1.You are doing the laundry and emptying out your jean pockets and they are filled with clay dust.
2.You are on the way to a weekend craft show, after just unloading your still hot kiln, packing the pots in newspaper and loading them into the back of your 1990 Ford Ranger. You are going 75 miles an hour down the highway trying to make it on time and you notice flames coming from the back of the truck.
3.You consider making ceramic earrings because the jeweler next you in the last show had a line that spilled over into your booth where you sold 3 cups.
4.You consider making your next show the local flea market so you can save the jury fee.
5.If you cry during the Ghost throwing scene.
6.You think that taking Sundays off is a decadent guilty pleasure.
7.You come home after a weekend show with $1,000 and think you are rich.( Before you realize that you had a $500 jury fee, $67.00 in sales tax, $50 in gas to get there, $150 for the motel, $50 for food, and had to donate something for the auction.)
8.You take a job as an adjunct instructor and actually believe that they are going to try to get you on full-time.
9.You consider taking a part-time job at McDonald’s so you can have a steady source of food.
10.You consider copyrighting your “new” cup design and actually believe you will make money.
11.You think using an electric wheel is selling out.
12.You open your kiln a bit early, because you can’t wait to see the work and your leather gloves start smoking and then catch on fire.
13.You check clayart on your cell phone, the first thing in the morning and then 5 more times that day.
14.If you have all the Ceramics Monthly’s from 1954, all in the labeled boxes, and in order.
15.If, while considering buying an Ipod, you think, I would only have to sell 7 more cups…
16.If you think that wedging is morally superior to a deairing pugmill.
17.If, after 30 years of being a potter, (living the dream) working 6 days a week, 12 -16 hours a day, no health insurance, no paid vacations, and no savings account, you suddenly realize you will have to live on social security. Unfortunately, you haven’t put anything in to it!
18.If you hurt your shoulder and realize you can’t afford surgery not only because you have no insurance but because you can’t afford to take 6 weeks off with no income in order to recover.
19.You spend your one day off a week, addressing show announcements, updating your mailing list and taking photos of your work so you can meet the deadline for the next show.
20.You eat peanut butter sandwiches more than 5 days a week.
21.You sleep in the bed of your truck at shows to save money.
22.You get excited about NCECA’s vendors area.
23.You are actually choosing a lecture entitled “Cones and the Dynamics of Heatwork”.
24.Your Youtube history has more than 100 pottery videos.
25.Your tool box is so full it won’t close.
26.You own 4 pin tools and think that is ok.
27.You get excited about natural sponges.
28.You think wedging is a substitute for a health club.
29.If someone asks you to be in a recipe exchange in mid-November and you send a glaze recipe while everyone else sends in turkey recipes.
30.If you think that buying store bought clay or glaze is selling out.
31.If Bernard Leach’s Potter’s Book is number 1 on your reading list.
32.If you think that the cheese ball at an opening could be “dinner”.
33.If it occurs to you while drinking a beer with your friends that you could recycle your beer bottle in a glaze.
34.If after doing your taxes, you consider getting a real minimum wage job .
35.If while listening to a story on NPR about the cause of homelessness and poverty, you realize that they are talking about you.
36.If you have used the word “eutectic” in a sentence.
37.You need to choose between buying clay and buying gas.
38.You have been to more than 20 potlucks in a year.
39.You ask your mom to buy some of your pots this month.
40.You are afraid of cristobalite.
41.You take a day off from potting to throw bowls for Empty Bowls.
42.You have 5 old broken down kilns in your backyard up on cinderblocks, and you insist you are going to make them into soda kilns someday. (not to mention 4 old cars on cinderblocks, and a washer on the porch.)
43.You look at your pants in the morning and consider wearing them again since they will get dirty in 5 minutes anyway.
44.You think the phrase “nice ash” is funny.
45.You have 20 five gallons buckets filled with slip that you have to recycle.
46.You open a bag of old clay and think that rotten egg smell means it is good.
47.You consider peeing in your clay to make it more plastic.
48.You consider making a glaze from your recently deceased pet.
49.You look on-line for human ash glaze recipes.
50.You compile a list of 50 ways "You know you’re a potter if…"
It has finally arrived - The Penland School of Crafts Apology Letter!!
Penland School of Crafts
Helping People Live Creative Lives
I am writing to you, as a former employee, because we want to address an error we made in keeping payroll records in the period of 2000-2007, and we think you may have been affected by this error. We would like to talk to you about these payroll issues, to apologize, and if you have some resulting concerns about your pay during this period, to try to make it right. You may be surprised to be receiving this letter from Penland, or you have heard about this situation from recent postings on Penland's website and other social media. Here is the background. Prior to 2007, Penland's payroll was managed in a way that unintentionally resulted in some hourly employees not always being properly compensated when they worked overtime. At that time, as you may recall, Penland paid employees every two weeks, and hours were recorded as a single number for the pay period. While hourly employees were paid time-and-a-half if they recorded more than 80 hours in a two-week time period, they should have been paid time-and-half for the extra hours if they worked more than 40 hours in a single workweek. In some instances this means that overtime was not properly paid.Penland's handling of overtime was not intentionally incorrect. The staff members administering the process believed it to be legal, and this is apparently a mistake that has been commonly made by other non-profits and small businesses. The problem was brought to light in 2007, and it was fixed going forward; and, following the recommendation of the school's lawyer specializing in labor law, a group of then-current employees were compensated for back wages for the previous two years. Also following our lawyer's advice, we did not attempt to contact former employees who had worked during that time, or earlier, but we paid one former employee who contacted us about back pay. The mistake in Penland's payroll process was not denied or hidden-it was corrected, but in what we now believe was a too-limited fashion. We are writing to you now because we have come to conclude that the choice not to go beyond the recommendations of our legal counsel did not reflect Penland's values and aspirations. Although the mistake in the timekeeping system was not intentional, we regret this mistake and we regret that it was not fully addressed at the time by reaching back to all employees who worked during the affected time period. We want to address this mistake now and, if possible, address any overtime hours not paid correctly. So, Penland is inviting you to contact me if you believe that you worked overtime based on a 40-hour week during your time at Penland. I know that it was years ago, but I would like to talk with you about your recollection of hours worked during that time, so that we can resolve how that time should be handled. Please get in touch with me by October 5, even if you don't believe Penland owes you any additional compensation. Again, we are very sorry that this happened. We are doing our best now to resolve this past payroll error in a way that is in keeping with Penland's values and its appreciation of its talented and hardworking employees. Yours, Jerry Jackson CH-3130666 vl
The Clay Club Show at TRAC came down today from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. We had a lot of help from Kari, Tria, Pat, Kathryn, Henry and Mary, Erin, Alex, Amy and many others! Thanks so much for coming out and helping and thank everyone for participating!
We did sell about $1,000 worth of stuff so I hope we get to do it again some day!
SMALL KILN FOR SALE: Skutt 181 Kiln, AKA Little Bisque Workhorse, AKA
"Baby Smurf". Footprint: 31" High, 26" diameter; interior: 18" high x
16" diameter (15.5" shelf). Manual knobs (L,M,H), kiln-sitter, Power 20
Amps, new plug 2010. Used infrequently in last two years, I have only
used at Cone 04, previous owner said it goes to 5/6 OK. Four peeps,
three full shelves, one half shelf, three each of standard post sizes.
Various cones. I paid $300 w/out any furniture or peeps, will sell with
all accessories for $295.00. Pick up in River Arts District. Greg 828
SLAB ROLLER FOR SALE: Brent SRC (cable-style), 30" wide x 50" long x 36"
high, with 6 shims (for raising/lowering slab height). In River Arts
District. $500.00. Laura SOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Perhaps this has been discussed, but I couldn't find anything in the archives. Can anyone recommend a good canopy for outdoor sales? A long time ago I had an old EZ-up but was not happy with the quality. Thanks for any info.
About four years ago I purchased a vase at the Asheville Art Museum store. Somehow the card of the artist got separated from the vase so now I do not know the name. I think it was a female, but I cannot be certain. I also think she lived in the Asheville area. The folks at the art museum store have turned over so much no one could help me and Frank Thompson didn't recognize the potter. I'm attaching an image in hopes you can help me. I run an art gallery in Raleigh and wanted to invite that potter to be in a show. The only mark on the bottom is what looks like an M. I look forward to your reply. Lee Hansley, Lee Hansley Gallery, Raleigh Lee Hansleylee@leehansleygallery.com
Join me next Sunday for a surprise one day kiln sale! The days are getting crisp and clear and it should be a perfect day to take a drive out into the county, add some beautiful pots to your collection, and check out the new additions to East Fork Pottery. We will have the first mulled cider of the season and there will be delicious baked goods from Sweet Heart Bakery in Asheville . The sale coincides with the Appalacian Sustainable Agriculture Projects fall Farm Tour, so when you are finished here head up the road to East Fork Farm and see the chickens, sheep, turkeys, ducks and pigs!
At 12pm on Sunday I will also post some work online (which is a rarity!) so if you can't make it in person, you can find some pots here!
Please join Black Mountain Center for the Arts Clay Studio in welcoming a Clay Club evening. Everyone is welcome!!!
This is a pot luck, so please bring some food and beverages. We can also use some paper goods (sign up in studio so we don't get duplicates!)
Demonstrations will follow our getting to know each other and eating. Charles Freeland has offered to show his canister making process. If you'd like to demonstrate a technique in clay, please let Charles know.
The Western North Carolina Clay Club is made up of potters who gather to connect with other potters. They usually meet the 2nd Wed. of the month. More information about Clay Club can be obtained by checking out their blog at: NC CLAY CLUB
BMCA Clay Studio is a teaching studio, as you can see by exploring more of this blog. Our students enjoy working in our comfortable studio daily in classes or open studios. We especially like being a community of people interested in clay.
Wishing inspires an innocent opening to the possibility of magic as we wait to see if the invisible realm will bring our wish to life.
BakersvilleCreek Walk!! This coming Saturday September 22nd. It should be a really beautiful weekend if the rain holds off! I along with Robbie Bell and Kari Weaver will be showing off my works by the creek in beautiful Bakersville!!! Lets hope that the rain holds off for Saturday!!! This will be my first real show and I am very very excited about it!!! :) See you all this Saturday from 10-5pm!
The amazing and most wonderful TRAC Show of the Clay Club will end September 22, 2012 but has to be taken down September 25 at 10:00 a.m. - whenever. So if you can plan on being there or having someone be there to take your work it would be great.
TRAC has to set up the next show and can't store the work so it is imperative the we cooperate and pick up the work.
I will see you there and thanks to everyone who helped plan, apply, set-up the show and now to those who are taking it down. It has been great to show everyone what the Clay Club can do!
Call me if you have life and death problems.
If anyone can come and help - we will need it! Tria, Amy, Nelle, Kari, Kathryn, Pat and Erin, etc. worked very hard setting up the show and now if we are the only ones to tear the show down, it won't be right!
Please consider helping us out. 10:00 a.m. Tuesday September 25, 2012.
If you find yourselves in Bakersville, NC this Saturday (September 22) stop by theCreek Walk Festival10 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.. On this first day of Fall, you'll find theSpeckled Dog Potterywith some great new pots and 30 other fine crafts people. Plenty of food and entertainment to boot. Come to the mountains where the leaves are turning and the apples need picking.
Robbie The Speckled Dog Pottery Robbie Bell, Potter 1454 Sandy Branch Road Bakersville, North Carolina 28705
I have 6 spaces in my upcoming glaze class at Arrowmont in Gatlinburg, TN. This is the last one for the year. Should be a good one. We have 10 people so far but I like to get 16 so we can maximize the testing for everyone. You won't find a better glaze class anywhere! This will get you up to speed with glaze testing, firing and design and set up up for a life time of glazing success!
Had a nice intimate Clay Club today. About 12 people. But got to meet Bridget Fox who is at the Energy Xchange, and had lots of old school varieties of apples, as well as folks from Asheville and Black Mountain and the best baker in the county, Robbie Bell who will be at the Bakersville Creek Walk so come on out to see him.
Also found this picture of Jim Sockwell, in his younger days, in a book about the Blue Ridge Parkway:
I will have the Clay Club at my studio this month. This Wednesday, September 12, 2012 from 6:00 - 8:30p.m. 154 Sparks Road Bakersville, NC 20705 (Google for directions or email me and I will send them to you.) Call if you get lost 828-467-5020
I really don't have a topic but some suggested bringing a pot you like and we can discuss it, how it was made, etc. Problems with glazes/clays, etc. We could also have some quick demos of teapots or something (let me know so I can prepare if you want demos) ? Or just hang out.
It is a regular pot luck.
Lots of folks are busy getting ready for shows, shows, and lots of shows so it should be a light evening, but it will be good to see everyone and thank them for supporting the Penland Boycott and the great results we got!!
I have 6 spaces in my upcoming glaze class at Arrowmont in Gatlinburg, TN. This is the last one for the year.
Should be a good one. We have 10 people so far but I like to get 16 so we can maximize the testing for everyone. You won't find a better glaze class anywhere! This will get you up to speed with glaze testing, firing and design and set up up for a life time of glazing success!
Great news! Over the Labor Day Weekend Penland School of Crafts admitted that they made mistakes and has agreed to repay all the artists/coordinators from 2000 - 2007.
Thank you to the Penland Board for coming to this decision!
This a a great day for workers, for artists, for the arts' community and for Penland School of Crafts. It was the right thing to do and they did it.
I want to thank EVERYONE who was involved in this group effort to get justice for former Penland artists! We could not have done it without your help. There are too many people to thank individually because we had over 440 people who signed our Change.org petition and I know that over 100 additional letters were sent to Penland directly and probably many more that I did not know about, as well as the overwhelming support from our NC Clay Club Blog subscribers, posting by Studio Potter Archive, the Mountain Express on-line edition and Facebook.
We had outstanding open letters sent in by many people which took a lot of courage and they were so thoughtful and heartfelt. Thank you for taking the time to express yourself publicly.
We couldn't have done it without everyone.
The former coordinators of the Penland School of Crafts THANK YOU!
Now the blog returns to it regularly scheduled programming.
Penland School of Crafts has recently been the subject of public discussion resulting from a past payroll problem. The board and staff are taking action at this time that we hope will bring the matter to a reasonable conclusion. We are also posting detailed responses to some of the issues that have been raised.
Prior to 2007 Penland’s payroll was managed in a way that unintentionally resulted in hourly employees not always being properly compensated when they worked overtime. Simply put, Penland paid employees every two weeks, and hours were recorded as a single number for the pay period. While hourly employees were paid time-and-a-half if they recorded more than 80 hours in a two-week time period, they should have been paid time-and-half if they worked more than 40 hours in a single workweek. Penland’s handling of overtime was not intentionally incorrect; the staff members administering the process believed it to be legal.
The problem was brought to light in 2007, it was fixed going forward, and, following the recommendation of the school’s lawyer specializing in labor law, a group of then-current employees were compensated for back wages for the previous two years. Also following our lawyer’s advice, we did not attempt to contact former employees who had worked during that time, but we paid one former employee who contacted us about back pay. The mistake in the system was not denied or hidden--it was corrected. However, a recent campaign against Penland, led by a community member who worked at the school during that time, has brought a lot of attention to the limited scope of the retroactive employee compensation.
While we have elected not to conduct an adversarial public conversation on multiple Internet platforms, the board and staff of the school have revisited the decisions made in 2007 and have decided that the choice not to go beyond the recommendations of our legal counsel does not reflect Penland’s values and aspirations. Although the mistake in the timekeeping system was not intentional, we regret this mistake and the way in which it was addressed, and we are sorry that hard-working staff members were not properly compensated for their work.
In light of this, the board of trustees has decided to do the following:
This week, we sent checks and a letter of explanation and apology to two other studio coordinators who were no longer working at Penland in August 2007 whose records show that they should have received overtime pay for hours worked between August 2005 and August 2007. We are able to do this despite the inadequate information in Penland’s timesheets from that period because, during those two years, the studio manager kept and saved time logs for coordinators, which makes it possible to reconstruct their hours on a weekly basis. This means that all coordinators whose records show they should have gotten extra compensation in that two-year period have been paid. Several other coordinators who worked during this time period and whose records do not show they are owed compensation will also be invited to contact Penland if they believe these records are incorrect.
We are also sending a letter of explanation and apology to every studio coordinator who worked between January 2000 and August 2005 inviting them to call deputy director Jerry Jackson if they believe that they worked overtime at Penland and were not properly paid. Because the timesheets from this period don’t give us a way to tell how much extra pay any of these coordinators should have received, Jerry will work with each individual to agree on a fair amount of compensation.
Many people have expressed disappointment that Penland did not handle this more generously in 2007. We agree that we should have, and that is why are taking these steps. We feel these actions will bring the matter under discussion to a conclusion.
Although the problem raised had to do with the school’s fiscal relationship with its employees, much of the public airing has been framed as a conflict between Penland and artists. This has been especially troubling because artists--whether they are professional, amateur, or aspiring--are the reason Penland exists. Every dollar we spend supports artistic growth.
Penland is a magical place that has changed the lives of thousands. But it is a complicated place to run; it is run by people, and people make mistakes. We are sorry for the mistakes that created this situation, and we are proud of our association with this school. We hope that we can now go back to the business of helping people live creative lives.
Glen Hardymon, chair, board of trustees
Rob Pulleyn, vice chair, board of trustees
This is posted on Penland's Website at :
Clay Club meets at artist studios and other locations throughout Western North Carolina, usually on the second Wednesday of the month. All potters and ceramic artists are welcome! Look for details about the meetings here on the blog or contact Amy Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.