Thursday, January 21, 2010

An autumn exhibit of keyboarding potters







A pottery show called "Clay and Blogs: Telling a Story" will open at the Campbell House in Moore County, N.C., on October 1. The opening will be from 6 to 8 p.m.
Though the exhibition is in the state that is one of the taproots of U.S. pottery, this show includes potters from around the country and across more than one ocean. I'm lucky to be one of the nearly 50 blogging potters invited to be part of the show, which is being put together by incredibly hardworking volunteer organizer (and blogging potter) Meredith Heywood of North Carolina's Whynot Pottery.
I started blogging a bit more than a year ago, encouraged by Fredericksburg, Va., potter and friend Dan Finnegan. I made my living as a newspaper photographer, writer and editor for many years, but writing about my own work and the fits and starts of pot-making on Cape Cod is an entirely different endeavor.
But other potters linked to my blog through Dan's, and to Dan's through mine, and through Tracey Broome's and the marvelous U.K colloquialisms of Doug Fitch's blog and Paul Jessop's and Hannah McAndrew's and Ang's in Australia and Maria Bosch's in Barcelona (in Catalan, no less) and before I knew it, I had a circle of friends I'd never met. I explain this blogging thing to my coffee table friends in the morning at Coffee Obsession and ... they ... don't ... get it. "Read a blog? I don't have time to read a blog!"
But I couldn't start the day without a perusal of who has said what overnight. Have the grit lorries cleared snow from the road to Doug's place? Is Dan back in his country studio after recuperating from surgery? Has Tracey worked out her kiln problems? How's the thatching going on that cottage near Paul Jessop's Barrington Court studio?
This is the kind of thing we'd talk about at the bar or the pub or the coffee shop if we were a group of potters working in the same town. But we're a group of potters working on the same planet, and we get to share these things through this marvelous blogosphere. A sort of virtual pub, actually, though we can't buy each other a pint.
So about 50 blogging potters will send pots from all over the world this fall to the Campbell House in Moore County, N.C. I'm hoping to be able to drive down for the opening on October 1. It should be a great show.
The photos from a few of the potters, from the top: Hannah McAndrews's wonderful photo of her hands throwing a wide bowl; Doug Fitch's beautiful jug, recently acquired by a prestigious U.K. museum; the Shino bowls of Australia's Angela Walford; Brandon Phillips's Texas teapot; a fine woodfired Dan Finnegan gift mug; and Tracey Broome's freshly-made ... ummm ... what? ... goat? Tracey works in Chapel Hill.

13 comments:

ang said...

awww man that's sweet!!! it's a great thing to be able to catch up each morning...ahhh and what to send to the show that is the question!!!

traceybroome@mindspring.com said...

I couldn't have said it better. I feel like I know all of you better than my next door neighbors! My blog reading has taken the place of my sit down with the morning paper (sad to say, since the newspapers around here can't find anything worth writing about) and a cup of tea. I catch up with what everyone has going on with family and friends and their pottery. I like that! I almost always learn something new during the day of blogs.
Oh, the animal? Imaginary creature mostly!

Elizabeth Seaver said...

What a great and unusual idea for a show. Wish I could be there.

cindy shake said...

I LOVE your phrase of "Keyboarding Potters!" Totally can sympathize with non-Bloggers not getting it... though I still can't believe I'M a BLOGGER -hahaha, but keeping/reading Blog(s) has been one of the most rewarding experiences that has helped me to get back into clay and feel part of a clay community.

cookingwithgas said...

I am sitting here just smiling.
Hollis- I hope you do make it down for the show.
I still can't believe we are really doing this and yet everytime I read a blog about the show I think how right this is.
On another note, my father was in the newspaper business all his life.
He was a repoter, editor and wore a wide variety of hats over the years.

Seems like there are all sorts of paralells between many of us.

Hollis Engley said...

Thanks, friends. This post was a good excuse to get some other folks' beautiful pots on my blog. Don't you love that shot from Hannah? And Meredith, I stayed with newspapers a wire service and a magazine for a bit more than 20 years,then had to see what I could do in clay. These days, newspapers are a bit shaky. Of course, so is clay ...

jimgottuso said...

hi hollis, nice post and an eloquent description of what it's all about. not sure if i will make it to the show but if i do, maybe we should arrange for us to all get some beers somehow. i tell people about having a blog and i agree, they mostly don't get it. i told my neighbor and she laughed almost derisively and said... you, have a blog? i think she may think that they are only for political reporters or something. anyway, the show should be great and if some of us can finally meet, so much the better.

Linda Starr said...

you expressed some of my feelings about blogs so well, beautiful photos and thoughts.

Hollis Engley said...

Hi, guys. Jim, I'm guessing some of the neighboring NC potters already have the nearest beer spots reserved for us all to gather. If not ... we should designate someone like Tracey as chair of the beer and boiled peanuts committee.

Christine H S said...

A Blogspot Blogpot show,nice one! Yes the potter's blog has been a revelation for me, it is an extraordinary kindred ship. I can't believe that Dan's mug travelled all the way here Scotland and then back again via the blogshere to Hatchville in around 48 hours, nice surprise.

HENHOUSE POTTERY said...

Love your post about the show - you've captured so well the community that I feel. That kinship has been here to help me, too, out on the west coast where our pottery tradition is new(er).

Hollis Engley said...

Yes, Christine, thank you for (unknowingly) allowing me to steal the photo from your blog. Those pots do get around, don't they? It's a good group, isn't it, Julia?

soubriquet said...

I won't be able to get to the show, but.... I'll be seeing it on the blogs!

When I'd just started blogging, I was fascinated, (as I still am), by how bloggers all over the world take time to write, photograph, muse, and post, on their worlds. I saw it as akin to sailing in an archipelago of tiny islands, and making contact with their inhabitants.
And now, there are people all over the world who I think of as friends.
I just wish there was a way to teleport, and have an evening at the pub with a group of blogpotters. I'll bring some clay.