during the past several years i have been humbled by the number of invitations to present my processes. workshops are important to me. they allow me to keep involved with the energy of academia, while giving me the distinct pleasure of talking arrogantly about myself. ad nauseam. really, workshops are a two-way street; i demonstrate and discuss every aspect of my work, but i also benefit from the open dialog that happens. no secrets. if i don't know the answer, i'll make one up. it's important that the atmosphere is loose. i want questions about everything from anyone, but i insist that the conversation isn't all about me. i love hearing from the locals. i press for the juicy gossip.
A Typical Visitimportantly, i don't create a piece start-to-finish. i begin a piece, then work on various stages that i've brought with me. i'm open to anything, but a typical demonstration goes something like this:
first morning -- all the parts for a new piece are thrown on the wheel. i talk about what i'm looking for in the form. the audience marvels. i strut like a peacock.
afternoon -- i unwrap a work-in-progress (Julia Childs style) and dig in to it, talking about formal compositional issues. don't worry, i tell jokes too.
second morning -- the thrown parts from day 1 are assembled (oooh...) and initial sketching of layers begins (aaah...). this is also the time for deep creases, orifices, and globules. i know, right?
afternoon -- either student critiques OR if anyone's still awake, i talk about post-firing treatments, including polishing the fired porcelain, hair removal/attachment, and stainless steel additions.
my slide talk is 40 minutes long. aside from one bonehead in milwaukee, no one has ever fallen asleep. of course, i always look forward to talking with students about their work. as the vistor, i get to play the role of
asshole best friend. it works out well.
i can improvise. some visits are demo-heavy, some just a slide talk and discussion.
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