Posted by Cindy Bracker, Communications Director
Where do you currently live/work?
I’m a Graduate Student and Teaching Assistant at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA.
As a Canadian, I never imagined that I would be living in the deep south! It’s obviously drastically different from where I grew up (people, politics, weather etc.) but ultimately I love how family and community-oriented people are in Louisiana. They may have their differences, but when things get tough (such as the recent devastating flood), people really pull together to help out their neighbours.
Where did you grow up?
London Ontario, Canada.
What was your childhood nickname?
I have a lot of nicknames actually, but Nomi is the most common (my family still calls me that).
How did you first find out about NCECA?
It must have been when I was an undergrad at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Because of the expense, going to NCECA wasn’t part of what we did as students in Canada, but NCECA was always something that we heard about and longed to go to.
Tell me a story about your first conference (including city and/or year)
My first NCECA was in 2013 in Houston, TX. I’d taken some time away from clay, and was starting to think about going back to graduate school. I went to NCECA to try and reconnect with the community and scope out schools. I was pretty overwhelmed by it all to be honest, but I just remember having this feeling as I was walking around the resource hall (laden with lots of new goodies for the studio and collection), and thinking “this is where my people are”.
This is a tough one… I love colour! (yes, I spell colour with a U, and I’m proud of it). I love intense, bright colours the best, and I suppose if I have to pick, peacock/turquoise blue is my favourite.
What or who inspired you to get involved more deeply in the organization, and what was your “entry point” to the board.
I love building community, and being an active part of whatever community I’m in. The NCECA Student Director at Large position seemed like the perfect way to do this on a larger scale. The idea that I could help shape the direction of the conference and all the other great things NCECA does was also really exciting to me.
Describe your position with NCECA
What’s your favourite thing about being on the board?
I’m sure everyone says this, but honestly my favourite thing about being on the NCECA board is getting to work with such incredibly talented people. I mean really, who wouldn’t want to sit at a table with over a dozen of the preeminent makers, thinkers, doers and educators in our field??? It’s pretty awesome.
I love being a part of shaping the future of the conference and working with all the talented students in our field who submit conference programming.
Who are some of your mentors, and how have they shaped you as a person/artist? (both in and out of the organization/field)
My two professors at LSU Andy Shaw and Mikey Walsh have been incredibly influential on my evolution as an artist – they continually inspire me to push my work and ideas further. Another great mentor over the years has been Joan Bruneau, who I had the pleasure of working with years ago. She is a fantastic potter, and has been very kind and generous with her help and advice about navigating our field.
I make pots! For me, making functional objects is all about noticing: noticing the user, noticing the material, and noticing the process. It is about noticing the moments, and creating moments to notice. When you strip it down, function is about thoughtfulness—it is about thinking ahead, about caring and about noticing others. As a maker, I think there is great value in this—seeing and acknowledging are powerful acts.
The LSU Dairy Store (I love that my school has its own ice cream shop!) has a great chocolate Oreo ice cream that I love. The store is dangerously close to the studio which is a bit of a hazard at times…
If you were a glaze, which one would you be and why?
Hmmm… I guess I’d be the Water Blue glaze – wide range of firing temperatures, bright, jewel-toned turquoise colour, but crazes a bit.
What are a few of your hobbies?
I really like to cook, whether it is for myself or for friends, it’s one of the ways I unwind. Reading is another hobby, though while I’m in school I don’t get a lot of time for recreational reading!