Local Clay Notes

Minutes from the January 11th · 2006 Local Clay Members Meeting

In attendance : Rhoda Fleischman, Frank Gosar, Holly Dubrasich, Kathy Lee, Katie Swenson, Paula MacCullen, Mary Briggs, Deborah Duke, Ziggy Blum, Susan Roden, Grace Sheese, Tom Rohr, Richard Sanchez, Robin Russell, Tracie Manso, Don Prey, Melinda King, Linna Muschlitz, Avi Harriman, Mike Morrison, Joshwaa and Don Clarke as recording Secretary.

Introductory remarks : Frank greeted the group to a new year and introduced himself as the new President (quipping that it was his second "time in the barrel"). In introducing the opening discussion question ( I wish I could do/make ___________ better ) Frank took the opportunity to note that life is a learning experience. We are the potters we are today because we learned new things (wedging, centering, glazing, etc etc) and perhaps it’s time to tackle some new learning experiences by volunteering to hold a Local Clay position. Becoming a Committee Chair or Board member does not mean you necessarily already know the job, only that you are willing to learn something new.

Opening Discussion Question : I wish I could do/make ___________ better

The question was passed around the room and individuals shared their perspective on the personal things they’d like to improve upon. Some of the thoughts were :

    • Porcelain! I can throw stoneware almost unaware but I always struggle when working with porcelain.
    • Spray glazing
    • I want to learn how to use my 20 year old tile press
    • Teapots
    • Life-sized sculptural works
    • Cone 6 glazes
    • I want to get back into the studio
    • Time management
    • DITTO plus organizational skills
    • Nothing and everything … every time I finish a pot I always think of ways I could improve it.
    • I’d like to learn how to make the same pots again-and-again … to actualize my ideas better
    • Learn how to build better kilns
    • Business … applying to shows "on time" and the aspects of pottery as a business
    • Bookkeeping .. but I really want to learn how to make better spouts
    • How to move my clay skills to Oregon where it is always so damp
    • Systemize the development of my work (decide what to make and just go forward with it)
    • I want to learn to be disorganized
    • Figurative drawing and making pots big enough for me to get inside!
    • Developing the right glaze receipt despite my fears of the chemicals
    • I just wish I wasn’t so confused
    • I find throwing the hardest part and would love to learn how to do it with grace and ease
    • How to adjust/change a glaze receipt
    • Bigger pots in porcelain
    • Do the business of my pottery better

Minutes from the November 10th meeting were approved as written.

Treasurer’s Report : Susan Fishel was absent so there was no report.

Election of Local Clay Officers

Local Clay officers and Committee Chairs are voted on at the January meeting, and Frank outlined the positions that needed to be filled (with current officers/chairs present providing some explanations). The Treasurer position is filled by Susan Fishel and Frank Gosar it the President this year. After some discussion, cajoling, mild arm-twisting, etc the following members stepped up to the challenges :

President Elect NONE
Secretary Katie Swenson (*)
ClayFest Chair Paula MacCullen
Empty Bowls Trainee Tom Rohr
Clay In Education Linna Muschlitz
Workshops Trainee Mary Briggs

Since there were no positions with multiple candidates, the entire slate of positions was motioned and voted on. The list of candidates was unanimously approved by the membership.

(*) The Secretary position will be held by Katie with technical support from Deborah Duke. The tentative breakdown is that Katie will do the minutes and Deborah will do the membership and directory.

Committee Chair Reports

ClayFest : Paula reminded everyone that ClayFest·2006 is October 14-15th and continued that there are nine openings on the Steering Committee for Trainees. She presented a list of the openings along with the name of the current Chair and urged people to consider volunteering to learn the various jobs and help manage the show. The openings and contact people are (contact info in Local Clay directory) :

Committee 2006
Bookkeeper Jeani Holder
Building Mary Hindman
Graphics Frank Gosar
INFO-Security Cheryl Kempner
Publicity Dan Schmitt
Registrar Don Clarke
Show Set-Up Michael Baines
Workshifts Linda Williams
Webmaster Don Clarke

Paula noted that all the positions are listed on the ClayFest webpage along with detailed descriptions of the tasks involved and email links to the current Chairs (you can find the information at this link = http://www.clayfest.org/chairs.htm). There were a number of people that expressed interest in the positions and Paula took names (I did not) and suggested that people come to the first Steering Committee meeting for ClayFest·2006 which is in two weeks on Wednesday, January 25th starting at 6:30PM at the EWEB facilities in downtown Eugene.

Empty Bowls : Since Joshwaa was just starting to takeover from Mary Briggs, she presented an update to this year’s sale. The sale dates are not finalized yet; however, the sale will be at OPUS·6 again and will be in conjunction with a First Friday ArtWalk (most probably May 1st or June 1st). The auction will be moved to September 9th because Food for Lane County (FFLC) is so busy with Chef’s Night Out in the spring and consideration is being given to moving the Empty Bowls sale to the fall in 2007. This elicited some concerns that a fall sale may adversely effect our ClayFest show and possibly artists’ holiday sales.

Mary continued that the Throw-a-thon would be at LCC again this year. Tom Rohr explained that the event had to fit into the school’s class schedule and that meant most probably spring break. He is currently considering either March 25/26 or April 8/9 and wants to ensure that LCC students get a chance to be involved (he uses this as a learning experience in loading bisque kilns, etc). Tom reiterated that this is not about how many bowls we can make in a weekend, but rather about having two fun-filled days using up as much clay as we can while hanging out with our fellow potters and making bowls for a great cause. Both Tom and Mary reminded the group that the Throw-a-thon is not meant to replace the bowls that individual artists contribute, but rather to add to … so please start thinking about the bowls you are going to donate this year.

Local Clay’s Pre-NCECA Conference Shows : The Local Clay committee that is organizing our pre-NCECA shows gave a presentation of the status of the two shows.

    • DIVA show will open on March 3rd in conjunction with First Friday ArtWalk and will run through April 29th. There will most probably be a Thursday evening preview invitational, but the details were not flushed out yet. The show will be called Clay Tones.
    • Poetry of a Cup at Territorial Vineyards will be a short show opening the same Friday and running through the weekend only.

Advertising postcards are in progress by Frank. It was mentioned that both shows are closed and if you’ve already applied for one or both you should have been notified already. The next meeting is Wednesday, January 18th at Faith Rahill’s home (address in Local Clay directory) and everyone that has applied to the show(s) is encouraged to attend. IF you are not going to be able to attend the meeting you are requested to contact Faith about your responsibilities, etc. Holly Dubrasich is compiling an inventory list (artist name, title, price, etc) for the items to be displayed and needs everyone to respond to her recent emails. The deadline for providing this information to Holly is January 23rd.

LCC’s Pre-NCECA Conference

Tom Rohr provided an extensive update on the activities noting that the scope of the entire project was way above anything he would have expected. Tom explained that one of his goals at LCC was to put the "community" back in Community College and that had driven him to integrate LCC with Local Clay (hosting Throw-a-thon and workshops, etc). Over the past year Local Clay has used the ceramics facilities on numerous occasions and now LCC needs some support …

The cost of the pre-NCECA conference is estimated to be $20,000 of which Tom has already gotten approximately $11,000 in funding. He mentioned $4000 from the sale of LCC student pottery at their annual sale, $5000 from the LCC Art fund, and $2000 from private donations. He also mentioned that he applied for five grants and did not get a single one due (most probably) to the fact that so many others had already put in for grants for the NCECA conference events in Portland. At this point LCC needs some additional funding and Tom reminded Local Clay of its commitment to support the events.

If the conference attracts 100 attendees then the financial shortfall will be about $2000 and Tom was hoping Local Clay would pick-up some of the funds. Tom graciously offered that if the conference did make money that the excess funds would go to the LCC Student Art Fund and be used to support Local Clay workshops in the future. There was much discussion about how to support the conference with the bulk of the ideas revolving around using Local Clay’s workshop budget/funds.

Rhoda mentioned she had done in-kind volunteer work as part of getting workshop presenters here in 2005 and as a result she had not spent her entire workshop budget hoping that the carry-over could go to support the LCC pre-NCECA conference (since Susan Fishel was not at the meeting there was some minor confusion about what we did with carry-over funds). Rhoda then proposed that we give LCC the carry-over funds from 2005 workshops and 50-75% of the 2006 workshop budget (it was noted that the budget was not yet completed as the Board has not met but last year we budgeted $2000 for workshops).

There was considerable discussion about keeping at least enough money for one Local Clay specific workshop in 2006 and about the uncertainty of the amount given the way the proposal was made. There was a second proposal to give LCC either $2000 or 100% of the 2005 workshop budget carry-over plus 50% of the 2006 workshop budget whichever was the greater. Rhoda withdrew her original proposal and there was a unanimous vote to approve the second proposal.

Tom finished with a brief overview of the conference events and urged everyone to visit the LCC webpage (http://www.lanecc.edu/artad/ceramics/) that has been set-up for attendees. The webpage provides online registration but Tom said if anyone does not have internet or prefers they can contact him at the school (463-5417 or be email at rohrt@lanecc.edu) and he will help. There will be a show at OPUS·6 featuring the work of the four conference artists/presenters which will also open on First Friday ArtWalk. He says that most of the conference days will be busily spent on campus with presentations and demonstrations, and he hopes that most evenings will be spent in downtown visiting the various ceramic shows.

As always in putting on an event such as this … Tom needs volunteers to help out in all sorts of positions. He urged people to consider helping where they could and to contact him for specifics.

 New Year Resolutions … Brainstorming ideas for Local Clay in 2006

Frank mentioned that we hadn’t done any brainstorming of new ideas for Local Clay in a number of years and he hoped we could come up with some new directions and opportunities. Some ideas were :

    • Have Local Clay budget to donate ceramics books to the Eugene Library
    • Have Local Clay support the new video library at Georgies
    • Ways to donate our rarely-used ceramics books as a group to ????
    • A swap-meet for members
      It was noted that DIVA is having an artists’ Garage Sale and it was posted on their webpage
    • Add a place on our webpage for members to post things they have to sell/trade and things the need and want.
    • Possible some sort of Local Clay interactive mailing list service for members to send messages back-and-forth
    • Have Local Clay’s outreach to the community support things like the equipment needs of organizations like Looking Glass that have ceramics programs but minimal funding.
    • Provide a kiln building group experience … like a barn raising where each year Local Clay members would get together and build a kiln (for someone or some group or ?????)


There was a proposal a second and a vote to adjourn the meeting.

The next Local Clay meeting is on March 30th at Georgies …