19 July 2008

making a mark

canteen vase

Today I sat in on a workshop given by Nancy Selvin at Heath Ceramics.
I've had the privilege on a number of occasions to hear Nancy speak...I think the first time was back in 1991 when I was an art student at the California College of Arts (and Crafts). But that was not the first time I had set my eyes on her work. No, it was a handful of years before, I think in 1987, when I took my first ceramics course I happened upon a postcard with an image of one of her pieces. It had her trademark delicate markings, loose but with intent. It was obvious to me even then, when I was a complete novice, that this was a person who had a mastery of a medium I did not know much about. I was impressed and inspired by what I saw. I wanted to make work like that. It was a remote dream, it seemed impossible to me, especially when I was churning out heavy bottomed, gloppy glazed ash trays from my pottery class.

Early this morning as I drove towards Sausalito across the Golden Gate Bridge, with its familiar cloak of fog wrapped around its towers, , I began to think about my own journey as a ceramist. It hit me what a great influence Nancy has been on me. I never had thought about it in concrete terms like that before. I also realized just how far I had come in my own journey as a ceramic artist. From that very first class i took, fantasizing that maybe, just maybe, someday I would make beautiful work like Nancy. Well not like Nancy, like my own but you know what I mean. I realized that I now give workshops like Nancy at wonderful places like Heath. And then with a little more thought it occurred to me... I have done it! Of course I still have long way to go, and so much to learn, we are really never there, but I have found my own place with this crazy medium.
Best of all I am still in love with it.

During the class I decided to tell Nancy the influence she has had on me and to thank her for her dedication to what she does. Seeing women like her, committed to doing what they love and doing it well is really the best kind of example anyone can give.

Nancy asked us to introduce ourselves at the beginning of the class.
You know the usual, your name and what you do.
When it was my turn I said;
Hi, my name is Diana Fayt and I am a full time Ceramic Artist.

Thank you Nancy!


Meg said...

How exciting and satisfying for you! I am a huge admirer of your work, please keep the stunning pieces!

Meg said...

I meant "please keep making the stunning pieces", sorry!

stephanie levy said...

Yeah- good for you! That must have been a great feeling! Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your Yes! moment :)
Keep inspiring us who are still back playing in the mud.

ale balanzario said...

Very nice blog, and very nice work!!

Sweetwater Designs said...

This is lovely Diana...I sent the Arte y Pico award for creativity your way!

amisha said...

this is so wonderful and inspiring, diana. you have so much to be proud of my friend!
big hugs to you during these busy days...

Sunny Rising Leather said...

you are amazing: I have admired you for so long but have to pipe up and say it aloud: astounding work and spirit :)

Laney said...

Your work is outstanding, as is your blog.

I'd be interested to hear about your experiences using etsy. Has it been a good outlet for you?

Pottery Apple Bakers