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updated tue 15 jan 02


mel jacobson on mon 14 jan 02

just want to make my point clear again.

i have nothing but respect for those that have any
advanced degree.
masters degree.

these all entail work, commitment, time, energy and expense.

those that teach in college must have, or should have an
mfa. respect for that is clear.

my argument for ages as been, when getting that degree
one must not forget skill and foundation in clay.
it takes more than book work to be a potter.
it takes dedication and time.

many of you on this list are fine potters, fine crafts people,
dedicated to the craft and have mfa's.
many of you.
i would never denigrate that degree. i personally have spend
many hours of study, working to achieve some sort of academic
credentials. i would not want anyone to denigrate me.

the mfa for many is just the starting point.
i argue that it `must` be. the sadness comes when
folks think that the degree makes the potter. not even a start.

i have been discussing this with kerry brooks, hay creek and dock
six. she is going to pursue her mfa....and she just finished her
ph.d. it seems like an oxymoron, but in her case it is essential.
she needs that piece of paper to expand her career. there are few
on this list that hold a candle to her skill as a potter. she throws
80 pounds of clay...and can do repeat work with the best.
but, it is time for her to move on. i respect that and will help
her anyway i can. i am in total agreement that she should do this.

at present count i have about 25 of my former students that
have mfa's. several have outstanding college teaching jobs in
america. in many respects, i was the force that guided them to
their mfa's.

i just want that clear. i do not want my friends thinking
that i am bashing them. it is just a small percent of puffy
folks that give that degree a bad name.

if anything, the mfa program in america has to be made
more difficult. it has to stand next to, or even above the average
ph.d. the standards must be maintained.
the word `master` comes from the european model....master of
art. it was a big degree in the past. it must be so now.

Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
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