I have entered a strange situation in terms of education and would really appreciate any advice or experiences. I have been in a Studio Art program and have the expected graduation date with a bachelors in Summer 2014. Well, the ceramics department has been shut down indefinitely as there is no faculty nor facilities to further support it. This is a very recent and sudden change so I did not really have a back up plan or the like. However, knowing the program was sub par in the beginning, I set up a modest home studio and have been attending workshops and community classes to help support my education in ceramics.
Here are my questions...
Originally, my plan was to attend graduate school and hopefully become an instructor in the college setting. Since then, the current education system has been scaring me off. My issue being a case in point. I have been looking at job postings in different community studios as a teacher or studio tech for future reference (I know that I am obviously not ready for a job in the field yet). Many of them require a BFA or BA. However, can a good portfolio and knowledge of a studio cause the bachelors requirement to be overlooked?
On one hand, if I stick with the program at school, I will come out with a bachelor's degree and have the piece of paper essentially but no ceramics experience behind it. On the other, I have looked into quitting school (saving a lot of money, time, and gas) and attending more workshops, developing my skill set and knowledge of a studio. Lately, I have been very discouraged by the program I am in as I feel it is taking up my time from ceramics with courses that will not particularly aid me in the future as well as hindering me from developing. I have been inquiring about studio assistantships as well as the ceramics program at Haywood Community College (they seem to have a lot of exciting things going on there) but this only leads to an Associate's degree.
Basically, what I am wondering is if I can get a job at a community studio or something similar as a teacher or tech without a bachelors degree? Many of the studios list it as a requirement but can a good portfolio and good, reputable workshop history negate that?
I have always felt that you get out what you put in, so to speak, so workshops, assistantships, and residencies are all avenues that I want to delve in to.
My main career goal is to be involved with a community studio as well as being a studio potter myself. And yes, I also have other interests that will help supplement my income into a decent living
I really appreciate any advice, I know it is a bit of a loaded question.
I picked up a kick wheel recently and have had a bit of trouble having bats stick as well as centering. Well, I broke out the level and found that it has a pretty bad warp in the head. The problem is that the wheel head is welded to the shaft, I don't have the type of tools to get the head off. The other problem is that the wheel head is not drilled to fit standard sized bats so I cannot use pins nor will they stick due to the warp.
I have been trying to think of a cost effective solution. I was thinking that I could drill a 1 inch thick wood circle onto the wheel from the bottom and use this as my wheel head. I would use shellac to seal it so I could throw directly on it as well as drill in bat pins from the top to fit standard bats.
I am thinking out loud here but was wondering if anyone has had a similar issue and how it was fixed or if anyone has an idea that may be more effective.
I am wanting to experiment with saggar firing in an electric kiln (cone 6). I have been reading a lot of the threads about this and have several ideas to test but still have one question.. I know typically saggar firing is left for decorative pieces but I am wanting to take functional wares with a liner glaze and put them in the saggar to get more interesting surfaces. Since it would be fired to vitrification and has a liner glaze, it would be food safe but what about washing the pots? Would frequent use and washing eventually disrupt the surface? Would certain materials be better for functional saggar firing?
I know there is probably many answers but just wanted to hear some opinions.
I am wanting to brush wax resist on bisqued pots (then brush on slip). Would coloring the wax with black iron oxide or RIO allow for crisp lines that will retain once the wax is burned off in the kiln (cone 6 electric)? Or is there another/better way that will allow that? Also, would this work applying to greenware? My thought was to add the above to a more oil based wax resist but figured I would ask if anyone had success with this before buying. I have been testing with stains and underglazes but still havent quite gotten the result I am looking for.
I have had the inkling to build my own kick wheel for home use. I use an electric wheel at school but I have been drawn to kick wheels for quite some time. I was wondering if any one has a building plan or can point me in the right direction to one. I have seen several online but am not quite sure if one is better than another or how to tell for that matter. I have seen the Brent kick wheel kits, is that worth it? My guess is that it would ensure a strong structure?