Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back in the studio

I started a new semester in a new ceramics studio, so you know what that means! ...Boring pictures of in-progress clay pieces!!! YAAAAAY!

Because I have extremely limited shelf space in this studio, I'm not really keeping anything I make until I'm satisfied with it. So no more misshapen bowls and stuff in the apartment, just the things I want to keep. The upside of this is that I can cut everything in half to see my technique and where I need improvement.

Today I made the tallest thing I've ever made (it's about 7 inches tall right now):

This teacher is explaining how to use our thumbs, which is nice because until now my thumbs kind of stayed out of the way. It's helping me make things taller, although after I made this I wasn't really successful for the rest of the day. SO whatever. I had a good run (haha).

Then I started my workstudy portion of the afternoon. I work from 3-6pm in exchange for class and studio time. First, I mopped the floors and wiped down the counters. Then I did the crossword.

Then at 4:30 the children's class started. It was chaos but SO MUCH FUN. The kids were ages 7-12, so I positioned myself between two 7 year olds at the wheel and basically gave them lots of attention in order to make sure they didn't fly out the window or something. One of the kids was so hilarious, I would say "I think you need more water," and he'd say "I agree!" or "I was just thinking that!" Ah yes. I'm sure you were.

It's also pretty amazing working with "normal" kids, aka, kids who have not suffered extreme abuse or trauma (this is my most recent experience working with kids). It feels so much different. I say to them, clean your tools, take your bucket to the sink, and come back to wipe down your station. And they do it! Okay, water gets everywhere, whatever, it's pretty much done how I asked them to do it.

And the behavior is enough under control that we can do funny things, like when we were looking at our hands and the girl said ,"it looks like I'm wearing mud gloves!" and I said, "I know, me too, look at my hands." She said, "no you have some spots without clay." "Well, I think you need to help me with that, then!" And then she wiped clay all over my hands so I had mud gloves, too.

That isn't to say I don't like working with kids who have a more difficult history, but it is very different. Working with these kids today makes me appreciate that work more, somehow.

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