Call to Action by Ayumi Horie and Tess Mattern

In the wake of #metoo in ceramics, @potsinaction encourages every ceramics and craft organization to adopt and establish clear and unambiguous policies regarding inclusivity, diversity, and safety. It’s high time that leaders and educators in our field commit to more actively creating environments that are welcoming and safe to all, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, culture, disabilities, religion, age and socioeconomic status. While we have made progress, more work is needed. Ceramic machismo and its perniciousness within clay culture has been tolerated for far too long.

Don’t assume that your programming is without bias or that you’ve done all you can do. Instead, be active in the education of your trustees, staff, and writers about the damage done from bias, prejudice, microaggressions, harassment, and assault. Hire staff and elect trustees who mirror the breadth of diversity in this country. We understand that organizations are slow-moving ships and that it takes time to craft statements that reflect the core values and uniqueness of organizations. Much of the important work done by art orgs happen outside the realm of social media, but posting publicly on this issue matters deeply. While an overnight response is not expected, this is a call to action to get the ship turning on all platforms.
If you are part of an organization, institution, or school, speak up! Demand transparency and clarity about what steps they are taking to be more inclusive, diverse, and safe for those who don’t have equal privileges. Victims and survivors need practical tools and support for where to go when an incidence takes place. For those of you who have reposted about #metoo in ceramics – thank you! Now take the next step to compose your own statement or tell your #metoo story as a way to crack open the field and let in the light. If you have been part of this field, support survivors of sexual harassment by believing them and speaking out to change institutional policies.
Image of Viola Frey, a powerhouse woman who worked within the male-dominated California expressionist ceramics movement of the 1960s.
Viola Frey (1933 – 2004) is not defined by her obstacles. She was internationally known and revered during her lifetime and her monumental figures have made a profound mark on the art world internationally. However, in her 1995 @archivesamerart oral history transcript, she recounts the many ways she worked at a “double disadvantage.” She faced obstacles her male counterparts were unburdened by, including securing studio space, having her work dismissed or derided, and feeling isolated as a woman operating outside the “macho thing.” In the classroom, she says, “The feminist-type art had no chance at all.” Excerpts from her oral history:
VIOLA FREY: Yeah. And it sort of did dominate. Sometimes the faculty even would just attack in such a gross way that the student would be weeping, they’d be so upset at the way they were treated. It was pretty ugly.
PAUL KARLSTROM: This is male faculty?
VIOLA FREY: Yes. They could not. . . . They would just say, “I cannot critique or look at a work like this.” A #metoo message from the past. Photo by Michael Macor. — @ayumihorie and @tessmattern


Make and Do + National Clay Week want to see you working!

We all know that being an artist is an incredibly rewarding job but it’s also a lot of grueling hours and hard work. One of the most successful ways in which we as artists can help educate the buying public about the value of handmade objects is to share our stories and our processes with them. 

Make and Do and National Clay Week want to share these unique stories and processes with the world. We’re asking you to share with us little peeks inside your studio to help share the “behind the scenes” of what goes into each mug, bowl, sculpture, and work of art.

It’s easy to participate:
Step one – go to work on Monday morning (October 10th)
Step two – take a picture of what you’re working on in the studio that day.
Step three – tag it with #mondaymorningmaker and @nationalclayweek and @make_and_do_ceramics
Step four – upload it to your instagram account.

The rest is up to us!
So sit back and follow @make_and_do_ceramics to see into the studios of artists around the world.
Some submissions will also be shared on @potsinaction on Monday so send us your best photos.

And as always please help us spread the word by sharing this post. Maybe even send it to a few artists who you’ve been dying to see what they’ve been up to!

Carole + make & do members: Mariko Paterson, April Gates, Krystal Speck, Lesley McInally, Marney McDiarmid, Heather Braun-Dahl, Robin Dupont, Cathy Terepocki, Shane Weaver, Russell Hackney, Sarah Pike, Jenna Stanton, Katy Drijber

movie day: White Pots by Ayumi Horie

A quick look into Ayumi Horie’s studio practice. Using porcelain, she
shows how to make bowls, plates, a match striker, and applying decals to
pottery. She talks about the importance of touch and the haptic in life
and what it means to make slow pots. Ceramic jokes included!

Studio Assistant: Molly Spadone

Michael Wilson
MW Photographic: Director and Filming

Chloe Beaven: Video and Sound Editing

Miles Beaven: Music