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potters council english connection conference

updated sat 5 nov 05


Nan Rothwell on fri 4 nov 05

Letter to ClayArt From Nan Rothwell=20
The link between British and American pottery will be the topic next June =20
when the Potters Council hosts a regional conference. Six potters =E2=80=93=20=
three =20
British and three Americans who trained in England =E2=80=93 will demonstrat=
e and talk =20
about their work during The English Connection Conference. The conference wi=
ll =20
take place at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia on June 1-3, 2006.=20

Micki Schloessingk, Toff Milway and Sylvia Dales are the British contingent=
Micki Schloessingk makes woodfired salt work in her studio in South Wales.=20
You can see her pots and read about her at her website,
Working in Gloucestershire, in a studio he and his wife converted from an o=
forge, Toff Milway makes a range of functional salt-glazed pots. For a look=
at his work, go to Sylvia Dales lives and pots in Suffolk=
She has recently finished a long run of making pots with a distinctive=20
Renaissance flair that have been sold in conjunction with a National Galler=
exhibition of paintings by Caravaggio.=20

American potters Bill van Gilder, Dan Finnegan and I (Nan Rothwell) all =20
learned to make pots in England. Bill van Gilder, who now works in Gapland=
Maryland, has become well known as a teacher and presenter around the US. H=
work can be seen at Dan Finnegan is the founder of =20
Libertytown Arts Workshop in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He studied worked=20=
Winchcombe Pottery, studying with Ray Finch. His website is www. =20 I make functional pots and teach classes and work=
shops in Nelson=20
County, Virginia -- see

Five of us =E2=80=93 Bill and I, along with Micki, Toff and Sylvia all studi=
ed at=20
the Harrow School of Art, working with potters including Mick Casson, Vic =20
Margrie, Wally Keeler, Colin Pearson and Mo Jupp. Dan studied at Ray Finch=
=E2=80=99s =20
studio, where he met and worked alongside Toff. All six of us make functiona=
l =20
pots, working in the English studio pottery tradition. The conference will =20
include several studio sessions plus two panel discussions.=20

As conference participants, you will have other opportunities to learn more=20=
on the conference theme. Staunton, Virginia boasts two institutions that=20
examine British-American connections. The Blackfriars Theater is modeled on=
first indoor theater where Shakespeare worked. In conjunction with the=20
conference, you'll have the chance to attend a talk at the theater, plus an=
evening =20
performance of Shakespeare=E2=80=99s Richard III. The Museum of Frontier Cul=
ture =20
provides an in-depth look at the hearth cultures of those who settled the =20
Shenandoah Valley. A visit to the English and Scots-Irish farmsteads there w=
ill =20
round out your sense of our cultural and historical links.=20

Previous Potters Council conferences have proved very popular. If this one =20
sounds good to you, be sure to register early! The registration process shou=
ld =20
be up and running by the end of November. I will keep you posted via ClayArt=
on the exact date. Meanwhile, if you want more information about the =20
conference, you can contact me off-list or send questions to Danielle McInto=
sh at=20
_dmcintosh@ceramics.org_ ( .

Nan Rothwell
Nellysford, Virginia=20