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  1. I need to find the best All-In-One clay for cone 5, great for both hand building and wheel throwing I know. That's a tall order. But I can dream. I have a pug mill and don't want 2 bodies. Problem: I have too many problems with my gas kiln for cone 06 anymore. I'm DONE. I am moving to cone 5. Criteria / Factors: I'm in Southern California I teach 180 high school students grades 9-12, all levels of art skills, so it has to take punishment Not too sandy on the wheel, not too smooth or squishy for hand building Not too dense so it is so top-heavy when trimming I'm willing to pug the new clay to soften it for throwing, if it is stiff and great for hand building, or visa versa Doesn't stain clothes or the tables, rolling pins, or make a mess everywhere Is not pure white (students can't see where they missed glazing spots when using light color glazes - painting) Good leather hard, doesn't soften up too easily when re-wetting to score things together Doesn't take every indentation to the surface of pieces, temperamentalD Centers on the wheel fairly easily, especially for teen girls with tiny hands Can take a good amount of water from beginners Pulling walls, it is strong, doesn't warp or sag easily Won't dry out too quickly in hands while hand building Doesn't bend or warp easily when removing from the wheel Not so soft that it caves when cutting and sliding off the wheel Doesn't make teens hate the class because it stains clothes or gets everywhere and of course, takes glazes well and can handle a little fluctuation in gas environments Cone 5 clays I've Tried: Laguna - Dover White: Nice clay, but pure white. easy to center, but A little soft when hand building Laguna - Plain (Buff): Nice light tan color, easy center and to rehydrate if repairing, but a bit too squishy and shows every dent Laguna - Moroccan Sand: I love this clay, doesn't leave residue - color, but a bit dense to center. It is really dark grayish brown, if they only could lighten it Laguna - Buff with Sand: Nice tan color, but WAY too sandy for students on the wheel Laguna - Greystone: Too dense and top heavy for small pieces, hard to center, but really takes a beating with water, warps when thin due to density of surrounding clay Laguna - Speckled Buff: A bit dark in color, has iron so it gets read everywhere, could stain (think girls with pure white vans) Laguna - LB-6: hmmm, can't remember, but nixed it very soon after Laguna - Sante Fe: OMG - red EVERYWHERE, like a crime scene Aardvark Clay - SBF - Too dark tan - a bit sticky for students Aardvark Clay -Arctic White: Too white Opinions???? Go!!!
  2. I've been running a lot of searches for information since I've just begun a wheel throwing course. One thing I routinely see, are people discussing the drastic variation in teaching content/quality of instruction found on the internet. Since I'm so new, I have no way of telling if someone is demonstrating good or bad technique, etc. I'm hoping people would be willing to list resources that have quality instruction. Beginner to advanced instruction would be appreciated. I'm just learning to crawl but I recognize others are doing gymnastics and decathlons. I've heard Simon Leach's YouTube channel has quality instruction and I've seen someone recommend Florian Gadsby's instagram https://www.youtube.com/user/sleachpots Here's Simon Leach's page https://www.instagram.com/floriangadsby/ Florian Gadsby's instagram Any references to Youtube channels, books and online courses are appreciated.
  3. Okay you all know I was thinking, now that I have insurance, about starting to offer limited private lessons in my own studio. I have taught at the local art center a few times and have found I really enjoy teaching, seeing that light go on in their eyes when they get something is very satisfying. Well anyhow I was still in the thinking stage while working in the studio today when I had one show up on my doorstep. Literally... I looked up and there she was. I had spoken with her a few times before about some of her projects that she was really struggling with where she currently is and gave her some pointers and such. I told her she could call me and I would help her with the latest as well. When I spoke with her I hadn't really thought about formally teaching but she told me today that she and a friend want to come take semi private lessons with me, just the 2 of them together. They both know the basics of clay but have moved beyond beginner and are branching out in to design work and such. Design work and hand building is what we would focus on as well as tackling some of the forms like mugs that she really wants to learn how to do. My question for those of you out there teaching private and semi private lessons... what kind of pricing structure should I use? I would provide the space, tools, equipment, specialty materials for design work, and knowledge. I am trying to decide if I should include the price of clay in with the lesson, sell that to them separately, or have them buy and bring their own. Then I also have to tackle the issue of firing costs and such. I would offer once a week classes, open ended... meaning they can take as few or as many as they want. When they get tired of me they can simply stop the lessons. There would be a minimum 2 hour class period to sign up for and I would prefer to offer a standard 3 hour weekly class. Would it be better to offer a set number of classes for a set number of hours each week? I would offer no open studio time only class time. They are really REALLY interested and want to start next week so kind of need some input from you guys! T
  4. June 3rd and 4th we are organising the big 2 day Craft in Focus festival in Industry City in Brooklyn. This event will host inspiring workshops, masterclasses, lectures and documentary films from master craftsmen and -women from around the world. Our festival is entirely about experience: we invite the audience to try out different crafts to inspire them to learn and explore further. We still have room for a workshop on Ceramics! Are you experienced with workshop teaching and interested in teaching a workshop at the festival? Please contact me at: film@craftinfocusnewyork.com More info on the festival: http://craftinfocusnewyork.com/
  5. So, I am standing in the middle of my studio in the middle of our big Mother's Day open artists studio walk. There are 9 professional artists, and we open up our studios to people who walk the neighbourhood, looking at art. It is a two day sale, and happens again in November. The great thing is that I don't have to move my work, and people can see an artist in his/her natural environment. Anyway, these two guys are standing there looking at me. They are about 26. Tall, thin, good looking. Both wearing woolen hats which we call touques in Canada. They looked strangely familiar. Luckily, they introduced themselves by name. I knew them right away. I had taught both of them art over 8 years ago. G. was now an architecture student. I remember him being an amazing drawer. He was the student council president and did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! I gave him a reference. We laughed at that. The other young man was sporting a full beard. I couldn't grow a beard like that until I was in my 40's. I remembered luckily, that the second student, had a father who died while he was still in high school. He works as a pressman, or a printer. Both had traveled, looked at art, had fun before settling down. They had heard about the sale and wanted to see me. Apparently I was their favourite teacher in high school. Even though they weren't the most serious students, they turned out great. They congratulated me on winning the Canadian high school art teacher of the year award in 2012.They said that it was a long time coming. I said that I hadn't done much lately and we all laughed. It was a great time. Have you influenced anyone, or changed a young person's life, for the good? Let's hear about it. TJR.
  6. I’m going to be teaching ceramics this spring. I have not taught this course before and have had only one beginning class years ago. I will be teaching the basics to adults with developmental disabilities from mild to severe. I have been doing a lot of research and my first question is, where is the best overall place to buy supplies? Thanks so much in advance! I have always LOVED pottery and I am so excited to be teaching this class and finding this discussion group! I’m sure I will have many questions to come. J
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