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QothW: As a potter/ceramic artist, Do you think you have helped, or been helped by more people in the flesh, by forums, You-Tube, or other printed or digital media?

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Chilly very recently posed the following question in the QotW pool: Do you think you have helped, or been helped more by people in the flesh, or by forums, or by You-Tube?  Pottery-wise, not your whole world.  I will take a little moderator's license here and paraphrase: As a potter/ceramic artist, Do you think you have helped, or been helped by more people in the flesh, by forums, You-Tube, or other printed or digital media?

I really have so much I could write here, so cut a long to the short. . . . 

 I have been a HS teacher, and as such I like to have thought that I influences hundreds if not thousands of people over the years to experience and appreciate all things ceramic. I have also been influenced by professors, and others in classes in college and graduate schools. In the flesh, oh yes, so many times have I been totally enthralled by a demonstration at a conference or festival, and often at a smaller venue as a workshop. I have also influenced others in the same way as I have demonstrated in festivals, smaller venues, and in my own classrooms.

I started getting answers to questions I had in the early days of the internet, seeking knowledge that was verifiable, and making use of it in my classroom and my own pottery. Often these would be forum or other texts of glaze formulas, firing solutions, repairs and other things. As the Ceramic Arts Network appeared I became a regular on the forum reading much of what was presented, finding some real gems, some friends, and lots of knowledge and usable advice. Later when asked to become a moderator by John Baymore, I jumped at the chance. I had recently retired and was looking for new venues for the teaching that I had so loved and so missed.  The turn had gone full circle and I now was able to learn and teach within the forum.

I have always been an avid reader, magazines and books, fiction and non fiction. I would often peruse Ceramics Monthly,  Clay Times, and later Pottery Making along with so many others to get information. I usually did not partake much of the art speak, as it was irrelevant to my personal interests. However, techniques, processes, studio shots, pottery, all of those I would drool over. Seems of late, I have found again that I can teach with in a magazine format with some of the published articles in the last few years. I still have an extensive library, and magazines coming monthly to keep me interested, especially in the winter months when the shop is Frozen  !

I have used You tube, when in the HS to show students alternatives to the way I throw, or how to trim a plate, or a bowl well. Of course I have learned some alternative techniques also, and find that some of my old students have come back to the adult classes and shown me videos that have influenced them and asked for my thoughts and alternatives.

Life is truly good!

 

 

best,

Pres

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I got a foundation in ceramics back before YouTube, but had a pretty long hiatus between college and getting my own gear.  Now I spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos on technique and read helpful books like a potters workbook by Clary illian, or functional pottery by Robin Hopper.  I also read back issues of PMI and CM.  I think it's just all around absorb as much as I can.  Of course these forums here are really nice as well.  I have been to a single demo, and it was nice but I was getting annoyed by all of the weird questions that people were asking while the presenter was trying to demo, it felt like they really got in the way.  I enjoy doing stuff by figuring it out so I think I'll stay away from the arts center for now!

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At less than a year in, I have gotten way more out of utube, probably by a factor of 5, even though I took 4 or 5 classes since then. There is no option for me to receive physical instruction from a master potter here, I liked my teachers, and they are skilled, but I quickly moved beyond the basics and watching people that have really mastered it helped me tremendously. This forum has also been and continues to be a huge boon. I am still mainly focused on the physical act of making forms.

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I'm making YouTube videos now too!   I thought to myself "what is the internet missing?" And guess what, there wasn't a single video of me in my pajamas making mugs, now there is!  Still trying to figure out the whole YouTube thing but I'll get there!

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5 hours ago, liambesaw said:

I'm making YouTube videos now too!   I thought to myself "what is the internet missing?" And guess what, there wasn't a single video of me in my pajamas making mugs, now there is!  Still trying to figure out the whole YouTube thing but I'll get there!

The throwing was great, the PJ’s not so much. I like the Air conditioner stashed back there for comfort as well.

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5 hours ago, liambesaw said:

there wasn't a single video of me in my pajamas making mugs, now there is!

And just where might that video be? Curious whether stripes or plaid. Talking about the mug glazing, of course.

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For mugs, cups, vases, I really like picking them up off the wheel head and placing them on a cheap cfold towel on a batt. Bottom dries out with the rest, stays round and no cutting later only to have a batt with a splotch of clay  in the center.

he definitely is in a groove though.

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I learned the basics of throwing in a 6 week Learning Exchange class almost 10 years ago. Then I took a couple of junior college classes, Ceramics 1 where I learned more of the overall basics as well as the art aspect of plying the clay. In Ceramics 2, the prof told us to develop the ideas for 3 projects that we would like to complete, make a poster board for each  which was put on display during the semester. Then he faded into the background and told us he would be there if we needed any help with our projects, which he was. I didn't have much interaction with him during the semester since I had a pretty good handle on what I was doing. As time went on, I collected a small library of tomes on the myriad aspects of clay and glazing and have also spent time watching youtube videos as well as the Clayflicks option of my ICAN membership. The last college class was a Raku class which was a more involved and refined during which I learned a lot and which prompted me to build and use my own Raku kiln. At this point I would say that about half of my clay input has been with people while the other half and much of the future would fall in the "other" category. However I really enjoyed the interaction with the other students in the college classes because, while not being the class instructor but also having about 50 more years in the School of Hard Knocks, I was able to impart a lot of my life experiences and skills to both the class professor as well as the students. Most of my life I have made an effort to either learn something new or teach someone else each day.

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Online (folks' websites, e.g. Tony Hansen; utube vids; this forum) first, then books an' magazines, then real live peoples - that order due to the volume o' time/material/info each.

That said, I miss visiting the local JC ceramic lab every week :(, there's no substitute (imo) for seeing evolving work in real life, and interacting with others in real time.

There's alway something new/different to see - e.g. th' way Liam rakes his right hand fingers up the cone when centering, and how he's using the inside of his left thumb on the rim. ...two buckets o' water, hmm, like it, goin't'try it now.

Edited by Hulk
because there

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3 hours ago, Bill Kielb said:

For mugs, cups, vases, I really like picking them up off the wheel head and placing them on a cheap cfold towel on a batt. Bottom dries out with the rest, stays round and no cutting later only to have a batt with a splotch of clay  in the center.

he definitely is in a groove though.

Nice about these little bats is no cutting (unless I need to free up some bats early), the mugs pop off at leather soft and I thumb trim them.  The bad thing about a system like this is that you need to learn to center on a non-level surface because after some heavy use they don't sit down perfectly in the slot anymore. Hah!  I don't have a problem wiring off the wheel, but with my limited room it can be hard to swing my body to side and place the mugs on the shelves using both arms.

Edited by liambesaw

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I have to say that people, and then later the forums and other websites were the most helpful things, in that order. I went to every Ceramic workshop from as many people as I could. I had much of my basic technical education before YouTube was a really useful thing for pottery. 

Edited to add:

YouTube was there, it was just a lot more about cat videos. 

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Primarily books written from 1950-1975.  W.G. Lawrence, A.F. Horton,- Buttons, Brownell, a Ougland, Brindley. 

Crystalline Glaze: Peter Issley- Diane Creber. 

Few professors from various universities across the world.  And special thanks to Ron Roy. Frank Tucker. 

An interesting discussion with Tony Hansen via Email a few years back.

and the interesting exchanges through this forum.

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Helped or been helped

I have to give all the credit. You tube is relatively new so not as much as people, research people especially old research people. I think everyone has some wheelhouse skill and if one can figure that out and pick their brain, method whatever, one can benefit greatly. Clay is so diverse that old methods give way to new. Reading, listening and now viewing on the internet all have distinct advantages unto their own.

my vote is all including forums of opinions. There is always something you can learn

when I vacation, I always visit nearby ceramic studios, fascinating actually. All these have helped in their own way actually.

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