Jump to content


Photo

Those who can, do, those who can't teach


  • Please log in to reply
49 replies to this topic

#21 Pres

Pres

    Retired Art Teacher

  • Moderators
  • 2,086 posts
  • LocationCentral, PA

Posted 22 June 2013 - 10:44 AM

I really feel sorry for art teachers who have to put up with kids who have absolutely no talent but their parents insist that they do classes in the false belief that their precious little darlings will become a Rodin, Motzart, Van Gogh etc.

I think there is a lot of truth in the saying that "art can not be taught, technique can".
I would go even further regarding technique - I think people can develop their own skills, sometimes doing things better than the established techniques that are being taught.
A great thing that most art teachers do is to encourage an interest in art, but if a student has no talent there is not much you can do.


There is. . . another side to no talent. It is undiscovered talent. I have found over the years that some kids growing up can not work on a flat surface-it frustrates them. These kids are often misunderstood; it is not that they are not talented, it is that they see things in 3D and cannot translate it. To assume one has no talent in art is to assume wrongly and is judgmental. I have seen that it is important to have the crafts, and 3D fine arts in the schools as a venue for those students that have talent, have not talent, and are undiscovered. Many times I would walk through the wood shops looking at student projects in there. Sometimes I would see something that caught my eye, and on talking to the student found he had designed it himself. I always probed further and asked if they would be interested in an art class, to go on to the other courses like the Jewelry and Metalcraft, Sculpture or Ceramics. Point being, if you have only seen or tried drawing and painting, how do you know that you could not do something working more with 3D and modeling. Even my animation classes had talented kids that only showed up when working in a 3D animation, not in a 2 D animation. Talent and creativity are too illusive and too subtle to make judgement until all of the stones have been turned over.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#22 Idaho Potter

Idaho Potter

    Learning all the time

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 400 posts
  • LocationBoise, Idaho

Posted 22 June 2013 - 05:52 PM

Pres, you are so right. I worked with kids that had been tagged with incorrigible, unteachable, etc., and were set aside in a school where they suffered through remedial reading, writing and math. I knew one of the kids, and he was interested in art, yet the school didn't provide any art curriculum. I volunteered to teach two days a week (for free) to see if it might help this group to communicate and interact with other people. It was like walking into a black and white movie without knowing the script.

The school had some rudimentary tools, so the first thing we worked on was woodblock prints. Two of the boys excelled at this and produced some fantastic work. The idea of ceramic clay was "too messy", so another friend and I made non-drying clay (ceramic clay, extra fine sand, and used motor oil) and the students started working on sculpture. One girl who never spoke to anyone came out of her shell and did some work that blew me away. Think of what these kids might have done if they'd been exposed earlier in their lives.

I made a fairly good living as a painter, but my heart wasn't happy until I switched to sculpture and then pottery came into my life. Now if I could learn to work the 4th dimension with some success . . .

Shirley

#23 Benzine

Benzine

    Socratic Potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,714 posts
  • LocationThe Hawkeye State

Posted 22 June 2013 - 08:43 PM


I really feel sorry for art teachers who have to put up with kids who have absolutely no talent but their parents insist that they do classes in the false belief that their precious little darlings will become a Rodin, Motzart, Van Gogh etc.

I think there is a lot of truth in the saying that "art can not be taught, technique can".
I would go even further regarding technique - I think people can develop their own skills, sometimes doing things better than the established techniques that are being taught.
A great thing that most art teachers do is to encourage an interest in art, but if a student has no talent there is not much you can do.


There is. . . another side to no talent. It is undiscovered talent. I have found over the years that some kids growing up can not work on a flat surface-it frustrates them. These kids are often misunderstood; it is not that they are not talented, it is that they see things in 3D and cannot translate it. To assume one has no talent in art is to assume wrongly and is judgmental. I have seen that it is important to have the crafts, and 3D fine arts in the schools as a venue for those students that have talent, have not talent, and are undiscovered. Many times I would walk through the wood shops looking at student projects in there. Sometimes I would see something that caught my eye, and on talking to the student found he had designed it himself. I always probed further and asked if they would be interested in an art class, to go on to the other courses like the Jewelry and Metalcraft, Sculpture or Ceramics. Point being, if you have only seen or tried drawing and painting, how do you know that you could not do something working more with 3D and modeling. Even my animation classes had talented kids that only showed up when working in a 3D animation, not in a 2 D animation. Talent and creativity are too illusive and too subtle to make judgement until all of the stones have been turned over.



I agree Pres.

And honestly, I've never had students, forced to take my classes, because of their parents. Luckily, I'm at the level, where a majority of my students, chose to take the class on their own. Sure, some are taking it, because they thought it would be an easy credit, or there was just nothing else to take, but it was still a choice.
Also, I would rather have a student in class, who had no talent, but gave me their best effort, than a talented student, who fought me every step of the way, and didn't do a thing. I've had some of each. I've also had some of those, than Pres mentioned, especially with my Ceramics classes. There are many skills, in the Industrial Tech classes, that carry over well, for the three-dimensional arts.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#24 Pres

Pres

    Retired Art Teacher

  • Moderators
  • 2,086 posts
  • LocationCentral, PA

Posted 22 June 2013 - 10:42 PM

Often it is not the parents that push the kids into art classes, but the guidance departments looking for a place to shove students that don't fit anywhere else, and have to have a fill in. Sometimes a good thing, because you get that "diamond in the rough", sometimes a bad thing if he is beyond meeting you half way. The truth you say about creative kids vs hardworking kids-give me a hardworking kid with the desire to do, vs a creative kid that thinks they know it all, I'll take the former. You don't have to have taught to know the difference between a searching mind, and a know it all, but experience does help in dealing with it.

The easy credit thing? A few years of reputation fixed that! If some one "spit on paper" and handed it in, they failed, whether they were in Art 1, Ceramics or whatever. You have to have standards, and I really tried to tow the line as much as I made them.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#25 Benzine

Benzine

    Socratic Potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,714 posts
  • LocationThe Hawkeye State

Posted 23 June 2013 - 07:55 AM

Often it is not the parents that push the kids into art classes, but the guidance departments looking for a place to shove students that don't fit anywhere else, and have to have a fill in. Sometimes a good thing, because you get that "diamond in the rough", sometimes a bad thing if he is beyond meeting you half way. The truth you say about creative kids vs hardworking kids-give me a hardworking kid with the desire to do, vs a creative kid that thinks they know it all, I'll take the former. You don't have to have taught to know the difference between a searching mind, and a know it all, but experience does help in dealing with it.

The easy credit thing? A few years of reputation fixed that! If some one "spit on paper" and handed it in, they failed, whether they were in Art 1, Ceramics or whatever. You have to have standards, and I really tried to tow the line as much as I made them.



Pres, the guidance department would neeeeever do that........

I've been at three different districts, and I haven't found a guidance department, that ever really listened to my concerns. For instance, I told them that I could only accept "X" amount of students in my Photography class, because of the quantity of cameras. So what did they do? They put three or four more students, beyond that, in the class. Luckily, my Principal is very supportive, and just told me to buy some extra cameras, and it wouldn't be taken out of my budget.
Another time, guidance had my class, and that taught by the other teacher, in the same room, at the same time. She thought I had started teaching the class in the new room I moved into. The room was good for drawing and such, but it was a Ceramics class, and Ceramics had always been taught in the other room, where the kiln was, the wheels, extruder, glaze storage, project storage racks, you know everything I'd need. I told her, that I had never said, that I was teaching that class anywhere else. She said, she couldn't see why I couldn't teach it in the new room. I told her, it was because I'd have no space, and she disagreed. So, it wasn't just that she made an error, but that she was telling me that she knew better, what would work for teaching my class. I was not amused. I'm fairly certain, to this day, the scheduling "error" was not a mistake, and that the shared room conflict was intentional.

I have actually had a talented student, who drags their feet, well probably more than one but one that really comes to mind. I've had them in several classes, in the past couple years, and they always want to do the same basic subject matter/ style. Luckily, they are really good about focusing on their project(s), it's just too bad, that they refuse to get better, because they don't want to put the time into the projects, that are designed to make them better. For instance, we did a project that focused on creating value, using blending. It was based on a still life. Well, the still life wasn't their cup of tea, so they rushed through it. Later on, when we do projects, where we select the subject matter, they had ideas, but the shading suffered, because they didn't learn enough to apply it. The student has the creativity, though they pigeonhole themselves in to a specific subject matter, they just need to learn more technique, and they'd be great. I probably won't have them in any more classes, because my Photo classes, or Graphic Design don't interest them.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#26 maorili

maorili

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14 posts
  • LocationGermany

Posted 24 June 2013 - 02:42 AM

*******************
Another time, guidance had my class, and that taught by the other teacher, in the same room, at the same time. She thought I had started teaching the class in the new room I moved into. The room was good for drawing and such, but it was a Ceramics class, and Ceramics had always been taught in the other room, where the kiln was, the wheels, extruder, glaze storage, project storage racks, you know everything I'd need. I told her, that I had never said, that I was teaching that class anywhere else. She said, she couldn't see why I couldn't teach it in the new room. I told her, it was because I'd have no space, and she disagreed. So, it wasn't just that she made an error, but that she was telling me that she knew better, what would work for teaching my class. I was not amused. I'm fairly certain, to this day, the scheduling "error" was not a mistake, and that the shared room conflict was intentional.
****************************

Interesting! This is what happened to me, because of a creation of a new school inside the old school. (in Germany, so I don't explain the details).
But for more than half a year, "suddenly" three crafts courses had to share two working rooms, and I was forced to take another room, normally a storage room (no windows..no good air circulation...!) because the other ones had to use the woodworking tools available in the normal rooms.
Of course, no washing facilities in our room.. so what about clay working without water?? Kiln is in an extra room, working tools in another room..

At the moment, I'm just waiting for this rest of schoolyear to end, for the situation now (I joined in one of the other working rooms with my clay class) is unbearable.. loud, noisy, crowded...

To avoid this I go outside with my students, last thursday doing barrel firing in my yard (while a thunderstorm was passing by *smile*), next thursday go to icecream shop to test our new icecream cups.

Infact, it is only an afternoon art class, but under these circumstances, how can you teach anything?

*****************************
Well, the still life wasn't their cup of tea, so they rushed through it. Later on, when we do projects, where we select the subject matter, they had ideas, but the shading suffered,
*************************

I know about these problems with trying to teach new methods to pupils, but they are not interested in the project, so they miss the new technique and can't use it for the next project, where it is necessary.

Because clay work is mostly about "producing" something, some of them tell me they have "enough stuff at home", they don't want to create new things.
But they are not willing to do the "production" for school exhibition or wall decoration either.. so it is only an excuse for not doing anything.

Blame the system, the teacher or the children? I don't know, but I stop doing these courses this summer.

It'll be my hobby again, maybe working sometimes with interested adults or selling some pieces on ebay, etsy, dawanda etc.
greetings
Gabi
http://maoridesign.jimdo.com/
Necessity is the mother of invention

#27 Benzine

Benzine

    Socratic Potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,714 posts
  • LocationThe Hawkeye State

Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:31 AM

*******************
Another time, guidance had my class, and that taught by the other teacher, in the same room, at the same time. She thought I had started teaching the class in the new room I moved into. The room was good for drawing and such, but it was a Ceramics class, and Ceramics had always been taught in the other room, where the kiln was, the wheels, extruder, glaze storage, project storage racks, you know everything I'd need. I told her, that I had never said, that I was teaching that class anywhere else. She said, she couldn't see why I couldn't teach it in the new room. I told her, it was because I'd have no space, and she disagreed. So, it wasn't just that she made an error, but that she was telling me that she knew better, what would work for teaching my class. I was not amused. I'm fairly certain, to this day, the scheduling "error" was not a mistake, and that the shared room conflict was intentional.
****************************

Interesting! This is what happened to me, because of a creation of a new school inside the old school. (in Germany, so I don't explain the details).
But for more than half a year, "suddenly" three crafts courses had to share two working rooms, and I was forced to take another room, normally a storage room (no windows..no good air circulation...!) because the other ones had to use the woodworking tools available in the normal rooms.
Of course, no washing facilities in our room.. so what about clay working without water?? Kiln is in an extra room, working tools in another room..

At the moment, I'm just waiting for this rest of schoolyear to end, for the situation now (I joined in one of the other working rooms with my clay class) is unbearable.. loud, noisy, crowded...

To avoid this I go outside with my students, last thursday doing barrel firing in my yard (while a thunderstorm was passing by *smile*), next thursday go to icecream shop to test our new icecream cups.

Infact, it is only an afternoon art class, but under these circumstances, how can you teach anything?


That's rough. The issue I ran into was more of a power play, by a coworker. It failed, because it was just ridiculous.

*****************************
Well, the still life wasn't their cup of tea, so they rushed through it. Later on, when we do projects, where we select the subject matter, they had ideas, but the shading suffered,
*************************

I know about these problems with trying to teach new methods to pupils, but they are not interested in the project, so they miss the new technique and can't use it for the next project, where it is necessary.

Because clay work is mostly about "producing" something, some of them tell me they have "enough stuff at home", they don't want to create new things.
But they are not willing to do the "production" for school exhibition or wall decoration either.. so it is only an excuse for not doing anything.

Blame the system, the teacher or the children? I don't know, but I stop doing these courses this summer.

It'll be my hobby again, maybe working sometimes with interested adults or selling some pieces on ebay, etsy, dawanda etc.


Yeah, I always find it is difficult to create things, that they want to keep. They generally try hard, to get a good grade, but then they don't want the piece(s) afterwards, even the good ones.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#28 Pres

Pres

    Retired Art Teacher

  • Moderators
  • 2,086 posts
  • LocationCentral, PA

Posted 24 June 2013 - 11:16 PM

They generally try hard, to get a good grade, but then they don't want the piece(s) afterwards, even the good ones. Sounds like a good time to run an auction of student work at the end of the year. We did it around our school every few years and proceeds went to students and to worthy causes.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#29 Benzine

Benzine

    Socratic Potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,714 posts
  • LocationThe Hawkeye State

Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:46 AM

They generally try hard, to get a good grade, but then they don't want the piece(s) afterwards, even the good ones. Sounds like a good time to run an auction of student work at the end of the year. We did it around our school every few years and proceeds went to students and to worthy causes.


Good idea Pres.

Any ideas for the "Not so good" pieces? I did have a custodian come to my room, at my first teaching job. He wanted the biggest, ugliest, unclaimed thing I had. He was doing a "White Elephant" gift exchange, and wanted a good entry. I was happy to oblige.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#30 TJR

TJR

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,285 posts
  • LocationCanada

Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:55 AM

Benzine,Pres;
I had a lot of great landscape paintings in acrylic. I thought I would donate them to a nursing home in the area. They were rather innocuous-the paintings, not the people. In the end, we painted them over with white latex paint and reused the canvas.I use a lot of MDF board which can be painted on two sides. In the end, I end up throwing a lot out. The clay stuff I smash with a hammer, the paper stuff I recycle.
TJR.

#31 Benzine

Benzine

    Socratic Potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,714 posts
  • LocationThe Hawkeye State

Posted 26 June 2013 - 09:47 AM

Benzine,Pres;
I had a lot of great landscape paintings in acrylic. I thought I would donate them to a nursing home in the area. They were rather innocuous-the paintings, not the people. In the end, we painted them over with white latex paint and reused the canvas.I use a lot of MDF board which can be painted on two sides. In the end, I end up throwing a lot out. The clay stuff I smash with a hammer, the paper stuff I recycle.
TJR.


Yeah, I reused what I can. The paintings we do on canvas board and masonite are gessoed over and reused, if the students don't want them. For the stretched canvases I have them make, I do keep the unwanted ones, but I only use them in a pinch, if someone needs a canvas in a hurry. Otherwise, i have each student cut and assemble their own stretchers and stretch their own canvas. It's a skill I think each student should leave my painting class with.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#32 TJR

TJR

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,285 posts
  • LocationCanada

Posted 26 June 2013 - 10:41 AM

Benzine;
I buy the pre-stretched canvases for my Gr.12's. You can get them pretty cheap. I think they come from that country with the large population that supplies Dollar Stores.Most of the students seem to value them.
Graade 10's paint acrylics on paper. Gr. 11's use MDF. 12's use stretchers.
TJR.

#33 Pres

Pres

    Retired Art Teacher

  • Moderators
  • 2,086 posts
  • LocationCentral, PA

Posted 26 June 2013 - 11:57 AM


Benzine,Pres;
I had a lot of great landscape paintings in acrylic. I thought I would donate them to a nursing home in the area. They were rather innocuous-the paintings, not the people. In the end, we painted them over with white latex paint and reused the canvas.I use a lot of MDF board which can be painted on two sides. In the end, I end up throwing a lot out. The clay stuff I smash with a hammer, the paper stuff I recycle.
TJR.


Yeah, I reused what I can. The paintings we do on canvas board and masonite are gessoed over and reused, if the students don't want them. For the stretched canvases I have them make, I do keep the unwanted ones, but I only use them in a pinch, if someone needs a canvas in a hurry. Otherwise, i have each student cut and assemble their own stretchers and stretch their own canvas. It's a skill I think each student should leave my painting class with.


Ugly pots make great planters when stuffed. The look great on decks and porches. Ugly paintings can really be cut into small squares 3X3 or so, glue onto Masonite panels and acrylic over, then merge areas with abstracts of color. These come out looking great with bold lines and stripes with transparencies.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#34 Benzine

Benzine

    Socratic Potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,714 posts
  • LocationThe Hawkeye State

Posted 26 June 2013 - 11:57 AM

Benzine;
I buy the pre-stretched canvases for my Gr.12's. You can get them pretty cheap. I think they come from that country with the large population that supplies Dollar Stores.Most of the students seem to value them.
Graade 10's paint acrylics on paper. Gr. 11's use MDF. 12's use stretchers.
TJR.


I do acrylic on paper, in my "Intro" type class. For my focused Painting class, all acrylic is on a much better surface. The only thing we do on paper there, is watercolor, sketches, and the color wheel I make them create, because I'm a ########.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#35 TJR

TJR

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,285 posts
  • LocationCanada

Posted 26 June 2013 - 03:53 PM


Benzine;
I buy the pre-stretched canvases for my Gr.12's. You can get them pretty cheap. I think they come from that country with the large population that supplies Dollar Stores.Most of the students seem to value them.
Graade 10's paint acrylics on paper. Gr. 11's use MDF. 12's use stretchers.
TJR.


I do acrylic on paper, in my "Intro" type class. For my focused Painting class, all acrylic is on a much better surface. The only thing we do on paper there, is watercolor, sketches, and the color wheel I make them create, because I'm a ########.


Benzine;
You sound like my kind of guy. I'm pretty structured when it comes to technique as well.I wanted to send you an Email with some images, but your address is not listed.
TJR.

#36 Benzine

Benzine

    Socratic Potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,714 posts
  • LocationThe Hawkeye State

Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:56 PM



Benzine;
I buy the pre-stretched canvases for my Gr.12's. You can get them pretty cheap. I think they come from that country with the large population that supplies Dollar Stores.Most of the students seem to value them.
Graade 10's paint acrylics on paper. Gr. 11's use MDF. 12's use stretchers.
TJR.


I do acrylic on paper, in my "Intro" type class. For my focused Painting class, all acrylic is on a much better surface. The only thing we do on paper there, is watercolor, sketches, and the color wheel I make them create, because I'm a ########.


Benzine;
You sound like my kind of guy. I'm pretty structured when it comes to technique as well.I wanted to send you an Email with some images, but your address is not listed.
TJR.


TJR, I PMed you my email.

And yeah, I found, that even in my short time teaching, structure helps maintain sanity, as well as to get better educational results. If you want to talk about how big of a ########, I can be, you should see my Photography class. We start with the basic concepts, and very simple cameras, and by that I mean I make them construct their own pinhole camera, and use it to take several photos. They really don't like it, but I continue to do it, because it gives them a sense of history, and helps them learn the very basics of the photography process first.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#37 Pres

Pres

    Retired Art Teacher

  • Moderators
  • 2,086 posts
  • LocationCentral, PA

Posted 28 June 2013 - 06:33 AM




Benzine;
I buy the pre-stretched canvases for my Gr.12's. You can get them pretty cheap. I think they come from that country with the large population that supplies Dollar Stores.Most of the students seem to value them.
Graade 10's paint acrylics on paper. Gr. 11's use MDF. 12's use stretchers.
TJR.


I do acrylic on paper, in my "Intro" type class. For my focused Painting class, all acrylic is on a much better surface. The only thing we do on paper there, is watercolor, sketches, and the color wheel I make them create, because I'm a ########.


Benzine;
You sound like my kind of guy. I'm pretty structured when it comes to technique as well.I wanted to send you an Email with some images, but your address is not listed.
TJR.


TJR, I PMed you my email.

And yeah, I found, that even in my short time teaching, structure helps maintain sanity, as well as to get better educational results. If you want to talk about how big of a ########, I can be, you should see my Photography class. We start with the basic concepts, and very simple cameras, and by that I mean I make them construct their own pinhole camera, and use it to take several photos. They really don't like it, but I continue to do it, because it gives them a sense of history, and helps them learn the very basics of the photography process first.


Pottery Making Magazine had an article about 5 years ago on making pin hole cameras. One of my Saturday adult students, who teaches JH art, made one and got some great pictures with it.

Structure helps immensely when running a class period. We had 50 minute periods, and you had to be on task from beginning to end to get things done. I never sat at my desk, as it was always a roaming situation. My demonstrations were set up before hand, and usually lasted 20 minutes with time for work afterwards. Many times though when a moment would arise, I would be doing 5 minute demos on particular problems some one would end up with.

My electronic studio arts kids had to do a sketchbook, and every year I had them do flip books to prepare for specific types of animation: bipedal walk sequences, flying sequences, quadrapedal walk sequences. etc.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#38 Benzine

Benzine

    Socratic Potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,714 posts
  • LocationThe Hawkeye State

Posted 29 June 2013 - 11:28 AM





Benzine;
I buy the pre-stretched canvases for my Gr.12's. You can get them pretty cheap. I think they come from that country with the large population that supplies Dollar Stores.Most of the students seem to value them.
Graade 10's paint acrylics on paper. Gr. 11's use MDF. 12's use stretchers.
TJR.


I do acrylic on paper, in my "Intro" type class. For my focused Painting class, all acrylic is on a much better surface. The only thing we do on paper there, is watercolor, sketches, and the color wheel I make them create, because I'm a ########.


Benzine;
You sound like my kind of guy. I'm pretty structured when it comes to technique as well.I wanted to send you an Email with some images, but your address is not listed.
TJR.


TJR, I PMed you my email.

And yeah, I found, that even in my short time teaching, structure helps maintain sanity, as well as to get better educational results. If you want to talk about how big of a ########, I can be, you should see my Photography class. We start with the basic concepts, and very simple cameras, and by that I mean I make them construct their own pinhole camera, and use it to take several photos. They really don't like it, but I continue to do it, because it gives them a sense of history, and helps them learn the very basics of the photography process first.


Pottery Making Magazine had an article about 5 years ago on making pin hole cameras. One of my Saturday adult students, who teaches JH art, made one and got some great pictures with it.

Structure helps immensely when running a class period. We had 50 minute periods, and you had to be on task from beginning to end to get things done. I never sat at my desk, as it was always a roaming situation. My demonstrations were set up before hand, and usually lasted 20 minutes with time for work afterwards. Many times though when a moment would arise, I would be doing 5 minute demos on particular problems some one would end up with.

My electronic studio arts kids had to do a sketchbook, and every year I had them do flip books to prepare for specific types of animation: bipedal walk sequences, flying sequences, quadrapedal walk sequences. etc.


I stole my pinhole camera design, from the guy I replaced, at my second district. I went to a new district, and took a copy of the templates with me, no need to reinvent the wheel. They take a fairly good picture. The students are always amazed, of how well they do.

I am often up and around as well Pres, especially once I have students working on the wheel. I tell the rest of my students, that if it seems like I am ignoring them, it's just because things on the wheel can go from bad to worse, a lot faster, than when working with slabs or coils.

Here's a question I may have asked before. How did the rest of you handle wheel throwing projects? By that, I mean how many did you require. I'll add that I have these students for nine weeks, minus the drying and firing times of course, I have five wheels, though I may limit one of them to just trimming, and I usually have around twenty students. I have pretty much always assigned groups of students to the wheels for about a week, so five days. They had to work on the wheel for half a class period (we are on a block, so forty five minutes is half), and had to create at least one piece. I'm thinking of changing it, so that each student will have to create three pieces, but will not be limited to a certain week. They will have most of the term. Previously, there were no specifications for their wheel produced projects. But I'm thinking that one of them will have to have a handle, and at least one will have to have a trimmed foot. I didn't go over trimming much recently because of the time it takes for them to get the hang of it. But I purchased a Giffin Grip, so the students shouldn't have as much of a problem with trimming. And to all those purists out there, I will still go over tap centering as well. I thought that on one of the projects, I will give them a decent amount of help, but the other two, they will be on their own. That way, they at least get one good piece, in the case that they just don't "Get it".

I think that if I open it up a bit, it will be less work for everyone. Currently, when I have had the week long groups, that meant that I had to demo the wheel each week. That's good because it allows me to see that everyone is paying attention, as opposed to a large group, where it is hard to tell. However, going over it every week can get overly repetitive, especially considering, that without fail, one of the assigned students is gone the day I go over the wheel with their group. So that means I have to go over it, whenever they return. On top of that, I've had students get sick and be gone their entire week, so I have to find time elsewhere to fit them in. So I was thinking I could do what I do with my Photo student and the Darkroom. I have a sign up sheet for the first and second half of class. The students get to sign up for enlargers, first come first serve. I could do the same for the wheels.

That sound doable?
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#39 Pres

Pres

    Retired Art Teacher

  • Moderators
  • 2,086 posts
  • LocationCentral, PA

Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:19 AM

I took a different approach with my II students. They came in knowing that they were required to work on the wheel for the semester. They were also told on the first day that there was not a production requirement for the first marking period. Their goal was to be a 9" cylinder using 3# of clay. The Benchmark for the marking period would be a 9" cylinder out of 3# of clay. I told them I could not teach them how to throw on the wheel they would have to learn it. I told them I could guide them with correct positions for hands and body, technique, and pressures. I would give them options on all of these. I told them that their grade depended on their performance and participation involving area maintenance, time spent on the wheel, attitude, participation and other skills. I had a checklist that each of them had a copy of listing these attributes as a rubric. I emphasized quality over quantity, as I believed that throwing on the wheel at that level required learning several things. One of the most important for that age group was when to slop! It wasn't about keeping the accidental cylinder that collapsed to a dish because it was off center, but about not being off center, not pulling too thin in the middle and not allowing the clay to move you. I always told them to learn to move the clay, not let it move them.

Second marking period was about making a series. They had to complete two series of 6-10 depending on complexity of the form they chose. One week of choosing through research and magazines. One day of demonstrating by me as to the nuances of the form. Again, quality was stressed over quantity. If they came up with a form that I was unfamiliar with, I practiced at night until I could get it right. Only one that I had not done, donuts for stirrup vases. Benchmark for the marking period was a teapot. This was completed after sufficient demonstration, and research on their part with some handouts from me.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#40 Benzine

Benzine

    Socratic Potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,714 posts
  • LocationThe Hawkeye State

Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:29 PM

Interesting Pres. I kind of like the idea, of the students making a basic cylinder, as a benchmark. I had to do the same thing in college. I might have to try that, thanks!

The reason I'm thinking about changing my approach, is that I feel that the way I have done it, is too brief. It doesn't give the students enough time to learn and build. As I mentioned before, this also has been more work for me. Each time, I would demo it, for one of the week long groups, I'd try to cover waaaay too much. That's a lot to throw at a student, pun not really intended. If I approach it more like I do Photo, it might work better. Start with the basics "Here's how you use the enlarger to make a basic contact print/ exposure, he's how you develop", to "Here's how you use the enlarger to enlarge a negative and make adjustments if need be." So for the wheel, I could start with the basic cylinder for a demo, then do another that shows how to make different forms, then another for trimming, and handle attachments......Hmmm, why didn't I think of this sooner. It's like those Guinness commercials from a few years back, "Brilliant!!!"
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users