Friday, August 19, 2011

International Metal Clay Associate Discussion Minutes

Below are the minutes from the discussion that took place at the Metal Clay World Conference about a single metal clay group
Two volunteer facilitators, Sherry Chaples and Mary Ellen Giffels, drew up an outline for discussion and created ground rules. The notes reflect the discussion that took place.

Proposed Agenda:

- Introductions
- Background/Purpose of Meeting
- Ground Rules
- Discussion Areas
o Purpose/Mission of the Organization
o Services Provided
o Customers/Members
o Geographic Scope
- Next Steps
o Who
o What

Ground Rules
- Cell Phone off
- One person talks at a time using the microphone
- There are no bad ideas
- Each speaker is limited to 2 minutes
- Introduce yourself when speaking

Purpose/Mission should be:
- Brand free
- Single source for certification and educational programs
- Professional organization to educate and be the professional face to the public
- Marketplace for teachers/students to find each other and classes
- Independently gather information and provide education needed to grow
- Neutral education and teacher support
- Conferences – share knowledge, network, bring community together
- Will need resources – video, web, etc.
- Will require time to develop
- Promote Metal Clay
- On-line publications
- Advancement of knowledge and excellence
- International/global in scope

Purpose/Mission shouldn’t be:
- Certification focused. Current certifications are company/brand owned and operated and should have nothing to do with the organization
- Not-For Profit vs. Non-Profit vs. Profit….discussion tabled until a later date.

It was acknowledged that this is the beginning of a very long process and we must go slowly to achieve what we want the organization to be. In addition, we will need a lot of planning, work, volunteers and money. Everyone needs to actively work for this organization to happen. Questions that should be asked:
- What can a brand neutral organization do for the members?
- What can a brand neutral organization do for metal clay?
- Will the organization promote instructors or the clay?
- Will it be education based?
- Is a brand neutral organization a logical venture?

Services Provided
- Conferences – info oriented presentations
- Retreats – demos, hands-on workshops
- Education
- Expand into other demographics like high schools to capture the younger generation
- Advocacy
- Outreach / Charity to give back (as with Shelter Box)
- Advancement of knowledge and excellence
- An Annual where excellence in metal clay is showcased
- Website

Who our Customers are:
- Metal Clay Artists
- Galleries
- Educators
- Museums
- Everyone who is interested in working with or advancing the medium of metal clay
- Levels of membership
o Artists (active, students) – different payment structure, potential scholarships to students
o Corporate members
o Local guilds

Who our customers are not:
- No one
- Corporate members should not influence the organization. There needs to be transparency in membership and sponsorship. No hidden agendas.
- There should be no “masters”

Geographic Scope
- Multi-cultural
- Global in scope

How will the new organization affect the existing organizations and corporations?
- Many people are already members of both Art Clay Society and PMC guild. As artists, many are already brand neutral in that they use all brands of clay.
- PMC Guild and Art Clay Society are very supportive of all metal clay artists regardless of brands of clay used.
- Art Clay Society has never been brand specific. It is, however, based at Art Clay World. Once a brand neutral organization is created, Art Clay Society would be willing to merge with it.
- The companies, Mitsubishi and Aida, will always be separate corporations.

Currently there are many sources of support
- Art Clay Society, PMC guild
- Yahoo Metal Clay list,
- Metal Clay Artist Magazine,
- Metal Clay Academy
- Metal Clay Today.

Next Steps
- Get ideas from other similar guilds on by-laws, etc.
- Enfold PMC Guild members
- Figure out what happens to Art Clay Society and how does this impact relationship to Aida
- Members to help guide the organization forward
- Survey regarding what we discussed today (PMC guild, ACS, Yahoo, other venues)
- Consider having someone from the business community on Council/Board
- Legalities, where to incorporate, etc – Sandra Graves
- Put video on You Tube for 3 months – Jackie/Tom Truty
- Written recap of meeting – Katie Hanrahan, Judi Weers, and Gail Lannum. Gail will consolidate the notes and send to Mary Ellin D’Agostino. Those who have blogs are encouraged to post the notes on their blogs to get the word out to as many people as possible. Also place on Yahoo board.
- Google Doc outline – Mary Ellin D’Agostino
- Website Plan – Signe Lalish-Menagh
- Translation into other languages
o German, French – Verna Sowersby
o Spanish – Elizabeth Del Monte
o Dutch – Inge Verbruggen
o Are there others who can translate?


Angela Crispin said...

Hi Gail,

Thank you so much for posting this! What a great beginning! And thanks to all of you who were able to be present and get the ball rolling.
i am traveling at the moment but wanted to say that I can help with French translations once Summer vacation ends and I'm back home in France in the next 2weeks in early September.



Angela Crispin said...

Hi Gail,

Thanks so much for posting this information!
I'd like to thank you and everyone for having been able to get together and get the ball rolling.
I'd like to say that I can help with French translations. I am traveling away from home right now with my husband and kids for a family break, but will be back in France and in the studio in the next couple of weeks in early September once Summer vacation is over.

Congrztulations to all of you for being there and for making it happen!


Sabine Alienor said...

Hi Gail
I can help for french translation of course, but don't forget that there is already a french metal clay association (70 countries all over the world) that is an Art Clay Society sister society : Metallurgia (

Gail said...

Hi Angela, Hi Sabine,

That would be great. There really is no central location to post this. The decision was made to get this on as many sites and blogs a possible. If you can help with would be great!!


Kenji 憲次 said...

Hello Gail. Thank you, and all the others, for working on this single international association. I wanted to know if the subject of where conferences would possibly be held as the majority are presently held in the U.S. Being international, would conferences be proposed to be held here in Europe? There does exist an Art Clay Society sister society here in Europe (Metallurgia), but from what I know this is primarily an online forum which does not organize conferences, but I may be wrong. It would be nice to have a truly "international" association where where conference locations would be split between the two continents. Again, thank you for all the work that you've done!