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studio classes question reply, 2nd try

updated mon 31 mar 97


Martin Butt on wed 19 mar 97

Most of this post seemed to disapear into the void the first time. I hope
this only shows up once.

Re: Studio Classes Question -Reply

Rafael; I'm with Linda. I don't know that your message "reeked" of snobbery,
but it
certainly had a whiff or two! By the way, calm down! I can practically see
the veins
standing out on your forehead.

>I am dubious of your claims. There is no way a private studio can offer the
quality of facilities and instruction that a well-funded community college
can. Get over your self-delusions!<

I am not the person your message was aimed at, but after a comment lilke
that I have to respond to your implication that a private teaching studio
can't measure up to a tax supported community college, particularly because I
too draw some of my students from ex-community college students.

>Before I respond at length, I would like to get some more information about
you and
your "system." Since you used this public forum for criticism of community
colleges, will you publicly establish some credibility for yourself and your


>What are your credentials? What is your education/training and experience?<

BFA in ceramics; several years as a professional potter; 15 years as owner of
a ceramic supply company; clay, glaze and underglaze manufacturer; kiln
builder; technical consultant. Yes I've been in juried exhibitions, craft
fairs, galleries, won awards, etc.

>How long have you been working in clay?<

25 years (man am I getting old!)

>How long have you been teaching?<

Depends on what you mean. In formal instruction situations, 3 or 4 years.
As owner of Porcelain & Stoneware Supply, LOTS of time spent giving free
advice; in fact I enjoyed that part so much I decided to become a full time
teacher. Anybody out there ever learn something from me when I was a
supplier? (I hope so! You sure asked enough questions!)

>As for your "system" what are the facilities like?<

I like to think they are fabulous!

>How many square feet of studio space and kiln area?<

8000 square feet plus an outside kiln area.

>Do you have a gallery?<


>What kind of equipment?<

Ten wheels (I limit class size to 10 people), Pacificas, Lockerbies, and
Soldners. Kilns: Electric; Skutts and L&Ls; 1 test size, 1 small, 1 medium
digital and 2 large. Gas; 1 Alpine 60 cubic foot updraft, 1 fiber raku kiln.
1 sawdust kiln (yes it's a barrel), 1 pit kiln (yes it's a hole).
Industrial size (6000#/hr) mixer and pugmill. Several 200 gal slip mixers,
55 gal and 5 gal mixers. Glaze sprayer & exhaust booth, glaze mixing
facilities with exhaust & digital scales, mold and plaster area with mixers &
marble tabletop, 1 jigger, 1 tile press, 1 slabroller, 1 extruder. Welders,
grinders and various other tools that come in handy.

I have to interrupt myself to pose a question of my own: Do I (or does
anyone) need all that crap to be a good teacher? NOT EVEN! (It is nice,
however to have all the toys.)

>What kind of access and security?<


>What kind of claybodies do you use?<

Mostly what we make here, but also some Laguna . We use mostly cone 6
stonewares, some raku and porcelain bodies, as well as the Coyote micaceous
bodies that I formulated and sell.

>What kind of forming techniques do you teach?<

Pinch, coil, slab, throw, sculpt, jigger, cast, & press.

>What kind of glazes do you offer? What kinds of firing processes?<

We manufacture a commercial line of glazes and underglazes so students have
access to a wide variety of colors, textures and temperatures. If someone
wants something that's not on the shelf we usually try to modify an existing
glaze or start fresh on developing a new one. We recently have been doing
ash glaze, crystalline (at cone 6) glazes, terra sig with horsehair or
sawdust fired, sip trailing and feathering, colored clays thrown and
handbuilt, various raku techniques, etc.

>Do you ever invite guest artists to offer a different perspective for your


>Teaching and potting are not mutually inclusive. If you devote your time to
the narrow focus of the studio you certainly don't have a broad experience
to share with any student.<


If that was a test, did we pass? Surely it must be obvious that being a
community college doesn't ensure greatness any more than it precludes it; nor
does being a private studio. Quality of instruction depends on the teacher.
I would certainly rather be taught by a good teacher in a one wheel studio
than by a lousy one anywhere.

Definitely time to get back to making pots!

Martin Butt
Coyote Craft School, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sherri on fri 21 mar 97

Martin Butt wrote:

Hello All

What Martin Butt has said could not of been said any better. I too can
get an "attitude" towards my profession of dietetics feeling that only
nutrition advise should come from one with the R.D. degree who has all
the tools and toys. But when it comes to learning it boils down to the
basics...the teacher/instructor's willingness to listen and the
student's desire to absorb, no matter what the subject, trade, or craft

I'm sorry but the attitude "the best is the only way to go" upsets me.
The way I can relate is by my profession. I give all my patients the
best medical, nutritional, safest, most economical, etc etc advise...and
many change and many do not. When I first began dietetics and I found
those people who did not accept "my" knowlege as "god" I thought they
were loosers and their health would fail for sure (of course I was
wrong). I too have the toys, tools, quality education, thesis, seminars,
community & professional admiration etc. etc.-----but it makes no
difference to the consumer. Consumers are swayed by too much fraud and
Ensure commercials. I am comfortable with knowing anything I do for a
patient is given soundly and more importantly because I want to and
very much enjoy my work. For those who choose other avenues of
searching,learning, and changing, so be it. Yes I feel I am the most
qualified for nutritional advise in every medical aspect, but R.D.'s are
not the only ones---too little is said for those actually "living it".

I have chosen to try out Krueger Pottery Studio that Jonathan Blitz
mentioned because it is near my employment, affordable and the only shop
in my metro St. Louis, Mo. area that I know of. I am just learning
pottery. I could easily go to one of our colleges (where the so called
professionals are), I have many to choose from, but why? As an upcomming
pottery "student", Krueger's has just what I need.

Sherri Diller