Posted 09 July 2013 - 01:11 PM
Montana State University-Billings
Charter Member and former President of Potters Council
Posted 09 July 2013 - 01:52 PM
I started with technology in 1984-85 with Apple computers IIe, IIGS. Wrote grant in 89 that was accepted, started teaching with 7 Amigas in 90 with a music teacher. Things were grand for 14 kids, and 2 teachers teaching experimental music and animation on computers. No internet, until 4 years later, we hooked up immediately, we repaired, did the updates, took care of everything a tech would do. Techs did not understand Amigas too simple and organized. As the years passed and we moved into Windows and more internet, we had to become wary of hidden windows, always watching, learning what to watch for. The school started to become proactive to forsee the problems coming. I was on tech committee for years working with others to pinpoint thngs we were seeing in the classroom. That was part of the reason we had the early bans, had locked down intenet, and had some of the best technology in the state. I taught several types and levels of adult classes. Night classes at vo-tech where adults were trying to learn new programs-Photoshop, Corel Draw, Gimp, Ilustrator, and Premiere. I felt like I was sucked brain dead when teaching these classes because they wanted to know everything I knew-I loved it. I had the same experience when working with grad students trying to understand how they could use this new computer in their classroom to help teaching even thought they had not big screen displays etc. I taught them to create using printers to do over heads, lettering etc-seems simple this day, but then it was leading edge. We did an awful lot of work on presentation design and use in the classroom. Then I taught undergrad courses in technology in the classroom on the local college campus. People answering phones in class, texting, working with laptops not related to class. First test, 85% failure rate. Jocks in and out of class because of sporting events, all failed. I had already told them that these things would not be tolerated, and so I cracked down on them. Got in touch with dean about sporting events for support for days of non event make up-got approval. They were basically drones all of them, tryong to whislte their way through classes. In the end 25% had to retake the class, but took it during a day time period. A few years later the college hired an in house teacher with MS in tech ed. I was actually relieved to do no more as driving up the mountain was hastle.
My point for me is that the older, more mature students really were there because they wanted to be either for their work, or for themselves. Photographers were in my night classes because of the rise of digital, they had to compete, and could not learn the programs on their own and still produce product. Others took the Draw courses because their company changed programs, and they had to get a leg up to keep current. Some were there just to learn. All of them worked like crazy, read everything they could on the work, and researched even more. Maybe these new medias have delayed the maturity levels of everyone.
Posted 09 July 2013 - 03:50 PM
Well, technology has definitely delayed, and even caused regression in, the social maturity of everyone. People use these great technological tools we have (Twitter, Facebook, Texting), as a primary form of communication, as opposed to a supplementary form.
Posted 09 July 2013 - 07:27 PM
Here's an oxymoron. The Communications Dept. began offering Interpersonal Communication online. Think about it.
Montana State University-Billings
Charter Member and former President of Potters Council
Posted 10 July 2013 - 11:26 AM
When I lived in San Antonio, Tx I got one of the first Amigas. They were great, then lack of corp support killed a great computer. I was in the computer biz back then, which was the wild west of startup companies in Austin & S.A.
Even back then I felt a disconnect between computers and the rest of life.
After a few years in the computer biz, I took a pottery class in Austin @ Armadillo Clay, quit my day job became a potter and I believe my life is better for it.
Creativity, I don't think, can exist in the rat race digital envirnment we place ourselves in.
There's no time to breathe and absorb the essence of creation, much less expose young minds full of mush to it, in this digital soup.
It may be hard to accept but creativity seems to be colatteral damage in the digital age.
Technology may have to take a hard fall before we can get imagination & creativity back.
Posted 10 July 2013 - 01:16 PM
Actually, creativity is a hot topic in educational circles. If you can access an educational journal called "Educational Leadership" volume 70 issue 5 February 2013, you can read a host of articles about creativity, how to define it, and how US schools are doing in terms of nurturing it. I accessed it through my college's online library. Happy reading!
Posted 03 August 2013 - 09:47 PM
I checked out the preview- sounds fascinating. Thanks!
Posted 10 August 2013 - 08:54 AM
When we make something we are creating and therefore we are creative. Is it originality or the individuals take on something that we are talking about? It doesn't make a difference if we are talking about a cup, or a figure or an abstract form, these are only some of the starting points when we set off to make something. We are makers in our discipline. We are are all influenced by what we see and we are all conglomerations of what we are exposed to and what we expose ourselves to. As we appropriate something we have seen and use it as a spring board for what we create we are being creative. Where we take it is relative to whether we are just being redundant of what we are starting with, however we are still being creative even if it be redundant or the objects be reiterations. Again whether you start with the figure or a teapot, you are starting with something that you have some visual and some technical knowledge of, how well does the artists know anatomy and is that important to what they want to express with said figurative piece, and how well does the crafts person know ergonomics and the basic physical applications of how a spout functions and where it should be placed to function or is the teapot more of a vessel for formal dialog or expressing something and not really about the utility of the vessel at all. For instance I have a Brad Schwieger teapot that is certainly not about pouring tea and I have a few Clary illian teapots that certainly are about pouring. The figure is a very old form humans have used to express something and or represent something, the teapot is a fairly new vessel in the history of utilitarian pottery, but it serves a specific purpose of utility and to reinvent the wheel in terms of the objects function is sort of silly. But to use either the figure, a utilitarian vessel, abstract form or representational objects as our modes of expression we should be thinking about what we want to express. I don't believe in talent or creativity as something someone has or doesn't have. These are things that are obtained through practice and research and a constant work ethic. And again we are a conglomeration of visual and technical information and as we appropriate bits and pieces of our knowledge and put them together to make an object we are being creative. Adding more bits to our library of visual and technical knowledge is a great goal and as lifelong learners we can make more and more objects to add to this beautiful and ever growing world.
Head of Ceramics, Central Washington University
CWU offers; BA, BFA, and MFA Degrees, (Post Baccalaureate also available). Images of CWU Ceramics studio can be seen at
Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:40 AM
Stephen, I think your comments are right on here. I relate even more to this in dealing with the changes I want to make in my approach. I have changed to a darker clay body, and am searching for solutions to glaze depth and brightness while maintaining the rich edges and surfaces of the clay. Research has pointed me in different directions none of which seem to fit my need. So the process of elimination is forcing me to come up with solutions to the problem that are outside of the research. This might be a form of problem solving, or some may look at it as creativity. Whatever it is, the search has led me down different avenues and approaches that before I had ignored thus expanding my "visual and technical knowledge". If we see me returning to the tan clays then we know that my search was unsuccessful, but the knowledge is still with me.
Posted 29 August 2013 - 09:25 AM
I'm a former high school English teacher (12 years), and am now a high school art teacher (my 5th year). Both in writing and art I have found that everyone can create, but not everyone can be creative. Those creative people, if they can harness their ability, are truly rare and can charge premium prices for their services.
Posted 22 December 2013 - 05:54 AM
Now, some kids don't want participate, and I let them sit quietly reading, so they aren't helped by this. Sadly, they are the kids who would usually benefit the most from the experience.
Northern Woods Pottery
Posted 22 December 2013 - 02:42 PM
We used to call it ""getting into the zone, then Betty Edwards came along and it was "working on the right side". I found that many times a calm non judgmental environment, tasks that would bore some parts of the brain whether right or left, and exercises that stressed the use of visualization, music, and movement would help. It didn't hurt to add in some surprises from time to time-drawing in the dark listening to sounds or music with deprivation of sight and the judgement that entails. At other time it would be contour drawing of very complicated objects followed by freehand drawing of an imaginary machine. You have to play a bit to reach another level.
- nancylee likes this
Posted 28 December 2013 - 05:03 PM
I caught Charlie Rose last night talking with Will Ferrell ... doing his Ron Burgundy tour stuff.
He touched on the subject of whether or not you could teach people to be funny. Often folks ask him for tips on how to be a successful comic.
His answer was amazingly similar to ours ... and is my new signature.
Bottom line was "Just do it".
TRY ... FAIL ... LEARN ... REPEAT.
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
TRY ... FAIL ... LEARN ... REPEAT
" ... If a sufficient number of people are different, no one has to be normal"
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users