Wednesday, August 25, 2010

School Research Paper

     Please pardon the mass distribution by email, but I have a question for all of the artists that I follow on my blog list – and any others who may read this through other bloggers.
     As you know from my blog, I have started the new ceramics program at a local high school.  One of the projects that I have assigned the students is a ceramic artist research paper.  It is a chance for them to see the works of many different potters, with many different styles and types of clay works – from different parts of the world.  They have to download 2 pictures of the artists’ work, and email the artist to ask several questions about their work, what influenced their style, the medium they work in, the glazes they used on a particular piece, etc.  They only need to write 250 words, but I’m hoping they will end up with much more.  Their final project is to create a piece in the same style and construction technique as the artist they choose for their report (in their own personal interpretation of course).
     May I have your permission to steer them to your blog and website to obtain information, and to contact you by email?  I would appreciate it immensely, and you would be able to influence this new generation of students in their search for new outlets in the world of art. 
     Thanks in advance for reading this post, and for your quick replies. 
Happy Mudding!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And it's on....

School has started, and with a new ceramics program!  Yea!  I get to teach what I love doing!  Luckily, the first two weeks of class are based on line, shape, and rhythm design drawings.  It looks like it may take that long for the new school computer program to sort out the students' schedules!  They have OVERLOADED my classes to the point of being ridiculous.  I may have to just pull ten names out of a hat  for each class and tell the office "these need to be shifted to another class".  Not that it would make much difference at the moment - I may not have a "studio" ceramics class anyway.
     Unfortunately, the budget doesn't arrive till Oct., and they have not bought any clay, glazes, or tools.  So I am delivering solicitation letters to local businesses with order forms attached for a couple boxes of clay, or a dozen sets of wooden tools, or a gallon of glaze.   Let's hope they are willing to invest in the "Arts in Education" program!

A teacher I met last year at another school, is now teaching at my school, and his wife is too!  He teaches science, and she teaches Japanese.  They have lived in Japan for many years, and now have moved here.
He has been bugging me to see some of my work since last year.  So yesterday I brought in this little set for him to see:

They both fell in love with it as soon as I unpacked it... and he didn't even take a breath before pulling out the checkbook!  Love it when things sell that easy... wish they all did ;)

Well, time to get back to fundraising!
Happy Mudding all!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Kiln design.... Ideas??

I have been thinking of design ideas for my drum kiln.  I have these two 55 gal drums that a welder friend of mine was going to cut doors in, and ended up welding them together...end-to-end!  So I am making lemonade (metaphorically speaking).  I thought that I should put two top loading doors (one on each drum), and attach a brick firebox to the bottom of the front with a thick steel pipe.  The inside of the drums will be lined with 3-4 inches of ceramic blanket.  Here's a quick drawing to show you what I'm thinking. Please let me know if you think this is feasible.  I figure that this way, I could actually pick up the metal drum part of the kiln and store it inside - out of the rain, while leaving the brick firebox in place outside (wrapped in plastic when not in use).  It would also allow me to use it for wood with the firebox, or gas without the box.  As I said, any suggestions or observations would be very helpful.
 Note: sizes on the drawing are not to scale...some ideas of proper scale would be greatly appreciated!