Utilitarian V ( report)

I came home a day early from being up in Gatlinburg at the Utilitarian Clay Conference. Tonight I'm sure the beer is flowing and everyone is dancing and having a good time.

I took three days off from my usual to get re-energized and educated in a few new things. I always go to workshops these days with the attitude that I need to learn some new "tricks" for my students ; not necessarily for my own work. Years ago I would seek out people that I wanted to emulate and now I think I'm at a place where I want my own voice so bad, that I try really hard not to do this. In all honestly I think it does still slip in here and there and from what Pete Pennell lectured about in the evenings, it always will seep in. But that is a whole different topic that I'm not sure I want to take on.

Tonight I thought I just say a few things about how I personally felt driving back and thinking about what I saw and heard these last few days. Maybe during the week I can kind of break down my other observations on what I saw.

In a nut shell, the longer I'm in this field the more I realize I just need a few days of talking about nothing but clay to give me a real boost for a good year or so. I feel so re-energized and focused on goals and taking small steps with my work one day at a time. Slow and Steady is what I always tell my very shy daughter every morning when she timidly goes into school unsure of herself. This motto rings true for me also; Slow and Steady..just keep plugging' along. In the past situations like these where there are so many big names and lots of networking, I only felt lacking in confidence with my work. This time I realised that I feel pretty alright with where I am even if that next kiln load brings does not bring the prospect of better pots than the last. Kind of deep stuff to talk about but being immersed in something always brings deep thoughts to topics.

(Ok...enough deepness...back to surperficial fun stuff!)

On a lighter note, if they gave out a badge this week for the most antsy person, I'm sure I would of won. I must of jumped around from demo to demo more than anyone else there. I kind of felt like the fly on a wall that couldn't stay still to swat! I swear our house must be the poster family for ADD.

............I'll think I'll end there tonight.


Unknown said...

Jen... It looked like an awesome conference...one of these days...

Patricia Griffin Ceramics said...

Hi Jen,
Enjoyed reading your thoughts on being re-energized and trying to live by the "slow and steady" motto. (Your daughter is fortunate to have such an empathetic mom.) I get way too hard on myself. Thanks for sharing. Love you work.

Unknown said...

Etsy is waiting and so am I!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen,

It was really such a pleasure to have a chance to hang out with you at the symposium!

I am excited to see how we all internalize our experience and how it will play into our artwork over the next few months.

Hope to see you next weekend!


Jen Mecca said...

Thanks Barbara...back at cha'!
Now get going on that blog!Jen