Michelle Gawedzki | Episode 930
Many wonderful things happen at NCECA! One of the events that is so amazing is the student pottery throwing contest that is sponsored by Skutt. Students compete for 3 days and the winner of each day wins $100 and then the three winners pieces are judged for the grand winner. The grand place winner is awarded a potters wheel. And Michelle Gawedzki was the grand prize winner!
Steven Hill with Michelle Gawedzki
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*these notes have been edited for ease of reading.
What was the drive like coming to NCECA with four friends all in the truck?
It’s honestly really, really fun. I actually drove us here. It was my friend’s truck but it’s listening to music, talking about everything we are so excited about. We were reading the program and talking about every exhibition we want ed to go to, every lecture, every demo. And talking about all the things we want to buy.
Did you end up going to any pop ups?
Pop ups, yes! We ended up going to a pop up on Wednesday and Thursday after the conference was over. We went to NKU for their pop up at their school. It was really nice actually, the Korean artists got together and had a show together. I was really inspired by their work because some of them were made by Sam Chung . I admire his work so much, it’s incredible.
How does it inspire to actually see the work in person as opposed to seeing it all on social media?
Oh wow! So in person I think it’s more like you’ve got to see it to believe it almost because on social media everything becomes 2D. And for me in my mind I think seeing it on social media yes, I can definitely be inspired and kind of imagine what it would be in real life but seeing it in real life I think it changes my perception of it in a good way because I see things I wasn’t able to see in the photograph and it makes me think about the whole process more. It makes me think about the glaze and how they sat there and decided each and every aspect of their piece and it really helps me to appreciate it better.
How do you think your work will change as a result of being at NCECA?
Oh yes! It will definitely change. I am very much still learning. I am early to this entire ceramics genre basically. I just changed majors not even two years ago and I believe being at NCECA and even the opportunity that I have here where I entered this competition I think this will forever impact me and change me and will help me explore my work and make my pieces exactly like me.
As a college student is it worth the expense to go to this conference?
Absolutely. We have no money. (laughter) We are so broke. Yes, so just even coming here and being able to see everything, it’s very much worth it. It’s not only being able to see it in real life, that is the biggest thing, but it’s meeting new people and making all the connections that you can, socializing with these people and you end up following them on social media and you can support them and grow the community that we already have. That’s pretty wonderful.
As a student how important are mentors who are doing the life that you are inspiring to?
I think it’s very important. These people that become mentors and they mentor other people, this impacts someone like me who is just starting. I am listening to these lectures from these people and just being under their wing, sort to say, is just so helpful beyond what people can think because you can get lost in your own head and you can go off on different tangents but once you see something that inspires you in another way, it almost opens another door to an entire universe you haven’t seen before.