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Brian Reed

Potters Legacy Tour Question

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Last year I took on the challenge of putting on my first big workshop.  I had Simon Leach out for 4 days of hands on workshops here in Washington state.  It was a super fun time and I received very positive feedback from all the participants.  So much so that I am going to be doing another workshop that I will announce in about a month for June 2014 workshops.  A different ceramic artist than Simon that has made an impact on ceramics in this country.  Again I will announce in a few weeks, I still have some planning to get done first.

 

My question is about an interest in a larger effort that I have been contemplating.  I know in the  past potters of note would travel through the US conducting workshops and artist in residence activities all over the country for an extended period of time, say a month.  I know of a few brothers of some pottery note that I was going to talk to about doing something like that in the future. I thought about picking places that have some sort of history to them and setting up workshops for local artists to come and learn from masters that have decades of ceramics experience and a famous name.  My question is that if I could even arrange for such a thing and get this going do you think there is a market for this type of Pottery Legacy workshops here in the US?

 

If there were 2-3 well know potters that were doing combined workshops and you could come for a couple of days to learn from these masters would you even be interested in such a thing?  Just trying to figure that out.

 

  

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I would advise you to write up a formal plan/proposal with names, prices, proposed schedules etc.

The workshop reps and the reps of the ceramics programs of many universities are at NCECA which is in Milwaukee from March 19 - 22, 2014. You could bring your proposal and meet with them personally. Even if they cannot do it, they might steer you to the right people who can.

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I have never been to NCECA, even when it was in Seattle, my bad I know.  However that may be a good route.  I do not doubt that I can pull it off, I am just curious if there is a market for session like this.  When I organized my first big hands on workshop I was met by skepticism from many of the local potters and a couple industry people I had met.  they all thought the same thing, that there was not a market for hands on workshops anymore.  That they were a thing of the past.  However I got a different reaction when I talked to those who I thought were the target market for such a workshop.  I had such support from them and sign ups that I ended up with a waitlist and had to turn some people away in the end.

 

That was just a single workshop in a area that seems to not have as many well know potters come through (Seattle). 

 

Thanks for the comments.  If I am going to do it I have over a year of planning that I will need to start soon.

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Brian,

 

A lot of the "craft school" kind of places (Anderson Ranch, The Bray, Penland, Watershed, etc.) hold hands-on, extended workshops... and they are VERY well attended.  Personally I think there is a market for such things. 

 

Slide talk and demo only workshops are certainly good educational events, but a hands-on one over a bit more time is WAY more valuable.  It is also more interesting for the presenters.....and really allows them to "shine" and share more than the "flashy stuff".

 

I used to regularly teach a 9-10 day hands-on woodfiring workshop here at my studio in the summer for many, many years... and it always had a wait list.  Main reason I stopped doing it was that lately I am in Japan most summers......not for lack of interest.  I still have people contacting me to see when / if I am doing it again.

 

That you are working on the planning a year out says you know what you are doing.  It takes a while to get the ducks in a row.  Chris gives some good advice there also. (And you SHOULD get to NCECA for you, too.)

 

Go for it.

 

best,

 

.......................john

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Thank you everyone for your thoughts.  I am encouraged by your word and will see what I can do.  I am currently getting Cynthia Brinkley for  four days of workshops all setup for June 2014. After I get that all planned and running I will spend some time on this more ambitious plan. 

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