes, I decided to take a couple of workshops. What an eye opener!
If only I had done it sooner. Somehow, I thought workshops were for those
who already knew it all and just wanted to swap special tricks of the trade.
Since I didn't have benefit of formal art training where I could watch
others more skilled work on a daily basis......it was so enlightening.
Anyone who needs to hone their skills, get motivated, wants to try something
new in clay....find an experienced potter with a good reputation for giving
workshops and attend. Last year I attended Mayor Mel's workshop in Columbus
at ACERS and it was great. Just watching someone like Mel, who is so relaxed
at the wheel, approach what he is doing with such expertise and yet a sense
of humor makes you say, " I can do that, too." Before attending the
workshop, I never dreamed I would be able to center 20 pounds of clay and
actually make a pot out of it; or make a teapot the size of a walnut, lid and
all. But because Mel challenged us, and told us we could do it, I went home
and I had success. At other workshops I discovered raku and came home and
built my own kiln. Success again. At Wooster I learned from the three
presenters about putting myself into my pots (you know what I mean.). That
is something I am still working on, but it is gradually happening. So Joyce
and anyone else.....definitely try a workshop. If you can't get to Mel's
right away, check in CM or with your local university or art centers. They
happen all over the country. And other clayarters can certainly tell you if
they would be worth it if you ask. Toni Smith, satisfied workshop