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taylor/home workshops

updated sat 25 feb 06


mel jacobson on thu 23 feb 06

i think taylor is closer than he knows.

what do you think `hay creek` is?

it is a group of potters/artists coming together
without `leadership issues`.
it is `adult shared learning`. no stars.
men and women, being adults. sharing
all that they have.

how does it happen?
you bring a group of friends together
and share knowledge and research, and everyone is

all are equal.
my job at hay creek is to
get food, beds, toilets, showers
and make sure the gas tanks are filled,
they do the rest. the fee for each person
is $225 for nine days. boy, i must be raking in the doe.
that is room, bed, food, kilns, good time. shared duties.
we do not want our friends money, we want their loyalty.

i encourage folks to start your own
workshops, with friends, at home. no experts.
people you trust, and that is the key.
take four days...just do pots and firings.
camp out. share expenses.
do what you need to do.
you will learn a mountain of stuff. take a theme and
run with it.

it always amazes me when others, never
been near our camp...tell me what happens
and who is in `control`.
as always..stupid folks with agendas.
"Luck is prepaid."
from: mel/

Stephani Stephenson on thu 23 feb 06

It is a great idea

I have emailed a number of folks about doing something more in the Hay
Creek vein
at my new place.
and am open to possibilities , input, and ideas.

I do look at these sessions as valuable, wonderful
sharing exchanges .

I do approach it differently
than a situation where someone is an instructor.

I don't think the two approaches are mutually exclusive.
there's room for both, and variations of both.

Lee Burningham is trying to do a variation of that with his Clay
Crewe workshop, 2 weeks, in June.
It's a group effort, but the host has to figure out a way to grubstake
the thing..
I would absolutely jump at the chance to just go hang out with Lee ,
Dave, Alex and Gail and others
who showed up, for two weeks. If I am an instructor though , I am
going to be more focused, more prepared ...
there's a different level of responsibility. It doesn't mean the spirit
of cameraderie is not there, it is just that there's a level, and this
is maybe mundane sounding, but a level of customer service involved.
I think an attendee's level of expectation is also different.
It is simply a different dynamic.
I recently took a sculpture class , only 4 sessions, from a local
figure sculptor. It was money that was not necessarily spare money, and
it involved skills I am already pretty well versed in . But this
teacher has been at it for over 40 years and has valuable perspectives
and insights and is a pro. she is a giving person, but
I would never ever question what she charged for her class. It was
worth it and she also has a rather modest lifestyle and is not getting
rich from it.

The other thing is, the host has got to figure out a way to make it pay
for itself, especially in a situation where buildings are being
materials being purchased, etc.
For example, I know Lee has gone over a budget and figured out the best
way he can deliver his Clay Crewe workshop, and give participants the
best deal possible. We're all potters, we know the value and often the
scarcity of a buck.
None of us are rich, folks.

I try to figure out how I can leave my business for two weeks, to
participate in what I think will be a great experience, and also to
pitch in to help Lee and the others who also are trying to put together
a great experience and grubstaking the whole thing. What is at the
bottom of it?
Trying to share what you have . I think that is the motivating spirit .
It is going to be different in each case and each situation has it's
purpose, from 2-3 potters getting together to do a firing, to one on
one apprenticeships, to workshops, to retreats, etc.

It's all good.

Mel and the others at Hay Creek have been nurturing and building it for
quite some time, and it shows.

Stephani Stephenson

Hal Giddens on fri 24 feb 06

Each spring and fall the Hambidge Center, located in Raburn Gap Georgia,
has a anigama firing. While this is not a home workshop it is a good
example of a workshop where the cost are small and the particpants work
together similar to those at other home workshops. The cost is based on
the size of each pot and each person is limited to 10 pots. The last one I
attended in the Fall of 2004 cost me $18 to fire 10 vases averaging around
10h x 4w. While there are a few that don't do anything except show up to
glaze their pots and pay their fee, 90% of the folks chip in and do what
they can whether it is cutting and chopping firewood, loading the kiln and
working on a stoking detail. The money raised is used to fund the firing
and provide any upkeep for the kiln. Some particpants camp during the
weekend while other stay in nearby hotels or cabins. It would be nice to
see more art centers offering these kind of workshops.

On a similar note there has been a lot of discussion on Clayart for years
about arts and crafts festivals and how more and more artists are
bypassing them because of the high fees. It would be great to see more art
shows that are sponsored by the art communities like the Prospectives show
that the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation does each year in which it
highlights the work of 50 Georgia potters at I believe of no cost to the
potters or its Southworks show they do for a small fee.

Our artist guild here in Dublin Georgia has two shows a year that we do.
We try to get some corporate sponorship to help with the cost and our fees
are $25 for members and $45 for non members. I for one would like to limit
my participation to shows sponsored by the different art associations
rather than some expensive arts and craft festival but the artists in the
different communnities have to step up and take responsibilities to make
these shows happen.

Hal Giddens
Home Grown Pottery
1578 Rockledge Road
Rockledge, Ga 30454