I enjoy teaching for a lot of reasons. Its fun. It reminds me of the best part of my past life in human resources – developing others. Its challenging. I could go on, but I will share the one reason that constantly surprises me – I grow from it too.
It shouldn’t surprise me. After all, I’ve been teaching others in various capacities for years, certainly more than a decade, yet it still does every time a personal “AHA moment” hits me.
The most memorable from my last class session was when I shared the work of Didem Mert. Didem is a emerging artist in the ceramics world and its not surprising once you’ve seen her work. She uses a pinching method for her creations. They retain this really lovely hand built feel and her color block inspired glazing is stunning. You can see for yourself on her website here. I’m constantly on the hunt for new ways to teach the same concepts, in this instance, pinch pots. Didem’s work seemed perfect.
First, I had to figure out a reasonable way she could have created her great pinched mugs. Contrary to what my students probably think, I have no real idea how must of our inspiration artists create their work unless I’ve come across a tutorial they’ve published.
Personally, for me, that’s the best part – trying to figure out how to re-create a piece. Breaking it down into smaller, manageable components that I can translate into the construction method I’m teaching that day is fun and challenging for me. As is often the case, its in this stage that my “aha moments” tend to hit.
This time was no different. As I created several examples and variations for my students, I was reminded of how stuck I can get in the same construction methods, same forms when creating my own work.
Who’s to say that I shouldn’t be texturing pinched walls of clay instead of the rolled out slabs I usually use.
Who’s to say that I shouldn’t be creating a form first, texture second.
All good questions. I guess I’m to say. That’s the trouble with being in charge – you have to answer your own questions. I think, in this case, I’ll have to try it and see!
Check out my collection of limited edition pinch pot mugs inspired by Didem Mert. All of these fun mugs were also used for glazing demos and represent a variety of crazy combos! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!