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Mark C.

Remembering Your Mentors

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Sounds like you had a terrific mentor with Reese Bullen. One thing you didn’t write is how you are now in turn the mentor to many.  Big thanks to all you have shared, though I don’t think many of us could keep up with your production load!

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Four of my mentors were survivors of WWII also.Three women were amazing in their own right.

Bill Daley was one of my undergraduate ceramics teachers. He was shot down twice and was a POW in Germany.

I was able to be his assistant when he came to the Bray in 2002 or so. I picked I'm up in the morning about 7 am , we'd eat cheerios in the studio and then the whole class would gather for him to lead us in some yoga.He is still going strong. He wrote a nice letter to me after my presentation from NCECA was published in the Journal. He said it was well written. He couldn't hear me during the presentation but the slides were wonderful. So he enjoyed reading about what he had seen. He send me those crazy drawing once in a while..like the one being auctioned off at NCECA at one of the gallery exhibitions.He taught me how to work with slabs.

 

Petras Vaskys was also an undergraduate ceramics teacher. He was Lithuanian during the war and worked for the underground. He told great stories. He escaped capture by being bricked up in a bakery oven. He made forged documents by lifting stamps with boiled eggs. He jumped out of a prisoner train.He heard the planes coming towards Dresden when he and his friend escaped. His wife didn't. Petras died in the 90s.He taught slab building as well. While Bill's direction evolved fro geometric designs, Patras' forms came from nature.

 

My graduate teacher/mentor, Nick Vergette, was in the Royal Air Force in Britain. He was a studio potter in Britain before coming to the US to teach at the School for American Crafts in Rochester and then to SIU Carbondale. He hired me to be the poster mold refiner for his sculptures for the first 1% for Art Commission at the federal Building in Memphis.He died from cancer suspected to be from working with fiberglass.

 

The last one was Ben Steele, Chairman of the Art Dept. when he hired me as a ceramics teacher. He was a POW and survivor of the Bataan Death March. I visited last February when I was back in Montana. I am still in touch with Bill and Ben. Great men and in their 90s.

 

Paula Winokur was a teacher in undergrad for just a semester. She taught us to throw. She was a potter at the time.Today she is better known for her porcelain sculptures. She became an example for becoming involved in NCECA. I still see her yearly at the meetings.

 

Francis Senska was the teacher of Rudy Autio and Peter Volkus in Montana. When I started teaching in Montana she befriended me. We hung out together at the 1978 ? NCECA Supermud. She was an awesome example and good friend.

 

Dr. Louana lackey was a PhD in Ethnoarcheology. She had seen maria martinez at the Chicago World's fair in 1936. She wanted to be a potter after that but she wasn't good at it. She went into Archeology. We became best friends and roomed together for 20+ years at NCECA.

All these examples have had a tremendous impact on my life and my calling in clay. As Mark as exemplified in his post, their influence lives within us.

 

Marcia

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It's nice that your college put that together all my college wants is money, I didn't really have a mentor.  They were  busy being mentors to young sexy single girls, it was the 70's.   Denice

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I had more than one I just picked the one who started the art Dept and who had the most influence 

The others (2) were just Grads from Alfreds in 1971 and where full of ceramic energy and ready to pass on what they learned.

I will add that for me I was at the right place at the right time.

Mark

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 where full of ceramic energy and ready to pass on what they learned.

 

 

 

This is what I meant when I said that you (and many many others) are acting in a mentoring role on these forums. Not a face to face or one on one mentor / mentee relationship in the traditional sense of the word but one nonetheless. If we wanted just technical information that is readily available online, these forums also provide the encouragement and dogged determination that is so necessary in this field that is strewn with pitfalls.

Marcia Selsor and Stellaria like this

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It's nice that your college put that together all my college wants is money, I didn't really have a mentor.  They were  busy being mentors to young sexy single girls, it was the 70's.   Denice

 

Same with my colleges in the 2000's and half a world away!!

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