Report on the Anita Field’s Workshop
by Sara Lee D’Alessandro, member
Having attended the Anita Fields workshop at the Ghost Ranch, it may be helpful to those who have considered participating in a workshop for me to give a report of the experience. Anita Fields was open, very interesting as a person and sage in conveying her Osage culture as well as answering any technical questions we posed. Her daily slide presentations were of great interest and not to be missed. I would not have signed up for the workshop had her work not appealed to me. I am glad to have attended. I would like to offer some thoughts on how my experience could have been improved.
The deficiencies of the experience were of my own making. To keep the cost within my affordable range and also because I had pulling commitments at home, I decided to commute from Cuba. While Cuba is not close to the Ghost Ranch, it is an uncomplicated commute and there is beautiful scenery on the way. I believe this decision to commute prevented a full enjoyment of the benefits of the workshop. I came to the experience with attention divided between home and the workshop, thus, I had a diluted focus. It would have been better to be entirely there as opposed to partially there. Permitting oneself the luxury of total immersion is the way to best absorb the Ghost Ranch essence and to hone in on what is presented.
Staying, or camping (the least expensive way) would have allowed me to know better the other people in attendance. Most of the workshop participants were accomplished workers of clay, each on their own path. Much was gleaned from interacting with them and watching others work, an unexpected horizontal enrichment! Judy Nelson-Moore convinced me of the ability of paper clay to repair cracks. She demonstrated by whipping up a small, quick, workable batch of paper clay in front of my resistant and unbelieving eyes. It worked! Staying on the premises would have allowed me use the facilities at night. My working pace can be glacial and additional time to work on a project without distraction in pleasant facilities is much better than driving home in a rush.
If you have thought about taking a workshop at the Ranch with NMPCA and have dithered, perhaps my experience will help you decide.
Here’s a gallery of pictures at the Anita Fields Workshop