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The votes are in and I’m pleased to announce that Jeri Lake and Kate Nicol-Smith are the winners in our Studio Tour Video Contest!  In today’s post, Jeri and Kate tell us a bit more about themselves and explain what this wheel will mean to them. Congratulations Jeri and Kate and thank you for sharing your story with us. We’d also like to thank everyone who entered, commented and voted.

One thing that we gleaned through your comments is that you would like to see the honorable mentions from this contest. Well, we are happy to oblige. We have decided to work a regular studio tour video feature into our rotation. So look for that in the coming weeks.

Also, since this contest was so successful, we are going to plan our next contest very soon – and we’d love suggestions for the topic. What types of videos would you like to see? Please let us know in the comments on this post, or drop us an email at editor@ceramicartsdaily.org with your ideas. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

From Jeri:
I am still shaking. When I opened my email last week and saw “The Cracked Potters” in the subject line and couldn’t believe it!

The reason you didn’t see Kate (Kathy) in the video was because I [entered the contest] as a surprise for her. I entered to try to get her the wheel. She has never had one of her own and I know she would throw more if she did. She worries about taking up time on mine – silly girl!

But the real prize, as it turns out, has been the comments of this community. We have the gift of knowing we are supported and that our story has made a difference for some of you. To all the others who have spoken of brain injury, we know the path you are on and if there is anything we can do to help smooth it out for you let us know. To all who mentioned other struggles, just keep the clay in your hands and as one person said let it “center” you. I know it centered me LONG before I could get it centered!! And to all who work with folks with challenges, thank you for that. You are so needed. And especially to the woman whose husband came back from Iraq with TBI. Your love is his most important resource and I know it is not easy for you either. Personality is altered, behavior changes, relationships are tough. Take care of yourself too and help him find that new path. Our caretakers are our heroes even though sometimes we don’t do a great job of letting them know. (Thanks, Steve!!)

Kate hit another big bump in her journey this week, so I told her about the contest because I wanted her to hear your words when she needed them. She told me you all were better than a wheel! To the other entries and finalists, thanks for sharing your stories. This site has been a great teacher for us. I too wanted to go join the others and work in their great places with their expert guidance! Beautiful. I know my video quality wasn’t great. I am not very fluent and I get nervous. My camera guy graciously said it was OK and didn’t make me do it over. He did the best he could with what he had. Thanks Bryan S. You know I love you! Kate and I believe that creativity heals because we are all part of a great creation and the creative spirit within each of us is no accident. We all have different paths but in many ways it is one journey. Thanks again for your kindness when we met you on this road! Peace – Jeri.

From Kate:
Again, thank you for all of your wonderful words of encouragement. That truly was as special as winning the wheel! Upon my journey I have thought of my life as that lump of clay, with no form, just there standing alone on that wheel. And Jeri has been one of those loving hands of friendship that has helped shape it into a beautiful vessel. Peace to all, and keep on throwing! We also both want to thank Skutt for donating the great wheel for this contest. We’ll put it to good use!!

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