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clay times /billie mitchell (long)

updated tue 9 sep 03


Joyce Lee on fri 5 sep 03

What a privilege to have entered the World of
Clay during these last few years when books ....
beautiful books!..... magazines .... glorious
pictures!! ..... lists, websites abound ....

to experience
the excitement of observing New Writers=20
grow&blossom and come into their own... to
be able to meet such talent, talk to and share
with these writers as well as the editors
and publishers ... as themselves ... during events
such as NCECA and Potters Council meetings...
to actually be A Part of it All through the=20
experience of helping moderate the List, our List,
when Mel has significant business that
must be attended to elsewhere.........=20

to see
myself grow, think in new directions, strive to
be more than I've been, to be a Better Person ...
After Retirement! .... to discover talents that
I never once suspected I possessed .. to
expand my own perspective to include places,
people, ideas, loves that I never knew existed ...
or, if I did have an inkling, a glimmer of this
Other World, never believed there was a spot
in it for me.... thought I'd found my niche long
ago in education and family and that was
expansive enough for one lifetime......

The new issue of Clay times is responsible for
evoking such thoughts. As most of you did also,
I saw the first issue, understood how difficult it
is to maintain the course and make a new publication
Work, and wondered how this Polly Beach
dynamo would weather it all.

She has.

I'm not going to go over each bit of delightful
reading&looking ..... buy it, see for yourselves.....
except for the article about our Billie Mitchell,
my Billie Mitchell, and the place she's made
for herself in the Ceramics World under the
direst of circumstances. When I look at her
new, original work, I see residues of her
earlier work..... which I admire .... but which
doesn't compare with where it's taken her.
How did she do
that?? Was it the pain? Did the pain bring about
such awarenesses, such trust in herself??
Not just her own pain, but simultaneously being
witness to the pain of others whom she loved.....
I think I see such evidence in her work ......=20

In the Mojave inspired and thrilled to know=20
my claybuds...... the influences and changes
you've impressed on my being.... grateful and
happy to be allowed in and be One of You!!!
(For those of you who think I'm a Compleat
Dork for expressing such thoughts: that's
okay, sugar ..... you're a Dork too..... if you're
lucky..... and human..... Dorkdom lurks
inside us all .... better watch it..... it's=20

Billie Mitchell on sun 7 sep 03

oh joyce how good you are with words. and i want to thank you for your kind
words. i just hope that i can do justice to what i want to share with
everyone about the article.
when i decided to submit an article to clay times i knew there were alot of
great writers out there that i could have asked. but i choose to ask my
neice. she not only is very talented but she also has something in common
with me and alot of others out there. no one could understand me and what i
went through better than her. in her freshman year of college she found out
she had a inoperable pre-cancerous brain tumor. unstead of letting her get
her down she worked hard and continued her education for 4 more yrs. she
graduated from the university of georgia with honors. she not only has a
degree in journalism but is now attending law school. she made me look good
with her talent and with her drive. so when you talk about the article
think of her and what she did for me. she is a very special young lady. now
you know.

billie mitchell