Susan Cline on wed 17 jul 02
Just spent 3 tremendous days with Dannon Rhudy in a workshop at Annie's Mud
Pie Shop in Cincinnati. Two days demonstration and discussion, a third day
Dannon is a generous presenter (as I have found most potters to be). She
shared her considerable skills and talent with us, freely discussing
techniques and imparting many useful and wonderful tips along the way. Having
been "disarmed" at the airport of her own tools, Dannon showed us all that
"it's not in the tools" but in the knowledge and skill and in the PRACTICE.
Some of the most important lessons were in the attitude -- so many of us
(especially rookies like myself) are so afraid of making mistakes that we
overwork the clay, keep the pots that are just plain bad, don't trust the
skills we do have and don't see the value of practice for practice's sake --
we always have to finish. Dannon reminded, and demonstrated, repeatedly that
it's often more efficient and smarter to just start over than to try to repair
a piece-gone-bad, that it's always smart to try a new idea because it might
work (!!), that practice is the only road to skill, and that we need to trust
our own skill and instincts.
Dannon also showed us how to make some very nifty forms, explained exactly
what she was doing, answered our myriad questions with great information,
patience, grace, and sometimes "I don't know; let's try it." She used some
timed-throwing exercises (new, and dreaded by many of us) to help us find
focus and rhythm, gave away some dynamite production "tips" -- all with her
gentle and generous spirit.
It was a pleasure -- thanks, Dannon!
If she gets to your town, be sure to get to her workshop!