Jump to content

Youtube Video Potters


Recommended Posts

Hey how about some of you guys who know who's who take a look at the youtube potters line up and throw out a few names of ones you've both heard of and respect their work.

 

If one makes south 20 bucks an hour it is just really, really, hard for a LOT of people to have any money at all left at the end of a month just surviving. For these guys youtube really is it regardless of whether its the best way or not. If someone is just starting out they have no idea who too listen too.

 

I'll start:

 

I mentioned Simon Leach in another thread and I have watched so many of his videos. He and his brothers, father, mother and fairly famous grandfather have been in pottery forever and he has posted tons of great instructional videos. He is a professional potter making his living from pottery as both a studio potter and workshop instructor.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

 I have a few. When I make a video I am thinking of what has helped my complete beginners (0 hours of experience) work on the wheel. But making youtube less take time and the right mood to make.

 

I was once told about chess that grand-masters make terrible coaches. I feel this can be true in pottery too. Naturally talented potters do things without knowing why so they also have trouble showing ways to improve a shape. I had a fantastic wheel teacher and I feel her lessons have allowed me to reach pottery as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JBaymore

There is a reason that very many educators .... (wait for it)......... study..... (wait for it)................  educational concepts as a formal part of their training.  As Matthew says above, just because someone is really good at what they do does not necessarily make them a good TEACHER of that subject.  You can learn much from such people if you are attentive and patient.... but it is not necessarily "packaged" as well as a less skilled practitioner who know the subject well might........  who REALLY knows how to TEACH.

 

For primary and secondary education, at least in the public sector, teachers have to have formal training in education.  One problem that is 'out there' in the post-secondary field is that to teach art at the college level, you typically only need an MFA.  You need to be a good artist with well considered work and good hand skills to obtain that degree..  You do not have to have formal educational training at all.  So some college educators are, unfortunately, really "learning on the job".  Most colleges do some professional development seminars and the like in pedagogy for their professors, but that is for people who are already hired and already teaching.

 

I know some GREAT potters... that are HORRIBLE at sharing what it is that they do.  You learn from them... in spite of them.  So just because someone is "famous" for their claywork........ does not necessarily make them the best teachers of clay working.

 

best,

 

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

I will step into this from a different perspective, and open up a can of beans that many here will either rally against or behind. My undergrad training at Mansfield State College gave me a strong base of media and pedagogy along with aesthetics and art history. My studio work included Ceramics, Painting(Acrylic and Watercolor), Drawing, Printmaking, Sculpture, Jewelry, and Weaving. Along with some Materials and Design courses.  

 

When taking graduate classes at Penn State, State College, I was fulfilling my 24 credits required for accreditation. I concentrated on all studio classes. I  had several classes in Ceramics, Watercolor, and Drawing. All of these were to allow me to be a better teacher by being more comfortable in various media. I would have been happy to continue on, but decided that I could do better and get a better raise if I went the Master Degree in Education route. After looking over much of the Penn State information on the MED, I decided I really did not want that much more pedagogy, and many of my credits would not be accepted as they were in the FA program. I contacted Mansfield, and found that completing the MED there would allow transfer of 24 credits, and a year of work to complete as compared to two years at Penn State. Time was not my major consideration, but the belief that I would be a better teacher if I was more secure in my media skills. I had seen all too often when reading lesson plans of cooperating teachers, and talking to teachers in various Elementary schools, Jr High schools, and High schools that their breadth and depth of media often dictated what they would teach in their classrooms. So many of them would stick to Drawing, some Painting, and some form of craft that they had some experience with. I know why, and most of you do also. If you could not pull of a demonstration in class without failure, because you were familiar with the media and the process enough to not fail, then you would not lose the class because you had failed at the demonstration.

 

I know that a certain amount of pedagogy is needed to understand much of how to teach and approach students in the classroom. I also know that the science of pedagogy is a moving target when it comes to the politics of education. There have been so many initiatives at the state level and federal level on how to improve education, along with many many miss steps. Most school districts now use their inservice time to help the teacher focus on the new educational philosophies and theories that they will have to use. I have had inservices in learning modalities, writing Individualized Educational Programs, at least 10 different approaches to writing lesson plans, 10 different ways to write curriculums and so much more. So for me, being able to handle the media was extremely important, not spending my available time learning how to teach.

 

 

best,

Pres 

Link to post
Share on other sites

stephen i wish the answer was easy.

 

i am a community college student, have taken classes with a professional potter/retired professor and an avid youtube watcher. 

 

i have found you need your hands in many pies.

 

for instance if you watch hsen cheun lin he rarely trims the rim of his pots. he is a pro. as a beginner i had to trim mine all the time to be in control of my pot. i watch a lot of people throwing. there is no one who gives ALL the info. i learnt coning from one person who mentioned it because he was throwing tall. watching potters from india and pakistan and nepal i learnt how you can use the trapped air to help you with your hand built form.

 

i've had 3 professors teach me clay. i will be adding a couple more in the coming years. if i am lucky i can add another one. because i have found i have learnt different things from the different profs.

 

of course even that is not enough because i am here asking questions.

 

i mean little things make such a huge difference. for example - on another thread someone talked about opening up the cylinder wider than necessary to help with the bottom thickness. huge difference. the prof. potter and ex prof. put her hand on top of mine and we pushed in for a bowl to get me to understand how much pressure one needs to really use all the clay.

 

to me i think a basic book is important. rather than just youtube. hands in clay. or a beginning how to pottery book. goes over some basic info right from teh beginning that you would otherwise spend weeks trying to figure out. things like how much pressure, where your hands should be while centering, where you should pull up and why. esp. if all you have is youtube. 

 

however here i am talking about wheel throwing. even for handbuilding though - there are good videos out there. i've learnt a lot of tips from the CAD videos too. i've watched NCECA demos and other demos too. 

 

some videos have great explanations that help.

 

so far i have not run into any 'bad' pottery videos. or misinformed videos. first what i do is check and see who the person is and how many videos they have uploaded. 

 

i've watched goldmark videos on potters. i've watched different cultural potters and noticed how their ways were different. i have been lucky to find good demos on vimeo and youtube from famous artists not only doing their demos but also explaining and offering tips. i've even learnt so much as i pointed out from reading here on this site. and then finding by accident clayart threads. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

here are some videos that have helped me apart from the ones already mentioned. robin hoppers dvd sets were my first learning tools.

 

dan dermer for bowls. we were taught how to bring up bowls. but that it needed so much work inside i had no idea. i learnt perfect bowls from watching this video. 

 

ingleton pottery videos is another source esp. for vase shapes. in some of this videos he admits his wheel does not slow down beyond a certain speed so he has a hard time throwing wider forms like a moon jar. i think he even showed a video of a failed moon jar. i think the son does not have fingers on one hand and he still throws well too. 

 

tall cylinders from this guy 

 

matt horne pottery

 

liz lotz demos

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many good potters on YouTube. I have watch many videos and it has helped me immensely. I have a BFA from Texas A&M University. I even made one. But it's just a simple watch and try and learn vid. I was experimenting with a phone camera and an video app so I could try it out. It was fun. But I am not the seasoned potter. I think what really mattered to me was finding a video that was relative to what I wanted to do, like, throwing a cup, then a bowl, then a plate, etc. I wanted to see how different potters did the same thing. They show the standard ways, but some will show things like hand positions or finger movements, that you just have to catch and try. Man it's a lot of good stuff. I took someone way of throwing, trimming, decorating and tried it. Then another, till I found what works for me. I have actually combined more than one and just adjust or change up when I think I need to. Here's my video. 

 

 I loved watching, Simon, as you mentioned. I think I have seen all his videos. I love how (youdanxxx) of Ingleton Pottery, throws so quick and with such ease. I love the patience of (Hsinchuen Lin) and his reversed hand pull. I learned how to wedge clay from him. It did improve my wedging 100%. I've watched so many I can even remember them all.

 

But, you don't have to go far to learn, we also have many fine potters here on Potters Council with expert advice. They have helped me so much in solving many problems I had. And don't forget, the many other potters and clay artist on Ceramic Arts Daily videos. Indispensable for people just learning.

 

Just have fun, make mistakes, try things you are afraid to do, like making tall pots, thin pots, ugly pots (no such thing, hehe), try different clays, I went from low fire, to high fire (when I worked for a potter friend) then ^6 stoneware. And now, just started ^5-6 porcelain.  

 

I can go on for days talking about everyone I have learned from, but, as Simon Leach says, Keep Practicing". It's the best way to learn.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since the OP wanted video recommendations or other resources that can be gleaned from the interwebs and Preeta mentioned books, I want to suggest Clary Illian's "A Potter's Workbook." It doesn't teach you to throw per se, but it gets you thinking about what's involved in making good pots. It's a series of exercises for the person that can throw a 2 lb cylinder that is twice as tall as it is wide, and is ready to start thinking about how to make a good pot.

 

 

so far i have not run into any 'bad' pottery videos. or misinformed videos. first what i do is check and see who the person is and how many videos they have uploaded.

 

 

The problem with choosing internet instruction like this, or indeed even any teacher in real life, is that you're judging them on their output, not on how their other students are doing. And you don't know that the information you've found is questionable until you find better information, one way or another. The problem with being a beginner is that you don't know how much you don't know. Edited to add: I don't think anyone is wrong for seeking out whatever they can in the time and place they have allotted to them. You can only begin from the place you are standing. I say use what you have available, and remedy anything you feel needs it as you can.

 

I think that the YouTube potters mentioned so far in this thread offer some pretty reasonable instruction within the offered framework. I have been to a Steven Hill workshop IRL. The online out takes from some of his other workshops track quite closely to my personal experience, and I think if he offers videos for sale or online, they're probably worthwhile. He's the rare beast that is a good instructor and a good potter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

yes, the clary ilian book is excellent.  do you know why the difference between an outward curve or an inward curve on the rim of a bowl should be considered before throwing it?

 

for really basic step 1 through as far as you can go, i have found nothing better than charles counts, "Pottery Workshop" published in the 1970s.  before many of you were born.  but the basics do not change and if you really follow the steps outlined, in the order in which they are presented, you will improve.  and since the book is so old, it is cheap.  start small, you will not be making products for a very long time.  you are learning a skill.  one that will last and improve as you practice.  the first hundred pots are only practice.  it is only clay, just mush it up and re-wedge.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JBaymore

My undergrad training at Mansfield State College gave me a strong base of media and pedagogy along with aesthetics and art history. My studio work included Ceramics, Painting(Acrylic and Watercolor), Drawing, Printmaking, Sculpture, Jewelry, and Weaving. Along with some Materials and Design courses.

 

Unfortunately some teaching at the college level have very little of that, Pres.    Or got D's in those courses ;)

 

best,

 

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

Concur with youdan and Tim See for throwing.

 

I like John Britt for his technical explanations.

 

I find Simon Leach too waffly.  I want to see/hear the subject at hand, not err, umm, good morning, blah blah blah, fiddle with camera.........

 

 

And as for:

Those who can, do

Those who know, teach

 

I prefer:

 

Those who can, do

Those who know how and can explain it in clear, precise, plain English, should teach

 

I have no formal education beyond the age of 16, but spent over 20 years teaching IT to adults in a business environment.  In the early stages of this career, a fellow instructor (highly qualified ex school teacher) critiqued one of my courses with words I will never forget.  "...... will probably be the best instructor in the company,,,,.. has empathy with the students, and can explain clearly..."  

 

Teaching seems to come naturally to me.  I have, since those early days, attended many seminars and teacher training sessions, and usually came away with the feeling of, yeah, yeah, I knew that, didn't everyone else.

 

I will never be a good pottery teacher, as I'm not a good potter, but at IT and cycling I was/am successful.

 

 

Not sure how I managed to blow my own trumpet there, I'm usually much more modest.  Sorry.

Link to post
Share on other sites

do you know why the difference between an outward curve or an inward curve on the rim of a bowl should be considered before throwing it?

 

I would guess so its easier to hold and pick up?

 

Not sure how I managed to blow my own trumpet there, I'm usually much more modest. 

 

It was nice to get to know you.

 

this one is one of my favorites-it shows all the issues with just a few simple steps.

check it out-Timsee clay is the artist

 

This guy is funny, great video

 

====

 

I had no training as a teacher but I already had 15-20 years playing and showing (and learning from) other guitarists when I was approached to teach at a college. This was back in the 80s and I taught for 4 semesters. The class size was about 8-10 people.

 

I remember my very first class. I had prepared an excellent course and knew what I wanted to accomplish. I gathered all the needed materials and I was really excited.

 

All that broke down in the first 5 minutes of the first lesson and the rest of the class was worse. Calling it a train wreck would have been polite.

 

What I learned that day was I needed to understand not only what the students expected to learn and what they already knew. I had to find a focal point for each person and tailor what I was to teach each individual as I went around the class to each student.

 

I'm thinking teaching throwing is pretty much the same thing, the instructor need to understand both their craft and how to present it. Sometimes students hear something different than what you meant to say. Being there seeing what they are doing and being able to correct a minor (for the lack of a better word) flaw can make all the difference of learning and becoming frustrated.

 

Youtube videos have their place but they fall short of the back and forth dynamic between student and teacher.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JBaymore

What I learned that day was I needed to understand not only what the students expected to learn and what they already knew. I had to find a focal point for each person and tailor what I was to teach each individual as I went around the class to each student.

 

I'm thinking teaching throwing is pretty much the same thing, the instructor need to understand both their craft and how to present it. Sometimes students hear something different than what you meant to say. Being there seeing what they are doing and being able to correct a minor (for the lack of a better word) flaw can make all the difference of learning and becoming frustrated.

 

Youtube videos have their place but they fall short of the back and forth dynamic between student and teacher.

 

Very well said.  There is no such thing as a "class".  There is a group of individuals you are working with.  Key words there are "individual" and "with". 

 

The first day of my classes, or the beginning of my workshops, almost one of the first things I do, is to ask each person to share with the group why they are there and what they want to get out of the experience.  What I had planned to do starts to get instantly revised in my head as I get going. 

 

When demoing something like throwing a XXXXXXX to a group, I share many different ways to approach that task/problem/challenge.  I use visual information (of course), verbal descriptions, analogies, and tactile sensory cues  to attempt to get stuff across.......  hitting the three main learning modalities.  Then I try to asses each individual's way they process information... and target further individualized stuff to them as I work with them as individuals.

 

Newer, less experienced teachers tend to use what we can call the "shotgun" method of teaching pretty much all the time.  Throw a lot of information out there and hopefully one of the "pellets" will hit something.  And it usually does.  The skilled teacher is the sniper.  Great skill in assessing the overall situation, understanding the target, the surrounding environment, and a single effective bullet gets the job done.

 

best,

 

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for saying  this

Chilly 

(I find Simon Leach too waffly.  I want to see/hear the subject at hand, not err, umm, good morning, blah blah blah, fiddle with camera.........)

I could not aggress more.

I could not make it thru the only one I ever viewed on him turning an electric kiln into a gas one with the chimney  inside-which by the way is a complete waste of valuable inside kiln space in my view. I snapped about 2/3 thru and turned it off.

waffly is the exact thought I had.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen many of the pottery videos on you tube and have bought most of pottery tools out there (except that tungsten carbide trim tool). I am now watching many of the Instagram videos now. There are a few oh wow check that out I never knew that videos out there. All the observation and tooling may equate to 5% of my advancement. The other 95% rests on tons of clay running through my fingers. I have had some good teachers and throwing buddies over the years which have helped immensely. If you can afford a hands on workshop with someone you admire do it. I always encourage some of the college students to sit next or across from me in the studio. I give free demos and offer help to others. It is also a nice feeling when after throwing for a few hours giving pointers and hearing "I learned more today than the whole last semester". I should make some videos some day.....

Link to post
Share on other sites

i am going to state the obvious. you've got to be captivated by what you teach. esp. to younger students. like brand new high schoolers. one of my earlier profs was burnt out but needed the money. many of his students (not his favs.) did not return. he has a chip on his shoulder. does  not want to teach beginners, esp. those who ask a million questions (Iike myself).

 

but the worst is if as a teacher you just dont care. you dont show interest. you dont organize your class well. you just dont show any enthusiasm for your subject. my daughter's 9th grade ceramics teacher (hand building) had the class for 3 months. whatever interest my daughter had for ceramics just from me - just flew out the window. she is a perfectionist who wants a masterpiece at her first attempt. it really rubbed her the wrong way that the teacher showed no interest. on the other hand when she had graphic art even though she doesnt much care for it, because the teacher was so enthusiastic and so interested in the students and their stories that she was inspired to try at his class. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see that everyone I personally love to watch has already been mentioned so I won't repeat that. 

 

Instead here is the best advice I have for anybody: Watch as many videos as you can find of different people doing similar things even if you aren't a fan of their finished product or their style. Read as many articles as you can find on the internet or in magazines. Get pottery books of all levels. I have been doing that for five years. I didn't start wheel throwing until two years ago and I can tell you that all that reading and all those videos, all that information that I wasn't ready to use at the time, came back to me when I needed it. Every once in a while I go back and watch or read my favorites and I get something different out of them every time. Each time I watch a really amazing thrower in videos or workshops in person, I go home and try different moves and my throwing at this point is such a mishmash of other people's hand movements that I could not tell you really where each bit and piece came from. This patchwork makes up MY style, which is still developing and changing since I am such a new thrower. 

 

In a nutshell: be voracious. Gobble up every scrap of information you can. People spend a lifetime in clay and continue to be surprised. Enjoy the ride. :) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

" Then I try to asses each individual's way they process information..."

 

Thanks, John.  That's a great way to put it, and I think I'm doing that but need to check myself and maybe tweak it.

 

I love Robin Hopper's books and have learned from his video's, but I do remember once watching what was supposed to be instruction for beginners where he combined making the hole, opening, and lifting the wall into one beautifully fluid motion that was a joy to watch but would be totally undoable and baffling for the inexperienced person.

 

Some of you have really nailed it in stressing that the best approach is to learn from as many sources and people as possible.  I have been very fortunate to have had a couple of instructors who were something I call   " the trifecta".  They are 1. nice people 2. great clay artists 3. excellent instructors.   They are also a rare breed.  Most folks are 2 out of 3, but I've also been with 1 out of 3 types, and they are truly a challenge to learn from, but not impossible.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My supplier in St. Louis had talked to me several times about doing clay/glaze chemistry classes- I declined. I know in precise terms the metes and bounds of both: but have yet to figure out how to convey that clearly. Never have viewed myself as much of a teacher- not my calling in life. 

 

Nerd

 

Edit.... I do however very much admire those who do teach.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My supplier in St. Louis had talked to me several times about doing clay/glaze chemistry classes- I declined. I know in precise terms the metes and bounds of both: but have yet to figure out how to convey that clearly. Never have viewed myself as much of a teacher- not my calling in life. 

 

Nerd

 

Edit.... I do however very much admire those who do teach.

 

You know what though, you are a great communicator, very positive, and I think you would be motivated to reach anybody you were teaching. Plus the nice thing about teaching glaze chemistry: it is unlikely to be completely raw beginners who know nothing about clay. Usually the clay/glaze chemistry would be a more advanced subject so they would know to ask questions if there was a gap in info. At least that's what I do in workshops. LOL Maybe I'm just an obnoxious student. ;) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya know I started this post as hopefully an archive resource for maybe a beginner who was cash poor and in need of help but in the process picked up some good names and have found myself watching several videos again after a few years of not watching any, thanks everyone for the contributions.

I do disagree on the critiques of Simon Leach's videos though, I found his videos to be great but I watched dozens of them not just one so I am judging them overall.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.