I have just returned from a fabulous weekend at the 25th North Carolina Potters Conference.
Over 150 potters young and old assembled once again to share our love of clay. One of the questions we stopped to examine was the relevance of clay and the human made object today. Some fear the handmade pot is doomed by easy access to the cheap and disposable while others predict a renaissance of interest due to the 'buy local' movement. They strongly advocate we hitch our carts to it.
So what do you all think? What is the future of handmade pottery? Do people still really need the connection?
So how can anyone be asking this question or being negative about the future of ceramics when seeing the likes of the younger established potters that were at NC. The three of them were real treats to listen to, and their life styles were obviously not about tweeting, or texting, but about clay. I included a few composites I made up that will help me remember their names and the weekend.
I have to tell you that I do find this conversation interesting. This past Spring when I asked my contractor to help me put an extension onto my garage he too said "but that is an old fashioned art...no one does that anymore...you aren't going to make any money you know." I countered with "it is my hobby and whether or not I make money at it is not really something I care about. It just brings me pleasure."
Having said that, I do like the idea of hopping onto the green movement and that our products are indestructible. They will be here long after we live. Having said this, we all have a shard pile that unless carefully monitored will lead to more landfill.
My promise to myself is to only fire those things I really, really think will make it and amount to something I will keep, give away or sell.
But as for it being "old fashioned" I do agree our time back "in vogue" will be realized once again. I just wish here in Canada that we had more active pottery classes for those in secondary schools to experience the sheer pleasure of clay.