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Marcia Selsor    1,301

Tom (glaze nerd)

 

Not alot of information out there on crystalline glaze: and what is, is not overly technical. That said, I suspect I have read and studied over ten times the books, technical papers, and research docs: as required in college.

BTW I had glaze chemistry in my under grad training at the Phila. College of Art BFA program and again in Graduate school during my MFA program. It was more readily part of the programs way back when.

 

I did my thesis on Crystalline Glazes. You are close enough to go to the ceramics engineering library in Champaign. I did most of my research there (1971) There are hand written kiln logs, lots of original notes from the early 1900s. I was fortunate to have a sister -in-law put me up while I visited the library. It was in the basement of the ceramics engineering building. You could nerd-out! With the exception of a silly movie, I don't think nerd has bad connotations. I have been called one fondly by my friends. I don't mind.

Marcia

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

post-1954-0-05177100-1486827110_thumb.jpgback to the topic. When I was teaching in Montana, the administration decided no more summer classes with less than 50 FIFTY students. Faculty could teach continuing ed classes for much less pay. Since I was approaching retirement, average salary towards a pension would be lost. Combine that with the physical demands of loading and unloading kilns for a program of 60 students without help. My students were working 2-3 jobs to cover climbing tuition costs. They couldn't devote much extra time in the studio. My body was in pain. So much pain that a sleep test show my sleep was interrupted 23 times per minute by pain.

The roof blew off the studio building during my last year in Oct. 1999. I had plywood bundles being dropped onto the roof during classes. One made a light fixture drop onto a student during my slide talk.Constant hammering was beyond annoying. By March I got shingles -not the roof type. I missed 10 days of classes plus Spring break.Never missed classes before. I decided it was time to quit. Put in my 25 years. I since then have taught in two other universities as well as numerous workshops.I gave myself a big present of doing residencies to give myself time to focus and to work around others. That was a great education for me.

I am teaching an online 6 week course on Alternative firing. I got good reviews for my first course. Students' work was remarkably impressive. I had my doubts about this venue. But the combination of weekly focus combines with an open chat room and lots of questions and answers, I think it worked out well. I agree that the tactile ability of teaching clay is not there. Squeezing fingers to demonstrate the pressure to apply to brace your fingers is not there. But I am teaching topics that can be communicated visually with explanations. It is much more in depth than a you tube video. I am satisfied with the students' progress. I agree that face to face interaction is the best teaching system. But many people can't do that due to their living situation. I had a student from Slovenia in my class. Another from Britain. They can watch the videos as they wish. We have a private Facebook chat room. I found it to be a very interesting and satisfying experience. And it had successful results.I have been working in clay for 51 years. I have been teaching for the past 46 years beginning in Graduate school in 1971. Here is a picture from 1971 just for fun.1971 Graduate school at SIU Carbondale. I have been carded in bars until I was 36.

 

 

Marcia

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GEP    863

Just to echo what Chantay said, I live in a big urban center with lots of clay classes. It can be hard to take a class because they are often sold out. At some of the art centers near me, the classes are prohibitively expensive. And I recognize how much harder this is for people in rural areas, where there's no chance at all to take an in-person class.

 

In-person classes are not being hurt by youtube. It might be the other way around. Many more people are exposed to the IDEA of learning pottery thanks to youtube and social media, then they seek out in-person classes.

 

The thing about saying "there's no substitute for in-person instruction" is that there are good instructors and bad instructors. I've met the whole range of them over the years. College progams are generally of higher quality but not always. I know college-educated potters who are not all that well-informed or trained, or who feel disappointed in their experience. And for adult learners who want continuing education, the college programs are not available to them, or are way too expensive.

 

I think online classes can fill a need. Quality is quality, no matter how it is delivered. I'd be willing to bet that working with Marcia online, with her background and experience, is much more valuable than an average in-person class.

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

Wow! Thank you very much Mea. I like to think the 50 years experience and almost that much teaching does tend to improve over time. Always room to improve and learn.I agree that people's schedules and lifestyle can prohibit getting into classes or attending as often as required. Online courses are flexible. And inexpensive, as far as I know.

 

Thank you again, Mea.

Marcia

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glazenerd    816

Marcia:

 

I have downloaded several documents that the U of I have put up online: part of their digital library. I would enjoy rooting around their technical journals and going through their research. One of the best studies I have ever read on fluxes came from there.

 

 

Not alot of information out there on crystalline glaze:

It is usually limited to glaze formulation and firing schedules. I have no idea of the actual number, but I suspect that less than 2% of potters have even attempted this glaze; and less than 1 percent fire it on a regular basis. Like all things pottery, if it were more predictable and popular: there would be much more info and products available. I had given thought about selling a dry mix commercially for cone 6; just do not have the time right now to really devote to it. My supplier in St. Louis has offered to distribute it; maybe later in my life.

 

Nerd

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glazenerd    816

Marcia:

 

Your reply got me to thinking last night and this morning of my younger days. I was at the U of I Campaign back in 73; friend of mine was in a State Chess Tournament. ( I think)... cannot seem to remember why I was up there. Was at SiU-C (Carbondale) back in 72-73 as well: cousins were attending there. I do recall REO Speedwagon playing the local college bars: where they got their start as I recall. Been through SIU-E (Edwardsville) many many times starting back in 70. Use to go to the MRF (Mississippi River Festival) for rock concerts. My baby brother graduated from there in 78. I was just there again back in September, at the Student Union building for a recent display of Art Majors' displays. Small world after all. .

 

If you get through St. Louis, you have to check out University Museum. Formerly known as the University Pottery; where Taxtile Doat taught. Some of his crystalline pieces he produced while teaching there, are still on display. Most of the pieces on display are from 1905-1918; interesting to see the history.

 

Nerd

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

yes I have visited the U museum in St. Louis. I was in Grad school at SIU 1970-1973 and lived another year in the area where we had built a kiln in the back yard. Saw Bonnie Raitt is Shylock (?) auditorium and BBKing in Murphysboro.

At UI library they had old Ladies Home Journal with an interview with Adelaide Robineau. Great read.

I love to research in such great places. My journeys in Spain took me to 48 pottery villages interviewing potters. Great year. That is why my friends put a sign on my office door, NERD! I guess it isn't everyone's cup of tea.

 

 

Marcia

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