Online Groups of Potters and Ceramic Artists
(There are many more groups on Facebook which can be found using the search box.)
Welcome. After a small delay, we are back with episode 11. It’s about meeting other potters. Thanks for giving us a listen. Pottery can be an isolated activity. But I’ve found it’s a lot more fun with friends! Being around other potters can also spark new ideas, challenge you, and just give you someone that you can talk to. This particular MudTalk Monday discussion didn’t produce as many comments so it may be a little shorter. I’m also not going to sort the comments into categories like other episodes. At the end I will share my favorite responses and a few ideas to help you meet other potters and ceramic artists for those of you that want to meet more members of the awesome clay community. Let’s get started.
Rootandrocks I am focused in ceramics in a school that supports me but does not have a ceramics department. Whenever I meet another ceramicist it is exciting to find out about their inspirations, techniques. I love to compare notes and generally geek out about clay. The few people that work in clay at my school band together to share our love for it.
Flowerpottery I find the ceramics community in general to be so generous with information and technique. It’s rare that you meet someone who is not willing to share info. Far too many generous people to name. It’s one of the things that makes our community so great.
Bluelotuspottery I have not met many in person but I have meet many many online. clay buddies has been a godsend to me. And I look forward to meeting some of them in person in the future. I am also getting to know many on instagram.
Flowergurl4eva I met Hollis Engley, and Mitch Lyons. Both were encouraging, and not afraid to share. Hollis invited my hubby and I into his studio, and showed us part of his creative process. Mitch said come up and visit sometime. They were both genuine.
Honnoria At the airport in Las Vegas I thought I saw Brian Hopkins and asked if it was him. We had a very nice conversation. When we arrived in Buffalo he helped me with my VERY LARGE box. 50# of stuff in that box. It was great having a friendly helpful face there in the middle of the night.
Judy F All the clay artists I have met enjoy exchanging techniques and glazing info. We love to pick each other’s brains and solve problems.
Marsmelk Our Baltimore Clayworks teacher Sam Wallace took six of his long-term students on a visit to his native Jamaica in 2015. Visited potters Isaiah The Flower Pot Man and David Pinto. Great trip! More here: bclayjamaica.wordpress.com
Ideas to meet other potters
We’re going to do something a little different here at the end. I’ll share some of my favorite responses AS the ideas to meet other potters.
Piperpottery Instagram and #etsymudteam– I realize these are in-person meetings, but I don’t have a huge local pottery community so the virtual communities I’m a part of have really helped me out in terms of slogging thru the less inspiring times in life. The contacts I’ve made on Instagram are also helping me grow as a potter.
Idea 1: Meet Potters and Ceramic Artists Online
This is probably the easiest thing to do. Technology can bring us together like never before. You can often find groups of potters on many social media platforms. You can also find potters through hashtags or looking at who other potters are following. I’ll share some links in the show notes if you want to find potters online.
Milagrosrviale Once I went as tourist to Jerusalem, and I visited a potter there, he worked with Terra sigillata. I wanted to know everything and he shared all his techniques w me. I was very happy that he wouldn’t mind sharing his knowledge.
Idea 2: Look up potters for your next trip
If you are traveling to a new destination you may be able to look up some potters or ceramic artists in the area. You could search for community centers in the towns you will be visiting or ask in some of the online groups mentioned earlier to see if anyone lives or has knowledge of potters in the area.
Bdeterling I attended Alabama Clay Conference when I was in grad school. Just like NCECA but on a smaller, much more intimate scale. It was a lot easier to make connections for me.
Idea 3: NCECA and Other Conferences
There are plenty of clay centered conferences around the world. NCECA is the largest that I know of and it happens every year in a different place in the US. I haven’t made it to one yet but I hope to get there soon. There are so many clay related activities, exhibitions and presentations, you are bound to connect with some like-minded potters. There are also many smaller conferences out there. You probably won’t find as many potters but you may make some deeper connections.
Wildfirepotterypenn In the fall of 2015, I had the privilege of meeting Jack Troy and Carolanne Currier & got a tour from them of their studios. Their generosity and sharing of information, process, & facilities was incredible.
Idea 4: Take a Workshop
Workshops are a great way to gain some skills or inspiration. And you often get to meet plenty of other potters. Not just the workshop host but the other attendees as well. I’ve taken a few workshops myself over the years and I could spend days talking about the things I’ve learned and the interesting people that I’ve met. But we’ll save that for another time.
Viv.ceramics When I was in high school Judi Tavill was my favorite artist and I’ve been following her ever since(3+ years)!! (I have a whole email chain to prove it) The crazy part is SHE came up to ME during the Bollywood dance at nceca and I recognized her after a minute! She’s hilarious! I posted a pic on my account 🙂
When I was in high school @jtceramics was my favorite artist and I’ve been following her ever since!! (I have a whole email chain to prove it) The crazy part is SHE came up to ME and I recognized her after a minute! Thanks for your unique advice Judi! 😉 #nceca17 #portland #clay #ceramics #nceca #artists #bollywooddance
Idea 5: Contact Someone Whose Work You Admire
You probably have favorite potters or ceramic artists that make work you really love. You may not be able to meet them face to face but there’s nothing stopping you from emailing them or messaging them. Tell them what you love about their work and see if they will answer a question for you. Even as a small time potter, I’ve been called and emailed, mostly about my glazes. I love talking about that kind of stuff so I welcome any questions or comments. A majority of the potters I’ve met seem to feel the same way. Not everyone will strike up a conversation, some may not even respond but don’t take it personally. Potters are busy people.
Hopefully some of these ideas will inspire you to meet some new clay friends.
I was recently at a pottery potluck where I got to meet a bunch of new potters and see some people that I hadn’t seen for a while. One of the local potters was hosting a wood fire workshop and had three guest artists and 4 workshop attendees. It was great meeting people in real life that I’ve followed on instagram for a while. It was also amazing to see some of their work in person. And it was a lot of fun hearing about how they make their pots and crazy stories and wood firing pro tips from Brett and Tim. Plus it is always great to share some good food and stand around a wood kiln.
And speaking of meeting new clay friends, I’ve got some ideas for the Expert Clay blog that I could use your help with. In the future, I hope to have a featured artist series. You would send a couple paragraphs about you and your work with a couple photos. Tell your story and include some links to your website, social accounts and where your work can be purchased. Then I’ll share it on the blog, social media and other related channels to promote you.
The other idea I hope to get started is an Expert Insight series. For this, I’m picturing a paragraph about one part of the process that you really enjoy or which makes your work unique. Include a photo or two. Maybe one of the process and one of a finished piece? Include some links and I’ll share it everywhere I can.
If you are interested in participating, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. I’ll figure out the details and let you know how to submit your stuff.
And don’t be shy, if you have a story about meeting another potter or any of the other topics from past episodes go to expertclay.com/mtp and share your thoughts with us. I love to hear stories, thoughts and opinions from other clay people and I know others do as well.
Our next episode will be about the person that has influenced you the most. Until then, stay muddy.