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asking questions (was re: listening to teachers)

updated fri 17 may 02


Janet Kaiser on fri 17 may 02

Jeff... Sorry, no newsletter. I ramble on enough without giving me
editorial powers too!! :-)

As it happens, the situation is/was a lot more complicated than any of
us could have judged from the original post (see below). Now I have
proved there are really nasty people as well as countless dear ones in
Wales, I want to add something... When asking a question via Clayart,
it is always best to give the full details of the situation. We do not
need a life-history, but some background is helpful beyond bare facts,
especially if the replies are going to be pertinent and truly helpful.
This has been a case in point.

My original reply, which dealt as much with the "politics" of the
learning situation, as what to do with the teapot (presumed functional
by most of us) opened a can of worms. My other soap-box subject (poor
teaching and the lack of proper skill-training in many colleges and
art schools) has reared its ugly head in this situation too. Seems to
me a sad day, when a university student is not getting professional
support at school and has to rely on this virtual community for

Janet Kaiser
The Chapel of Art / Capel Celfyddyd
Home of The International Potters' Path
8 Marine Crescent : Criccieth : GB-Wales
Hi Janet,
thanks for the time to respond to my email advice.

I've watched my university ceramic class go down from 25+ students to
6. My
teacher has either two responses to students she likes or students she
somehow doesn't..."I don't know, toss it" "lets figure this out"
she would spend some time helping a student. Her experience? One year
production and proud of "I can turn out a pot in 15 seconds".

I know how to get along with people but sometimes there are those
ones where whatever you do will not win them over. This is the case.
I throw out everything I don't have an answer to because I am
lumped into the group of "throw it out, I don't know?"...or should I
try to
learn something and ask clayart on the side since I have no other
sources to
advance in my studies?

and by the way, my instructor did not even look at the pot (it was at
when she told me to throw it out.

I used to visit the UK twice a year and remember Wales being one of my
favorite places to addition to the people being the nicest.

thanks again for your reply

Hi Janet,
actually these teapots are not functional pieces, they are part of a
sculptural series..each taking at least 20 hours to make..I think this
took longer. They are in the shape of animals, each with detail
This one was of an elephant. I went to the zoo first, took closeup
photos of
the elephant's skin, blew the photo up, and went and carved the detail
the sculpture...matching the folds and wrinkles of the photo in
detail...thus taking the longest time.