Thank you, Ian Shelly

This guest blog post reflecting on the 2010-11 AiRs is written by Erin Cramer, who has lived in the Upstate since 2006. She is an artist and aspiring writer. Visit

Recently retired resident artist extraordinaire, Ian M. Shelly, shared with the Spartanburg community a fresh, honest, and delightfully curious experience of his art, methods, and inspirations. His potter-esque1 demeanor will surely be missed by the community of artists, art-enthusiasts, students of art, local ceramic artists, and as he refers to them, the ‘hub-bubblers’ who had the opportunity to associate with his endeavors.

Ian the Potter

‘Ian the Potter’ (the namesake he uses in his Hub-Blog) describes only one of his hats. Those who know him could easily coin him Ian the scientist, Ian the comedian, Ian the builder, Ian the critic, Ian the writer, Ian the performance artist, and so on and on. To say the least, Shelly’s residency at HUB-BUB showcased his ability to successfully incorporate many mediums into his art. Not only did he produce an exceptional body of work while in residence, he also contributed a great amount of time to Spartanburg and the surrounding community.

Over the course of the year he conducted several workshops. They ranged from building robots and abstract appendages out of cardboard and recyclables to traditional and contemporary ceramic art making methods. I was fortunate to partake in the Ian F. Thomas workshop he brought to Hub-Bub and it was superb. Participants learned to incorporate print-making methods on clay and to work with unprocessed immediacy when approaching their work. Bravo, bravo.

In addition, Shelly’s expertise in ceramic art-making was well appreciated by the Hub City Empty Bowls project this year. Not only did he help in orchestrating bowl- and glaze-a-thons, he also produced over sixty bowls for the charity.

It was great to have such a swell potter/multi-media artist in Spartanburg for the year. Thank YOU Ian M. Shelly for spending the year in the South. Also, thank you HUB-BUB for bringing so many inspiring and passionate emerging artists to Spartanburg, S.C, over the years. It wouldn’t be the same place without you.

1 Potter-esque demeanor is defined here solely based on generalizations I have made stemming from personal relationships I have with fellow potters. 1. Typically of good nature, slightly introverted, comedic, down-to-earth. 2. Rooted in purpose and function, inquisitive of reason, irony, rationality, form, volume, and fire. 3. Fan of the heavy-metal band Lamb of God (just kidding-that only applies to Mr. Ian M. Shelly. Most potters listen to Tom Waits).

–Erin Cramer


1 Comment

Filed under Guest

One response to “Thank you, Ian Shelly

  1. ronhubbub

    Oh that Ian Shelly! He is so great!

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