Ah, its still clayart.
All things that count, can't be counted(Einstein). And I might be wrong, but I think most things that count can't be counted. We are living in a culture that wants accountability. Quality is hard to scale and quality counts. Unless you have value and values confused or philosophically believe they are equivalent, don't try and equate dollars with quality, you'd be better off buying love.
I teach, I am not threatened by students that have some superior skills. I don't think I have ever had a student that knew more or could do more different kinds of things than I could in clay, but I could have missed it. I am only an expert in a few areas of clay making, I do not have what it takes to be better than everyone else. While I am an expert in a few areas, I am only "the" expert in one area, and that is what it is like to be me,
I don't like having disruptive students in class, but my students learn a lot by how I deal with them. They are amazed at my ability to let slights to me roll off my back. Part of my job is to help disruptive students get along better. The ceramics studio is a multi-dimensional learning environment. My students also learn lessons I do not intend to teach, I am not sure what they are, but I am confident that they are there.
I learned from a science teacher in junior high what kind of teacher I never wanted to become. By sitting in the back of his classroom I learned that I could memorize entire Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, including soprano tenor and bass parts. My apologies to the altos in the clayart crowd. This afternoon I expect to be elected to the speakership of our faculty senate, and I think I should again let my 8th grade choir teacher know how important he was to my life. If you know Larry Wolf who taught in Oak Park Michigan, you know a great man and teacher.
I also don't think that my primary instruction is about clay. I am a big believer in the value of the subtext, and in a class where few can be expected to go on and make a living in clay, and only a few more will be working in clay in any big way in three years, I better be teaching something of lasting value. So, I don't care much for "test" scores of how many pots, etc. I want students who will live better, more fulfilling lives for having taken ceramics. If I was teaching in a school with a B.F.A. in ceramics as opposed to studio art I might feel different.
That said, when I throw, I throw wet and fast except when I throw dry and slow. I care about thickness,and efficiency, except when I don't. Some of my favorite pots are clunky blobs made by beginners because they often show struggle and just the joy of making.
Myopia is hopefully a treatable condition. Louis
Thanks. I don't regret my dud teacher. I learned from him too. Another teacher famous with others as a dud, showed me the colors of chemicals in a flame, showed me how to explode flour, how to etch glass with hydrofluoric acid and lots of other things. I never did get advanced placement credit for chemistry, I learned chemistry. What he taught me can't be counted on a test.
I used to be a tenor, allergies got in the way of singing much. I am a madrigal singer at heart. It is a good genre for anarchists, socialists, and other outsiders, but I am trying to see myself as a qualiteaist, a variant practitioner of teaism or some other something I have yet to pigeon hole by naming it. The world needs better stuff, not just more. BTW I am now better classed as baritone.
I was in Pirates at 13, I never sang a lead. Also was in Mikado once and Yeoman twice and Iolanthe once. Last one was with the University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society(1977?). They have done Grand Duke(1973, 1974?) and if you have never heard or seen it, you should. I think Grand Duke, one of the least performed Gilbert and Sullivans is one of the best.
I like the wave-like give-and-take of polyphonic madrigal, for me it is analogous to the give-and-take between MeAndTheClay when I am throwing well. My new movies use the same structure between their several audio and video tracks. Music is never far from much of anything I do. Neither is Thailand.
Right now Thailand seems a mess, but before people judge they should think about the murders on our streets, our forays into Iraq and even Afghanistan, the Vietnam "police action", our role in Cambodia, Laos, and even our funding of the drug lords of Mexico (through illegal drug sales) and then think of the unfortunate violence in the Land of Smiles. Never the less, I am heartbroken that the reasonableness of the basic claims and aims of both sides in the Thai conflict do not seem reconcilable. They need an outside of the box solution. Out of the box solutions have proven inadequate in the human realm. I hope it is found soon.
On the clay front I found an analysis for the so-called "flint grog" today from Christy minerals. It looks like it is just Hawthorn bonding clay grog.
On the school front I was elected speaker of the faculty senate. I am gratified, amazed, an honored that our faculty deems me capable and desirable, I think a few see my election as evidence of my gullibility, and frankly I am a bit scared of the responsibility. I have to spend the weekend studying old meeting minutes, and committee reports. Who would have figured.
On the home front, my two kids are wonderful. The younger is going out on a bird count tomorrow. They are both fabulous people. I am proud of them. Gail Busch, my wife is doing really well, but not making pots. Maybe as they transition into college she will go back to clay, maybe not.
I can't say if I will continue to post much here. If I do it will have to be late at night when I and things are slow, as my right eye closes down and my left stays open, breathing through my nose as I prepare for a night of continuous positive airway pressure machine induced dreams, and it will probably have the qualities of the stream of consciousness that it is.
Louis SoHo Texas
Frankly I have seen lots of people with no humility, I think we all lack it at times. My belief in my own humility shows my lack of it.
However, watch this woman (the first woman shown with the long arms) throw. http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=roadeasygentleman#p/u/7/4fzqPSDXY_c
Look at the fired pot still inset into the video and the pots in the background (one big one is coil thrown). Suwanee is the one speaking English and Thai to me paddling in the middle.
It is hard for me to watch this video and I had a very hard time editing it as I shot all the footage in one take and I was sick at the time. Complicating matters I had/have difficult crushes on all three of women in this video and impossible to sort out feelings of grief over our involvement in Cambodia in the last half century, and the persistent contagious joy in the life of some of the people there. I finally decided to just post it unfinished.
Anyhow, wet, slow painstaking, I wish I could make pots like this woman. If you can you have a great skill.