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Do you prefer to work in your studio alone, or in a communal studio? | July 6, 2012


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#1 Deidre Haignere

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 06:52 AM

Do you prefer to work in your studio alone, or in a communal studio?
In which circumstance do you feel more productive? Happier?


I would probably get more work done by myself, but truth be told, I actually like to have people around.
Which is probably also why I continue teaching, while also working in the university studio. How about you?



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#2 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:08 AM


I like working at home in my studio but there come times when a communal setting is a good recharge to work.
After retiring from University teaching I decided to do residencies every so often just to renew energy and exchange ideas.

Teaching workshops also helps develop new ideas and exchange ideas with others. I find being alone in my studio can help me flush out new ideas and
workout things when I have full access to familiar tools and facilities. Sometimes residencies have limited facilities and access to tools like carpentry tools.
So, I have to say I like both. In my present location of deep South Texas, I am far removed from the camaraderie of my long standing base in Montana.
-maybe that is part of my need to go work with others on occasion.
Marcia

#3 Potterylover

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:46 AM

As a newbie, I actually like working in my studio solo. I'm taking a class and that's nice too, but if I could have solo instruction that'd be better. It bothers me to get positive comments on my pieces from classmates when I think they are lacking in quality.

#4 Edith Marie

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 11:06 AM

I like both, working in my home studio and going communal....the most important thing to consider is doing what gives you inspiration and when you need that.

What I like about working in my home studio is the convenience, not having to drive across town to the Guild (communal studio), being able to work longer hours, closing the door and cleaning up later.

At the Guild (communal studio) is being with my friends, throwing pieces together, trying new techniques, quality time away from home and all the distractions. However I do bring my work home to trim, glaze, and fire.


#5 Zuma

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 12:52 PM

I worked for a few years in my own studio and taught myself a lot of techniques but find working in a group studio just as good for trading information and techniques. If there is a diversity of approach and style the exploration opportunities are huge but there is the concern that one may mirror the influences of other potters rather than develop their own voice. Admittedly, there is nothing that hasn't been done before but finding your own voice in this ancient craft is the trick. It is a fine balance between what you admire and what you express independently of that influence. Having a studio and a group connection is the ideal for me.

#6 Dinah

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 12:46 AM

Having taught at various levels in shared studios, I understand the pulls on one's sensibilities and the huge drain on energy seeing to the well-being of others and the health and safety of the environment etc., -- ultimately on one's creativity; and yes I can hear those of you out there gearing up to say but wait a minute I'm actually stimulated and inspired by my teaching practice. Are you accomplishing your goals? I love working on my own now. I love being able to reflect and work through decisions and think things through uninterrupted by bureaucracy or a clay delivery. I respect and enjoy studio processes which are not hurried or compromised by time constraints. I am constantly delighted and refreshed and inspired. I enjoyed teaching very much, but I know I'm a far happier and more fulfilled person at this stage of my life. Teaching continually fueled my desire to be more independent and separate from "the newest wheeze" and cutting edge responses.
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#7 Chris Campbell

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:50 AM

I have the attention span of a gnat so I need to work alone. Any input from outside will lead me to follow that shiny thing til the day is gone and the work did not get done. I don't even answer the phone or the door.

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#8 Idaho Potter

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 02:11 PM

I primarily work alone. I have a family member and several friends who like to "play in the mud" so I set aside one day a week--sort of an open studio--and they come and go according to their schedule. I often help direct their efforts, and they keep me up-to-date on what's going on in the community. I enjoy the company, but if I really want to get something accomplished, I get it done better, alone.

#9 Denice

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 04:58 PM

Do you prefer to work in your studio alone, or in a communal studio?
In which circumstance do you feel more productive? Happier?


I would probably get more work done by myself, but truth be told, I actually like to have people around.
Which is probably also why I continue teaching, while also working in the university studio. How about you?



Diana Pancioli
Potters Council Board Member
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dianapancioli.com

I have gotten very selfish in the past few years, I don't want to share my time in the studio. It seems like I end up helping or teaching when I'm in a group studio situation and not accomplishing very much. A friend asked me recently if I could teach her how to make tiles, while I'm pondering this request a little voice keeps telling me that I won't get any work done if I do this. Hopefully I'll ignore this little voice and give her some lessons. Denice

#10 JLowes

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 03:12 PM

I enjoy working most in my studio, alone, with all my tools, stamps, sprig molds, and my wheel set up for my height and to best protect my sore back. It is also very nice being able to move a pot from the wheel or handbuilding table to a place where it can dry without being disturbed until it is time for another technique to be applied, or bisque fired, or glazed and fired.

But in a group environment I enjoy having folks look at my work, ask questions about how certain parts are made, what kind of clay are you using, and seeing how other potters are progressing and what they are making. We can also discuss what potter is in town, showing where, or giving a workshop, and what the the latest issue of Pottery Making Illustrated or Clay Times, or Ceramics Monthly holds. The group environment is also the only way I have to experience and test other firing methods beyond electric or raku/saggar, such a soda, gas reduction, and wood firing. It takes three public centers for me to experience all of these methods, but one also benefits from exposure to more potters, and skill levels, at the three centers.

Being able to work in both environments enhances both my work, and my personal development.

John

#11 neilestrick

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:38 PM

I teach 5-10 classes a week in my studio, plus have open studio for my students during business hours. I crave the few hours a week when I get to be in the studio alone. Friday and Saturday afternoons, usually.
Neil Estrick
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#12 SmartsyArtsy

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 01:25 AM

I prefer to work alone, getting fully immersed in my clay or glaze. But enjoy a "visiting artist" once a month or so, being perfectly OK that I will not be at my most creative.




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