I’m leaving on a jet plane today at 1:00 PM for Houston, Texas for my seventh… eighth… oh, gosh, I’m not really sure… NCECA conference. NCECA – National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts – presents this conference annually, and it’s basically like a Star Trek Convention for people with mud on their hands. Here’s my blog from 2011’s conference (not much there), 2012’s conference (quite a bit more), and now this year’s.
The conference is a humbling experience. I’m nothing more than a fledgling in this field – a newcomer, really, and when I see the amazing work presented by artists from all over the world each year, it’s hard not to feel like an outsider. This year, I’m presenting at the conference, which I guess makes me an insider? But if I’m in the loop, I’m only cautiously there, boarding a plane with a lot of nerves and trepidation.
Anything is possible though, right? Ten years ago, I would have never imagined myself teaching ceramics. Two years ago, I would have never imagined pots being printed from an iPhone app. And earlier this year, I couldn’t have predicted that a student would be inviting his date to prom with a decal on porcelain… nor could I have imagined my NCECA proposal being accepted (nor the work that would go into the presentation.)
We’ve been reading The Icarus Deception as a faculty, and I’ve been also reading it through with our NAHS members. Seth Godin sets up the idea of vulnerability and making work personal with the acknowledgement, “This might not work.” But as for this year’s conference and everyone who has put a lot of hard work into it, my proposed ‘chat’ with my students while I’m away, the glazing that’s happening in our studio this week, and the prom invitation… well, I hope it all works.
See you in/from Houston!