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Casual Workshop Questions


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#1 Mark C.

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 12:15 PM

I'm donating my time demontrating/workshop at a small art center in Hawaii next month. I really like this non-profit and what they are doing with the community. 

I'm a production potter Not a teacher.I am good with people

 

I plan on doing some throwing of small forms as well as tap centering trimming-maybe some waxing and glazing

I suggested also working with the staff as to helping get more work in kiln loading and some firing tips with gas kilns.

Any suggestions on other topics to cover

I plan on two 1/2 day sessions on a casual theme

I will bring a little finished work with me to leave behind as well

any other ideas I'm missing-I know there are many out there that do this alot .

Mark


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#2 Mistfit

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 01:33 PM

I am new at pottery but having someone show me proper wedging techniques would be good.

#3 Chris Campbell

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 02:09 PM

Sounds like you have a full schedule. People love to watch throwing ... if you explain what you are doing as you throw it will go over well. You could also touch on carving and impressing surface textures. Hope you have fun!

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#4 JBaymore

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 02:27 PM

As part of the "meet and greet" part of things before the actual "session(s)" gets going I like to introduce myself to people that are there "milling about" (I get there very early) and ask THEM what THEY wish to get out of todays (this weekend's, etc.) investment of time spent with me.  The I take the pre-planned stuff I had and (if necessary) miodify it (somehow) to fit their expectations / wants.

 

best,

 

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


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#5 neilestrick

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 05:21 PM

You will find that the time will fly by. 3 hours of demos will produce about at much work as 1/2 an hour working normally, or even less. The conversation is the important thing. Even if they never try your techniques themselves, they will remember how much they enjoyed having you there. And they will learn something no matter what. Don't worry about getting through too many pieces. They will fill your time with questions if you keep them engaged. Keep talking while you work. I did a workshop a couple of weeks ago and someone commented that she really enjoyed it because I answered most of her questions before she even asked them. Be thorough. Everybody works differently, so describe not only how you do things, but why.


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#6 Benzine

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 08:12 PM

A lot of great suggestions, I'll add another. While you are demoing, always check for understanding. No matter how well you explain what you are doing, or how many times you ask "Do you get it?" there will be a few that don't. People are shy about speaking up, for fear of looking "dumb". So it never hurts to ask the students to see if they know exactly what you just went over, or are just pretending to.
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#7 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 08:31 PM

sounds like you have a full plate. if time permits , maybe a quick glazing demo, or lids.
handles. Bring a few mugs or small things for people to purchase. Many like to take home something from the demonstrator.
Have fun. Love Hawaii. I did a workshop in Maui and taught a semester as the Director of the Ceramics program at UH maoa.
Give yourself enough time to explore and see sights.
Marcia

#8 bciskepottery

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:01 PM

Glazing. The one area most of my class instructors did not spend enough time on. Showing good glazing techniques and application of glazes is likely something they would enjoy and benefit from seeing.

#9 Benzine

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:40 PM

Glazing. The one area most of my class instructors did not spend enough time on. Showing good glazing techniques and application of glazes is likely something they would enjoy and benefit from seeing.


Funny you say that. I had a student complain that my glaze demo was too long and that, "We all know how to glaze.". My response, "Really? You know how many coats, how to layer, not glaze the bottoms or where lids connect, how to use resists, dripping, sponging, etc? Of course that is all perfectly intuitive...." This was a high schooler of course.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#10 Pres

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 11:13 PM

When i did adult informal classes, I had everyone write down contact numbers, what sort of experience they had with ceramics, what their other interests were, and what they wanted most to get out of the class, whether a new skill, or a certain type of project. As I taught in the winter on Saturday mornings contact numbers were important here in PA. The cards would be handed in, I would use them in a quick session to get to connect names and faces, and discuss their interests-quickly.  Then we usually started with demonstrations on the first day that would include a wheel throwing and a hand building usually slabs. I would have my slabs for the project rolled out and all cut, but then I would demo with wedging two ways-rams head, and cone. Then roll out slabs with rolling pin and slab roller. Cutting the slabs and if all the same-template design. Then beveling edges using a fettling knife and board edge and a bevel tool. At this point I would pull out the preformed beveled slabs for assembly of the project and discuss clay consistency including wet, cheese hard, leather hard, and bone dry.Then assembly with slip, or/and with Magic water. 

The wheel throwing demonstration pushed heavy emphasis on mastering and centering, then on opening up, compressing bottom, recentering, then the pulling and shaping. Always check for understanding, and have them put hands on to feel what a centered piece of clay should feel like, and what a centered donut feels like. I often would reinforce the fact that if they had never worked on the wheel to be patient, as they had no pre-learning to help them out with the learning curve. I also stressed that most potters believe the first steps to be mastered before trying to move on. I also told them to start with 3# of clay when learning. I would finish off with the demonstrations, telling them that if they had problems or missed anything to just ask, I would be willing to demonstrate individually as much as they needed. Finally, I made certain as with HS students that they knew that there were no stupid questions. Sometimes it can be tedious, but if you get it in your head, they'll get it in theirs.


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#11 Benzine

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 07:24 AM

Great suggestions as usual Pres.

Did you ever do the card thing, or something similar, with the high schoolers?
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#12 Pres

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 07:58 AM

Yes, I did the cards with first year Art students. These cards I would save for their 3 years at HS. I explained that it was to let me know what experiences they had in Art, what their other hobbies were so that I can help them with their HS career.


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#13 Benzine

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 11:00 AM

Good idea Pres. So you even saved them frim the students, who only took one class?
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#14 Chris Campbell

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 11:43 AM

A lot of great suggestions, I'll add another. While you are demoing, always check for understanding. No matter how well you explain what you are doing, or how many times you ask "Do you get it?" there will be a few that don't. People are shy about speaking up, for fear of looking "dumb". So it never hurts to ask the students to see if they know exactly what you just went over, or are just pretending to.


Great comment ... I will definitely add this to my presentations as I realize that I wait for questions rather than soliciting them.
Thanks!

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#15 JBaymore

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 11:59 AM

A great 'check for understanding" question to ask is, "So, how would YOU describe what I just did there?"

 

In a 'hands-on' situation, you can ask, "Can YOU do that move?"

 

 

best,

 

 

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


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#16 Benzine

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 12:36 PM

A lot of great suggestions, I'll add another. While you are demoing, always check for understanding. No matter how well you explain what you are doing, or how many times you ask "Do you get it?" there will be a few that don't. People are shy about speaking up, for fear of looking "dumb". So it never hurts to ask the students to see if they know exactly what you just went over, or are just pretending to.


Great comment ... I will definitely add this to my presentations as I realize that I wait for questions rather than soliciting them.
Thanks!

Honestly, I need to do more of it myself. I try to accomplish, by asking them what the first step should be, once they get started.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#17 Pres

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 01:47 PM

It is hard to get into the mode of checking for understanding when you first do demos. However, when you evaluate what goes right and what goes wrong you usually realize that there are dead times in your delivery. These are the times that you need to re-touch/reiterate those things you have demonstrated. Sometimes it takes asking an alternate description as John says, and sometimes it takes something as simple as "What were the 4 reasons I told you for wedging clay?"  I got to where a group response was a big thing, and my hardest job was looking around the room for those that could not remember or respond.


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


#18 JBaymore

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 02:36 PM

Remembering here.......... Mark's original question pertained specifically to workshops... as opposed to regular classroom / studio day-to-day teaching.  We can do stuff in the school classroom that is kinda' tough to do in a workshop setting.  We have the gift of time in regular classes, plus we have the time to develop a deeper relationship with the students.

 

The really NICE thing about presenting workshops is that typically everyone REALLY WANTS to be there.  They are not there simply for the grade or because that have to be becasue the curriculum outline says they have to be.  They are usually there speciffically to learn something.

 

best,

 

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


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#19 Mark C.

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 03:11 PM

This has been full of some great take aways for me

I knew I was missing some ideas and you all have filled in the gaps.

I think this is free workshop for members and will not be fee based-I know its free from me. The economic base on this small Island is not great so my guess is its a free workshop as well

I also will fire a salt kiln for them as thats new territory for them 

thanks 


Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#20 Pres

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 04:23 PM

When working with adults, especially ones that want to be there, whether teaching a class or giving a workshop, there is one thing to remember, they want to know everything you know, and right then and there. When doing any of these things a day or two or a week, my best advice is to get plenty of sleep before hand, because you will need everything you've got, they will drain you. :rolleyes:


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