Elizabeth Priddy on wed 28 dec 05
I acclimate my students to texture and feel of
the material by having them make roller stamps
on the first night, ones that will sit upright. We
get them back the second night and the ones that
are good for stamping get saved as bisque and the
rest are glaze tests.
Roller stamps are always useful and the repeaters
can get into it as well as the newlings.
I can teach students to throw well in eight weeks
or I can teach them about making a nice pot all
the way through, but not both. So I don't teach
throwing to beginning classes at all. I teach an
intermediate class that they are eligible for only
after the first class, "intermediate pottery: throwing
on the wheel". It is a good second step. I make the
video available to the students during the first class
and they are welcome to try it on their own time.
I have never understood why people want to start
their students on one of the most frustrating types
of clay work when clay whistles and handbuilt
forms teach them necessary skills of joining and
shaping without the stress. See above for what
I do with the students who cannot wait.
I think teachers try to have too many plates in the
air in beginning classes. And I am not there to
deal with the adults' non-clay issues. If I wanted
to know about the myriad issues in their lives, I
would be meeting them for coffee, which happens.
In class, it is about clay or it isn't happening.
I never had an open space in a class. Always
full and only advertised in the local CC paper.
So my strategy works. If they are looking for a
social activity, they should go to contra dances,
not MY pottery class. There may be some pottery
classes that could serve that function, just not
Thank you all who have responded to "Difficult Adult Ed." Your suggestions are
really quite helpful. I'm still pondering exactly what the root of the problem is.
Beaufort, NC - USA
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