Feeling the need to at least temporarily remedy my state of relative creative isolation, I’ll be attending two July pottery workshops at Alfred University in Western New York. Situated about an hour west of Ithaca, Alfred features arguably the country’s top academic clay program.
I’ll be combining a two-week workshop — led by Linda Sikora and Matthew Metz — with the last two weeks of a four-week workshop, led by John Gill and In-Chin Lee. Sikora and Gill are professors in the Alfred ceramics program. I’ve long been familiar with the work of Sikora and Metz; Gill and In-Chin Lee, not so much.
Hopefully, the month will provide experiences and benefits I wasn’t expecting. At a minimum, I’m looking for some serious creative recharging, and some bald critiques of my recent work. And, unlike all my previous workshop experiences — which were the traditional 3-day, weekend affairs — this extended program will provide me the opportunity to apply new things on the wheel in the more long-term presence of the sources of instruction and inspiration.
Beyond the clay, I’m looking forward to some pastoral biking in much less than 99-degree temperatures; a meal or two at Moosewood; a couple of minor league baseball games in Auburn, involving the Pirates’ New York-Penn League affiliate; and perhaps a day at the roots and zydeco-tinged Grassroots music festival.