I'd mentioned in an earlier blog that I was preparing to submit some of my pots to a juried show sponsored by the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce. The last day to submit was August 7th and the deadline was 4:00 pm. Well, I got crazy busy and didn't get over there until 3:55. I thought I'd be the last person through the door, but when I arrived at Linekona I felt like I'd joined a herd of wildebeests. There were people everywhere carrying in paintings, glass, sculpture and pottery. There were some amazing things coming in, and it kept coming in until well past 4:30 when I left. Forget about the deadline when you have all of that great stuff rolling in! I saw one of my friends, Emily, bringing in a huge handbuilt pot. It was in two pieces and she needed another guy to carry one of the pieces for her. It was impressive, and I knew she'd worked hard on it. Everyone was smiling, greeting each other, complimenting each other's work. Judging would be that night, and the results would be posted on the website by the following afternoon. I'd submitted two of my better pieces but I knew it was a longshot. When the list came out the next afternoon, I wasn't on it. Emily wasn't either. In fact, not one of my friends who submitted work had made it into the show. I didn't feel sad for myself. I use these shows as focal points to try new ideas and techniques. They give me a time constraint within which to produce something special, and I need that kind of pressure. The next juried show is the Hawaii Craftsmen show in October at the Honolulu Museum of Art. This is tough to get into as well, but at least I won't be competing with painters and sculptors. I'm already gearing up for the show by drawing sketches for all kinds of pots and playing with different ideas for glazing. By the way, when I came back on Friday to pick up my pieces, I couldn't help laughing to myself when I saw so many others carrying paintings and pottery back to their cars. I could imagine how carefully they'd placed their piece in the car before bringing it to Linekona, babying it, making sure it wouldn't jostle about, carrying it slowly into the building for all to see. Now they were acting like bank robbers, hustling into the building and moments later rushing out with the rejected piece under their arm, furtively glancing from side to side while tossing it in the back seat like an old duffle bag, making their getaway before anyone could see them. Maybe while watching this scene unfold I was experiencing a little schadenfreude or just the satisfaction you get from mutual failure. All of us knew we were taking home pieces that we thought were winners but had betrayed us by losing. How different Wednesday had been when I brought my pots to the show. Everyone sitting at the table was so complimentary as they accepted my entry fee. At least my check was a winner! When I picked up my pieces on Friday, they acted like I'd forgotten to take out the trash. As I walked out the door, they looked at me sideways as if to say, "What's that junk still doing here? Get it out! Get it out now! I don't even want to see it in my peripheral!" Emily was picking up her big pot, only this time she wasn't smiling. I think she felt a little bad after all her hard work, and I felt badly for her. But that's the way it is with these shows. I mean, the only ones I saw on the list who had pots in the show were my teachers! I was competing with my teachers!!!
I began potting in January of 2012. Because I'm so new to potting, I think I understand the challenges of beginning potters and hope this blog will be encouraging to them and a source of helpful information and comment. I hope you'll join the conversation!