Today was cup sale day! Squee! Got up at 6:30 this morning to get there bright and early… usually, I’m much more laid back about the sale, and show up after breakfast (and still have to wait in line for half an hour because of all the keeners who showed up before me and are agonizing over the pots), but this year there were cups I reeeeeeally wanted.
The line was still halfway down the hallway when we got there.
The cup I wanted, a polka-dot-scribbles one by Audrey Rosulek, was in the hands of someone who was lamenting they weren’t going to get the straight-lines-scribbles cup by Audrey Rosulek (aka the backup cup of my dreams), because it was gone already. Oh poo. I kept an eye on her until she got in line at the cash, on the off chance she’d change her mind and put it down. Nope. And some other guy was carrying around my third back-up cup.
The cup sale is a very different experience when you’re content to leave with whatever cool thing you find, rather than when you have a specific one in mind and are not able to have it.
I wandered around a little mopily, but picked out a cup and saucer for the sake of supporting the scholarship fund, and got in line. Halfway through the line for the credit card payments, I spied a treasure. I’d noticed it on my rounds yesterday, but hadn’t seen it this morning, and thought it had sold before I even got in the room. It’s a soda-fired tumbler with mishima underglazes and a hint of flashing slip, with a fun house and a ferris wheel on it. I gave up the cup and saucer, and dove for the carnival cup. It was more expensive than the ones I’d had my eye on, but also spectacular, and hey, it’s the cup sale. What if the artist is a student? Do you know how few art students keep making art after their degrees? I might never see this person’s work again. So I splurged on it.
After the cup sale, there was breakfast, and another full day of convention-centre-things. I sat in on more demos than lectures today, and it was fabulous.
Favourite observation of the day: Bede Clarke, the guy doing one of the main stage demos, talked about style. And developing style. And how sometimes ceramicists (and potters especially) are expected to do one thing and one thing only. And how that’s a bit silly. Look at musicians–the same person can be in an instrumental group, in a jazz band, and in a folk group. It doesn’t make them a bad musician to express themselves in different styles. As long as they’re obsessed with sound, they’re good musicians. In clay, he argues, the equivalent of sound is form. And we have to keep playing with that.
And then there was a block party, organized by 18 Hands Gallery. A bunch of bands out in the street, a dozen or two shops and galleries open late, and ceramic exhibits in a bunch of them. Also, free beer and cookies. What an awesome way to end the conference.
 Although it turns out I have seen her work previously. I got her name from the sale organizers, and looked her up just now. Her name is Nicole Paulina, and according to her unfortunately out-of-date blog, she was just finishing up her residency at St. Pete’s Clay the year NCECA was in Florida. There are pictures of some flasks I drooled over, but never acquired. So I’m even happier to have a cup.