|I mentioned that Kellie and I were new
friends. Indeed we were. The two of us met online through a
bulletin board about a year before. Although we both live in Alaska,
at the time, we lived several hundred road miles apart. (only a small
mountain range, a few glaciers and an ocean inlet as the raven flies.)
Down in the Lower Forty-Eight, (that’s how we Alaskans refer to you
folks down there...) a few hundred miles is not too big a deal. Just jump
on the express way, hit the cruise control and sit back and count the billboards
for Howard Johnson’s and Stuckey’s. Up here, that particular stretch
of road is a narrow, twisty, hilly, two lane weather eaten black top, fraught
with interesting road hazards. (Actually most all of Alaska’s roads
can be described that way.) Some of those hazards include avalanche
zones, black ice, high wind areas, rock falls, and my personal favorite...very
large hairy animals like moose and bears. Long distance traveling
in Alaska, via the roads although not extremely dangerous, is not for the
feint if heart.
| Get togethers between us would not
be happening very often. Then a wonderful thing happened. My
husband and I decided to move to Anchorage Kellie came upon polymer clay
as a devotee to the Carol Duvall Show over 6 years ago. Her learning
curve was steep and her progress sure but slow. She dabbled, played
and experimented. Although she learned a great deal, and had enjoyed
many successes, she still felt very frustrated. She felt like she
was missing something important. She craved contact with others whom
work with PC. It was as if she was circling a treasure chest,
knowing it held riches but not having the key. Kellie found her key
at the on line forum Polymer Clay Central. The eager and friendly
exchange of knowledge and camaraderie enabled Kellie and her work to bloom.
She also became a member of the Northwest Polymer Clay Guild, but
that was too far away to be able to attend meetings.
| I came from a very different background.
For several years, I was a professional potter, a self taught potter at
that. When I was forced, due to health reasons, to give up pottery,
I turned to polymer clay. I thought nothing of having to teach myself
a new art form. After all, I had done it before. But I too
craved that connection to others in my field. Living in Alaska, that
connection comes usually only with the high cost of a plane ticket to the
“Lower Forty Eight”. I too, had some experience with guilds... well,
one guild anyway. The small town I was living in as a potter, boasted
a potter’s guild. The guild turned out to be rife with pettiness,
politics and personal agendas. What could have been an amazing resource
turned out to be an extreme disappointment. It left me with a healthy
case of skepticism towards guilds.
My move to the Anchorage area was
definitely a welcome one. My newfound friend Kellie was there, as
well as a wealth of new opportunities awaited me. Starting a guild
and helping form it into what I felt a guild SHOULD be was one of those
exciting opportunities. It was also a very daunting prospect.
as we all know and love her. <ducking>