Connie Norman
Connie Norman

The Boneyard

The Boneyard @ Casper College

The Boneyard is a very intimidating place to be, especially if you’re me.  Casper College has this amazing, overwhelming, awe inspiring collection of bisque ware; the mark of 40 plus years of visiting artists.  Representing such artists as Val Cushing, Joe Bennion, Chuck Hindes, Clary Illian, Kathy Kerns, Jenny Lind, Kurt Weiser, Alleghany Meadows, and list goes on with many more well-respected incredible artists.  Lynn Munns for 35 years had two visiting artists a year come in give workshops, now Mike Olson has continued that tradition.  When I accepted the offer to be a visiting artist, I blanked out about the Boneyard.  I’ve even been to the Casper College’s Pot shop many times.  I was super nervous about teaching a workshop, and completely spaced the boenyard.  When I got to  Casper and started setting up for the workshop, I was totally focused on getting pots made so they would be leather hard for the workshop, that it didn’t sink in.  The second day of the workshop Mike says to me, “That one is going in the Boneyard right?”  Then tunnel vision happens to me, you know kind of like when in the movies everything fades away, and goes really far away with blurry stuff in the middle.  That’s what happened to me, and looked down and I had totally screwed up on my lettering, it was going at a colossal slant and I thought I could line it up, but the more lines I did the worse it got, then I was out of time and I had to pack up and go home.  More so Mike had to go home, I think I would have made a whole new one and stayed at Mike and Amber’s house for a few more nights before giving him the piece of dog doo that I gave him.  Actually I really needed to go home my husband was and still recovering from phenomena, and watching an extremely energetic five year old does not work well when you are trying to rest.   BUT, I am planning my bait and switch, I’ll have to figure out how to distract Mike, clay trap overflow, low fire clay in a high fire, raku fire accident, or maybe a kiln explosion.  What should my tactic be?  Any suggestions?

The Boneyard close up @ Capser College

Well, anyway here’s my very unsatisfactory vessel in the Boneyard next to Frank Saliani on the left and Jim Brashear on the right.


My vessel and bowl!


 Thanks to Mike Olson for the great pictures of the Boneyard!

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6 Responses to “The Boneyard”

  1. Linda Starr Says:

    You are too humble your pot is in good company; the boneyard must be wonderful to see, too bad they don’t fire all those pots. I am amazed they have enough room to store them.

  2. Connie Says:

    Hi Linda- They have shelves way up high by the ceiling, and the shelves are packed. Mike is thinking of having a Boneyard show, inviting past artists and showing the bisque piece and a current piece from the artist. I would love to see that show! I’m hoping to add more pictures. If I get some I will add them to the post!

  3. jim Says:

    hi Connie,
    the important part is that you made it through. there was a shelf of bisque work at my workshop too but being there for one day… my pieces were not able to be trimmed. if they bisque “as is”, there will be some clunky feet on those vessels. luckily, just upstairs was the gallery with my show so people could see before or after what the pieces might look like at the end of the process. the boneyard bisque show idea would be great to see however.

  4. Linda Starr Says:

    That’s a great idea for a show Connie, nice to have all that work though as examples of different styles of making pottery. I have pieces of mine from the past and I want to smash them, ha.

  5. Connie Says:

    Hi Linda
    Thanks for checking out the pictures I added! The Boneyard is an amazing collection.

  6. Connie Says:

    Hi Jim
    Yes, I made it through! I hope someone trimmed your pieces and added them to the collection, even though it wouldn’t be your complete work.