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no art art centers

updated thu 27 jun 02


Julie Milazzo on wed 26 jun 02

While I wholeheartedly disagree with the concept
of art centers keeping the work of the teachers, I
think that in some instances it may be necessary. When
I was working in California for a community center, I
taught classes to people from age two to adult. Wheel
throwing from age eight and up. I had a hard time
surviving there, as my rent bill essentially negated
my paycheck.
I brought up the topic of financial woes to my
boss, who basically said to use my teaching time as
throwing time, making as many pots as I possibly
could. This way, I would get paid twice for the same
period of time. Once for teaching, and once for the
pots I could sell (I paid for my clay, just like
everybody else). I didn't do it; I quit and moved to
more affordable South Carolina instead.
I had a real problem with this. It seemed like a
real gyp to the students, and my teaching method has
always been demos while answering questions, then
observation. I always watch faces as well as hands,
and step in when necessary. How do you do this when
you're making your own stuff? I watched my boss spend
two and a half hours throwing "rocks", because he
wanted his backyard decorated with them. This was
fine, but not during class time. One or two for a demo
is fine, and he should have been able to keep them,
but there will always be those who want to take
advantage. Please note, that I am not lumping anyone
on this list into the group above.
I wonder if it is this type of inappropriate
behavior that has gotten art centers to adopt their
current policies. I doubt it. It seems more a result
of the almighty dollar beckoning at their door. Still,
it seems unfair to the honest potter/teacher to punish
them for a job well done, while those who are out to
take advantage are going to figure out ways to take
them home, anyway.
In the words of Utah Phillips, "Awww, Judge, your
rules are useless; the good people don't need 'em, and
the bad people aren't gonna listen to 'em anyway..."

Jules, in humid, mosquito-infested South Carolina,
where it finally decided to rain a week ago, and
hasn't stopped since. Anyone know how rain down the
chimney of a downdraft will affect the firing? I'm
sick of waiting, and, really, could my firings
actually get any worse?

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