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the next potters council workshop venue?

updated sun 23 jan 05


kterpstra on sat 22 jan 05

The Mendocino workshop was phenomenal.thank you Gregg Lindsley for being
a wonderful host! And to Susan Enderle, Tim Frederich and those behind
the scenes at ACerS! We did it again-another "regional" workshop that
met our original objectives for a Potters Council Workshop with
affordable registration fees, reasonable hotel prices, and manageable
numbers. There were about 125 people there and that number made an
intimate setting for networking, mentoring, sharing, etc. and also
allowed for interactive discussions during the demos. Never ending
questions and answers.inquiry learning at its best! A big thank you to
all the presenters and attendees!

If anyone is thinking about or wanting a regional workshop in your area,
please ask Tim or Susan at ACerS or Gregg or myself since we have been
through the process. It's not the daunting task that you may think it
is. There are a few basic things to think about.

Space: art center, community college, college or university, hotels that
hold small conventions. We have already been successful in a university
setting in La Crosse, WI and an art center setting in Mendocino, CA; two
places that were not the easiest to get to but they worked.

Liaisons: the above mentioned will have people to help with the
logistics of room space, rent, custodial help, food etc. Colleges may
have dorm rooms available during the summer. Colleges host lots of
workshops, mini conventions, etc and they usually have an office to
contact. They would be happy to bounce around ideas with you as would
hotels that do the same thing. Some art centers have already hosted
similar workshops. Some are waiting to be asked.

ACerS: Susan and Tim would work with you and the liaison from wherever
it may be to first of all see if it is feasible. They could even help
you with the first set of questions for the place or space you are
thinking about. If you find it may be feasible, you have a wealth of
help so the workshop does not fall on your shoulders alone. They will
work with you on budget details, advertising, timing, etc. They are
very experienced at this and so much fun to work with!

Timing: It's up to you. Early summer worked in La Crosse because we
could use lodging and catering on campus.a real plus. January worked in
Mendocino for a couple reasons; slower time of year for potters and
attractive weather for January.

Focus: Also up to you. I chose "Firing Practices" because that's my
interest and I had several kilns available to fire during the
conference. Gregg chose "Throwing" because that's his passion and it
worked beautifully in the art center's space. The next one could be on
about any ceramics related process that you feel comfortable with.

The term "regional" was thrown around a few times last weekend when we
were discussing objectives for these workshops. We originally thought
only local people would attend to see presenters from other parts of the
country that they normally wouldn't be able to see. However, both
workshops, La Crosse and Mendocino, hosted people from all over the US.
Maybe we want to call it something other than "regional" but to me the
term "regional" implies small and intimate in comparison to a national
convention. If the idea of Potters Council Regional Workshops
continues, we will have more of them and they may evolve into being just
that.regional. In my opinion, one of the greatest successes of these
two conferences was the size. Everyone could interact and participate.
I think everyone felt comfortable even if it was their first attendance
at a workshop and didn't know anyone.

There are numerous ways to think about these workshops. A topic could be
repeated in another part of the country. A space or place could be used
again with a different topic. There are numerous scenarios to think
about. (and what about Canada? I need an excuse to visit Tony
Clennell's wine country in summer) It doesn't need to be only once a

It's not too early to think about the next one. Don't be afraid to ask.

Karen Terpstra
La Crosse, WI