Like the confluence of the three rivers that meet near by the sweeping tent like architecture of the convention center, thousands of people came together in similar fashion for this year's NCECA. For those of you who do not know, National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts...AKA, NCECA.
Next on my gallery hopping trip was Three Rivers Gallery...two separate floors of conceptual ceramic objects and small installations. I wanted to pull up a bean bag chair in the middle of all those ice cream cones, have a big mug full of hot coffee and watch the city go by under me!
Then it was a quick trip into one of the coolest ideas I have ever seen. The Art Stream...an airstream trailer that has been outfitted inside as a mobile gallery space. It usually sets up shop immediately outside the conference and people flock to see whats going on inside. Inside you will find all functional ceramic works by a lot of young potters, including that of Elizabeth Robinson, whose work I love.
Afterwards I walked over to the I.U.P. show, 'Stuck In The Mud'. I had two small sculptures and one larger table piece that consists of 40 smaller works displayed in an orgy of form and pattern in this show. My buddy JR Sherburne had several of his beautiful and wild lidded vessels in the exhibit as did other past graduates and alum professors like Don Hedman. Current ceramic professor Kevin Turner's work was also featured, as were several of his students.
The next day I spent most of my time in the convention center itself...I spent a great deal of time in the vendor/exhibitor section...every imaginable clay tool, book, glaze and clay related item all under one roof! Here I also met and spoke with one of my very favorite ceramist/clay sculptor, Virginia Scotchie and purchased a great big glaze recipe book that she put together.
Late Friday afternoon, me, Nancy and JR headed over to the multiple shows and after party at Standard Ceramics. Standard is our local ceramic supply. Also on the same property as Standard is Pittsburgh's oldest and coolest clay gallery, The Clay Place, owned and operated for 27 years by Elvira Peake .
We saw some nice installation work and alot of great pots and sculptural objects here. The Clay Place featured the work of Kirk Mangus, Eva Kwang, and Micheal Simon, along with Elvira's own work. The shows in Standard were set up everywhere! All through the warehouse and clay production areas, boxes had been stacked into pedestals and the artwork mingled with the heavy equipment...notable pieces for me were the Arthur Gonzales piece that I am posting below, and this amazing cup piece as well as most all the work from the Nordic Wood Fire mini-show.
WHEEE-HOOO! That was a big posting! But to share this experience with you gentle reader, its so worth it! NCECA is jam packed with things to see and do. My brain is on ceramic overload and I am juiced to get in the studio and finish up my new sculptural pieces as well as start working on a new batch of wood fired ware. If you have never been, put it on your list of things to do. I spent a very happy two days with friends, meeting new people, and seeing some great, great clay. Goin' dawhn-tawhn to see yinz guys in the burgh was well worth the trip.