As you may remember, right now I am taking a clay studio class and I am teaching a mixed class, at two different art centers. I am very lucky in that there are at least six very good community art centers within 45 minutes of my house, and three within 15 minutes. So I have choices! And I’m very grateful for that, for the knowledge I can gain and for the camaraderie of fellow artists.
Here are some photos from my two classes. First off, here is the clay studio where I have been taking a class. I arrived before anyone else last week and took the opportunity to snap some photos.
We have two rooms in this studio – one contains the kilns, work in process shelves, wheels, student storage, wedging areas, and glazes and glazing areas. Here are a couple of views of this room.
In this view you can see my little storage area for my clay and work in process (check for the red arrow). It’s pretty empty right now but I will be filling it up again today.
The other room is the hand-building room and contains the work table, slab roller, underglazes and other supplies. You can see where I will be sitting today – I’ve set my red bag at my seat.
I’ve been in quite a few clay studios and I think this one is well-organized and pleasant to work in.
On this particular day I prepared some tiles for glazing, similar to the ones I showed you a few days ago. Here you see the tiles with wax applied to the areas that I do not wanted altered. Next step is to dip them in the clear glaze and then I will set them on the WIP shelves in the glaze firing section, right next to the kilns.
The next day I taught another session of my mixed media class. Here is the classroom before the students arrived, with my work bag sitting on the table. I bring my own paints and canvas to each class but usually I don’t do any work of my own – it’s my role to focus on the students. But occasionally I need to step back and let them work, and that is when it helps for me to have something to work on myself – keeps me from hovering!
We were working on doing still life in mixed media. I asked the students to work on two differing views of the same arrangement. Here is the work of a couple of my students.
Each one chose the objects to be depicted and arranged them, then got to work. These pieces are not finished, but the students took photos for references later on, and I think in any case these are far enough along that the momentum of the image will carry them. I don’t focus on exact representations – that is for other classes – but using the arrangement as a kind of prompt that sparks ideas.
OK, now you have a little peek into my world of taking and teaching classes!
Ah the issue as to whether to hover or not? It’s always a tricky balance in a creative teaching environment.
Yes, you want to encourage, but not distract or steer too much (although sometimes you do need to take the wheel and wrench the car back on the road…)
Ya oh my sooooo tricky!