NCECA: A Student Perspective, Day 2
Duncan Blount

I wish I had an NCECA pause button! Yesterday was nonstop meeting/learning/seeing/experiencing/wowing.  Here are some of this student’s favorite moments, that maybe you can revisit today:

Student Critique

The student critique was incredibly helpful! My critique was with a potter named Brian and he took a look at some of my salt-fired work. It was interesting to consider consistency in my mugs; my handles take on a thin wildness that the smooth, symmetrical lip seems to contradict. After talking to Brian, I walked away seeing my mugs in a whole new light. If you’re a student, definitely go see if they have any open slots. After these sorts of insights, I’m so ready to get back to the studio, but also I never want to leave!

Ryan McKerley’s Water Carving

Ryan McKerley was such a trip! Along with a pristine description of Houston’s place in the history of rap music, Ryan did some impressive water-carving. We saw him create his famous lifted geometric shapes on bone-dry porcelain with a clever mix of tools and techniques. Incredibly entertaining, and I can’t wait to attempt it when I get back to the studio!


Installation pieces

Jess Riva, a former peer of my current professor Sarah Gross, authored the first of five installation works in the gallery expo area. Her piece had a chronological flow, in which a complex series of PCP pipe began to bloom a kind of coral the further down the piece I  went. It spoke to me about how we as humans both take from nature and force it into these lifeless forms, as well as how the natural world can reclaim the spaces we stole from it.

Another installation piece that especially struck me was the interactive forest floor area. Among the depiction of a dead tree, viewers are invited to place clay additions to the forest habitat. The life that sprung from this exhibit was profound, and was reminiscent of last year’s Key Note Speaker Mark Dion, who created a lively habitat around a dying redwood tree. But what really got me was how I could influence the work; I was able to get my hands into some clay! See if you can find my salamander crawling up the side of the tree trunk!

Definitely investigate these installations, they’re all amazing!

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NCECA National Student Juried Exhibition

It was both intimidating and inspiring to see the Student Exhibit. So many of the works captured my attention and had me staring. Because of all the other students there, I remember constant talking about what the pieces meant, and how they made us feel; it’s like we all wanted to do what we could to grasp and approach the level of their work. I felt some amazing energy in there. Here’s some pictures of my favorite works at the exhibit, and definitely consider going to check out the next generation of ceramicists!!

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Potter’s Jam

I danced pretty hardcore at one point last night. One might probably prefer to call it flailing and flopping, but I’m pretty sure it was to the right tempo. I’m not the best dancer, but it’s NCECA! I couldn’t help it! There were so many lovely people; how could I be embarrassed? I met David Lee, who brought a horn that he had wheel thrown (Whhattt???) and he played that one note like a champ. The musicians were completely compelling, and had the crowd either tapping their feet or dancing. What a fun event, and I can’t wait for the dance tonight (I might just break out my insane dance moves again)!

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Be sure to follow my instagram for more pictures – @Siftedsunlight

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