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book was mfa/other side

updated thu 14 dec 00


Marcia Selsor on wed 13 dec 00

Dear Emily,
Try for out of print books. They found one for me that
Amazon couldn't.
Enjoy yourself at school. Sounds like a great set up.

Emily Reynolds wrote:
> Dear Mel,
> This is my virgin trip on the discussion list. But I enjoyed your perceptions
> of a late return to school. I am sort of a Rip Van Winkle potter, having returned
> to clay and to school at 62, trying to figure out what I missed since 1978. I
> think I may have forgotten more than I ever knew, but the important thing is
> rediscovering the joy that I had lost.
> I had run my own studio and classes with 40 - 50 students a semester, had
> apprentices, co-owned a ceramic supply co., etc. , while raising 2 kids.
> Overloading my circuits caused big time burnout and I thought I would never come
> back.
> Now, I am having a ball. Much of what you say is true of the the university
> environment, and students. There are pros and cons. I wanted the experience of
> crits, too because it wasn't done back when I was in art school. I was also
> accused of causing a distortion in the grade curve when I started in a beginner
> ceramic class. I pointed out that I was auditing. I am "advanced" now. I love
> working hard at it, too. Feel fully alive again.
> The terrific thing is that in our state schools it's free tuition when you are
> over 60! One of the few perks of getting on in years. The equipment, studios open
> mostly 24-7. Comraderie, materials & assistance when I need it, stimulus,
> structure to get moving again. They will probably have to cart me out of there
> someday.
> So while I am here, I have two questions: Can anyone out there tell me what
> "T-Material" is? It is frequently listed as though it is a clay body, perhaps akin
> to porcelain in books I've been reading on English potters, and last month it was
> also mentioned in Ceramics Monthly without further explanation. I am curious and
> have not seen it listed in an index.
> The other question: Does anyone have an address for Norwegian potter, Arne
> Ase? Or know of an available copy of his out-of-print book "Watercolors on
> Porcelain?"
> I find getting 100's of emails at a time a little wearing, but am enjoying the
> exploration for now. Thanks for providing an avenue to dialogue. I feel like I am
> rejoining the right tribe. Emily Reynolds
> mel jacobson wrote:
> > one of the most dreadful realities for me, when
> > i went back to school at 55, was the observation of almost universal
> > lack of dedication to intense study.
> >
> > can you believe this:
> >
> > i was accused of being a `CURVE RAISER`.
> > i did so much work that it made them look bad.
> > shit, a curve raiser in grad see, they sorta knew
> > i was not going to accept the mfa....this was all for me.
> > it was beyond their scope of understanding.
> > i was very interested in the `new language of art`...the
> > critique was why i was there. i can do art in a barn, all alone.
> > i needed them...but, got very little. my teachers were brilliant.
> > (but, not very tough.)
> >
> > most of the students wanted to talk about their art.
> > talk, talk, talk. write a few paragraphs.
> >
> > their metaphors.
> > their images.
> > their personal grief.
> > their menstrual cycles
> > gender issues.
> > the death of redwoods.
> >
> > all predicated on not doing art. not painting.
> > not making pots. but, talking, for hours.
> >
> > students complained about the `work load`.
> >
> > `why do we have to read about milton avery, he was so dumb?`
> > damn, if you do not understand milton avery, don't pick up
> > a brush for the rest of your life.
> >
> > going to grad school should be the greatest gift that a person
> > can ever get. it should be total immersion. total.
> > if one is not dedicated to that...get the hell out of the way.
> > i would have failed half of them...kicked their asses into the
> > real world...but, they all graduated. and you wonder why the
> > mfa shows are often so bad.
> >
> > art is about personal dedication. it is work. talented folks are a
> > dime a dozen. workers are rare as diamonds. a worker with talent
> > is, and becomes genius.
> > mel
> >
> > (website)
> >
> > ______________________________________________________________________________
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> ______________________________________________________________________________
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Marcia Selsor