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Stephen Robison

Member Since 29 Mar 2010
Offline Last Active Feb 24 2014 11:34 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Penland School Of Crafts

24 February 2014 - 11:34 AM

8000 wow. Really??? So yes I worked at Penland, Haystack, Arrowmont and the Appalachian Center for Crafts. All fantastic! And as far as the costs look into those schools. There are many many more options then there were when I was younger. Anderson Ranch is also a great place!  I think it gets down to what technique you are looking at or the person who you may desire to study under. These are concentrated blocks of time and the money is worth it to me if you can swing it. There are also many times opportunities to be a work study student. 8 grand is also around what you may pay as a special student at a university and maybe that could also be another avenue. 


As far as reviews... They are all great and it really depends on what you want to learn. 

In Topic: Hobby Potter Teaching Others.

25 January 2014 - 07:10 PM

Your work is not that bad that you would do a disservice. That is ridiculous to say, if students under your instruction gets excited and into clay and then pass you up great! You may want to direct them to other places of study or if they can't move from the area or afford workshops and other opportunities for learning then at least they have a place to work. The Archie Bray foundations motto is  "A Good Place to Work".. If a community place can offer any opportunity to work then it is still an opportunity and a service and again certainly not a disservice. I think its great you are volunteering your time and I bet people around you are happy you are a giving person. If they start paying you for teaching and you feel bad about it, tell them to advertise the position and see if someone else wants to step up to bat. Its a team effort building a community program. The cool thing about students passing you up is you are also growing and learning and can grow and learn with them! Its a great path to travel together and not get petty. Keep pushing yourself to learn and grow both on and off the wheel! Have fun!!

In Topic: Ceramic Certificate Programs

24 January 2014 - 02:58 PM

Post Bac degrees are decent, but an MA might also be a route. MFA requires as you said more investment in time and money and are also quite competitive. Residencies are good route too, but again are usually fairly competitive. As far as apprenticeships they vary quite extensively, but can also be a great experience. Taking workshops in the summer is also a fantastic way to grow, as they are often times directed at specific techniques in building, throwing and/or firing. I would not discount Community Colleges, many have fantastic people teaching at them. In WA state where I teach there are two in particular that are fantastic, one is Tacoma Community College and the Other I believe is at Shoreline CC. Doing some research into the work that they do can be fairly telling to their expertise in a certain direction you may be interested in going. For instance the person who is at Tacoma CC is amazing at wood firing and the instructor at Shoreline CC does some amazing work with black slip on white porcelain. Look at El Diablo Valley College on the edge of San Franciso, they have two full time ceramics instructors. Both GREAT, the two there are really great. Mendocino is good too! The idea of a certificate is not quite as relevant as just growing and learning. An AA degree is not needed, but building a good portfolio is and an AA degree or certificate may be a good way to continue your growth. There is no one path to growth. The main thing growth takes is your individual drive, work ethic and a day to day investigation into research that will drive growth in your ideas and your technical ability.  It is not always a book on ceramics, it may be a book on genetic virology and the imagery under the microscope, (thats one of my influences). DVD's and videos from Ceramics Daily, Youtube videos and many other great resources are available to you that were not available to previous generations such as mine. But libraries also are still an amazing source for research, not everything is online or digital! It is a blast, so have fun! 

In Topic: Cornerstone Course Brainstorming - Higher Ed

20 January 2014 - 11:05 AM

Tried to find Rick Price on google?? Maybe that wasn't his name?? I also know Rick Price was the bassist for ELO.  

In Topic: Cornerstone Course Brainstorming - Higher Ed

20 January 2014 - 11:01 AM

I was involved in a very similar project in the 80's It was great. The percussion and horns were made by Rick Price from Australia. From my memory it was pretty cool! 


Belmont huh? There use to be an amazing artist who taught ceramics there. Jason Briggs. Actually I taught there, and was there when we designed the new art building. I never got to use the studio as I received a better job offer and moved. But Belmont would be a great place for this. Hell, any school with a good music department would be. In the 80's it was University of Wisconsin Whitewater and the music students played Ricks instruments and they were pretty good. I think the reed instruments and the horns used some standard month pieces. Some of the drums had thin steel heads. I have made several instruments including a violin, which needed to have an electric pick up on it to really sound good. It never went out of tune!  When its all done it would be cool to see a video of the performance! 


  • Does this sound (no pun intended) like a fun/challenging course?  YES
  • What would you add to the course to make it more interesting? Intermediate or advanced levels in ceramics, (no beginners) If so it will be a head ache and the instruments will look and sound like crap!
  • What challenges would you anticipate,particularly the ceramics process? Even with intermediate and advance ceramics students it will be a challenge ..
  • Is there already a course syllabus that someone is using at another institution? Not that I know of. 

Good luck