As an educator my goal is to perpetuate knowledge, inspire learning and set the stage for the artistic development that ensues. Specifically as an artist working in the field of ceramics, I introduce students to several technical processes involved in my discipline (throwing on the wheel, hand forming, mold making, glaze calculation, firing, etc…). All of which are necessary in order to progress to the aesthetics and craftsmanship inherent in any art form.
My teaching approach in the studio seeks to accomplish this through several approaches: active demonstrations, lecture, readings and a lot of hands on instruction shaped by critiques. It’s an ongoing process of student trial and error, wherein they must first begin to develop the muscle memory and technical skills necessary to create and finish objects out of clay (functional or sculptural). Alongside this they are introduced to works of contemporary, historical and cultural significance, aesthetics, good design as well as learning to critically and objectively assess their work. I encourage students to become fully engaged in the material, to learn its abilities as well as limitations and to begin to question what they can or can’t do with the material. Individual and group critiques have been one of the core teaching methods in studio based courses; it is where students have a chance to show completed projects and demonstrate fully their knowledge and skill set on the subject manner. I use critiques as a time to offer constructive criticism as well as encouragement as they continue to move forward and build their skills.