Monday, August 10, 2015

Welcome to the Master's Registry Prep!

In 2014 I hosted a group of artists in Richmond, Virginia who were all working on the first level of the metal clay Master's Registry. I began a blog in hopes others around the world might want to be 'flies on the wall' of our monthly meetings, and might join in our conversation by brainstorming, asking questions, and just generally feeling like a part of or journey. The group was not as active as I hoped, either in real life or in cyber land, and I lost heart and abandoned this platform.

Because I see so many similar questions on my FaceBook Master's Registry Prep Group and the official Metal Clay Masters Registry Support Group, I'm reactivating this blog as an edited version with pages on specific topics to archive answers to the most common queries. To the best of my knowledge, the official FB group is open only to those who have registered and paid the first installment of the Registry fee. The Prep group is open to all who are in the planning stages, or are actually working on projects. These two groups are very helpful, with lots of interactive conversation and advice. This blog will also be an archive of my personal journey with photos of both submitted and accepted projects. As of August 2015, I'm working on my first level - and I plan on completing all 5 levels including the 51st Master Work.

Julia Rai, who is working towards her 5th level, has written a very comprehensive series of articles about her own journey which can be found here. For more information on the Master's Registry visit the website or contact Abby Johnston.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Level One Finish Line

As  I work on my projects, and realize that I might actually have 10 projects to turn in by the end of July (edit. This didn't happen), I'm looking back at the Registry Book and realizing that there is a section on the Project Review Pages for the artist to tell the evaluators a little about the piece(s). It actually says "Anything we should know about this work? (Optional)" All this time I thought we would have to 'defend' our work in the same or similar way that a graduate student defends their thesis. It's optional? Really? I would think that explaining your process would be really valuable information to include. The Review Pages were sent as a .pdf so they are not editable (that I know of), and the area given to write is very small, especially when you compare it to the area that the evaluators are given to make notes. So I just e-mailed Abby Johnston to see if the pages were available in a word document. I'll let you know what she replies.

So far I've completed A2, A6, B1, B6, D2, D3, and E6. And I know what I'll do for C2 and A3, so I'll need to get crackin' on another Materials project and a Miscellaneous project. I'm sending A3 as a back up, and would like to send a couple more. I know - There's not a 'most dreaded' or one of the Candidate's Choice projects in that list. I guess that's what I'll work on figuring out.

If you remember my plan is to submit one thing I really don't want to do and one Candidates Choice for each level so that I won't be bombarded by negative projects at the end of the process.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

When it was good, it was very, very good...

Well, shame on me! I've let this blog lapse through summer, fall and winter. Now that we are at the start of a new year, let me try to get things back on track. My live prep group in Virginia didn't turn out quite the way I had envisioned. There was a lot of interest in the meetings when I first proposed it, but actually getting bodies in a chair, once a month, for twelve months, became a bit of a challenge. Some folks lived an hour or more away, some had commitments that they couldn't (and frankly didn't want to) switch - which is totally understandable, and other's just plain had other things to do. I really appreciate the people who tried to (and succeeded in) come(ing) to every meeting.

In addition to hosting the meetings, I was looking forward to the support and suggestions from the members, as well as offering whatever mentoring I could. When the meetings ran out of steam, so did I. Drat! Life happens.

So I think I'm going to turn this blog into a journal of my personal experiences and thoughts about the Registry process. This morning I posted a comment on the FaceBook Prep group (do you already belong?) and will just re post it here. I think I've talked a little about this before - but the thoughts bear repeating.

I won't promise how regular this blog will be, but I'll try to post at least a couple of times a month. And when I submit, and get back photos of the successful projects, I'll create a separate page for each level, so there's a record. Julia Rai's posts about her own process has been so helpful to me, and I'd like to 'pay it forward' with my own experiences.

There are 5 levels. The first requires two projects from each category. For the rest of the levels, you must complete only one from each category, and the other projects you choose to complete the 10 submissions are up to you. The impulse might be to do all your favorites first - but if you do that, and are planning on completing all 5 levels, then being forced to work on 10 of your most hated/feared projects at once is going to make completion really difficult. To make the process fun as well as achievable my suggestion is to do one 'candidates choice', one most loved, and one most hated/feared project in each level. As you continue in the process, possibly around Level two or three, start thinking about what you might like to do for the final, 51st, 'significant original work'. Chances are that it will be intricate, may involve multiple pieces, and be difficult and challenging. Can you start working on the parts early in the process so you might complete it by Level 5 without as much angst as you would feel by waiting *until* Level 5 to think about it? Michela Verani has said she's thinking about making a chess set using a variety of clay bodies. So - making a few pieces at a time, as she continues to work on earlier levels would give her time to perfect the design (the different clay bodies shrink at different rates making creating a chess set with similarly sized pieces a real challenge) without being overly stressed.

Make a list of your 5 most hated/feared projects (C3 is high on my list), 5 of the ones you most want to complete or think will be 'easy', and ideas for the 5 candidates choice projects. The seven other projects (in each level) will be more fun to do once you've made decisions about the 'thorny three'.