Connie Norman
Connie Norman

D is for Delight and Despair. (More ABC’s of Ceramics)

The emotions I have for my pieces for the letter D runs the gamut, from crying for joy and crying from shame and humiliation.  

D is for Bill Daley.

The other side.

 D is for Deborah Groover.

D is for Doug Casebeer.

I was delighted when I won the Bill Daley drawing, when I was taking a teacher’s workshop from at Anderson Ranch Art Center.  He is such an endearing man.  I have had two wonderful opportunities to take workshops from him at the Ranch.  From my understanding he doesn’t teach regular workshops anymore, just to children and teachers of children.  I think it is his way of paying it forward and back.  During both of his workshops he worked on a drawing all week and at the end of the week he asked the class to buy raffle tickets, to win his drawing and then he donated the money to the kid’s program at Anderson Ranch.  Well, Bill pulled the slip of paper with my name on it… and I cried.  I couldn’t believe I won.  Of course I was really hoping to win, but never thought it would happen.  I generally never win anything.

The class started writing down Bill Daley quotes and I’ve had that paper hanging by my desk ever since.  It’s been there for ten years now.  Here are some of my favorite quotes, “Don’t close the art gap unless you are serving.”  “That’s like picking your nose with boxing gloves on.”   “Don’t worry about it if you don’t know what you’re doing when you start.  The outcome is always up for grabs.”

The Deborah Groover Vessel was a gift to from Deborah because I had hit rock bottom at Penland School of Crafts.  I was an assistant to a ceramic artist, “The Wicked Step Mother”, or “She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”.  She treated me so badly the class started calling me Cinderella. (Really, I’m not joking.) She would eat a candy bar and make me throw the wrapper away for her, even though she was closer to the trash can than I was.  She wouldn’t let me eat with the class and I had to stay back and clean up after her.  (I could go on…But I will spare you, dear reader, you get the idea.) The final blow was she decided to adjust the kiln sitter, with a pocket knife.  I was just a student then, so I watched her adjust the kiln sitter and I thought to myself, I would never do that, but I’m only the lowly assistant, and not the internationally known artist.  Well the kiln horribly over fired, the kiln was ruined.  “You-Know-Who” told the Penland director it was completely my fault, I messed with the kiln sitter and she wasn’t even there.  I just wanted to leave Penland and run away and hide.  (It is even hard to write this right now, and it has been since the early 90’s.)  Needless to say, there were a lot of tears.  Deborah was so kind to me.  She was a resident at Penland, and took me in.  Told me not to run away, but to stay and hang out with her.  When I did leave she gave me this piece.  She said, “She wanted me to have at least one fond memory of my time at Penland”.

No stories for the Doug Casebeer  pieces, I can’t remember where I got the sweet little cup, and Doug donated the bowl for a fundraiser for Carbondale Clay Center, and you got to pick up a bowl for your entry fee, and fill it with delicious soup.  I’ve known Doug for years since I’ve been going to Anderson Ranch since 1997.  I would love to get one of his houses, well maybe some day.

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5 Responses to “D is for Delight and Despair. (More ABC’s of Ceramics)”

  1. Linda Starr Says:

    I horrible teacher once and it can be devasting.

  2. ang Says:

    I just don’t get some people….and you have some great pieces as you put it ‘fond memories’… the abc is a super series :) )

  3. Connie Says:

    Hi Ang
    Thanks, I’ve been having a great time. Trying to figure out fun places to take photos.

  4. Connie Says:

    I’ve had a ton of horrible teachers. But, “You Know Who” is pretty high on the list.

  5. jim Says:

    hi connie, wow, wow, wow, that it one beautiful drawing… i’m envious of that. not the other experience for sure but that drawing.