Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Pick your teacher

Pick your teacher not your nose! When my kids were picking classes to take as electives I always told them pick the teacher not the course. A good teacher can make learning anything enjoyable and easy.
Katie is on day 5 of three hour private mentoring with me. She has made 30 mugs with handles, 10 creamers with handles and today after handling the creamers she made 10 bowls.( Ok her handles need work but I still maintain it takes longer to learn how to pull a handle than throw a cup). At the guild classes she walked away with 13 pieces after 8 weeks. She said today I make making pots so easy. I guess after 10's of thousands of pots through these fingers I might know a thing or two. I have made all the same mistakes as y'all have a hundred times or more. Now I can see them coming and can head them off at the pass.
We need accreditation to teach school. I had a Honour's Bachelor's degree and a Bachelor of Education to teach high school. I had 35 years of making pots and a MFA to teach at the college level.  As it should be! To teach clay at a professional level I believe it requires more than 5 night school classes and selling your pots at Nancy's Nibbles and Knits. I'm talking about making pots at more than the entry/ recreational level. For people like Katie that want to make good work and sell them I say  don't be penny wise and dollar foolish. Seek out a good teacher! Good teachers are much more than good makers. They can teach!
Here are a couple of cups from Jen Drysdale from the last wood firing. Jen's work has changed and grown so much through the wood fire mentor ship program that I have the pleasure of leading for the Hamilton Potter's Guild.  Why fire a wood kiln? Why fire a wood kiln for over 24 hours?  No glaze and such a beautiful surface. That's why!



1 comment:

Robert@turtlerockpots.com said...

Tony, Just want to that you for continuing to write this blog of yours. I lost touch with it for a couple of months, for some reason, but have been reading it regularly now for several weeks. Keeps me wanting to stay in the studio!
Wish you were closer...One of these days, we're going to be in the same proximity at least long enough to lift a glass!
Enjoy the last days of Summer!
Robert Klander