In This Issue

Jan 4, 2021

Welcome to 2021.

At our home the black-eyed peas and greens were prepared and eaten. The closets were cleaned, out with the old in order to welcome the new. We released old obligations, acknowledging our short-comings as we embraced our humanity. We were grateful for the gifts of grace bestowed upon us in 2020. Yes, hard as it was, there were moments of beauty in 2020. Maybe they were even more beautiful because of contrast – like an October sky. We set and met an intention for our evening on December 31, 2020 in hopes that it would be indicative of our priorities in 2021. We embraced all the traditions we normally embrace to ensure the coming year will be filled with health, happiness, and prosperity. 

Yet none of it is a guarantee that hardship will avoid us this year. In fact, if we can count on one thing, it will be that hardship will most certainly come. The turning of the calendar is really just an opportunity to acknowledge all that has passed, all that will come, and all that remains. The remains are bridges that do not heed the passage of time. It takes as long as it takes to cross them. Our only job is to keep walking.

Pressing onward into the new year, Studio Potter presents you with four stories:

86 Firings by Greg Kerstetter is a warm reflection on a culture built around a kiln – the lessons learned and the camaraderie shared. Many of you may recognize yourselves and your community in the words of the author. 

A Review: The Ceramics Congress Korea 2020 by Austyn Taylor is a hot take on an event that is not quite new, this is the fourth Ceramics Congress. Without longevity, the event, and the sponsoring entity, The Ceramic School, remains unknown to many in North America. Our community likes to perceive itself as open and welcoming, but the truth is we become comfortable with what we know. Conversely, we may be suspicious of what we do not know. It’s human nature and we are, however warm and welcoming we can be, completely human and completely fallible. Taylor’s enthusiastic review will illuminate this accessible opportunity, and the accompanying interview with founder Josh Collinson explains the goals, the history, and the future aspirations of the organization.

In 2020 Studio Potter was graced with the voice of Danielle Carelock on a couple of important conversations: Navigating An Evolving Market: Part I and In Order to Hold Ourselves Accountable. Carelock contributed to these dialogues, but we wanted to give her the opportunity to share her studio practice too. When she sat down to write she realized that, because the larger work of 2020 was not anywhere near completed, she could not “find the inclination or inspiration” to write a personal narrative about her practice. Before I Can Talk About Clay is a generous reminder about cultural competency, illustrated with compelling photographs by Isaac Scott. This article is FREE for the general public to read.

And finally, Naomi Clement shares Carole Epp’s work a seat at the table, which is not so much a review as it is a behind-the-scene’s tour of this installation from the borderLINE: 2020 Biennial of Contemporary Art. On display last year at the Art Gallery of Alberta, the exhibition was cut short, closing on December 10 instead of the planned closure of January 3, 2021 due to concerns for public health and safety. Epp painted approximately one hundred paper Royal Chinet plates with different portraits of frontline workers performing the variety of services they have delivered throughout the pandemic. Clement’s Essentially Disposable invites readers to review problematic assumptions and celebrate those who do not have the privilege of sheltering in place.

In 2021, negligence remains, but so too does hope. I think someone once said it springs eternal. 

Be well everyone and thanks for reading,

Jill Foote-Hutton, Editor

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