Several people wrote in to express their opinions and concerns about the previous issue, or about Studio Potter journal in general. In the print editions, my priority within our eighty-page limit is to give our article contributors as much space as possible; thus, we didn't have room for Letters to the Editor, nor did we have space for our usual SP Update section, in which we sometimes publish notes from our readers. I received several letters over the last six months, and am sharing here with permission from the senders. For updates on what's happening on a weekly or monthly basis, please visit our news page, and subscribe to our e-newsletter.
Via regular mail, accompanied by the return of the print issue:
March 29, 2017
I was surprised and disappointed to see in the current Studio Potter that you have decided to diminish the significance of legions of great women who have shared in the mission to create and promote clay art by relegating them to a sexually segregated subcategory of" Artists" or "Potters". You have done us all a grave disservice by re-promoting sexual bias in a field that has taken upon itself to move beyond.
You may have a personal agenda in turning the clock back twenty-five years, but please do not misuse your position as editor to foist that personal perspective on the readership.
If you truly intend to "take charge" you should probably start by learning how to speak to your audience instead of just those like yourself. As you move ahead, and wonder why support for the Studio Potter diminishes, please look no further than your decision to promote sexual segregation.
706 Randolph Ave., Huntsville, AL 35801
Editor’s note: I called Mr. Benzle to speak to him further about his opinions, and have since had a pleasant exchange of ideas with him. We found common ground in some, most importantly we agreed that having conversations like ours is paramount to the future of our field.
Via e-mail, Thursday, May 4, 2017:
I was happy to receive the last issue of Studio Potter, especially being a woman potter/sculptor in rural SW Colorado, where there is not a developed community of like-minded craftsmen and women. I've worked in clay for almost 50 years and knew a number of the potters featured as friends and colleagues. I wonder how long the list was of other people who could not fit into the pages of the journal.
SP has gone through a number of big design changes. I miss the color photos and seriously question the use of day glow orange to highlight the text and images in the recent issue. It obscured both. I will pay attention to the request for new articles and images to come. […]
Has there been any interest in returning to the potters of a geographic area? This [topic] gets real interesting around here where there is an important influence from prehistoric pottery traditions. Thanks for keeping an online presence and holding a forum for good writing/important stories/meaningful work.
Blue Heron Pottery
Editor’s Note: The following issue, Volume 26, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2018 is dedicated to “Regional Perspectives & Pottery Tours;” deadline for submissions is Oct. 1, 2017
Ann Stannard via e-mail, Thurs., May 4, 2017:
Thank you for the complimentary copies of Studio Potter “Women in Ceramics.” Karen was memorialized by her followers as she rests peacefully in the worlds of light.
Lauren Axelrod put together a very interesting article about Carrying the Torch, much that I was not aware of in the history of wood fire and women. When one is carrying the torch, one is not aware of the significance to later wood-firers but Lauren revealed it - amazing.
Your footprint on the editing of SP shows clearly as you bring it into the next generation of techies and social media. I enjoyed the SP developments.
Enjoy your tenure as editor of an important ceramic magazine.
Justin Rothshank via e-mail, July 31, 2017:
[...] I've been meaning to write to say how wonderful the "Women in Clay" issue was. Loved all the content, but specifically enjoyed reading so much about parenting as an artist. [That is] such a relevant and important part of the process for me too.Thanks for your continued leadership on this journal. It continues to be my favorite.Justin
Ursula Vann via regular mail along with her renewal card, July 21, 2017:
I'm a subscriber from the beginning (Vol. 1, #1 - this #2 published . . .) The last issue was the first time it was hard to read! PLEASE don't use pink ink on white again. Looking forward to the next Studio Potter!
Please send your letters to: Elenor Wilson, Editor | Studio Potter | PO Box 1365, Northampton, MA 01060, or to firstname.lastname@example.org.