When Vicki first approached me to guest-edit this issue, I admit I was worried about being too emerging, too new, not important enough. I was also thrilled. Ideas for articles flowed fast and thick. I soon realised though, that ideas aren’t enough. Realising them would require so much more work than I ever imagined.
My idea of what an editor does has been completely edited. Producing a magazine from scratch, from abstract ideas to the final proofing, involves a decision at every step by the editor. It is more than an orchestration of different parts into a cohesive whole. You need to find someone to write your ideas into articles (or write them yourself if you can’t, as I did!), you need to get images, captions, edit it to fit within the pages you can allocate, ensure the article can start on a left or right hand page as needed…the list goes on. Every word submitted is questioned, and if necessary, rewritten. Every image checked for resolution, suitable size, copyright. Then finally, it is checked and re-checked at least seven times. Considerations from the even coverage of artists and events across the country, the order of articles, to the sheer amount of organising, badgering, proofing – did I mention organising – astounded me. And I was only involved in a small fraction of what Vicki does, not having to deal with advertising, the rest of the magazine, or simultaneously organising events and running The Australian Ceramics Association.
It isn’t an easy task. But it is an important one, each magazine amounting over time to a thorough archive of ceramics in Australia. I would go so far as to say that The Journal of Australian Ceramics makes ceramics in Australia important, or at least visible. Something that has no record doesn’t really exist.
Working in the JAC office is a perk. It is, in one word, fun. Thank you to Vicki, Rachael and Astrid (and Bingo) for the wonderful memories. This magazine has been the centre of my life for months now, and watching it slowly take shape from those first abstract ideas has been one of the most important things I’ve ever done. It is stressful, frustrating and at times downright scary, but it is worth it. When the issue was finished and off to the printer, there was an elation that can only come from the culmination of months of hard work. And now it is out of our hands, we’ve done our best, and I imagine opening up that first box of finished, physical magazines will be just as exciting as cracking open a kiln. I hope you all enjoy the result.
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