The start of my residency at the Shangyu Celadon – Modern International Ceramic Center was, as the Chinese would say “auspicious.” After a couple hours drive from Shanghai we arrived at an impressive facility, a joint venture between the province of Shangyu and Tsinghua University. My dear friend, well-known artist and dean of ceramics at Tsinghua University, BaiMing, is the artist director. He invited me to be one of the early artists to this new residency in an area historically famous for celadon ware. He not only invited me, but also gave me the privilege of inviting others and to come work with me. We have an international group working in the studios – Janet DeBoos from Australia, Paul Mathieu from Canada and Joe Bova from the US. Gerit Grimm and Teri Frame were here a couple weeks ahead of us and it has been great to get to know them. There is also a painter from Barcelona working on ceramics with his son.
The staff does its best to make working a pleasure. They are so supportive of our ideas and needs for supplies. In exchange for all this support and resources we will leave half our work to the Center for the planned museum that will be built for the collection. The future of this residency and its museum is very bright.
During our first week here, we have enjoyed a local performance to celebrate spring and the resources this area has to offer. Ceramics plays an important role in the region. We visited the home of a traditional paper cut craftsman. Last night, BaiMing, the center’s director and the mayor hosted an amazing dinner for the artists. It is rewarding to be appreciated for one’s creative work and to be able to work in such an exceptional place.