In the morning, I spoke with the 17-year old students about the previous evening’s life drawing class.
One of the students asked me about glazing a human figure they had made, which had some (tenmoku) glaze on it, but which they had attempted to wipe off without much success. Since they had previously expressed an interest in discussing socio-political issues, I suggested linking their work to the latest PRO-DOMESTIC VIOLENCE law only just recently passed in Russia.
Students hard at work!
Later, I glazed a pair of bisqued bowls which I had made (when I had demonstrated throwing on the wheel to some students) while on a previous trip to the school about half a year ago. I used a mix featuring a small proportion of the “grey-green stony matt” (from Bath Potters’ Supplies – “BP34”) stoneware glaze and a larger quantity of “satin crackle” (by Spectrum Glazes – “1201”). Both glazes can be fired to cone 9. I applied 2-3 coats.
The art department staff room:
In the afternoon, I spoke with students about their work, and later helped Isabelle (a part-time art department staff member) with their throwing technique. We had a really interesting conversation about schoolchildren on the autism spectrum, and how their behaviour (directly related to their being autistic) can cause them to be misdiagnosed and/or unjustly punished.
We worked for 90 minutes:
- on how to wedge clay, with both both ram’s head and spiral wedging techniques
- we focused on centering and its importance, including which parts of the hands to use
- we threw cylindrical forms, explaining how the cylinder is the basis for all forms when working on the wheel.
It was a really enjoyable experience for me; Isabelle was very complimentary about my teaching style, and thanked me as a peer rather than as a junior, which made me feel very happy and warm inside.
So far, teaching at King’s Canterbury has been intensely rewarding.