Confession – I’m not a potter
I think the greatest gift of this time at Starworks with Dan Finnegan is that I discovered after all these years, I’m not a potter.
Dan is a potter. He trucks out to his studio with no electricity, a wood stove and makes pots all by his lonesome in the middle of the woods. I would go crazy all by myself. Dan is content to make ware boards of beautifully designed and well crafted pots for a sophisticated craft market.
I am from a pottery family that made and still makes thousands and thousands of handmade pots. I strayed from the flock and make pots that are harder to like. The fact is I am a teacher not a potter. I am a pottery teacher. I can teach you to do production and I can teach you what it takes to make a living as a potter. My career path for the past 10 years has been as a teacher of pottery not a potter. This has allowed me change in my work and to break all the rules of Marketing. For me my mantra is teach to learn. I have learned so much from my association with some of the best students Canada has ever produced by my being an Adjunct Faculty member at Sheridan College School of Craft and Design. I was shoulder to shoulder with the best faculty ever assembled in my country.
So do you want to discover who you are? I have been given an opportunity to teach a 12 week intensive course at La Meridiana in Tuscany, Italy Jan – Mar 30 2019. It is modelled very much like Sheridan with a 6 week intensive foundation building component and then 6 weeks of developing your own personal signature. The course is limited to 8 students and I am co-teaching with Franco Rampi whose surfaces excite me.
Let me for warn you I will expect a lot. I don’t assign anything I can’t do in half the time
and I will out work every last one of you.
We will live, eat, sleep, drink pots for 3 solid months. I’ve never had this kind of opportunity to make a mark on 8 potters so intensively. My hope is that I get a great group that likes each other, feeds off each other and wants to be the best they can be.
Big pot man Mario Mariani in Italy told me he was married to his clay. Sigh, I think Mario and I have more in common than I would like to think.