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gejoreni

Looking For A Mentor

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I'm not sure if this is the best forum for this question - but here goes.

 

So I've been working extremely hard to become a potter. I'm starting a little late, but I have spent a lot of time practicing and reading any books I can get my hands on. I've also gone to classes when/where possible. I really feel like I could make another large step with the support of a mentor. I have tried signing up through the "potter's guild" but I have not received any opportunities or responses.

 

I've been inspired by many porcelain artists and have been working in that direction, however, I am open to skill set and experience of anyone willing to work with me. I am located in central Florida. If someone is even remotely close, that would be wonderful because I would love to meet them and eventually watch you in studio. If you are not in Florida, that is ABSOLUTELY fine too. I would just like to have some phone calls every once and a while and talk about my progress, be challenged, and critiqued. 

 

If you think you would be willing or know someone that might, please let me know. 

 

 

Joseph Reni

gejoreni@gmail.com

4076147364

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Joseph. I know this isn't an answer to your question, but this forum itself is basically hundreds of mentors full of advice. If your willing to share your failures with others and not be embarrassed to accept that you made mistakes everyone here will help you immensely. I am in my third year of pottery (just turned three) and I am 100% self taught besides four short 1 hour classes I took to see if I would like the process of pottery. I have to say that without the people here mentoring and helping answer simple questions I wouldn't be in pottery today. Just reading all the things other people say and do, you can learn infinite amounts of knowledge about all sorts of things. And best of all everything is archived and tons of questions have already been answered.

 

Of course this isn't as easy as just finding someone and helping hands on. That is better and would be ideal, but I am just saying until you find that situation we all love to help each other out. Join in on the conversations and ask questions. 

 

Also I think the potters council has a mentor program. Maybe look into that as well. 

 

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/potters-council/member-services/mentoring-program/

 

Joseph F

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Joseph. I know this isn't an answer to your question, but this forum itself is basically a hundreds of mentors full of advice. If your willing to share your failures with others and not be embarrassed to accept that you made mistakes everyone here will help you immensely. I am in my third year of pottery (just turned three) and I am 100% self taught besides four short 1 hour classes I took to see if I would like the process of pottery. I have to say that without the people here mentoring and helping answer simple questions I wouldn't be in pottery today. Just reading all the things other people say and do, you can learn infinite amounts of knowledge about all sorts of things. And best of all everything is archived and tons of questions have already been answered.

 

Of course this isn't as easy as just finding someone and helping hands on. That is better and would be ideal, but I am just saying until you find that situation we all love to help each other out. Join in on the conversations and ask questions. 

 

Also I think the potters council has a mentor program. Maybe look into that as well. 

 

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/potters-council/member-services/mentoring-program/

 

Joseph F

 

Thanks! - I definitely have been using the forum when i felt it was appropriate - and will continue to do so. I signed up for the potter's council mentorying and have not had any responses. I completely with everything you said. I'm hoping to get a bit of directed feedback and interaction through mentorship in addition to everything I can learn from the forums. 

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Joseph. I know this isn't an answer to your question, but this forum itself is basically a hundreds of mentors full of advice. If your willing to share your failures with others and not be embarrassed to accept that you made mistakes everyone here will help you immensely. I am in my third year of pottery (just turned three) and I am 100% self taught besides four short 1 hour classes I took to see if I would like the process of pottery. I have to say that without the people here mentoring and helping answer simple questions I wouldn't be in pottery today. Just reading all the things other people say and do, you can learn infinite amounts of knowledge about all sorts of things. And best of all everything is archived and tons of questions have already been answered.

 

Of course this isn't as easy as just finding someone and helping hands on. That is better and would be ideal, but I am just saying until you find that situation we all love to help each other out. Join in on the conversations and ask questions. 

 

Also I think the potters council has a mentor program. Maybe look into that as well. 

 

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/potters-council/member-services/mentoring-program/

 

Joseph F

 

Thanks! - I definitely have been using the forum when i felt it was appropriate - and will continue to do so. I signed up for the potter's council mentorying and have not had any responses. I completely with everything you said. I'm hoping to get a bit of directed feedback and interaction through mentorship in addition to everything I can learn from the forums. 

 

 

There are also some really good classes available online. Mea Rhee of Good Elephant Pottery just launched some videos. Antoinette Badenhorst has multiple classes on porcelain and I think they have interactive questions, and critique of work and such. I am not 100% certain but you should maybe check those sources out.

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Do you have your own equipment or access to equipment.  What resources do you have with which to work?

 

Jed

 

Hey Jed, I have a wheel, clay, tools, a Skutt 1027 that I'm currently rebuilding. 

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I would take a class at a local community college or art center and see if any of the instructors resonate with you/have the knowledge you seek. See if they tutor on the side or would be willing to barter your time assisting them for their time teaching. I would look for anyone experienced in the field close to you and tell them what you are looking for. Even if they are not the person to teach you they might put you in touch with someone who will. I'm a big believer in seek and you will find, something like that. If you go out there and talk to potters or art teachers in your area, you will find what you are looking for.

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I use to be on the Potters Council roster for mentors and have worked with a few mentees.. Mark C. also has been a mentor through the Potters Council. There has been some personnel shuffling this year at the main headquarters so that could be why you haven't heard back. I think you need to be a member as well. 

Here is the teaching Art website. There are several teachers who might fit the bill you are looking for. http://teachinart.com/index.html

Nan Rothwell is the newest and has moved her career one studio from Floyd, Va. to Charlottesville. She is potting and teaching there.. She did mostly salt firing in Va. Antoinette teaches porcelain so that may not be a good match. David Vorhees makes functional wood-fired pieces. Very different from Antionettes and Nan's work Connie Christensen is another teacher. She make lovely functional work more delicate than the other two. 

I mentored a women from Wyoming who wanted help with oxidation glazes for her sculptured surfaces. We had a successful mentorship. So you have to be specific in what you want to do with your mentor when you write your proposal. Mark C. is a professional potter with decades of hard knocks experience. He is very giving on the forum and you will get to know him. As Joseph says, there are many people here who give freely of their expertise. Mea has a great blog of her business practices and record keeping. She has built a display following Mark's design which she shared with us. It really made a great presentation for her pieces. So just keep looking and asking and showing what you are having problems with. Local Art centers that offer classes are usually reasonably priced. That may be useful too.

Marcia

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I use to be on the Potters Council roster for mentors and have worked with a few mentees.. Mark C. also has been a mentor through the Potters Council. There has been some personnel shuffling this year at the main headquarters so that could be why you haven't heard back. I think you need to be a member as well. 

Here is the teaching Art website. There are several teachers who might fit the bill you are looking for. http://teachinart.com/index.html

Nan Rothwell is the newest and has moved her career one studio from Floyd, Va. to Asheville. She is potting and teaching there.. She did mostly salt firing in Va. Antoinette teaches porcelain so that may not be a good match. David Vorhees makes functional wood-fired pieces. Very different from Antionettes and Nan's work Connie Christensen is another teacher. She make lovely functional work more delicate than the other two. 

I mentored a women from Wyoming who wanted help with oxidation glazes for her sculptured surfaces. We had a successful mentorship. So you have to be specific in what you want to do with your mentor when you write your proposal. Mark C. is a professional potter with decades of hard knocks experience. He is very giving on the forum and you will get to know him. As Joseph says, there are many people here who give freely of their expertise. Mea has a great blog of her business practices and record keeping. She has built a display following Mark's design which she shared with us. It really made a great presentation for her pieces. So just keep looking and asking and showing what you are having problems with. Local Art centers that offer classes are usually reasonably priced. That may be useful too.

Marcia

Marcia, thank you for the thorough response. You are evidence of the value Joseph and you talk about in the forums. I will look into the art teachers website.

 

@chris No, I have not. I will look into that thanks! 

 

@Triolaz - yes! that is the path I am taking right now. I am making as many connections and taking every course I can. You're speaking my language regarding connections. Thanks!

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@Oldlady, I use central Florida so broadly only to represent my willingness to travel. I live in a small city called Haines City. It's about 45 min south of Orlando near Winterhaven. Thanks!

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What about attending art shows finding local potters and asking if they teach.

PSC, I'm planning to attend the tour de clay in December. I will be looking up some others as well. Thanks!

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well, you are right, haines city is almost in the center of the state.  not too far from tampa if you want to visit.  the tour de clay is very hectic. people and cars parked everywhere.   many people and most of them are interested in everything.  probably not a good time to introduce the subject.  

 

however, if you will look up the previous tours and see what each potter's work is like, you may find someone whose work is something you would like to explore.  each of the potters on the tour is a generous person and if you contact them in advance and offer your help during the tour, you might strike up a friendship or mentorship that will benefit you both.  good luck.

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I'd like to make a correction to information on Nan Rothwell, who did not move to Asheville, but rather is teaching and working in Charlottesville, VA.  I gave her a heads up about the misinformation and she said she has been having trouble with this site.  It won't let her sign in.

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That was my mistake. I remember her checking out Asheville and I thought she gave a workshop there a few years ago.. My apologies. Nan is a friend from the Potters Council Board. I'll apologize to her. I edited my post.

Thanks for correcting that, Flowerdry.

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G I hope you don't mind me asking related questions instead of starting a new thread.

 

1. When is the right time to look for a mentor? Or is that a personal preference? should it be in the beginning or after you have some control over clay. By mentor I don't imply sole teacher, but someone else other than your main teacher

 

2. Should you be in regular touch with your mentor or over period of time? Or is that personal preference or circumstances related question? For instance I take classes from my mentor only in fall and then practice at school the rest of the time.

 

Of course by mentor I mean someone who not only shares the little tricks of better technique but also guidance towards creating your own pot and who makes you think about principals of design.

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I think it depends on your needs or what you want to get from a mentor. 

If you want advice on business : people like Mea, Chris Campbell, or Mark C would be great choices.

If you want technical advice on electric kilns Neil is right there. 

Clay body exoticism.... there is Glaze Nerd.  For less specific things maybe people more local could help with specific throwing needs, or glazing, of kiln firing. Teaching help if you're doing classes, there are several here, Pres comes to mind. Old Lady would be a great resource for production of carved ware and glazing such pieces. There are many here with strong attributes who could help mentor you through those things you feel you need help with.

 

Marcia

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