My engagement as an artist is central to my ability to inspire students in the classroom.
I create an atmosphere of energy and commitment, which students feel and emulate. A broad exposure to processes, materials and fundamentals gives them the physical language to communicate their ideas. Ultimately, I work to help each student develop an artistic point of view through immersion in the making process, with an awareness of history, culture and contemporary thought.
An effective classroom is a community characterized by physical energy, curiosity and vigorous dialogue.
I cultivate this community by establishing an environment of trust allowing students to take risks, and by emphasizing process over product. Curriculum in my classroom is a reflection of my own studio investigation. I lead by example and expect a high level of commitment from my students.
I teach students to draw and write in order to better understand and develop their ideas. I involve students in the operation of the studio, imparting to them an understanding of tools, kilns, ceramic materials and health & safety. The opportunity is set for the students to challenge their inhibitions and risk failure, while exhilarating in hands-on work. These lessons will nourish the confidence of majors and non-majors alike.
I focus on the importance of making, observing, questioning and making again as a rhythm critical to the creative process.
The ability to review and process feedback, communicate the ideas in one’s work and, finally, to self-critique are essential to an artist. I build these skills through group critiques and one-on-one observationand discussions. My own teaching experience convinces me that this kind of encouragement, along with a sense of timing and honesty, is what students require.