California Clay Artists Conference - Davis

The Conference is set up so that every year you get a new space.  You don't know what space you will get until just a week before.  Last year we had a newly abandoned Thai restaurant with peach-y walls and a manky persian carpet.  This year we got the newly gutted automotive warehouse, dust in tact.

The great thing and the tough thing is you really can't prepare.  Two things were on our side though; we've got a lumber yard next door and a dairy queen right across the street!

could be good.  could be bad.

We are sharing this warehouse with 7 other schools.  Everyone had to get their ingenuity on to figure out how to turn an empty warehouse into a gallery.  There was some inventive use of the pile of railroad ties outside and the wood debris pile of scrap left in the warehouse.  With a lot of hard work and people all buzzing around all day; the place looks surprisingly good. 

There seemed to be total collaboration and respect while everyone worked hard to set up their shows.

There were blue and grey cement walls, nails all over the place and a truck load of dust.  We built walls, painted until our arms were hanging, cleaned, cleaned and cleaned some more before we set the pedestals and pieces in place and turned our attention to lighting. 

At the end of the day; we transformed the place.  It worked out great. 

There are some 60 shows being set up all over town at the same time on the same day.  The circus has indeed come to the tiny town of Davis, California.

set up took 12 hours.

Friday is the day everyone is "Open for Business".  The Conference Registration begins at 9am and the Lecture/Demos start at 10. 
There are three days of conference events and shows all over the City of Davis as well as a series of lectures and Demos both inside and out.  There is also amazing access to new and very well established artists from all over California and beyond.  The place is crawling with clay people.  It's awesome!

It was a day to walk around town, look at work, relax and be happy you're not painting plywood anymore - we made it!  And no rain, yay!

Friday night is also SHOW NIGHT!  Everyone has their Show Openings which means it's a party atmosphere all over town with people in galleries and spilling out into the streets.
shhhhh, the wine is supposed to be on the downlow. 

but before all that we had a little warm HAPPY HOUR. 

FREE Happy Hour!

And everybody knows; FREE Drinks = Very Happy. 

Susannah Israel gave a very moving and personal lecture on the nature of collaboration and the creative process.  Just about everyone in the audience cried.

here is Susannah being introduced by John Natsoulas the host of the CCACA program.

Then we had our opening; we saw a ton of other openings; drank more free drinks and then we went to bed! 

And it's only Friday!

more to come....


  1. I'm loading my studio monkey in the car and heading up to Davis this morning. This is always a ton of fun!

  2. come to 5th and G - it would be great to meet you!!

  3. Ugh... I wish I was there right now... Work is lame.