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#1 Joxborro

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 01:08 PM

I am going to graduate with a BFA from BYU-Idaho at the end of this year. My primary goal is to teach at a university level. I know that I need to get my MFA in order to do this. Before that I would like to earn some money and gain some more experience in the field of ceramics and sculpting. My questions are these:

What are good schools to attend to acquire an MFA? I am not a very specialized artists (e.g. I do a wide variety of things rather than just focusing on one. Sculptures, Book Binding, Assemblies, Traditional Pottery with carving and abstract form vases) and would like to continue to pursue these various areas to some degree. Are there school that would encourage that and which would they be or would that be something that I would be doing on my own?

While looking at job opportunities for sculptors/ceramicists, especially in the area of teaching, it seems that all that involve teaching something other than elementary school and summer camps require that you have previous teaching experience. What opportunities are there to acquire this experience? Is it possible to get a teaching aid position and get paid less but get the work hours or some form of internship at a community college or something of that nature.

Thank you in advance for your help.
Josh

#2 Stephen Robison

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 09:34 PM

"a wide variety of things rather than just focusing on one. Sculptures, Book Binding, Assemblies, Traditional Pottery with carving and abstract form vases"


This seems to be somewhat of a problem. I have taught at three different schools that offer an MFA. Presently I teach at CWU and when looking at MFA applications I look for a cohesiveness and a focus. By your statement is seems as though you are not focused. I am not sure of that but when you are spred so thin I wonder how successful your work is in any of those give directions. I could give you many many suggestions for graduate school but again a cohesive portfolio would be something I would look for. And if for instance you have a utilitarian focus then I might say look at Sam Chung in AZ, Julia Galloway in MT, Josh Dewesse in MT, Dan Murphy and John Neeley in UT, Pete Pinnel in NE, Linda Arbuckle in FL and so on. If your sculpture focus was figurative I may direct you to Tom Bartel in OH, and well, you get the idea. When you are ready for graduate school it is a terminal degree when generally you are looking towards a specific focus. So what do you want to focus on? I think the forum here could help if you could be more specific. Maybe direct us to a blog of your work! Blogspot.com is free!
STEPHEN ROBISON
Head of Ceramics, Central Washington University
Ellensburg WA

http://stiffyguss.blogspot.com/
http://liquidceramics.blogspot.com/
http://teapotspitchers.blogspot.com/
http://woodkilns.blogspot.com/
http://jomonhaniwa.blogspot.com/
http://stephensrobison.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.co...ffpottery/sets/

CWU offers; BA, BFA, and MFA Degrees, (Post Baccalaureate also available). Images of CWU Ceramics studio can be seen at

http://www.flickr.co...57623735313670/

#3 Joxborro

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 02:13 AM

I have a Facebook page. Trying to focus on one thing is a difficult thing for me. This last year I am really try to figure out a way to somehow combine my interest into a single area but it is extremely difficult because I really enjoy several of them and find it difficult to focus on one for an extended period of time. I really don't want to specialize so much because I feel like having the varied skill set is something that will be useful along with the fact that it can give me a wider area of employment. If it is really necessary I suppose I could try to specialize more but if possible I'd prefer to avoid it.

#4 OffCenter

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 10:27 AM

STEPHEN ROBISON
Head of Ceramics, Central Washington University
Ellensburg WA

http://stiffyguss.blogspot.com/
http://liquidceramics.blogspot.com/
http://teapotspitchers.blogspot.com/
http://woodkilns.blogspot.com/
http://jomonhaniwa.blogspot.com/
http://stephensrobison.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.co...ffpottery/sets/

THANKS!
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#5 meisie

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 05:23 PM

I am going to graduate with a BFA from BYU-Idaho at the end of this year. My primary goal is to teach at a university level. I know that I need to get my MFA in order to do this. Before that I would like to earn some money and gain some more experience in the field of ceramics and sculpting. My questions are these:

What are good schools to attend to acquire an MFA? I am not a very specialized artists (e.g. I do a wide variety of things rather than just focusing on one. Sculptures, Book Binding, Assemblies, Traditional Pottery with carving and abstract form vases) and would like to continue to pursue these various areas to some degree. Are there school that would encourage that and which would they be or would that be something that I would be doing on my own?

While looking at job opportunities for sculptors/ceramicists, especially in the area of teaching, it seems that all that involve teaching something other than elementary school and summer camps require that you have previous teaching experience. What opportunities are there to acquire this experience? Is it possible to get a teaching aid position and get paid less but get the work hours or some form of internship at a community college or something of that nature.

Thank you in advance for your help.
Josh



I have taught in many different venues from elementary to college level. One requirement I needed was indeed an MFA But the additional things college employers looked at was my experience and portfolio. I would not have gotten the job just out of a masters program without some experience in the field of teaching the variety of age groups I did. I recently took a college course from a woman in ceramics. We have the same background in art and essentially the same level of degrees, I also have 20+ years on her in life experience and teaching. She however specialized in ceramics and had a large resume of exhibits and installations under her belt. Something I never had the opportunity to do. She didn't only know what she was talking about, but she also lived the life of a dedicated ceramics artist. I would not have been happy if I paid $900 dollars for a course and it's taught by someone who just got their MFA last June. I want a teacher who has spent several years learning and is an expert in the field they are teaching. Another teacher I learned quite a bit from was an instructor I had at a local museum. Again he had years of experience working in his own pottery studio and was an expert in the field. His studio was a cooperative of a variety of artists all under one roof. I would say if you don't want to get your experience from public school teaching some better places to go would be local museums and arts centers in larger cities. I'm not sure if this is what you were asking? Hope I could help.

#6 Joxborro

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 01:47 AM

I have taught in many different venues from elementary to college level. One requirement I needed was indeed an MFA But the additional things college employers looked at was my experience and portfolio. I would not have gotten the job just out of a masters program without some experience in the field of teaching the variety of age groups I did. I recently took a college course from a woman in ceramics. We have the same background in art and essentially the same level of degrees, I also have 20+ years on her in life experience and teaching. She however specialized in ceramics and had a large resume of exhibits and installations under her belt. Something I never had the opportunity to do. She didn't only know what she was talking about, but she also lived the life of a dedicated ceramics artist. I would not have been happy if I paid $900 dollars for a course and it's taught by someone who just got their MFA last June. I want a teacher who has spent several years learning and is an expert in the field they are teaching. Another teacher I learned quite a bit from was an instructor I had at a local museum. Again he had years of experience working in his own pottery studio and was an expert in the field. His studio was a cooperative of a variety of artists all under one roof. I would say if you don't want to get your experience from public school teaching some better places to go would be local museums and arts centers in larger cities. I'm not sure if this is what you were asking? Hope I could help.


I wouldn't mind teaching in a public school or something of that nature but all the jobs i saw wanted experience in a college setting. Would teaching at an arts center or something of that nature be considered applicable experience? or even teaching ceramics at a high school level?

#7 Stephen Robison

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:17 AM

It really is difficult to focus. I myself would love to jump all over the place. But to not have my energies get expelled on my whims I choose to focus with a few peripheral focal points. At this point in your carer it really is wise to direct your energies and make a cohesive body of work. 5 years is a short period of time to do one thing! As an undergrad we are asked to take these quarters or semesters and do something and then quite often the next quarter we are doing something entirely different and so it sets us up to be spread thin to some degree. But I imagine if you discuss this with your mentors at your undergrad they will say yes focus on one topic and direction for a while. Good luck!

I have a Facebook page. Trying to focus on one thing is a difficult thing for me. This last year I am really try to figure out a way to somehow combine my interest into a single area but it is extremely difficult because I really enjoy several of them and find it difficult to focus on one for an extended period of time. I really don't want to specialize so much because I feel like having the varied skill set is something that will be useful along with the fact that it can give me a wider area of employment. If it is really necessary I suppose I could try to specialize more but if possible I'd prefer to avoid it.




STEPHEN ROBISON
Head of Ceramics, Central Washington University
Ellensburg WA

http://stiffyguss.blogspot.com/
http://liquidceramics.blogspot.com/
http://teapotspitchers.blogspot.com/
http://woodkilns.blogspot.com/
http://jomonhaniwa.blogspot.com/
http://stephensrobison.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.co...ffpottery/sets/

CWU offers; BA, BFA, and MFA Degrees, (Post Baccalaureate also available). Images of CWU Ceramics studio can be seen at

http://www.flickr.co...57623735313670/

#8 Stephen Robison

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:24 AM


I have taught in many different venues from elementary to college level. One requirement I needed was indeed an MFA But the additional things college employers looked at was my experience and portfolio. I would not have gotten the job just out of a masters program without some experience in the field of teaching the variety of age groups I did. I recently took a college course from a woman in ceramics. We have the same background in art and essentially the same level of degrees, I also have 20+ years on her in life experience and teaching. She however specialized in ceramics and had a large resume of exhibits and installations under her belt. Something I never had the opportunity to do. She didn't only know what she was talking about, but she also lived the life of a dedicated ceramics artist. I would not have been happy if I paid $900 dollars for a course and it's taught by someone who just got their MFA last June. I want a teacher who has spent several years learning and is an expert in the field they are teaching. Another teacher I learned quite a bit from was an instructor I had at a local museum. Again he had years of experience working in his own pottery studio and was an expert in the field. His studio was a cooperative of a variety of artists all under one roof. I would say if you don't want to get your experience from public school teaching some better places to go would be local museums and arts centers in larger cities. I'm not sure if this is what you were asking? Hope I could help.


I wouldn't mind teaching in a public school or something of that nature but all the jobs i saw wanted experience in a college setting. Would teaching at an arts center or something of that nature be considered applicable experience? or even teaching ceramics at a high school level?




Good points Meisie. One other way many students who do not have a cohesive portfolio for grad school obtain one is through this focus and attending a post bac program or attending workshops at craft schools such as Arrowmont, Penland, Haystack, Appalachian Center for Crafts..... In this direction the student learns from a focused internationally known teacher! Not a bad way to get moving very quickly if your work ethic is strong and your personal goals are set with a constant organized schedule of research towards a conceptual concern.


STEPHEN ROBISON
Head of Ceramics, Central Washington University
Ellensburg WA

http://stiffyguss.blogspot.com/
http://liquidceramics.blogspot.com/
http://teapotspitchers.blogspot.com/
http://woodkilns.blogspot.com/
http://jomonhaniwa.blogspot.com/
http://stephensrobison.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.co...ffpottery/sets/

CWU offers; BA, BFA, and MFA Degrees, (Post Baccalaureate also available). Images of CWU Ceramics studio can be seen at

http://www.flickr.co...57623735313670/

#9 Jessica Knapp

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 09:30 AM

Stephen's is a good point. I did a post bac year myself and would recommend it. If you want more information on this route, David Katz, a former post bac at UMass Dartmouth wrote about his experience in the February issue of Ceramics Monthly. As it relates to education, it has been posted in the education section of Ceramic Arts Daily:

http://ceramicartsda...te-certificate/

Hope this helps.
Jessica



I have taught in many different venues from elementary to college level. One requirement I needed was indeed an MFA But the additional things college employers looked at was my experience and portfolio. I would not have gotten the job just out of a masters program without some experience in the field of teaching the variety of age groups I did. I recently took a college course from a woman in ceramics. We have the same background in art and essentially the same level of degrees, I also have 20+ years on her in life experience and teaching. She however specialized in ceramics and had a large resume of exhibits and installations under her belt. Something I never had the opportunity to do. She didn't only know what she was talking about, but she also lived the life of a dedicated ceramics artist. I would not have been happy if I paid $900 dollars for a course and it's taught by someone who just got their MFA last June. I want a teacher who has spent several years learning and is an expert in the field they are teaching. Another teacher I learned quite a bit from was an instructor I had at a local museum. Again he had years of experience working in his own pottery studio and was an expert in the field. His studio was a cooperative of a variety of artists all under one roof. I would say if you don't want to get your experience from public school teaching some better places to go would be local museums and arts centers in larger cities. I'm not sure if this is what you were asking? Hope I could help.


I wouldn't mind teaching in a public school or something of that nature but all the jobs i saw wanted experience in a college setting. Would teaching at an arts center or something of that nature be considered applicable experience? or even teaching ceramics at a high school level?




Good points Meisie. One other way many students who do not have a cohesive portfolio for grad school obtain one is through this focus and attending a post bac program or attending workshops at craft schools such as Arrowmont, Penland, Haystack, Appalachian Center for Crafts..... In this direction the student learns from a focused internationally known teacher! Not a bad way to get moving very quickly if your work ethic is strong and your personal goals are set with a constant organized schedule of research towards a conceptual concern.




#10 meisie

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 08:08 PM


I have taught in many different venues from elementary to college level. One requirement I needed was indeed an MFA But the additional things college employers looked at was my experience and portfolio. I would not have gotten the job just out of a masters program without some experience in the field of teaching the variety of age groups I did. I recently took a college course from a woman in ceramics. We have the same background in art and essentially the same level of degrees, I also have 20+ years on her in life experience and teaching. She however specialized in ceramics and had a large resume of exhibits and installations under her belt. Something I never had the opportunity to do. She didn't only know what she was talking about, but she also lived the life of a dedicated ceramics artist. I would not have been happy if I paid $900 dollars for a course and it's taught by someone who just got their MFA last June. I want a teacher who has spent several years learning and is an expert in the field they are teaching. Another teacher I learned quite a bit from was an instructor I had at a local museum. Again he had years of experience working in his own pottery studio and was an expert in the field. His studio was a cooperative of a variety of artists all under one roof. I would say if you don't want to get your experience from public school teaching some better places to go would be local museums and arts centers in larger cities. I'm not sure if this is what you were asking? Hope I could help.


I wouldn't mind teaching in a public school or something of that nature but all the jobs i saw wanted experience in a college setting. Would teaching at an arts center or something of that nature be considered applicable experience? or even teaching ceramics at a high school level?


Not sure what state you're in but in Massachusetts where I am from you don't need college teaching experience to teach in a elementary or high school. You do however need an education degree in whatever field you are looking to teach in. Colleges in this area don't require an education degree but they do require that you are well versed in what you expect to teach.
Teaching in the public school system here also requires passing a state test and several weeks of student teaching under an experienced teacher.
I would check with your local state Department of Education as they will outline what is required for teaching in the public school system. I find it odd that they would require college teaching experience prior to teaching elementary or high school? Are you sure you didn't misunderstand? On another note private schools don't need to follow state rules and regs and often hire people who are not certified as teachers but have some experience with students from other venues like an arts center but the pay is far less in private schools.

#11 Joxborro

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 01:07 PM

Not sure what state you're in but in Massachusetts where I am from you don't need college teaching experience to teach in a elementary or high school. You do however need an education degree in whatever field you are looking to teach in. Colleges in this area don't require an education degree but they do require that you are well versed in what you expect to teach.
Teaching in the public school system here also requires passing a state test and several weeks of student teaching under an experienced teacher.
I would check with your local state Department of Education as they will outline what is required for teaching in the public school system. I find it odd that they would require college teaching experience prior to teaching elementary or high school? Are you sure you didn't misunderstand? On another note private schools don't need to follow state rules and regs and often hire people who are not certified as teachers but have some experience with students from other venues like an arts center but the pay is far less in private schools.


The colleges are the ones that want college teaching experience. I wasn't looking to teach at a k-12 level but if thats what is need to get a job at a college I would be willing to do it.
Thank you Jessica that is not something I had ever heard about but it sounds like it might be something that would be extremely helpful for me in finding a direction and focus.




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