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December 2023
By Wyn Matthews
Posted: 2023-12-18T21:48:18Z

President’s Musings - December 2023

More Fragments… Stuff I think about…_

This is my last President’s Musing blog. But not the end of Musing. I like to write so will continue with… Wyn’s Musings as they occur. They won’t be in the newsletter. Just the blog.

What happened last month?

No written Musings because… on Friday the 17th, I was sitting at home, having a cup of coffee, reading the news when my left foot, hand and side started to tingle. Then I got light headed. Short term foot/hand tingle has happened off and on for a couple years. That day the intensity peaked at almost passing out. This happened 3 times in an hour. Not normal… I called Peggy and said I was going to the hospital to get checked out.

At ER they said, “You’re presenting as a mild stroke, so we’re going to assume that until testing shows otherwise. I had a CT with and without contrast. No stroke evidence. An MRI with and without contrast. No stroke evidence.

The prevailing theory is that it’s nerve/muscle issue at 73 from a skiing into a tree accident I had when I was 18 where I broke my back and smashed my face into the tree. We’re working on the nerve/muscle theory with various tests and body work. So far all tests are good… 

The gold nugget is living in the unknown and being reminded of my mortality. Nothing like a brush with the feeling/experience of the reality of death to facilitate a reevaluation of priorities. I’m in that process...

Looking Back…

What are my high points from the last 4 years? 

  • The 2020 & Beyond workshop where 20ish of us created a new Mission Statement for our VCPG and the 4 main directions/projects we’d work within as our Directional Intention.

  • Pivot Teams created when COVID invited us to reenvision these projects and move them largely online.

  • The creation of a very committed and talented Board, Committee Chairs and Committee Members. In general we learned the sandbox rules and have played together well with very little sand throwing as we traveled the winding paths to agreements on the way forward. 

  • Our Residency Program. Short-term apprenticeships for serious student ceramists.

  • Our Team Service Program. A culture change to provide needed assistance to keep our expanding services functioning and opportunities for members to work together on projects and form/expand relationships with other Guild Members.

  • Club Express: Our new web home. We went looking for a way to manage Membership and Team-Service (Volunteering). What we found was a more expansive platform for Clubs that we’ve customized to meet our specific and sometimes peculiar needs.

  • Our Re-envisioned Jury Process (another culture change) that makes eligible for jurying, ceramists with a wider view of what it means to work with clay than our studio potter heritage. You won’t see this implemented until early 2024. The All Things Shows & Sales Committee inquiry took 6 months of weekly meetings to arrive at a consensus on our new process recommendation to bring to the board and membership. It’s been designed to move the jury experience from one of being judged to one of being supported. A learning experience. Stay tuned.

Looking Forward…

I’m moving to the Treasurer position on Jan 1st. The project is to get us setup in Quickbooks with the ability to easily do reports on our total operations as well as the sub-functions, like the gallery, the Ojai Show, etc. Our current ability to do this is not bad, but it is a bit blurry.

Create a Legacy Project: Develop programs to capture the life/art history of our older ceramists.

Create a Ceramic Book club for members.

Create a Monthly Pottery Movie Night for members.

Thoughts on being a Guild Patron

How much is your Guild worth to you? You pay a membership fee to access services. But, really… how much is it worth? 

As you renew your membership there’s a Patron donation option that defaults to $100 one-time donation. You can turn it off by unchecking the box on the left or change the amount in the field to any amount you like at $10.00 and above.

On every VCPG webpage there’s a Patron link in the header. This link allows you to make a one-time donation or setup a recurring donation at $10 or above. If you setup a recurring donation and save a credit card it’ll auto pay. If you don’t add a credit card you’ll get an email each time asking you to pay. You can edit or cancel your recurring donation at any time on your Member Profile Page.

Do you make any monthly Contributions? Political? Patreon? Music? Newspapers? Cable? Consider giving a monthly donation to your guild. Here, you know 100% of the donation goes to our programs. Not one cent goes into anyone's pocket.

Seriously. How much is your Guild worth to you?

Happy Potting. And thanks to all for inviting and supporting me in being of service.

Wyn Matthews, VCPG President

50+ year potter


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