Posted on Leave a comment

Oregon Potters Association 40 Year History: The Making of the Documentary

Oregon Potters Association 40 Year History: The Making of the Documentary

First I was a potter, literally* and figuratively, then I became a visual storyteller working in television news and eventually for myself. I knew one day I would get back to clay, my first love, and I did in January 2018.

Shortly afterwards I joined an organization called Oregon Potters Association (OPA) for the clay community and also an opportunity to sell and learn more. They started out over 40 years ago, with just a handful of local potters looking for better buying power when it came to raw ingredients in clay and glaze making. It grew to something much more than that over the years, starting with Ceramic Showcase in 1983.

Over the years Ceramic Showcase became one of the largest all-ceramic shows in the country, which took a team of innovative hardworking volunteers to make it happen, starting with a handful of founding members of OPA. The 40th Anniversary was fast approaching, and there was discussion on how to celebrate. Though there were many original members, several were about to retire and one was on hospice care. I thought if ever there was a time to tell the origin of the organization and the Showcase event, this was it so I pitched an idea to the Board – a feature video as told by several founding members – and it was accepted. I got started on it the first week of January, 2023, and finished it at the end of April, just in time for Ceramic Showcase 2023.

Celebrating 40 years of Oregon Potters Association history

If you’re interested in how something like this comes together, here is a brief outline:


I researched the subject matter: read old Newsletters, articles, forms, and talked to several founding members.
Wrote up a broad outline of subject matter to cover; and stayed open to discovery.
Scheduled time to film each interviewee. Allowed time for additional b-roll (footage of interviewee).
Wrote up a list of questions per interviewee. Created basic shot list; was open to discovery.
Wrote lots of emails in order to find people, ceramic pieces, and archival images.

Oregon Potters Association 40 Year History - Blog Research


Before going on a location, I made sure all batteries were charged and all equipment was working properly.
Filmed interviews and b-roll.
Filmed b-roll of other locations and reenactments to help tell the story.

Oregon Potters Association 40 Year History: Production


Offloaded video clips onto an editing drive
Created a shot sheet by logging and naming clips
Had interviews transcribed into written form; printed
Wrote up story arc with key points.
Read interview transcripts; marked key points
Created paper edit.
Laid down audio on timeline, with breaks.
Began building with b-roll (video and still images)
Talked to composer about original music.
Laid music track; back-forth with composer.
Colorized; sweetened audio.
Added credits.
Watched, tweaked; repeat.

Oregon Potters Association 40 Year History: Post Production

*my maiden name is Potter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *