Local Clay General Meeting Minutes

November 8, 2007


In Attendance : Kay Irish, Tom Rohr, Ray Wissig, Paul MacCullen, Mary Briggs, Earl Kruger, Jackie Leong, Kathy Lee, Avi Harriman, Tim Sheehan, Leslie Friedman, Susan Fishel, Susie Young


The meeting was called to order by President, Kay Irish. Tom Rohr moved to accept the August minutes. Paula MacCullen seconded.


Treasurer’s Report, Susan Fishel :

Last report 8/26/07. Cash carried forward $7175.76

Total Income since 8/26 = $463.00

Total Expenses = $308.05

Total Profit for Period 8/27/07 – 11/07/07 = $154.95

YTD Carried Forward = $7,330.71


Empty Bowls, Tom Rohr : The Food for Lane County had scheduling problems and held the Empty Bowls sale in September this year instead of in the Spring. Holding this sale of pottery three weeks before ClayFest may have caused a decrease in ClayFest sales. We’ll know for sure when all of the accounting is finished. Food for Lane County provided publicity for ClayFest, and did everything they could to take care of the potential problem. Tom raised a few questions to consider for our future participation in Empty Bowls. Did FFLC sell all of the bowls? Should we make fewer bowls? If this date change becomes permanent, do we continue with Empty Bowls every year, or do we participate every other year? He said that historically potters had donated seconds to the Empty Bowls Sale. It has morphed into a donation of professional-quality bowls. The annual Throw-A-Thon of 500 bowls, followed by a day of trimming, is a lot of work. It’s not always practical for the LCC students to glaze the bowls as part of their curriculum. During his summer break, Tom spent a week glazing the 500 bowls himself. He recommends that the Throw-A-Thon be spread out among more venues – possibly including Club Mud along with LCC. LCC will host the Throw-A-Thon in Spring, 2008. We’ll contact Club Mud regarding 2009.  Tom also said that the new ClaySpace may host the Empty Bowls Show. Mary Briggs reminded us that Food for Lane County is a very gracious organization. They held a party to honor the artists who donate their work, which Kathy Lee attended. Kathy said that the party had a nice spread and speeches. Food for Lane County also pays the artists for the bowls that we donate to the Auction. Tom has done an exceptional job as chair of this committee. A Trainee slot is open for 2008.


ClayFest, Paula MacCullen : The committee is still fine-tuning the receipts. A profit was made and we’ll know the exact figure next meeting. The close date of the Empty Bowls Sale didn’t seem to have an impact on sales at ClayFest. Trainee Slots open for ClayFest include Secretary (working with Susan Roden) and Treasurer (working with Susan Fishel), and Chair (working with Paula MacCullen). The next ClayFest meeting will be held at EWEB 1/15/08, 6:30 pm


 The ClayFest Treasurer, Susan Fishel cautioned us about the possibility of running out of money. The commission structure is flexible by 1%. Historically, the show makes money as often as it loses money. This year will be closer to a break even status, even with higher numbers. It takes $10,000 to put on the show. Permit fees, taxes, and other expenses are due all year long. By the time we get the booth fees in the Spring, we need them. ClayFest should hold a financial reserve of 1.5 shows. If we lose money two consecutive years, what then?  Booth fees increased by a small percentage based on last year’s results. Costs of putting on the show continue to rise. ClayFest has never made a substantial profit. The first few years of ClayFest, we had a long waiting list. Now the list has become very short. High end work doesn’t sell as well as less expensive pieces. This hurts the quality of the show. The numbers were up this year with less expensive pieces. The $25-$50 range sells best. The Eugene marketplace has historically been low-end. ClayFest typically donates $300 - $1,000 to Local Clay. The question was raised if ClayFest really needs to make a donation to Local Clay, or should ClayFest have a comfortable reserve before donating to Local Clay? What cushion is sustainable in relation to the figure donated to Local Clay? Should we budget $1,000 to Local Clay and aim for a lower figure? What if the show loses money? In the past, ClayFest donated $300 even when losing money. What if the show loses $2,000? Can we have a catastrophic loss and still put on the show another year? ClayFest requires $12,000 to start the year. In case of a worst case scenario, Local Clay can loan ClayFest money to start the show.


The issue was tabled until the January Board meeting, at which time Local Clay and ClayFest will work out the budget for the year. We’ll come up with a margin of workable figures.


2008 Membership and Late Fees, Leslie Friedman : Last year the newly-implemented dues deadline of January 31 had quite an impact : 50% of the Local Clay memberships were late. A late fee of $30 was charged to members who signed up for ClayFest. People who did not participate in ClayFest were not charged a late fee. Because the primary source of Local Clay’s budget comes from membership, we enacted a deadline in order to run the organization successfully. Constructing a valid membership list earlier in the year was also a factor in setting the deadline. The 2008 membership season began during Clayfest and will last until January 31. The $30 ClayFest late fee begins with memberships postmarked February 1 or later. The membership application can be found at this link : MEMBERSHIP. Thanks for renewing your membership early!


Workshops and Programs, Mary Briggs : LCC is a fantastic workshop venue. Summer is a perfect time for a workshop at LCC, and the art school/ clay studio is the perfect space. The 5-day Vince Pitelka workshop last summer was a wonderful learning experience. LCC can host workshops anytime that school is out of session. Rhoda Fleischman has volunteered to be the chair in 2008.  


Clay in Ed, Kay Irish : More people than ever before have applied to lead Clay in Ed sessions. All the money for the ClayFest late fees as well as income from the Clay in Ed booth at ClayFest have helped us serve a lot of people. This committee originated when Local Clay was looking for an outreach program. Clay in Ed participants have put on classes, demonstrations, and career presentations for schools (all grade levels), scouts and senior centers. With wider interest among Local Clay members, we’ll need to set guidelines for projects. Because the goal of the committee is to expose as many people as possible to quality pottery-making, we’ll determine a financial limit at the budget meeting. (OPA has a $200 limit/project.) We’d like to fund as many potters as possible. We pay the teaching potters $25/hour for in-class time, and do not pay for materials, kiln rental, etc. Bob from Georgies said that Georgies might grant 100-200 pounds of clay so that people no longer have to scrounge for reclaimed clay! Erika Worman has worked in the school system and has offered to put together a program to show how to promote Clay in Ed programs within the schools





Empty Bowls – Tom will talk to Terry Kirby about scheduling the Sale in the Spring and the Auction in September.


Elections in January

President         Michael Fromme

President-Elect     Open

Treasurer        Susan Fishel      Trainee Slot open (Susan will teach QuickBooks)

Secretary        Leslie Friedman

Empty Bowls      Tom Rohr        Trainee Slot open

ClayFest         Paula MacCullen    Trainee Slot open

Workshops       Rhoda Fleishman

Clay in Ed        Erika Worman


Backbone Group - 2008 is 10 year anniversary of Local Clay and ClayFest. Over the years some people have volunteered for multiple offices that no one else would take on. Don Clarke had five jobs one year. Frank Gosar, Kay Irish, Susan Fishel, among others, have routinely taken on extra roles. Susan proposes that officers with time intensive jobs (President, Secretary, Treasurer) be paid a stipend beginning in the 6th year of service. Paula suggested that instead of a stipend, the ClayFest commission be increased or the booth fee waived. Susan reiterated that people should be compensated when they pick up the pieces for jobs that go unchaired. Issue to be discussed further in January.


Privacy IssuesThe ClayFest applications require social security numbers so that income can be reported to the IRS. The sensitive information should be destroyed every year. Everyone who has had access to this information is requested to delete this information from any database they may have maintained and shred paper documents. In the future, we’ll have perforation at the bottom of the application forms for the names, addresses and ssn’s. The ClayFest sales notebook will become private so that no one has access to anyone else’s confidential sales figures.


Because of the length of the meeting, we didn’t have a discussion of holiday sales sites.


Demonstration Mary Briggs demonstrated sgraffito and a unique and easy handle -pulling technique. Very interesting. Thanks Mary for all of your hard work this year chairing the Workshop and Demonstration committee.