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higher education - why?

updated tue 24 dec 02


william schran on mon 23 dec 02

Several folks have chimed in with theirs thoughts on the value of
higher education in the ceramic arts. Perhaps the biggest question
the student needs to ask the perspective school is: "Will this time
spent in school serve me and help me reach my goal?"
For me, I had a very undefined goal, other than getting away from
home and taking courses in art. I started at a junior college that
helped me to fall in love with learning. My undergraduate study, at a
small state college helped me to find that I had fallen in love with
ceramics. Another benefit to my life long learning skills was
learning to build and maintain a ceramics studio. The pottery studio
had just moved to new facilities and we were transporting pots to the
teachers home for firing in his gas-fired kiln. All work at this
level was high-fire reduction. I had the opportunity to participate
in building 2 kilns and working as student hire for the art
department, where I picked up various skills in other media.
My graduate study was again in a small ceramics program, big
university, where I worked part-time as a teacher aid in the ceramics
studio, part-time in the university art gallery and part-time as
teacher aid in the printmaking studio. Here again the ceramic program
was small and I participated in the building, maintenance and growth
of it.
I was very fortunate to have stumbled upon my undergraduate and
graduate programs - at the right place at the right time. I learned
to maintain and repair most all studio equipment. I learned the
basics of kiln building. I learned that it's hard to learn in
isolation, one needs feedback during critical skill building phases.
I have learned that I learn more from my students that I ever learned
from my professors.
Bill, Fredericksburg, Va, where the house is finally unpacked and the
studio calls for the same.