I arrived at 2am in the village with Elaine Henry (Editor of Ceramics Art and Perception and Ceramic Technical) who was also picked up from the airport. I was so grateful to have been on the same flight from Shanghai otherwise I would have been traipsing into Xian by myself in the dead of night.
The next day I visited some of the huge number of different country, ceramic museums. I returned to my room and had a rest when suddenly into the room burst a wild woman....................
We had a welcome dinner that evening and the dishes were amazing and kept coming and coming. Duck with the head sitting proudly in the middle of the dish and red wine from Mr Xu's winery. Yes, winery. He went to Australia as a guest of Janet Mansfield and tasted a red, went to the Yarra Valley and bought a vineyard.
The next day was the opening of the conference. We met in a large open area and were entertained with a large percussion band. The drummers were fantastic, loud but thrilling.
Of course the people were so warm friendly, and we made contact despite no common language.
Dr I-chi Hsu in the centre of the photo and Mr Xu to the right who runs the Fuping Pottery are the main instigators of the conference, Janet Mansfield was also a patron until this year.
The three Aussie participants, left Rowena Hannan a ceramic teacher at a high school in Melbourne, Vicki Grima, editor of The Australian Journal of Ceramics, and little old me.
We all went up to the large museum for the opening of the Indian residents exhibition. They had been there for four to six weeks and had produced a beautiful exhibition. I remember a few of them from the Woodfire conference in Tasmania. They are a lovely group of people and its amazing how quickly all we clay people get to know each other.Entrance to the museum. Above.
Here is Madhvi with two of the Turkish delegates, Sibel and her husband and fellow delegate, note the pellets on the floor, they are fired and are refuse. They use it in floors and all sorts of places.
Adil Writer was there, he's been to Australia often for conferences. He made some beautiful porcelain boxes. Above.
After the opening I went and visited my work in the adjoining hall. I entered for the Emerging Artists Competition three years ago and was selected but was unable to attend the conference in 2010. (Above, my very literal period!!!)
By this time it was only lunch time, felt like a month already. After lunch Elaine Henry gave the keynote speech.
This was followed by a presentation on Ancient Chinese ceramics by Xu Denfeng followed by an amazing personal tour by Mr Xu. He has been uncovering ancient ceramics and kilns in farmland near Fuping and he has housed it in this museum below.
Below is a minute area of the collection of the shards and pieces he has collected.
He also collects Chinese antiques and again below this is only a small area of the warehouse where they are stored.
Above. This is what I look like now after two days in China. I think I've been eating too much. Ouch what dry skin, must be the smog.
Vicki trying to slip a piece into her purse!!!!!
After dinner there was a farewell for the Indian artists. Phew and that was day one.