NWPCG Clay Camp is Coming!

May 17, 2012

Yahoo! It’s Clay Camp again! I can’t tell you how many stories I have from years and years of Clay Camp. Hilarious weekend adventures with other artists at play, where your meals are cooked for you, someone else does the dishes and at night you go to bed knowing you spent hours in the pursuit of your own art and witnessing others inspiration first hand. Every year I go and savor the drive, shedding my every day concerns with each mile of solid green trees and the sound of the river to my right. It’s only about an hour away (actually less, traffic permitting), but I take my time so I can transition my mind from mentoring others to thinking about what I want to do with my precious, precious time.

It’s not just about snagging some studio time in a great supportive space but it’s also about community. For quite a number of years we had mostly the same people. I always have an extra chair by my place that I call the ‘visitor’s chair’. When my friend Linda Goff was alive she would come and sit and we would chat and laugh, people would bring their chairs over after dinner and we would all laugh even more. I didn’t get much work done but gosh we had a lot of fun. There were photo opportunities like the ‘Kumquat Shot’ where 5 or 6 people lined up to try a kumquat at the same time. The resulting facial expressions and sudden movements caught by my camera were hilarious! I’ll have to dig that photo up.

Now Linda is gone and some people have moved on or like my friend Jayne (I call her Sayne), they’ve moved. Sayne came to camp every year for 10 hears from Portland, OR but she has now moved to Florida so we don’t see her at camp anymore. I was just visiting Sayne in Florida last week and we reminisced about a particularly rich event at camp where a friend of ours finally got that it how much more important it was to experience the color than worry about the mess, (thanks to Sayne!). It brought tears to our eyes just to remember this touching moment and I’ll never forget Sayne’s great, good work that day. My young friend Autumn is building her life now – she just got engaged! So instead of hanging with us older gals she’s nesting…and I often wonder what happened to many others when camp rolls around, (Lexi? Julia? Susan? Jan?). Our Noisy Late Nighter’s cabin used to be overbooked and now it’s our Light Sleepers/Early Riser’s that are in the majority. Not many sit in my visitor’s chair anymore and the Sunday night rabble rousers have definitely dwindled in the last 3 years or so. I actually make more stuff now but I miss the community we had that made so many memories together. We still have our hilarity, even on the low attendance years and this year we have many new faces. I’m sure there are great senses of humor and design to be discovered anew.



One Response to “NWPCG Clay Camp is Coming!”

  1. cassymuronaka said

    That is a great memory and essay, Meredith. Wish I could go. Have fun.

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