We received in our office the other day a teapot from Christa Assad. Because she likes us and decided to send us a gift? Well, no—I mean she likes us, I think, but mostly she sent it because we purchased it as part of the Ceramic Artist of the Year award. If you missed that announcement in our Ceramic Arts Yearbook, check it out online (along with the rest of a year’s worth of back issues available to subscribers) and read about Christa’s perspective on success. 

There also are other exciting digital things on the way from CM, but don’t worry, the print publication that is Ceramics Monthly is not going anywhere. In fact, print subscriptions are on the rise, so lest you think we’re trying to con you print loyalists into going digital, just get over that thought right now—I’m way over it, and have been for quite some time. We all love objects, from ceramic to paper (as evidenced by our new teapot—and this magazine), and we also love the wonder that is digital gadgetry (objects—again). But one of the really great things about having both is that there is this interesting crossroads where they share content but not form factor.

Just this past holiday season, I sent a text (digital) to my sister (actual person), asking if my nephew (another actual person) had any interest in actual physical objects as gift ideas. He’s an active kid, likes sports, getting outside, doesn’t whine excessively or play too many video games—and yet her text back to me said, “Give me a few days.” At first, this did not surprise me in the least, but then I thought, what’s to think about? When I was a kid (yes, this is the cranky old man portion of my column), I could have rattled off ten things without hesitation, and I did exactly that to my parents every day I could in the roll up to December 25th. But this is a different time, and I don’t mean that in a bad way (okay I kind of do, but only in the way that I can’t get an immediate answer out of my sister about my nephew’s object-gift desires) because there is so much good that comes from the advent of digital whiz-bangery. There is just so much of it that I can’t keep up, and sorting out which devices and apps and software pakcages to use for the best effect is daunting. I could be wrong, but I doubt Guttenberg had the level of competition that any start-up tech company has to face today.


So, as we move forward through the gauntlet of digital content delivery, print delivery, studio work, social-media planning, website building and maintenance, and all the other various and sundry “opportunities” out there, it’s nice to be able to kick back once in a while with a nice pot of tea and appreciate the real reason for all of our publishing celebrations, regardless of medium or form factor—objects made of clay that bring joy into our lives.

—Sherman Hall

Send a letter to Sherman


Check out the rest of the January 2013 issue!



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