Category Archives: NMPCA Organization

About how we work together as members of the NMPCA

Updated Website

website of the NMPCA at www.nmpotters.orgToday I announce major updates to the website of the NMPCA.  Previously, we had two sites:  the public website at and the membership website at  Now, the two sites are one in address and content.

The background of the website is a combination of an image from the flames of our paper-kiln firing overlaid on a subtle pattern of cracked clay.

The logo is a hand holding a pot.  The rim of the pot is in the shape of Pedernal, the mesa viewed from Ghost Ranch where our organization has been holding workshops for over 35 years.

A little bit of good

Fires everywhere, storms brewing in the Gulf, temperatures soaring in the Southwest…we need rain!

So, I got some pictures from Daisy Kates of the wheel we bought for the Tarnoff Art Center in Pecos/Rowe through the Armstrong Grant.  It is nice to be able to post about something positive.  See the Tarnoff Art Center website and maybe you’ll want to take one of their interesting workshops!

Tarnoff Art Center, Rowe, Seeks Volunteers

Daisy Kates and Penne Roberts Demonstrate at Tarnoff Art Center

Dear NM potters and clay artists:

We are in need of volunteers to help us with our after-school and summer program with the Pecos Area Youth (middle schoolers).  We teach classes every Tuesday and Thursday to these kids free of charge (after-school),  and in the summer we teach full time M-F for three weeks; this summer starting the week of June 6-10th 2011.  We have 5 large grants pending,  and if we should get more funds,  we will expand this program to during the school day and also we will include the High School. At this time these children have no art or electives at their school; (Middle & High School). We are working in partnership with the local school district,  they bring the kids to the art center and provide them with a snack or lunch,  and we provide their art education…  Please call us is you would like to volunteer.  Our Website is at ;our phone # is 505-757-3502-  or my mobile is 505-919-8888. We also have a FACEBOOK page-  go to facebook and look for Tarnoff Art Center. On both facebook and our website we have photos and videos for you to see our classes and studios.  We are also seeking donations of pottery equipment and tools,  if you know of anyone who has a pottery wheel they don’t want,  can help us install a sink,  help us build a raku kiln, or anything else please send them our way!

Thanks so much for your help!
Laura Tarnoff
Executive Director, Tarnoff Art Center 501c3

Critical Santa Fe Begins!

NMPCA members: Tomorrow begins the much anticipated NCECA Critical Santa Fe symposium. As you are aware, we sponsored a scholarship contest to send two members, Betsy Williams and Andres Payan. Several other members are planning to attend the event as well. I will be there. I know that some of you are not able to attend, but are interested in the outcomes and discussions. I would like to extend an open invitation to any NMPCA member to send me via email a question they would like me to ask at the symposium…if I get a chance. Below is a message from the event organizer and NMPCA member, Jim Romberg, with a link to some interesting on-line reading materials that may give you some ideas of questions you want me to ask.

If my energy level supports it, I will also plan to type a little blog with my impressions each day after the events.

Regards, Judy

Dear CRITICAL Santa Fe Participants:

Everything is shaping up well for the Symposium . When you arrive registration is being held on the upstairs balcony so just follow the signs in the lobby. Registration packets with the Symposium schedule, speaker information , useful information about Santa Fe and gallery announcements and maps will be waiting for you .

In preparation for this event we have posted some reading material on the NCECA website on the CRITICAL Santa Fe link The one entitled “Infrequently Asked Questions” is provocative and gives you the opportunity to submit some of your thoughts.

If any of you are arriving on Tuesday there is a grand opening of the exhibition titled “Critical Chaos” at the Santa Fe Community College on Tuesday from 4:30 -7:30.

Travel well and we will see you soon.

Jim Romberg, NCECA and the Planning Committee

Board Meeting

Judy Nelson-Moore Journal Box, ceramic, with metal Tjap
Ceramic laser decal on journal box, tjap impression, shown with another Tjap

12 of the 13 members of the NMPCA board met at the home of Linda Kastner.  In line with my idea of bring the “clay” back into NMPCA board meetings, I made a brief presentation at the beginning showing my recently completed house-shaped journal boxes, just finished with journal writing lazer decals. The impression on the cover was made using an Indonesian tjap fabric stamp.  I brought some tjaps to the meeting, like the one in the picture here, to show and discussed my search for the perfect way to impress the image (besides stamping the stamp onto the clay) including making a clay impression to be used as a stamp or as a basis for latex or silicone mold making material or stamping into sculptor’s foam.  We had a lively discussion of different ways with stamps.

Our business meeting discussion was also lively.  We formed a couple of committees:  one to investigate venues for next year Celebration of Clay all member exhibition.  We also talked about how we should have more social get-togethers of NMPCA folks with mini-clay presentations.  More to follow about the meeting ideas.


President’s Message

The Artist Within Book Cover

I have a book in my personal art-book library, The Artist Within – A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit, by Whitney Ferré.  When I first bought this, I wanted a book about design principles of making art.  I found out the subject is living life creatively.  The author discusses and has exercises in using design principles to expand your thinking about all aspects of your life:  Emphasis, balance, proportion, unity, harmony, contrast, rhythm, and repetition.  Recently I opened the book again as I was thinking about taking on the job of president of the NMPCA.  I realize that, while the NMPCA may not always look from all perspectives like a work of art, being the president will be to engage in a collaborative creative effort…collaborating with the other board members and all NMPCA members in creating a work of art organization.  Like all collaborative efforts, each artist/member of the effort has a different vision of what the “work” should be like. I think perhaps the responsibility of the president is to help everyone to see the whole; entice, cajole, engage people to work on the parts; and encourage balance, harmony and unity in the results.

OK, so let’s discuss the design principle, balance, as it applies to our collaborative work at NMPCA.  Hopefully it is obvious I’m using the word “work” as in “work of art.”  The design principle of balance can mean symmetry or asymmetrical balance in a physical art work.  In an individual, balance can relate to being well-rounded in your activities or thinking.  In our organization, balance could imply a goal of making sure the activities of the group reflect different interests, working methods, and education in different aspects of ceramic arts.  It can also reflect balanced participation of members so that all the efforts are not expended by just a few while other members feel excluded.  If the efforts necessary to create the activities of NMPCA are expended by just a few, those few become burnt out, used and worn-out, or may feel justified in doing things their own unbalanced way since nobody else seems interested.  In contract, those who prefer to just pay their dues and reap whatever benefits come their way, might develop a perception that the organization is not meeting their needs at best, or at worst is cliquish or catering to the needs of only a few.  Both groups may feel they are not getting something worth their “investment” in the organization.  This is definitely not a balanced situation!  I’m not saying that the current NMPCA is in this situation, but I do know we have trouble finding people willing to step forward and roll up their sleeves to participate.  At the same time, I do see lots of ideas and interest in the membership…I’m currently thinking it is a matter of finding the balance.  I have always operated on the principle that it is not fair to make a criticism or put forth an idea for an organization unless I am willing to step up to the plate and put in the effort to make it happen.  Hence…here I am as the President, I guess.

In my efforts to achieve balance within NMPCA, I am going to be contacting each of my fellow board members to find out more about their vision of the NMPCA and I want to talk to as many other members as possible.  I’ll be asking you things like:  “How could being part of a group of people in any sense enhance your experience with clay?”  “What would an ideal ceramic arts organization be like?”  “What have you always wanted to do in the clay area but never had an opportunity to do?”  “How would you like to engage with other members in the NMPCA?”  “What can you contribute to make your vision come about?”  Don’t be surprised if I come up to you in the community or at an NMPCA event with these questions.

I have so many ideas I want to discuss with the members of the NMPCA that I am starting a blog for this purpose.  For those luddites among us, a blog is a website where one or more people can write their ideas, show pictures, or expound on their ideas and then other people can respond with comments.  Leave a comment  here or send me a comment at

And…don’t go running away if you see me at an event!

Judy Nelson-Moore

new President and still Webmaster
New Mexico Potters and Clay Artists

Duties of the president of NMPCA

Today was the annual meeting of the NMPCA.  I was elected to the board by the general membership and then as president by the board following the annual meeting.  Even though I had agreed to do this, I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the responsibility of leading a group of artists for the benefit of all the members through the state/region.  I think we have a great group of people on the board, though, and I look forward to working with them.  Hopefully my previous experience as a manager in business, as president of the Colorado Potters, and as member of the Santa Fe Contemporary Art coop, not to mention my previous 6-year stint on the board of NMPCA and webmaster for the last 7 years will help.

Researching presidential job descriptions on the internet and ran across this duty which may be a neat trick since there aren’t that many people to delegate to:  “Learn to delegate responsibilities effectively. An organization where the president does all the work is rarely successful.”  From Duties of the President of the Executive Board, UNC Charlotte

This could be tricky in an organization like NMPCA.

Welcome to the NMPCA Blog

This is a blog for the New Mexico Potters and Clay Artists organization.  Started 3/15/2010 by the Webmaster, Judy Nelson-Moore.

Through this blog, I hope to get “Clay Art” featured more prominently in our website.  We can use this blog to post ideas and happenings in our studios to share with other members and the world.  Pictures are welcome.

Any NMPCA members who want to be able to post, contact me at

Judy Nelson-Moore
Dancing Mud Studio