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Pottery Studio Etiquette

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Something about group cleanup. A general policy could be that seeing you when you need help is directly proportional to how often you are seen cleaning up.

 

Kind of a do unto others policy or a consequences of your actions guideline. Technically, a flow chart observation.

 

I recently had a group of kids learn my policy by this statement, "How willing I am to help you depends on how hard you have tried before you ask for help." They needed a brief conversation to understand, but it changed the whole course of the class for everyone, in a very good way. I am extremely willing to help anyone any time. But when 1 minute in, the "I can't do this/show me how/do it for me/I don't understand" starts, I am suspicious and kind of assume that you want me to do it for you.

 

So my Commandments would be short, five or so:

 

1. Try.

You have to have tried before corrections or help can occur.

If perfectionism stops you from trying, try! It will help you get over this.

If it's ugly or doesn't work, we can fix it. If it is air, there is no chance.

2. Do not interfere with anyone else's work.

No loud/weird distractions.

Don't break their stuff by touching it/moving it/handling it/turning it around.

3. Leave anything you touch clean and where it belongs.

Even if it wasn't clean when you found it where it didn't belong.

It doesn't matter for you who left it out and dirty; the studio manager notices these things.

4. Leave common areas clear for the next person.

Don't assume that it is ok to leave your work everywhere "just for a minute".

5. Don't be late for classes.

It is rude and inconveniences everyone.

Get there whenever you can for open studio!

 

These are the things that make me crazy as a studio owner and user. The sanitation and other policies are a lot easier to fix!

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Lucille Oka    16

I recently had a group of kids learn my policy by this statement, "How willing I am to help you depends on how hard you have tried before you ask for help." They needed a brief conversation to understand, but it changed the whole course of the class for everyone, in a very good way. I am extremely willing to help anyone any time. But when 1 minute in, the "I can't do this/show me how/do it for me/I don't understand" starts, I am suspicious and kind of assume that you want me to do it for you.

 

 

 

Your above quote made me think of one of my students. We were sculpting fancy knobs and she wanted me to show her how to sculpt a rose, so I took a knob sized piece of clay got a modeling tool and proceeded to make the rose. I described what I was doing and voila, a rose! Imagine her gasp when I balled up the rose and handed the wad to her with the tool.

Edited by Lucille Oka

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Nelly    16

Something about group cleanup. A general policy could be that seeing you when you need help is directly proportional to how often you are seen cleaning up.

 

Kind of a do unto others policy or a consequences of your actions guideline. Technically, a flow chart observation.

 

I recently had a group of kids learn my policy by this statement, "How willing I am to help you depends on how hard you have tried before you ask for help." They needed a brief conversation to understand, but it changed the whole course of the class for everyone, in a very good way. I am extremely willing to help anyone any time. But when 1 minute in, the "I can't do this/show me how/do it for me/I don't understand" starts, I am suspicious and kind of assume that you want me to do it for you.

 

So my Commandments would be short, five or so:

 

1. Try.

You have to have tried before corrections or help can occur.

If perfectionism stops you from trying, try! It will help you get over this.

If it's ugly or doesn't work, we can fix it. If it is air, there is no chance.

2. Do not interfere with anyone else's work.

No loud/weird distractions.

Don't break their stuff by touching it/moving it/handling it/turning it around.

3. Leave anything you touch clean and where it belongs.

Even if it wasn't clean when you found it where it didn't belong.

It doesn't matter for you who left it out and dirty; the studio manager notices these things.

4. Leave common areas clear for the next person.

Don't assume that it is ok to leave your work everywhere "just for a minute".

5. Don't be late for classes.

It is rude and inconveniences everyone.

Get there whenever you can for open studio!

 

These are the things that make me crazy as a studio owner and user. The sanitation and other policies are a lot easier to fix!

 

 

Another issue we found in my communal studio was something we called "the shelf hog." This is the person who does mass production and leaves no room for anyone else to put their ware to dry. They also bisque huge amounts and leave um on a shelf where no-one else can put their work to dry. This adds up to huge upset among members. It is as though the person stock piles their work until the day they decide to work on their projects and/or start glazing. This is another rule of ediquette. Think of others when using huge amounts of space and try to get your work in and out quickly. Don't upset others with over use of precious studio space.

 

Nellie

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maorili    0

A very special topic and really helpful! Infact, I have not yet thougt about the "Pottery rules" to hand out or put on the wall, but I will definitily work on it!

 

I work with children in a rather old class-room with no good tables, so we have a lot of newspaper to put on the tables first, so that the clay won't grab any dust, wood, colours on the tables while we work with it. Not the best situation, infact.

 

Cleaning up is not the favourite thing for the children.. of course!;-) The materials are often thrown back to the storage without cleaning or drying.. infact, they don't WANT to do any cleaning if not forced to to.

Putting up strong rules and a changing cleaning service (someone WILL be responsible for the mess at the end of a class) may change something.

 

The rule: Don't touch others work !

is very important.

 

Don't tell others they do ugly things! would be another rule!

 

And: TRY OUT before I even think about helping you! (the harder you try, the more I'm willing to help)

 

Another would be: If you don't follow my instructions, it can't work out like it should .. but you might try your own way or we fix it later together.

 

The children in my class are allowed to follow their creativity, but they have to respect some rules /technics doing their work, so that the clay don't blow up in the kiln.

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Pres    896

Something about group cleanup. A general policy could be that seeing you when you need help is directly proportional to how often you are seen cleaning up.

 

Kind of a do unto others policy or a consequences of your actions guideline. Technically, a flow chart observation.

 

I recently had a group of kids learn my policy by this statement, "How willing I am to help you depends on how hard you have tried before you ask for help." They needed a brief conversation to understand, but it changed the whole course of the class for everyone, in a very good way. I am extremely willing to help anyone any time. But when 1 minute in, the "I can't do this/show me how/do it for me/I don't understand" starts, I am suspicious and kind of assume that you want me to do it for you.

 

So my Commandments would be short, five or so:

 

1. Try.

You have to have tried before corrections or help can occur.

If perfectionism stops you from trying, try! It will help you get over this.

If it's ugly or doesn't work, we can fix it. If it is air, there is no chance.

2. Do not interfere with anyone else's work.

No loud/weird distractions.

Don't break their stuff by touching it/moving it/handling it/turning it around.

3. Leave anything you touch clean and where it belongs.

Even if it wasn't clean when you found it where it didn't belong.

It doesn't matter for you who left it out and dirty; the studio manager notices these things.

4. Leave common areas clear for the next person.

Don't assume that it is ok to leave your work everywhere "just for a minute".

5. Don't be late for classes.

It is rude and inconveniences everyone.

Get there whenever you can for open studio!

 

These are the things that make me crazy as a studio owner and user. The sanitation and other policies are a lot easier to fix!

 

 

I could add a few to this list, more if I pulled up old paper work, but some really stick out.

 

1. If you use it, clean it and replace it.

2 If you haven't been trained on it - don't even touch it.

3. If you break it, notify the teacher-accidents do happen.

4. If it is not yours, why are you picking it up?

5. In ceramics nothing is done until glazed, and value judgements should be made only after that point.

6. It is your studio, not mine, I only teach in it, you work in it, so keep it clean.

7. Handling pottery is sacred, never by the lip, not by the unfired handle, always by the base, and best with two hands.

8. Respect, for others, the environment, the teacher, and the work is paramount to getting along in a studio environment.

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Benzine    611

I love that list, and will definitely have to "Borrow" it.

 

My students are fairly respectful with the materials and other projects. However, I share the room with junior high for a portion of the day. Many times I have had to deal with those students myself. They like to get "Touchy" with my high school students projects. They jump when I say something to them, especially considering I don't yell at them, just calmly say, "Don't do that".

 

I also find the discussion about doing your own work in front of students, to be interesting. I usually don't have time to work on my own things during class, unless I make it part of a demo. But I do have things sitting around, from when I do have spare time, and I find it inspires the students. Instead of just telling them, what they can make, they see physical examples.

I also, of course, do wheel demos and occasionally work on the wheel during class. The students are generally impressed at the process. And when they get discouraged, I can point out that I did not start out with the ability to work on the wheel. It's something that I've had to work on, and fail at many times over. "Do you know how I can help you fix the problem you are having? Because I've had the same problem myself, many times before."

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Pres    896

I love that list, and will definitely have to "Borrow" it.

 

My students are fairly respectful with the materials and other projects. However, I share the room with junior high for a portion of the day. Many times I have had to deal with those students myself. They like to get "Touchy" with my high school students projects. They jump when I say something to them, especially considering I don't yell at them, just calmly say, "Don't do that".

 

I also find the discussion about doing your own work in front of students, to be interesting. I usually don't have time to work on my own things during class, unless I make it part of a demo. But I do have things sitting around, from when I do have spare time, and I find it inspires the students. Instead of just telling them, what they can make, they see physical examples.

I also, of course, do wheel demos and occasionally work on the wheel during class. The students are generally impressed at the process. And when they get discouraged, I can point out that I did not start out with the ability to work on the wheel. It's something that I've had to work on, and fail at many times over. "Do you know how I can help you fix the problem you are having? Because I've had the same problem myself, many times before."

 

All of my work done in class was started as a demonstration project. I wheel thrown jar takes more than one sitting. Handbuilt pieces took many days to complete, and I would start by showing working sketches, basic joining techniques, and start the project. Many days later, with maybe 10 minutes of working time a period would allow me to complete the project, the students to see progress from day to day, and not take a lot of working time out of class. this also allowed me to do one of the things I found very difficult to do-stand back, and let them work uninterrupted for a while, to allow them to reach the zone, making decisions, and solving problems on their own. I was never unapproachable, just not hovering when I was working.

 

As for the rules-if posted in the room, for other teachers to see, and other students, it often makes life easier for all-expectations are set.

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Benzine    611

I love that list, and will definitely have to "Borrow" it.

 

My students are fairly respectful with the materials and other projects. However, I share the room with junior high for a portion of the day. Many times I have had to deal with those students myself. They like to get "Touchy" with my high school students projects. They jump when I say something to them, especially considering I don't yell at them, just calmly say, "Don't do that".

 

I also find the discussion about doing your own work in front of students, to be interesting. I usually don't have time to work on my own things during class, unless I make it part of a demo. But I do have things sitting around, from when I do have spare time, and I find it inspires the students. Instead of just telling them, what they can make, they see physical examples.

I also, of course, do wheel demos and occasionally work on the wheel during class. The students are generally impressed at the process. And when they get discouraged, I can point out that I did not start out with the ability to work on the wheel. It's something that I've had to work on, and fail at many times over. "Do you know how I can help you fix the problem you are having? Because I've had the same problem myself, many times before."

 

 

All of my work done in class was started as a demonstration project. I wheel thrown jar takes more than one sitting. Handbuilt pieces took many days to complete, and I would start by showing working sketches, basic joining techniques, and start the project. Many days later, with maybe 10 minutes of working time a period would allow me to complete the project, the students to see progress from day to day, and not take a lot of working time out of class. this also allowed me to do one of the things I found very difficult to do-stand back, and let them work uninterrupted for a while, to allow them to reach the zone, making decisions, and solving problems on their own. I was never unapproachable, just not hovering when I was working.

 

As for the rules-if posted in the room, for other teachers to see, and other students, it often makes life easier for all-expectations are set.

 

 

 

I take a similar approach, but I normally don't finish anything I start as demos. What did you do with all the pieces you made? Here's a question, how did you get them to do their sketches? I try to emphasize that part of the process, but no matter how much I point out their value, both to the process and their grade, I have many, who just don't do them. I have started requiring that they show me the sketch before they start, but with larger classes, sometimes it's tough to keep track.

 

I don't have my class expectations posted, but we do go over them the first day. I have some students, who take multiple classes with me a term, and they get to hear them multiple times. I try to mix up my delivery a bit though. You gotta keep it fresh for everyone.

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Pres    896

I love that list, and will definitely have to "Borrow" it.

 

My students are fairly respectful with the materials and other projects. However, I share the room with junior high for a portion of the day. Many times I have had to deal with those students myself. They like to get "Touchy" with my high school students projects. They jump when I say something to them, especially considering I don't yell at them, just calmly say, "Don't do that".

 

I also find the discussion about doing your own work in front of students, to be interesting. I usually don't have time to work on my own things during class, unless I make it part of a demo. But I do have things sitting around, from when I do have spare time, and I find it inspires the students. Instead of just telling them, what they can make, they see physical examples.

I also, of course, do wheel demos and occasionally work on the wheel during class. The students are generally impressed at the process. And when they get discouraged, I can point out that I did not start out with the ability to work on the wheel. It's something that I've had to work on, and fail at many times over. "Do you know how I can help you fix the problem you are having? Because I've had the same problem myself, many times before."

 

 

All of my work done in class was started as a demonstration project. I wheel thrown jar takes more than one sitting. Handbuilt pieces took many days to complete, and I would start by showing working sketches, basic joining techniques, and start the project. Many days later, with maybe 10 minutes of working time a period would allow me to complete the project, the students to see progress from day to day, and not take a lot of working time out of class. this also allowed me to do one of the things I found very difficult to do-stand back, and let them work uninterrupted for a while, to allow them to reach the zone, making decisions, and solving problems on their own. I was never unapproachable, just not hovering when I was working.

 

As for the rules-if posted in the room, for other teachers to see, and other students, it often makes life easier for all-expectations are set.

 

 

 

I take a similar approach, but I normally don't finish anything I start as demos. What did you do with all the pieces you made? Here's a question, how did you get them to do their sketches? I try to emphasize that part of the process, but no matter how much I point out their value, both to the process and their grade, I have many, who just don't do them. I have started requiring that they show me the sketch before they start, but with larger classes, sometimes it's tough to keep track.

 

I don't have my class expectations posted, but we do go over them the first day. I have some students, who take multiple classes with me a term, and they get to hear them multiple times. I try to mix up my delivery a bit though. You gotta keep it fresh for everyone.

 

 

Pieces I made ended up in administrative offices, at Art auctions for the department, in the classrooms as decoration, as door prizes for the Ceramics for Adults Saturday classes. All of these helped out in one way or another. When I began to think of retirement, I couldn't make up my mind. So I made a thrown pot with a thrown and carved pedestal. Pedestal was precarious, and could have collapsed in firing or other things happen. I made up my mind if the pot survived I would retire-if not not. On the bottom I put my retirement date and signature. When it survived, a week before retirement deadline, I put the completed paper work inside, and took the pot to the Superintendents office. He admired the pot for a few minutes before I told him there was a reason for it. When he saw the inscription on the bottom he said I still needed to complete the forms-which I promptly removed from inside. That pot sat in the Superintendent's conference room in the middle of the table the entire next year, everyone had to be told the story. At any rate, part of me still exists all over the school.

 

Sketches! Oh yeah like pulling teeth. However, I stuck to my guns-before a project was started it was planned out-slab pieces in front side and top elevations, coil often in paper cut outs, either symmetric or asymmetric to be decorated with markers. Even extrusions had to have sketches. I was not terribly loose in letting them head in any direction-everything had a them-Spirit houses, Candle houses or boxes with slabs, Crazy plumbing or Crooked cities for extrusion, perfume bottles, flagons or organic forms from nature, all of these started with sketch type ideas not necessarily drawn more like a maquette of sorts, Too many kids don't think they can draw, more often assemble shapes etc-give them the chance to do so.

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Benzine    611

I love that list, and will definitely have to "Borrow" it.

 

My students are fairly respectful with the materials and other projects. However, I share the room with junior high for a portion of the day. Many times I have had to deal with those students myself. They like to get "Touchy" with my high school students projects. They jump when I say something to them, especially considering I don't yell at them, just calmly say, "Don't do that".

 

I also find the discussion about doing your own work in front of students, to be interesting. I usually don't have time to work on my own things during class, unless I make it part of a demo. But I do have things sitting around, from when I do have spare time, and I find it inspires the students. Instead of just telling them, what they can make, they see physical examples.

I also, of course, do wheel demos and occasionally work on the wheel during class. The students are generally impressed at the process. And when they get discouraged, I can point out that I did not start out with the ability to work on the wheel. It's something that I've had to work on, and fail at many times over. "Do you know how I can help you fix the problem you are having? Because I've had the same problem myself, many times before."

 

 

All of my work done in class was started as a demonstration project. I wheel thrown jar takes more than one sitting. Handbuilt pieces took many days to complete, and I would start by showing working sketches, basic joining techniques, and start the project. Many days later, with maybe 10 minutes of working time a period would allow me to complete the project, the students to see progress from day to day, and not take a lot of working time out of class. this also allowed me to do one of the things I found very difficult to do-stand back, and let them work uninterrupted for a while, to allow them to reach the zone, making decisions, and solving problems on their own. I was never unapproachable, just not hovering when I was working.

 

As for the rules-if posted in the room, for other teachers to see, and other students, it often makes life easier for all-expectations are set.

 

 

 

I take a similar approach, but I normally don't finish anything I start as demos. What did you do with all the pieces you made? Here's a question, how did you get them to do their sketches? I try to emphasize that part of the process, but no matter how much I point out their value, both to the process and their grade, I have many, who just don't do them. I have started requiring that they show me the sketch before they start, but with larger classes, sometimes it's tough to keep track.

 

I don't have my class expectations posted, but we do go over them the first day. I have some students, who take multiple classes with me a term, and they get to hear them multiple times. I try to mix up my delivery a bit though. You gotta keep it fresh for everyone.

 

 

Pieces I made ended up in administrative offices, at Art auctions for the department, in the classrooms as decoration, as door prizes for the Ceramics for Adults Saturday classes. All of these helped out in one way or another. When I began to think of retirement, I couldn't make up my mind. So I made a thrown pot with a thrown and carved pedestal. Pedestal was precarious, and could have collapsed in firing or other things happen. I made up my mind if the pot survived I would retire-if not not. On the bottom I put my retirement date and signature. When it survived, a week before retirement deadline, I put the completed paper work inside, and took the pot to the Superintendents office. He admired the pot for a few minutes before I told him there was a reason for it. When he saw the inscription on the bottom he said I still needed to complete the forms-which I promptly removed from inside. That pot sat in the Superintendent's conference room in the middle of the table the entire next year, everyone had to be told the story. At any rate, part of me still exists all over the school.

 

Sketches! Oh yeah like pulling teeth. However, I stuck to my guns-before a project was started it was planned out-slab pieces in front side and top elevations, coil often in paper cut outs, either symmetric or asymmetric to be decorated with markers. Even extrusions had to have sketches. I was not terribly loose in letting them head in any direction-everything had a them-Spirit houses, Candle houses or boxes with slabs, Crazy plumbing or Crooked cities for extrusion, perfume bottles, flagons or organic forms from nature, all of these started with sketch type ideas not necessarily drawn more like a maquette of sorts, Too many kids don't think they can draw, more often assemble shapes etc-give them the chance to do so.

 

 

I absolutely love that retirement story. I may have to steal that concept someday..........It will be a while.

 

I'm glad I'm not the only instructor to struggle getting students to do sketches. It's even an issue in my Drawing class, where they are more of a focus.

I too thought about using maquettes, but I like the 2-D sketches more, because I have the students label their glazes/ underglazes. That way, if a student creates an interesting combination, they'll know what they did, and I can promptly steal it....I mean pass the information on to future classes.

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Pres    896

I love that list, and will definitely have to "Borrow" it.

 

My students are fairly respectful with the materials and other projects. However, I share the room with junior high for a portion of the day. Many times I have had to deal with those students myself. They like to get "Touchy" with my high school students projects. They jump when I say something to them, especially considering I don't yell at them, just calmly say, "Don't do that".

 

I also find the discussion about doing your own work in front of students, to be interesting. I usually don't have time to work on my own things during class, unless I make it part of a demo. But I do have things sitting around, from when I do have spare time, and I find it inspires the students. Instead of just telling them, what they can make, they see physical examples.

I also, of course, do wheel demos and occasionally work on the wheel during class. The students are generally impressed at the process. And when they get discouraged, I can point out that I did not start out with the ability to work on the wheel. It's something that I've had to work on, and fail at many times over. "Do you know how I can help you fix the problem you are having? Because I've had the same problem myself, many times before."

 

 

All of my work done in class was started as a demonstration project. I wheel thrown jar takes more than one sitting. Handbuilt pieces took many days to complete, and I would start by showing working sketches, basic joining techniques, and start the project. Many days later, with maybe 10 minutes of working time a period would allow me to complete the project, the students to see progress from day to day, and not take a lot of working time out of class. this also allowed me to do one of the things I found very difficult to do-stand back, and let them work uninterrupted for a while, to allow them to reach the zone, making decisions, and solving problems on their own. I was never unapproachable, just not hovering when I was working.

 

As for the rules-if posted in the room, for other teachers to see, and other students, it often makes life easier for all-expectations are set.

 

 

 

I take a similar approach, but I normally don't finish anything I start as demos. What did you do with all the pieces you made? Here's a question, how did you get them to do their sketches? I try to emphasize that part of the process, but no matter how much I point out their value, both to the process and their grade, I have many, who just don't do them. I have started requiring that they show me the sketch before they start, but with larger classes, sometimes it's tough to keep track.

 

I don't have my class expectations posted, but we do go over them the first day. I have some students, who take multiple classes with me a term, and they get to hear them multiple times. I try to mix up my delivery a bit though. You gotta keep it fresh for everyone.

 

 

Pieces I made ended up in administrative offices, at Art auctions for the department, in the classrooms as decoration, as door prizes for the Ceramics for Adults Saturday classes. All of these helped out in one way or another. When I began to think of retirement, I couldn't make up my mind. So I made a thrown pot with a thrown and carved pedestal. Pedestal was precarious, and could have collapsed in firing or other things happen. I made up my mind if the pot survived I would retire-if not not. On the bottom I put my retirement date and signature. When it survived, a week before retirement deadline, I put the completed paper work inside, and took the pot to the Superintendents office. He admired the pot for a few minutes before I told him there was a reason for it. When he saw the inscription on the bottom he said I still needed to complete the forms-which I promptly removed from inside. That pot sat in the Superintendent's conference room in the middle of the table the entire next year, everyone had to be told the story. At any rate, part of me still exists all over the school.

 

Sketches! Oh yeah like pulling teeth. However, I stuck to my guns-before a project was started it was planned out-slab pieces in front side and top elevations, coil often in paper cut outs, either symmetric or asymmetric to be decorated with markers. Even extrusions had to have sketches. I was not terribly loose in letting them head in any direction-everything had a them-Spirit houses, Candle houses or boxes with slabs, Crazy plumbing or Crooked cities for extrusion, perfume bottles, flagons or organic forms from nature, all of these started with sketch type ideas not necessarily drawn more like a maquette of sorts, Too many kids don't think they can draw, more often assemble shapes etc-give them the chance to do so.

 

 

I absolutely love that retirement story. I may have to steal that concept someday..........It will be a while.

 

I'm glad I'm not the only instructor to struggle getting students to do sketches. It's even an issue in my Drawing class, where they are more of a focus.

I too thought about using maquettes, but I like the 2-D sketches more, because I have the students label their glazes/ underglazes. That way, if a student creates an interesting combination, they'll know what they did, and I can promptly steal it....I mean pass the information on to future classes.

 

 

Always took note of student glaze combinations-made them write them down. Wrote down particularly good combos, this 1 coat over 1coat of that etc. Passed them down to other students for a few years, but then once I knew the glazes, no need for my notes. Critiques would always point out particularly strong combinations of color and breaking content. Sketches are tough, but stick to your guns, your rep will get you there as the new kids will know you don't give in. Use some class time with very involved observation on you part of sketch ideas then tell them to finish them at home once you believe they have a good start. Check first thing next day while they wedge clay. Revise at end of period in another intensive session.

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