Friday, June 1, 2012

The Brits are Coming

It seems to be the "in" thing to study in Japan, China  or somewhere in the Far East. Many of my influences can be attributed to Europe and 4 excellent potters are on a panel at the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art this coming Thursday. I'm hoping they have something to say about the direction of ceramics in North America. From my vantage point some of the best and most exciting pots are being made today in spite of the chipping away at the studio pottery movement by Academia. Guilds are full to over flowing with people wanting to make pots and art school ceramic programs have embarrassingly low numbers. What's up?
I'm back this summer at OCADU and I have a full class of 17 with 14 working wheels and students that wanted in were turned away.

2 comments:

Cambria Pottery said...

Wonderful wish I could scooter over there.

carter gillies said...

I'm starting to wonder if this is a conversation that potters are willing to have. If potters won't stand up for the survival of pot making in academia, who will?

It seems that most potters I talk to are so frustrated by having been low man on the academic totem pole for so long that they are happy to wash their hands of the whole fiasco. You can only take the patronizing disrespect for so long without feeling resentment.

But I wonder if this surrender actually benefits us in the long run. So many of today's outstanding potters at least had the opportunity to be exposed to pottery in their school days.

And being trained in community studios will never make up the difference in losing our foothold in academia. Some students just need the threat of a grade hanging over them to work their way to a point where becoming a full time potter actually makes sense. Its much harder to push students when the motivation for taking class is often more about recreation and doing something creative as a distraction from the rest of our lives.

The one great thing about pot making being taught in schools is that students don't already have their lives mapped out. They still can decide that they want to do this clay thing for a career.

Sorry to ramble on, but I'm surprised at how little our brothers and sisters in clay seem to get worked up about this issue....