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community college or university

updated wed 5 apr 06

 

candy murguia on sat 1 apr 06


Humboldt State University in Northern California is also a great potter
freindly school. I attended there about three years ago, and I just loved
it. Right in the middle of the redwoods, and the towns are very art oriented
up there. Lots of gallerys and art venues. The head ceramics porfessor up
their is Lou Marak, who is a potter and sculpter.

Candy


>From: Paul Herman
>Reply-To: Clayart
>To: CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG
>Subject: Re: Community College or University
>Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2006 13:03:12 -0800
>
>Hello Leta,
>
>The University of Nevada in Reno is not interested in teaching
>pottery. Theirs is an "Art" department. You are expected to do
>ceramic sculpture. I know because I went there 30 years ago, for
>three semesters. They still had a few wheels back then, but they were
>being frowned upon. When it became obvious that UNR was no place for
>a potter, I was out the door, dropped out and started doing it in the
>garage. Can't say I regret that decision.
>
>Recently when UNR was hiring a new ceramics professor, a friend
>applied for the job and heard in no uncertain terms "We don't want no
>stinkin' potters!" As far as I can see, that is the attitude of their
>faculty and art department heads.
>
>But, there are lots of other good schools that still embrace pottery
>as an art or fine craft. I think Flagstaff AZ, Tennessee where Vince
>teaches and Logan Utah are potter-friendly schools.
>
>Best,
>
>Paul Herman
>
>Great Basin Pottery (36 miles north of Reno)
>Doyle, California US
>http://greatbasinpottery.com
>
>
>On Apr 1, 2006, at 10:36 AM, leta troppmann wrote:
>
>>Hello All,
>>
>> I find it quite interesting that my friend who has been excepted
>>to UNR for there BA fine arts/ceramics is telling me that in the
>>ceramics studio there not one pottery wheel. All they are learning
>>is about handbuilding! Is the wheel being faded out I can't imagine
>>it is? I'm confused. Does anyone have an thoughts on this? Could
>>it be something that the teacher prefers?
>>
>> Leta Medina
>>
>
>______________________________________________________________________________
>Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
>You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
>settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
>Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
>melpots@pclink.com.

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leta troppmann on sat 1 apr 06


Hello All,

I find it quite interesting that my friend who has been excepted to UNR for there BA fine arts/ceramics is telling me that in the ceramics studio there not one pottery wheel. All they are learning is about handbuilding! Is the wheel being faded out I can't imagine it is? I'm confused. Does anyone have an thoughts on this? Could it be something that the teacher prefers?

Leta Medina

Vince Pitelka on sat 1 apr 06


Leta wrote:
" I find it quite interesting that my friend who has been excepted to UNR
for there BA fine arts/ceramics is telling me that in the ceramics studio
there not one pottery wheel. All they are learning is about handbuilding!
Is the wheel being faded out I can't imagine it is? I'm confused. Does
anyone have an thoughts on this? Could it be something that the teacher
prefers?"

Leta -
It is usually a departmental decision, rather than just the faculty. This
has happened in many clay programs in colleges and universities. It is
sadly misguided to decide that functional pots and the potter's wheel do not
belong in a university art program. One has only to look at art traditions
through history worldwide to see the critical role played by fine craft in
the evolution of fine art. They really are inseparable except by the degree
of practical function, which is an absurd way to judge whether or not
something is fine art.

Those who have eliminated the functional pot and potter's wheel from the
academic clay program will live to see the folly of their decision. In the
mean time, a mercenary streak in me recognizes that their loss is our gain
at the Appalachian Center for Craft and other university art programs that
continue to celebrate and support fine craft and the utilitarian vessel.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee Technological University
Smithville TN 37166, 615/597-6801 x111
vpitelka@dtccom.net, wpitelka@tntech.edu
http://iweb.tntech.edu/wpitelka/
http://www.tntech.edu/craftcenter/

Taylor Hendrix on sat 1 apr 06


And if you've taken a look at Paul's pots, you'd want to sign up for
classes at U of Garage too!

Tay Tay, in Rock Tex

On 4/1/06, leta troppmann wrote:
> Hi Paul,
>
> Well that solves that. Thanks for the ideas and other schools located =
closer to Reno.
> I've thought the garage idea for quite sometime, defintely a future asp=
ect to think about.
>

Paul Herman on sat 1 apr 06


Hello Leta,

The University of Nevada in Reno is not interested in teaching
pottery. Theirs is an "Art" department. You are expected to do
ceramic sculpture. I know because I went there 30 years ago, for
three semesters. They still had a few wheels back then, but they were
being frowned upon. When it became obvious that UNR was no place for
a potter, I was out the door, dropped out and started doing it in the
garage. Can't say I regret that decision.

Recently when UNR was hiring a new ceramics professor, a friend
applied for the job and heard in no uncertain terms "We don't want no
stinkin' potters!" As far as I can see, that is the attitude of their
faculty and art department heads.

But, there are lots of other good schools that still embrace pottery
as an art or fine craft. I think Flagstaff AZ, Tennessee where Vince
teaches and Logan Utah are potter-friendly schools.

Best,

Paul Herman

Great Basin Pottery (36 miles north of Reno)
Doyle, California US
http://greatbasinpottery.com


On Apr 1, 2006, at 10:36 AM, leta troppmann wrote:

> Hello All,
>
> I find it quite interesting that my friend who has been excepted
> to UNR for there BA fine arts/ceramics is telling me that in the
> ceramics studio there not one pottery wheel. All they are learning
> is about handbuilding! Is the wheel being faded out I can't imagine
> it is? I'm confused. Does anyone have an thoughts on this? Could
> it be something that the teacher prefers?
>
> Leta Medina
>

William & Susan Schran User on sat 1 apr 06


On 4/1/06 1:36 PM, "leta troppmann" wrote:

> I find it quite interesting that my friend who has been excepted to UNR for
> there BA fine arts/ceramics is telling me that in the ceramics studio there
> not one pottery wheel. All they are learning is about handbuilding! Is the
> wheel being faded out I can't imagine it is? I'm confused. Does anyone have
> an thoughts on this? Could it be something that the teacher prefers?

Much depends on the faculty who teach these courses. Could be a smaller
program where the faculty member teaching ceramics is primarily a sculptor/
sculpture teacher whose expertise or interests do not include using a
pottery wheel.

In my undergraduate studies, one school had no ceramics program and the
other, had a teacher who only taught wheel throwing. I had no hand building
instruction until graduate school and most of what I learned has been from
workshops and my own investigations.


-- William "Bill" Schran
Fredericksburg, Virginia
wschran@cox.net
wschran@nvcc.edu

leta troppmann on sat 1 apr 06


Lori Leary,
I'm sorry I wasn't clear, UNR stands for the University of Nevada Reno. Located in Reno, Nevada.

Leta

leta troppmann on sat 1 apr 06


Hi Paul,

Well that solves that. Thanks for the ideas and other schools located closer to Reno.
I've thought the garage idea for quite sometime, defintely a future aspect to think about.

Thanks again
Leta

Paul Herman wrote:
Hello Leta,

The University of Nevada in Reno is not interested in teaching
pottery. Theirs is an "Art" department. You are expected to do
ceramic sculpture. I know because I went there 30 years ago, for
three semesters. They still had a few wheels back then, but they were
being frowned upon. When it became obvious that UNR was no place for
a potter, I was out the door, dropped out and started doing it in the
garage. Can't say I regret that decision.

Recently when UNR was hiring a new ceramics professor, a friend
applied for the job and heard in no uncertain terms "We don't want no
stinkin' potters!" As far as I can see, that is the attitude of their
faculty and art department heads.

But, there are lots of other good schools that still embrace pottery
as an art or fine craft. I think Flagstaff AZ, Tennessee where Vince
teaches and Logan Utah are potter-friendly schools.

Best,

Paul Herman

Great Basin Pottery (36 miles north of Reno)
Doyle, California US
http://greatbasinpottery.com


On Apr 1, 2006, at 10:36 AM, leta troppmann wrote:

> Hello All,
>
> I find it quite interesting that my friend who has been excepted
> to UNR for there BA fine arts/ceramics is telling me that in the
> ceramics studio there not one pottery wheel. All they are learning
> is about handbuilding! Is the wheel being faded out I can't imagine
> it is? I'm confused. Does anyone have an thoughts on this? Could
> it be something that the teacher prefers?
>
> Leta Medina
>

______________________________________________________________________________
Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org

You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/

Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at melpots@pclink.com.

Snail Scott on sun 2 apr 06


At 10:36 AM 4/1/2006 -0800, you wrote:
>...in the ceramics studio there not one pottery wheel...
>Is the wheel being faded out I can't imagine it is?


Yeas, many ceramics departments are phasing
out wheelwork at they phase out pottery.
Although I am of the opinion that there are
much better places to learn pottery than in
a university, it's a shame to see the wheels
gone, too. They are good for more than making
pots. On the other hand, there are probably
some deals to be had in second-hand wheels as
a result!

-Snail

Snail Scott on sun 2 apr 06


At 05:26 PM 4/1/2006 -0800, you wrote:
>Lori Leary,
> I'm sorry I wasn't clear, UNR stands for the University of Nevada Reno.
Located in Reno, Nevada.


They recently hired Rebeccca Bogerd there, who
is a sculptor using handbuilding techniques.
(No, I don't thing that's redundant wording -
there are sculptors who use the wheel to make
sculpture.) Fred Reid, who was there for many
years (and still is, last I heard) is also a
handbuilding sculptor. Michael Sarich, who
also taught ceramics there, used to do wheel-
formed sculpture, but health problems have
forced him to give up ceramics.

When I worked there (as sculpture tech, until two
years ago when I left to do grad school in the
Midwest), there weren't many wheels, and pottery
was definitely not a focus, though some students
and faculty did make wheel-formed sculpture.
It's a small studio, and they may have wanted the
floor space that those big Lockerbie wheels were
occupying.

That said, when I teach sculpture, I teach the
wheel as one forming method among many. It's a
useful tool. My department is ditching most of
its wheels, too, and I think it's a shame.

I know Vince will take issue, but I do think that
a university is not a good setting to learn the
methods and discipline of functional production
pottery, so I don't cry to see pottery phased out.
It tended to produce a lot of mediocre dilettantes
with no sense of how to actually be a potter. I
respect pottery (though I don't do it myself)
andit's always seemed like a bad fit in the
academic environment. It does no benefit to the
practice of pottery to teach it in such an
ill-fitting context.

My classroom is literally two blocks from the
Craft Alliance. I tell students who want to learn
pottery to go there. They'll get a series of
truly pot-focused courses from good potters, for
a lot less than university tuition.

Craft schools, art schools, apprenticeships - all
are good places to learn pottery. Why insist
that it be done at a university? Prestige? (Are
you really doing pottery for the prestige?) ;)
Why does it need to be associated with a college
degree? Even in fine art, there is a lot of art
that doesn't make sense when shoehorned into the
university setting. Some, yes, but not all. Is
being in a university sush a prerequisite to
respectability, that everything need to be put
there to be 'real'?


-Snail

Donna Kat on sun 2 apr 06


At our University (State University of NY) Stony Brook, the 'craft' of ceramics
is looked down on. The instructor is only interested in "art". I could see
that being the case in other Universities and in that case handbuilding
would fit the bill.

Sheron Roberts on sun 2 apr 06


We have a wonderful community college here in my
home town. For years wheel and handbuilding were=20
taught. There were even ceramic programs for
continuing education, offered day and night. My
teacher had been there 19 years and is a superb
potter. He quit though, just as we were beginning
glaze formulation. His reason, he had repeatedly
asked that he be made full time and paid accordingly.
This man was there 5 days a week, teaching classes,
he was there at night, teaching classes, he was there
when we were in bed tending an ancient Alpine=20
gas kiln. After 19 years he was tired of not being
recognized as a full time teacher and the benefits
that carried. I was heart broken. But we had
become friends enough that he came to my
studio and helped me with glazes and other
problems I might have had. (and still do) :}

The teacher they hired in his place is a fine
person, but he could not teach throwing.
He did teach hand building. The dozen or
so little Shimpo wheels were pushed to one
side and the few times I have been out there
I find hand built pieces in various stages sitting
on the wheelheads, they have made nice
little work stations it seems. The 5 beautiful
Lockerbies were handed over to me for safe keeping
in my studio, because they were taking up too
much space at school and I had enough space to
store them. Myself and others predict that
eventually the ceramics program will be cut out
completely, because funding has become tighter
and tighter. Who knows though, the "Educational"
State Lottery began this past week in our state.

All this is a shame, because there are so many
in our area who want to take ceramics. Some I
know travel across the state line into South Carolina,
or have asked me and the others who have studios
to teach classes. I can't though and the others
say they can't either, due to various reasons.

I hope the college doesn't completely do away the
ceramics program.

Sheron in North Carolina (where the sky is
Carolina blue and the carpenter bees are=20
trying to eat my studio)

Vince Pitelka on sun 2 apr 06


Donna wrote:
> At our University (State University of NY) Stony Brook, the 'craft' of
> ceramics
> is looked down on. The instructor is only interested in "art". I could
> see
> that being the case in other Universities and in that case handbuilding
> would fit the bill.

Donna -
Someone should point out to your instructor that looking down on the "craft"
of ceramics is just as silly as looking down on the "craft" of sculpture or
the "craft" of painting. Functional utility has nothing to do with it.
Everything we make in painting or ceramics or sculpture is utilitarian in
some sense, and to look down on a piece of art because it also serves for
brewing tea is of course patently ridiculous.
Best wishes -
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee Technological University
Smithville TN 37166, 615/597-6801 x111
vpitelka@dtccom.net, wpitelka@tntech.edu
http://iweb.tntech.edu/wpitelka/
http://www.tntech.edu/craftcenter/

Vince Pitelka on sun 2 apr 06


Snail wrote:
> I know Vince will take issue, but I do think that
> a university is not a good setting to learn the
> methods and discipline of functional production
> pottery, so I don't cry to see pottery phased out.
> It tended to produce a lot of mediocre dilettantes
> with no sense of how to actually be a potter. I
> respect pottery (though I don't do it myself)
> andit's always seemed like a bad fit in the
> academic environment. It does no benefit to the
> practice of pottery to teach it in such an
> ill-fitting context.

Dear Snail -
You bet I will take issue. The whole paragraph above is so very strange.
You don't do pottery, and yet you make such sweeping statements? I agree
that the university is not necessarily the best place to teach functional
production pottery, but aren't you excluding the incredibly broad range of
exciting, well-designed functional pottery that can be taught without
specific concern for quantity production? Every pot is a sculpture - in
terms of form and finish. Why should the teaching of the design and
aesthetics of pottery be any less suitable for the university environment
than the teaching of sculpture? Of course there's no defensible reason,
just as there's no defensible reason why the issue of practical function
should ever be a consideration in determining if a certain medium or
approach should be taught in the university, whether you are talking about
pottery, furniture, holloware, weaving, or any other utilitarian craft. As
history proves in thousands of examples, when well-done, functional pottery
is fine art, and therefore belongs in the university curriculum. It's as
simple as that.

I am wondering what teachers you are referring to when you say that the
teaching of pottery "tended to produce a lot of mediocre dilettantes with no
sense of how to actually be a potter." What kind of terrible ceramics
teachers have you been exposed to?

When taught intelligently, functional pottery is a perfect fit for academia.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee Technological University
Smithville TN 37166, 615/597-6801 x111
vpitelka@dtccom.net, wpitelka@tntech.edu
http://iweb.tntech.edu/wpitelka/
http://www.tntech.edu/craftcenter/

Erin Biddle on tue 4 apr 06


It really seems to depend on the school and the methodology that they teach.
1 school I went tto previously had 3 wheels and they were all old fashioned
kick wheels that made you throw off to one side ( the wheel was not centered
in front of you - it was to your left.) My current school teaches half and
half. We have about 25 electric wheels and 15 kick wheels.
-Erin


>From: leta troppmann
>Reply-To: Clayart
>To: CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG
>Subject: Community College or University
>Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2006 10:36:24 -0800
>
>Hello All,
>
> I find it quite interesting that my friend who has been excepted to UNR
>for there BA fine arts/ceramics is telling me that in the ceramics studio
>there not one pottery wheel. All they are learning is about handbuilding!
>Is the wheel being faded out I can't imagine it is? I'm confused. Does
>anyone have an thoughts on this? Could it be something that the teacher
>prefers?
>
> Leta Medina
>
>______________________________________________________________________________
>Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
>You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
>settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
>Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
>melpots@pclink.com.

_________________________________________________________________
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