Jump to content
CPyle

Quality Teaching Videos (Youtube, Paid Courses, Etc)

Recommended Posts

I've been running a lot of searches for information since I've just begun a wheel throwing course.  One thing I routinely see, are people discussing the drastic variation in teaching content/quality of instruction found on the internet.  

 

Since I'm so new, I have no way of telling if someone is demonstrating good or bad technique, etc.  I'm hoping people would be willing to list resources that have quality instruction.  Beginner to advanced instruction would be appreciated. I'm just learning to crawl but I recognize others are doing gymnastics and decathlons.

 

I've heard Simon Leach's YouTube channel has quality instruction and I've seen someone recommend Florian Gadsby's instagram

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/sleachpots  Here's Simon Leach's page

 

https://www.instagram.com/floriangadsby/   Florian Gadsby's instagram

 

Any references to Youtube channels, books and online courses are appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

check out Mea Rhee, a member here.  she just started a class that sounds exactly like what you are looking for.

 

 

Mea's Core Skills Series looks well organized and very well produced. She sticks to simple basics (core) but in-depth skill development. Well done, Mea!

Marcia

 

 

Thanks, do either of you have a link? When I ran a google search, I found her website/blog and some articles on her project documenting her time spent and money earned.  I'm not finding the courses but maybe I'm looking in the wrong location?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing to remember...  I think few instructors with any kind of reputation are demonstrating "wrong" techniques.   If something works, it works (barring hidden flaws), and someone who has run a successfully pottery business for years probably isn't doing anything wrong.  The thing about pottery is finding what works well for you.  I center using the common technique taught by Robin Hopper, but that technique is easier for a big guy than for some.  I open bowls with a modified technique based on Brad Sondhal's, and had an instructor tell me it was "wrong".  But it works, so it's hard to argue with.

 

Simon Leach has some useful material, but he rambles and repeats themes... you can dig some useful info out, but it takes time and patience.  I used to find him very entertaining, back before he moved to the States... something seemed to change in that time and I found I didn't like watching him anymore.

 

Hsinchuen Lin's youtube (https://www.youtube.com/user/hsinchuen) isn't exactly instructional (some of it explicitly is), but he demonstrates throwing his forms, decorating, etc in exacting detail... doesn't skip anything, works carefully and methodically (he makes functional ware, but doesn't work at "production speeds").  He can be very educational to watch, though sometimes his skill is intimidating.  He posts new videos very regularly and is up to #286.

 

I find Bill van Gilder (https://www.youtube.com/user/vangilderpottery) a great instructor (he has produced professional training DVDs and does workshops), and he has a lot of free videos on his channel, though he hasn't done much in the last few years and just recently started posting videos again.

 

Nobody's going to tell you John Britt (https://www.youtube.com/user/johnbrittpottery) is doing it wrong. :)  He's got a fair amount of instructional material on YouTube, and his for-sale instructional material on glazes is great if you get into working with mixing your own.

 

Ingleton Pottery (https://www.youtube.com/user/youdanxxx) is another production potter that does demonstrations.  He doesn't really teach much, but watching him throw is educational.

 

If you can afford them, I think Robin Hopper's videos are still a great resource... they're dated (originally VHS), but throwing hasn't changed.  The same can be said of Stephen Jepson, though his presentation style can be a little off-putting sometimes ("people").  (Hopper's book, Functional Pottery, is core to my philosophy of functional ware.)  I've watched all the videos produced by these two guys multiple times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good points, Carl. Nice to see you back here by the way! As learners, people take what they can use and discard the rest. Much of what I have seen on youtube is not always good instruction. I agree with you about John Britt's educational snips on his site. They are usually quick, solid info and to the point.  Robin Hoppers videos were used for large lecture classes when I was substitute teaching in Univ. of Hawaii for a semester. 150 kids in a lecture hall the split into smaller studio classes during the week. Education to make administrators happy. 

Marcia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Marcia...  I moved from Kansas to New Jersey into an apartment townhouse too small for my family, and no room for my pottery, and the nearest studio is 45 minutes away... I can't make that work.  Everything's been in storage for over two years, and I couldn't take watching other potters while not doing my own, so I cancelled my magazine subscriptions and stopped hanging out on forums.

 

This month I'm moving across NJ to a place near Philly... a house with a garage and permission to wire for my kilns, so I've been reimmersing myself in teaching materials, getting into the mindset and brushing up on foundational ideas in preparation for actually being able to throw again.  For all the wonderful written material in ceramics, no book matches the information capacity of a video demonstration... even if the person isn't "teaching" just watching a good potter throw is educational.  So I'd been thinking a lot about the question being asked here... what is worth watching, especially in the area of "free"?

 

Watching production potters who have to make a certain volume is interesting... you watching them work and think maybe, "That's a little sloppy, " or even, "I can throw straighter than that!"  But in the time it takes me to throw a "perfect" bowl, this production potter has knocked out ten, and the finished product looks fine.  (I like to see that something is hand-made, so a carefree line is something I value.)  Then I watch Hsin-Cheun Lin, who is an artist not so worried about volume, and his slow and methodical approach almost drives me nuts... he can take half an hour to trim the foot of a bowl, but his work is so precise.  So it reminds me that everyone is coming from a different place and thinking different things when they teach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been running a lot of searches for information since I've just begun a wheel throwing course.  One thing I routinely see, are people discussing the drastic variation in teaching content/quality of instruction found on the internet.  

 

Since I'm so new, I have no way of telling if someone is demonstrating good or bad technique, etc.  I'm hoping people would be willing to list resources that have quality instruction.  Beginner to advanced instruction would be appreciated. I'm just learning to crawl but I recognize others are doing gymnastics and decathlons.

 

I've heard Simon Leach's YouTube channel has quality instruction and I've seen someone recommend Florian Gadsby's instagram

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/sleachpots  Here's Simon Leach's page

 

https://www.instagram.com/floriangadsby/   Florian Gadsby's instagram

 

Any references to Youtube channels, books and online courses are appreciated.

 

Florian is terrific, but most of his information is fairly high level.  He's completed a degree and has been working at this studio for a few years.  Not that you shouldn't follow him, but you'll want to find some others too.

 

A lot of people love Simon Leach ... I'm just a bit too impatient for his presentation style.  But if you're watching him on You Tube, the other suggested videos will give you a rounded view.

 

I've found the Ceramic Arts Daily videos very helpful as well as the forums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

isnt florian lisa hammond's apprentice?!!! 

 

its nice to see apprentices becoming their own person. like phil rogers and Anne Mette.

 

i also think once you have kinda figured some stuff out its important to shop around.  sometimes someone has a better way of showing a technique that speaks to you in ways others dont. i was struggling to throw thin and tall and struggling. then i found just the right video from a high school teacher which actually reflected an old article from CAD (i think) that has been floating around the internet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Goldmark is a good source for videos. Youtube has some but there is a feed from the UK that is better - can't remember it atm.

 

Phil Rogers is fun to watch. There are others including some black and white of Shoji Hamada.

 

*http://inspirations.ceramic.nl/Technical/overviewtechnica.html

 

not the site i was looking for but educational none-the-less

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any of the videos that Carl posted will help you learn to throw. But in the end it is up to you to be hard on yourself and work to improve. You can watch 10 potters throw and all of them will do things differently. What works for one wont always work for another. We all have different things we do. The main thing is to dissect your work constantly and work towards improving. Cut pieces in half and try to accomplish something each day in improving your work.

 

I learned by watching Hsinchuen Lin's channel. I throw like he does with my right hand upside down in front of me. When I was learning I had not much strength in my hands/fingers due to some health conditions I was going through. I found that method really helped me leverage my whole hand in pulling walls instead of just my fingers. I still prefer to throw that way over having my hand on the right side of the pot. I just feel like I can control the pot better that way. 

 

I will say that I didn't spend hours and hours watching videos. I would try to find a solution to a problem I was having by watching someone do what I needed to do, then I would instantly go out to the wheel and try it 5-10 times. Come back and in and watch it again. Repeat until I had it down. 

 

If you have the cash I would join an online class. I didn't at the time so I just learned by watching, it was slower for sure. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone.  My wallet took a hit but i now have a wheel, some clay and some tools to practice what I'm watching.  I appreciate everyone's input, I'll be going through the content trying to find what resonates with my hands.  

 

I've managed to watch a video from most of the sources listed and realize there is enough to keep me busy for many years to come :) .  

 

I have all of the resources needed but if anyone would like to list others for posterity, please do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just want to add that there is no point watching more than what you need to watch. You can spend more time looking at pots and watching people do things, over just getting out there and doing it yourself... Which will slow you down and frustrate you. Watch some videos on what you want to try, then get out there and make as many as you can tolerate. Cut them in half, ball them up, wedge them and repeat. 

 

The sooner you learn to not be attached to a pot the better off you will be.

 

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Marcia...  I moved from Kansas to New Jersey into an apartment townhouse too small for my family, and no room for my pottery, and the nearest studio is 45 minutes away... I can't make that work.  Everything's been in storage for over two years, and I couldn't take watching other potters while not doing my own, so I cancelled my magazine subscriptions and stopped hanging out on forums.

 

This month I'm moving across NJ to a place near Philly... a house with a garage and permission to wire for my kilns, so I've been reimmersing myself in teaching materials, getting into the mindset and brushing up on foundational ideas in preparation for actually being able to throw again.  For all the wonderful written material in ceramics, no book matches the information capacity of a video demonstration... even if the person isn't "teaching" just watching a good potter throw is educational.  So I'd been thinking a lot about the question being asked here... what is worth watching, especially in the area of "free"?

 

Watching production potters who have to make a certain volume is interesting... you watching them work and think maybe, "That's a little sloppy, " or even, "I can throw straighter than that!"  But in the time it takes me to throw a "perfect" bowl, this production potter has knocked out ten, and the finished product looks fine.  (I like to see that something is hand-made, so a carefree line is something I value.)  Then I watch Hsin-Cheun Lin, who is an artist not so worried about volume, and his slow and methodical approach almost drives me nuts... he can take half an hour to trim the foot of a bowl, but his work is so precise.  So it reminds me that everyone is coming from a different place and thinking different things when they teach.

Where around Philly will you be? There are several places to go or supply your studio at home. The Clay Studio offers space. Cheltenham Art Center, Wallingford Art center,  Chester Springs. Anyway, keep posting. Always enjoyed your insight.

Marcia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where around Philly will you be? There are several places to go or supply your studio at home. The Clay Studio offers space. Cheltenham Art Center, Wallingford Art center,  Chester Springs. Anyway, keep posting. Always enjoyed your insight.

 

Heh... I'm going to have space in my garage to set up my own studio again.  So looking forward to that.  But when my company's new office opens up in Philly, I'll be working around the block from The Clay Studio, so I'm sure I'll find an excuse to wander by. :)  I'm looking forward to getting hooked into the clay scene around Philly.  Already met (and bought from) a potter who works out of The Clay Studio at last year's Manayunk arts festival.

 

I'm moving to Voorhees, NJ.  Went to an art fair in Haddonfield, 20 minutes from there and there were so many potters and ceramicists.  Between there and the Manayunk arts festival, my "other people's pots" budget has taken a massive hit.  Kansas had its share of potters, but they were really spread out...  the concentration of potters in Philly is mind-boggling.  Time to go pack some more boxes... gotta get this move on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing to remember...  I think few instructors with any kind of reputation are demonstrating "wrong" techniques.   If something works, it works (barring hidden flaws), and someone who has run a successfully pottery business for years probably isn't doing anything wrong.  The thing about pottery is finding what works well for you.  I center using the common technique taught by Robin Hopper, but that technique is easier for a big guy than for some.  I open bowls with a modified technique based on Brad Sondhal's, and had an instructor tell me it was "wrong".  But it works, so it's hard to argue with.

 

 

 

I agree wholeheartedly with this.  I tell my students, from the get go, that I will show them one or two ways to do things.  If they find a way that works for them, that is completely different,than what I demonstrated, then great.

 

My technique has changed over the years, and is a mix of approaches from other potters.

 

Also, I have watched many of those potters/ channels that you listed... It's like an addiction.  I may need some help.

 

Simon Leach covers a great variety of topics, from basic throwing, to building a Raku kiln.  So it's a nice place to look if you want a comprehensive video selection.

 

Hsinchuen Lin is just enjoyable to watch.  He doesn't go in depth, with his explanations, but shows a great variety of forms, and has some truly remarkable work.

 

Bill van Gilder explains things very well, and has some techniques demonstrated, that I never encountered anywhere else.

 

John Britt is great.  He is soooo laid back in his delivery, and he makes the information so accessible, especially when it comes to glazes.

 

I don't think there is a thrown form that Ingleton Pottery hasn't demonstrated.  As was mentioned, not a lot of explanation of the process, but very enjoyable to watch, and the accent is a bonus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the best youtube series is:

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/KaransPotsAndGlass

 

She is a school teacher with a gentle, encourging teaching style that covers a wide range of topics.

 

Another site is:

 

http://www.lakesidepottery.com/index.html

 

Very informative site for everything from building studio tools to how to create special pieces.

I just recently built a wedging table following their instructions

 

 http://www.lakesidepottery.com/HTML%20Text/Tips/Making%20Wedging%20Table.htm 

 

that came out great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.