Day Two was spent getting registered, and then poking around the trade show floor. I got a few new tools (including a giffin grip extender! Yayyyyy! It’ll make trimming super-wide bowls much easier), and an armload of postcards, posters, and brochures. I’m still debating picking up some Mason stains… have to find out of the ones I want contain cadmium. If they do, I’ll pass on them.
I also picked up a bunch of books for the library, which was a lot of fun. I love books, and ceramics ones are obviously high up in my eyes, and being able to acquire a nice wide selection that I will have access to but which I don’t have to pay for is pretty much my idea of heaven.
While I was poking around, I ran into Alexis. We made lunch plans for this Cafe Hey place, which had a show of espresso cups and small teacups along their walls. We broke off again, did some more of our own poking. Then I ran into Florence Donaway, who used to work out of the clay studio (she has her own set-up at home now), and all four Newfoundland NCECA attendees—myself, Jason, Alexis, and Florence—decamped for lunch and an afternoon of exhibit-hopping.
As a side note, my new favourite sandwich is almond butter-banana-jam. Fried. In cinnamon.
After we’d meandered back to the convention centre, we split off again on our own quests. I went off to see the NCECA Gallery Expo, which was amazing. I got a cup with a raccoon on it, and an awesome soda-fired teacup. I also got to fawn over Kristin Kieffer’s work, and some more of Jennifer Allen’s. There was also La Mesa, which is a group show of table settings. Diana Fayt had work there, and Molly Hatch. And someone whose name I can’t quite remember had wolf-and-little-pig themed dinnerware, which delighted me thoroughly.
In the evening, there were the opening ceremonies, which were boring, but did (finally!) give me a few hours to sit still and read the NCECA schedule, and the detailed descriptions of all the talks and panels, so at least I got to plan the next few days. Then it was off to Ybor City, which seems to be Tampa’s equivalent of downtown (full of art and bars and shops and historic architecture), where me and Jason found lots of places to come back to when they’re open. (It was past nine at this point.) Then we found food at last, and went back to the hotel to polish up grant reports and library reports and project reports. Which all got faxed off this morning, so I get to spend the rest of the week without paperwork hanging over my head. Yay!
 I’m not often one for brown pottery, but sometimes soda firing tugs at me. I think it’s the variation you can get in the glaze surface, and that particular sort of opalescent glossiness that comes out sometimes.