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Marcia Selsor

New Trend In Education?

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Pres    896

 

 This is what administrators are for.Just say that this person is disrupting the class and ruining it for the other students. Call parents. Send a letter home. Then drop them.

TJR.

 

A little more difficult than that in my district. We had a three step plan before it would reach the admin. I rarely had problems to a write up degree. I usually followed a few simple steps. First problem, corrected student and documented. Next problem, called parents and documented. Third problem assigned after school detention and documented. After these, I wrote up and contacted admin. They would have no problem, telling students. . . Mr. Rice rarely sends anyone to us, you must be causing real problems so we will not be allowing you in his class the rest of semester. I think in 36 yrs I had that happen with maybe 15 students. More the first few, but then as I improved the need got to be less and less frequent.

 

National curriculums as I stated before are a need. We have a lot of folks that for one reason or another move around, without some form of organization to the National curriculum they will miss out on parts of subjects. Been there done that, and it is painful.

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Wyndham    98

Just to show how a fade travels, my nephew in 10 grade just got sucker punched my a gang in school just because they wanted to.

This is just like the sucker punches that have killed others around the country.

One student was arrested and his brother later threaten my nephew "that they'd get him later".

This in a school in the middle of NC away from larger cities and city  issues.

How do you teach much less learn in a hostile environment like this. It's a war out there.

Wyndham

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Pres    896

This trend is something I just became aware of-terrible!

 

When I was teaching, I had an incident in the mid years where a couple of students were on the last stages of my policy, and I happened to hear them talking about messing with my car. . . I wrote it up. I didn't hear any action for about a week. Next thing I know they have been suspended with "terroristic threats" as cause. The admin had gotten confermation from other students in the class all without me knowing.

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Wyndham    98

Doesn't it come down to the purpose of education? Are we educating for factory workers, drones to serve industry.? Are we educating for political power, generational party rule? Are we under educating for a consumer driven economy to allow pseudo prosperity, a ponzi   scheme that dangles the carrot of a house car and Ipad?

 

If we were to educate in a more pure non directed approach, one of true learning, would society tolerate such freedom.

 

Even as free as we are, we are still manipulated by the power we cede to others, thinking we have control in our vote, only to find we've installed the lie we voted against.

 

The pot that I make sits on the wheel, it does not lie or control. It is simply the expression of me in clay. It may not please others and it may be misshapen and imperfect but it is the sum of me in clay. So it's easier to deal with clay than the rest of the world.

Wyndham

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Davidpotter    8

As a senior in high school I may have the freshest perspective of what goes on in a school and the art room and what most students think and act. I see many students bullying others for literally ANYTHING in front of teachers but the teachers do not care or take notice. Most people in my ceramics classes do the class work but there are the few that sit in the back corner all semester and throw clay, are constantly using vulgar language and when they actually do touch clay they make pinch pots filled with water to throw into the pig mill. Sometimes they are forced to go on the wheel and end up dumping their entire slop/water bucket into the pug mill... with their tools.... then me and the teacher are there for at least an hour after school trying to just get tools out and pulling out all the clay to dry enough to actually hold a shape. These students do not care about anything except having fun and being as cool as possible. They have decided that they want an easy credit and do not care much for the rest of their education. Ironically i saw the "batch" of these kids from 3 years ago on the local news, arrested for vandalize, and all i thought was "Justice has been served" (they often bullied me while i was a freshman)

Some people think that they can just sit back and tell other people why they are better than them and expect for everything to be handed to them on a silver platter with their name on it.

 

Unfortunately we just have to deal with them it seems (i would prefer if teachers were aloud to just give these kids a smack)

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stephsteph    23

i taught after school art to middle schoolers last year. the focus in the school is heavily geared toward getting students to pass the standardized tests. i mean the teachers really ,really  focus on that. they have to get the numbers up, period.the kids seem to get a pretty good science class exposure as well.  there is no art during the day. no music either. most of the kids i encountered had little to no drawing ability and most had never worked with clay or most art materials.

i believe the school is disserving kinetic learners, those who learn by doing, by using their hands and materials to problem solve and create. in truth i would love to see what use to be called ' 'vocational' aspect to high school curriculum..i'd love to see these kids not only learn about art but learn about, say tile making , welding,etc. another local school still has welding, which encompases 'farm' welding as well as a sculptural project.

 

but the middle school kids are at the mercy of a state that has cut everything.. the progtam i taught at  was a federal grant program and it ended last year. in that program ,some kids got  tutoring  in math and reading in accordance with prep for the tests, but it was the only opportunity thety had to take  so called 'enrichment' clases , such as art

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Pres    896

Alas, much of what you see in the way of hands on industry, whether welding, plumbing, wiring, wood working of other is now relegated to the vo-tech extensions of the schools. Shops have moved out of HS, some still exist in JHS. All in all, the future homeowners will have to survive on their local tradesmen, as they will not even know how to drive a dry wall screw! Our preoccupation with the test came about big time with NCLB, and has only gotten worse. This has pushed so much of the electives to the back of the bus, that we don't get off of the bus! So much of government change has not been good for electives, future of manufacturing, or the arts in general.

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JBaymore    1,432

Another aspect in this educational focus discussion is that, in the USA at least, we don't tend to make much physical stuff anymore. This lack of potential jobs in the segments of the employment world that helped to meet the needs of those that were more inclined to be makers of things (factory jobs, etc.) are not out there anymore. Also much of what we have in our lives is no longer designed to be repairable. It is use it and throw it away when it breaks. So jobs that involve repair of most physical stuff other than cars are gone. So hence part of the move away from things like shop classes and more vocational "making" aspoects.

 

The move in US employment roles is toward the "service", "business operations", "information" and "technology" fields. Unfortunately not everyone is cut out for these kinds of jobs whether that is temperment or core type of intellegences (I'm not talking about "smart" there.... but how one's mind tends to work). This is a REAL issue in the employment picture for the US. We've let a whole "support for the welfare of the people" aspect of our culture get cut out of day-to-day life and be moved elsewhere.

 

US businesse are crying for creative people in their operations to drive new ways of making money and gaining competitive edge. But the whole "teach to the test" approach now in place is focused to the antithesis of creativity. The ARTS foster this kind of creativity.... whether this is in an art major.... or in an MBA who has had good experience in art training. But what do we cut out to "save" money? Arts.

 

The solutions to this go way beyond the educational field, but extrapolates out to the whole culture of the country. What do we value?

 

best,

 

...................john

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Pres    896

Used to be that the service sector was entry level usually filled by HS kids, and some adults. Then you went into industry, or some upper level position, some in service becoming managers. Many times back in the 60's the managers of plants and factories had come up through the ranks, with little formal education. This upward movement created out middle class. Now we have a labor market based as John says more on the service sector, manufacturing shipped out, and the upward movement has been stymied.

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Babs    386

What do we value? I would have to "write you a long letter as I haven't enough time to write a short one". Reading the national constitution may be a start. Any visionaries out there still thinking of this??

What do we see as the future of our nation if we educate using constricted prescriptive curricula?

How about educating for autonomous people who can set their own purlieus? 

People who can ask the right questions and are efficient at finding the answers to these questions.

Teach research mehodolgies from day one. Most 2-3 yeaar olds will drive the normal human off the edge with the 'Why" word, but then we do something to them and they cease to ask questions. Give a research topic to a class and more thatn 1/2 will want to jump onto google straight away. Do they know what they want to find??

Hey! Set their own research question

 "Gas kiln or electric??" 

I have to go and think....

What is it I want to know,

what was the question?

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Benzine    609

As a senior in high school I may have the freshest perspective of what goes on in a school and the art room and what most students think and act. I see many students bullying others for literally ANYTHING in front of teachers but the teachers do not care or take notice. Most people in my ceramics classes do the class work but there are the few that sit in the back corner all semester and throw clay, are constantly using vulgar language and when they actually do touch clay they make pinch pots filled with water to throw into the pig mill. Sometimes they are forced to go on the wheel and end up dumping their entire slop/water bucket into the pug mill... with their tools.... then me and the teacher are there for at least an hour after school trying to just get tools out and pulling out all the clay to dry enough to actually hold a shape. These students do not care about anything except having fun and being as cool as possible. They have decided that they want an easy credit and do not care much for the rest of their education. Ironically i saw the "batch" of these kids from 3 years ago on the local news, arrested for vandalize, and all i thought was "Justice has been served" (they often bullied me while i was a freshman)

Some people think that they can just sit back and tell other people why they are better than them and expect for everything to be handed to them on a silver platter with their name on it.

 

Unfortunately we just have to deal with them it seems (i would prefer if teachers were aloud to just give these kids a smack)

David,

 

I appreciate your viewpoint as a student, and it's one that sometime gets skimmed over, when education is discussed.

 

In regards to your experience, I am sorry that you had issues with bullying.  It's sadly something that I don't think we'll ever be able to completely get rid of in schools.  This is because schools are a microcasm of society, and society is full of bullies.  I will say this though, sometimes when it seems like the teacher is acting like they don't see anything, or know what is going on, it's because they don't.  Managing twenty some individuals, especially in a hands on class, isn't as easy as most of us make it look.....  Despite the fact teachers like to pretend, we are omnipotent, that just isn't the case.  W keep an eye and an ear out for problems, as we make our way around the room.  There will be times we don't see something, and rely on the students coming to us.  I realize it is difficult for students to speak up, for fear of being ostracized, but the faculty does depend on it, to deal with problems more effectively.

 

I've had my share of idiots in class.  It's the same group of students, who wonder why they don't have the same privileges as everyone else.  In fact, it's because of such students that I assign sets of tools to students, instead of just having a couple dozen of each tool that everyone shares.  It took one section of a class, and a half dozen or so broken needle tools and fettling knives, to make me realize I need to give each student responsibility over a set.  Since then, the only broken tools I've had, were those that broke from everyday wear and tear. 

 

I will agree that there are definitely students, who just expect to get a good grade, for doing the bare minimum.  It's part of my job to make them reassess that belief. 

 

 

but the middle school kids are at the mercy of a state that has cut everything.. the progtam i taught at  was a federal grant program and it ended last year. in that program ,some kids got  tutoring  in math and reading in accordance with prep for the tests, but it was the only opportunity thety had to take  so called 'enrichment' clases , such as art

 

My colleague, who teaches Middle School/ Elementary Art, has a very limited budget.  He tries to order basic materials like paint and paper, and they act like it's a big deal.  I tell him, that if there is a big issue with it, then I have no problem having a word with them, about how is preparing them for their high school classes.  Hard to be consistent with our expectations if he doesn't have the materials to get them started.

 

Alas, much of what you see in the way of hands on industry, whether welding, plumbing, wiring, wood working of other is now relegated to the vo-tech extensions of the schools. Shops have moved out of HS, some still exist in JHS. All in all, the future homeowners will have to survive on their local tradesmen, as they will not even know how to drive a dry wall screw! Our preoccupation with the test came about big time with NCLB, and has only gotten worse. This has pushed so much of the electives to the back of the bus, that we don't get off of the bus! So much of government change has not been good for electives, future of manufacturing, or the arts in general.

Pres, I've seen you mention the lack of Industrial Tech multiple times before.  Apparently Pennsylvania is a little worse off, than here.  Every school I've taught at, has had had a pretty good Industrial Tech program.   My first district actually had a great program.  Woods, Metals, Autos.  The metals teacher did an amazing job.  He worked with the community to get equipment, like a computer controlled plasma cutter, and ran some of his upper level classes like a business.  The students were responsible for keeping track of expenses, and we expected to call him, not the school if they were going to be gone, like they were reporting in to a job.  I have little doubt, the students came out of his classes knowing their stuff.

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TJR    359

Going to have to weigh in AGAIN! Last day of my two week Christmas holiday. Back to the high school art teaching job Monday.

I have the lazy kids at the back of the room. You spend time with them to show that the sky is full of multiple layers of colour. They paint it a solid blue like a fence. This is watercolour-has to be tranluscent. There is a silhouet of a black tree in the fore-ground. Left it out.Mark-55%.

You get the kid in 40s-specialized art. I find out he is also taking 20g art  with the other art teacher at the same time. Then I find out he has a credit for 30g art which was taught last semester. How can you put a student in grade 12 art at the same time as he is taking gr10 art, and with an existing credit for gr 11. Obviously he has been placed here because he is not good at anything else. 58 absences later, he is finally dropped from the course.

I do have the class with the two hoons that want all the attention and are disruptive-swearing, eating, dipping out to have a smoke. Admin do not want to know about them. We will be starting our clay unit on Monday. They will be the one's throwing clay. They won't be withdrawn. There is nowhere for them to go.

Just don't be afraid to fail students. Just make sure you have documented evidence that they have done nothing.

I also have some really talented gr.12's. The class where you go;"Holy Crap that's good!"Thing balance out luckily. I still like getting up in the morning to teach school.

TJR.

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I think the main problem with society is that each generation has wanted their offspring to have a better life. This idea seems to have been lost along the way and changed to an easy life. Parents now give their children everything they want exactly when they want it.

 

This leaves schools in a tough situation. Young people just expect everything to happen as it should so never try to work. I know this is a little cliche but it is the parents. You have to make life hard to get people to thrive. We are wired in a world that is/was based on survival of the fittest.

 

I have had a very easy life but luckily somewhere along the way my dad became a role model for me and it is probably the best thing that happened. He showed me that life is never easy and you have to work very hard to achieve anything. He showed me this without even knowing. They still like to try to make my life easy, and I happily accept it even though I know it is not the best decision to make me a stronger person.

 

People are lazy, but once forced into a situation they can succeed. If allowed to float along most people will. 

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Bob Coyle    113

A paradigm shift from mechanical to electrical.. from non-connected to connected. What do we really need to learn?... arithmetic?...we got calculators. Spelling?... we got spell checkers. grammar?... we got syntax checkers.  reading?... we got voice readers.  library research?... we got Google. You want to make art?... get Photoshop or a  a 3D printer. Should we depend on these tools or go retro and say you must do it the old way? All these things are here to stay. All the knowledge I learned the hard way is just a Google search away... but so is 100 times more worthless crap that is shoved in the face of anyone looking for something useful.

 

so I guess the challenge for teachers is to adapt and steer the kids in the right direction... as it always has been.  I believe teaching kids rote arithmetic and times tables is as useless as expecting first year engineers to use slide rules and log tables...spelling the same.  Teach the underlying theory and step aside for the way the world now works. But gee.. then what are we going to TEST them on???

 

There will always be ######## offs in every class. Sometimes they can be turned around. Good teachers are the ones who can do this.

 

I'm kind of glad I'm a geezer because I don't have to deal with a lot of this, but if I want to get the message out about my art, even I have to know the tools available now in 2014 and my learning the Palmer method and how to diagram sentences doesn't cut it any more.

 

My heart goes out to the teachers of this generation in transition. I think they have it rougher than in previous generations.

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Wyndham    98

Bob,

Someone has to make the tools, the Ipads and program in the log tables or algorithm or we'll be like the Geico commercial where the Egyptian engineer sees the pyramids were supposed to be cubes.

 

Here the thing, with or without  a formal educational system, people learn. It's an eternal truth about human beings, we hunger for knowledge.Our survival depends on new knowledge being acquired constantly.

The fact that the "knowledge" being acquired is not what mainstream society wants or needs only confounds the principals in education who themselves, may have political agenda's not readily seen on the surface.

The clash between political agenda's in a formal education setting and the political agenda's of "3rd world Street smart education" is as unrecognized but equally important as (and also unrecognized as) the barbarian invasion of Rome.

Teach a 9 yr old kid that he can make $1000 as a lookout for a drug dealer, why would he want to work for Micky D's

At 15 he's a dealer and at 20 he's dead but the 3rd world cartel doesn't care nor do the kids that will replace him.

Not only drugs but poverty and corrupt governments push people to migrate for a better life and the predators are waiting like the crocodiles in the river.  

 

So we have to recognize we are at war outside and inside. Surrender and we fall, do nothing and we fall or fight and we may possibly survive.

I don't see anyone(on either side) in Washington willing to take on the battle.

The one's on the front lines, in the school don't have the support needed to wage this kind of battle, pop guns vs bazookas

My old soapbox is getting rickety, later

Wyndham

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Bob Coyle    113

Wyndham. I'm not sure what part of my post you are referring to.  I did not mean it to be an attack against teachers or education.  What I was trying to point out is that there is a need to realize that some of the old ways of doing things... how we teach and how we test. Needs to catch up with reality.

 

Here is a case in point. I was involved in an adult literacy program here and I was sent an African immigrant who was trying to get a job in construction. The screener said he needed to develop his math skills.  We went through some exercises and true... he couldn't do math on paper because he had not memorized his times table. He however, knew the basics and had no trouble with a calculator. I told him that he was OK, and that he should have no trouble with a construction job. He didn't need me.

 

When I went to school we learned how to count with Roman Numerals. Comes in real handy if you want to find out what year a film was produced. Last  time I noticed they were still using them in the credits.

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TJR    359

Wyndham. I'm not sure what part of my post you are referring to.  I did not mean it to be an attack against teachers or education.  What I was trying to point out is that there is a need to realize that some of the old ways of doing things... how we teach and how we test. Needs to catch up with reality.

 

Here is a case in point. I was involved in an adult literacy program here and I was sent an African immigrant who was trying to get a job in construction. The screener said he needed to develop his math skills.  We went through some exercises and true... he couldn't do math on paper because he had not memorized his times table. He however, knew the basics and had no trouble with a calculator. I told him that he was OK, and that he should have no trouble with a construction job. He didn't need me.

 

When I went to school we learned how to count with Roman Numerals. Comes in real handy if you want to find out what year a film was produced. Last  time I noticed they were still using them in the credits.

Bob;

They always come up in crosswords. L is 50.M is 1000

TJR.

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Benzine    609

A paradigm shift from mechanical to electrical.. from non-connected to connected. What do we really need to learn?... arithmetic?...we got calculators. Spelling?... we got spell checkers. grammar?... we got syntax checkers.  reading?... we got voice readers.  library research?... we got Google. You want to make art?... get Photoshop or a  a 3D printer.

 

There will always be ######## offs in every class. Sometimes they can be turned around. Good teachers are the ones who can do this.

 

I still think we should teach mental math, despite the existence of calculators, ditto for everything else. 

 

I've had my share of idiots in class.  Some leave with a little better attitude, and even some knowledge, the rest leave pretty much the same, as they came in.  It's tough for a teacher to undo decades of what their outside environment has done. 

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Bob Coyle    113

 

I still think we should teach mental math

Why? Do you do long division on a sheet of paper when you do your income tax? I didn't say don't teach math. Everyone needs a to learn basically what arithmetic is all about. But why memorize times tables when the energy could be spent on more realistic pursuits.  It's been so long since I have done basic math with out a calculator that I have to strain to remember my sevens times table, yet it has not stopped me from developing some very sophisticated software to process chemical instrumentation data.

 

How about a compromise... teach them how to do math in binary and hexadecimal or teach thembasic computer syntax. this would better  prepare them for what lies ahead  than learning their decimal times tables.

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This is for education in ceramics. Of course everything is connected but this almost doesn't seem like the appropriate place for this discussion. This is almost like a bunch of old people shouting at clouds. "Oh the problem with kids today" ... "I used to walk ten miles to school and back"... "oh yeah I had to lick the lake clean".. Monty Python .. 

 

So yes students have become slightly less engaged, but I find my students to generally want to learn and be challenged. we are talking about CLAY! It is so awesome! Along with that challenge I find it important not to dictate outcomes fully. To me the challenge in introductory classes is to pass on some technical skills and introduce them to formal and conceptual issues in art. Are they going to make great work, no but if they leave me understanding what it takes to make great work then I have succeeded. Of course there is maybe around 10% who leave without a clue.  In intermediate and advanced coursework it is more about something Kirk Mangus taught me, and that is to "give them enough rope to pull them out of the they are stuck in or to hang themselves".  Of course structure is very important also. If you let your students even look at their dam "smart" phones during class then you are doing something wrong.

 

I have colleagues who complain about students all the time and of course there is the seriously humorous one or two every quarter that I also complain or laugh about. But in 20 years of teaching I have not seen a huge change. And I remember what kind of student I was! They are a raw product and you introduce exciting material to them and it molds them as much as you do.  Getting most students excited about clay is easy for me and as they get excited the work ethic builds and builds. 

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PS there are plenty of political blogs out there so when you feel the need for discourse in that arena please seek them out. Thanks John for getting the post edited to be more relative to our agenda at  Ceramic Arts Daily. Yes politics most certainly does fit into the education topic, but our mission here is to expand on knowledge directly related to Ceramics.

 

Lets talk about the positive issues around our own learning and if we are teachers what our students accomplish and how we get our points across. 

 

What is the best way to get a student to focus and find their own voice?? Are we just conglomerations of appropriated imagery and the knowledge that we have been exposed or exposed ourselves to? Is there a reinvention of the wheel or are we using it to move down the road? Are the sights that we see in our journey in clay that much different than the previous generations that traveled a similar path. How did the previous generations influence how we see our path? What scenery did they shed light on? Is it a spout, a handle, a lid, a belly, a shoulder, an expression on a face, a texture or a firing technique or....

 

 

If its politics someone wants to talk about, put in your work like Richard Notkin's amazing work or Picasso's Guernica. Yes education in our country is looked at very differently by our two parties. But again we are specifically talking here about education in the fantastic world of CERAMICS. And what an incredible and diverse world it is! 

 

Go get your hands in the clay! Thats what I am going to do! 

clear.gif
 
 

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I have enjoyed your posts Bob. I agree if there is a tool that can help you why not, as long as you understand the concept of addition etc. Sometimes in my most boring of part-time jobs I actually did simple maths by hand just to test myself a little but that is another story. I have listened to some mathematicians saying we should go back to counting in base 12 as it makes maths much much easier.

 

I think with everything in life you need a balance. Everything in moderation.

 

Once you know the basics of a subject you can skip or combine steps to get to the solution. I learnt this recently when trying to teach a beginner some throwing. I now centre clay by doing 3+ steps in one go but to begin you have to break it down into single movements and pressures that you apply.

 

How do we teach people who don't care and don't understand how good it is to be alive... that is a hard question. Is there a way to get through to them or are they just a lost cause. I guess it is both.

 

 

 

I still think we should teach mental math

Why? Do you do long division on a sheet of paper when you do your income tax? I didn't say don't teach math. Everyone needs a to learn basically what arithmetic is all about. But why memorize times tables when the energy could be spent on more realistic pursuits.  It's been so long since I have done basic math with out a calculator that I have to strain to remember my sevens times table, yet it has not stopped me from developing some very sophisticated software to process chemical instrumentation data.

 

How about a compromise... teach them how to do math in binary and hexadecimal or teach thembasic computer syntax. this would better  prepare them for what lies ahead  than learning their decimal times tables.

 

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Bob Coyle    113

 

we are talking about CLAY!

 

You are right on Stephen. I believe that modern ceramics takes a larger intellectual commitment than most other media.

 

Clay is a complex physical entity that requires us to understand it. there are three ways to do this (1.) spend 20 years studying and documenting what you have learned. (2.) Get familiar with the science behind what you working with. (3.) Do both.

 

You can buy a set of paints and go crazy as a painter and not know a thing about what's in the paint tube, but doing really cutting edge ceramics requires that you have at least a nodding understanding of some physical concepts even if the base technique is 2000 year old.

 

There is not an advanced ceramicist  in this group that doesn't understand the concept of C.O.E, or  the difference between oxidation and reduction atmospheres . If you are formulating your own glazes then you need to understand the basis of Unity calculations and molecular weights. Hard won knowledge but  the sooner you begin to learn the better off you are.

 

P.S.

How did you slip shi* past big brother in the e-mail?

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