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Re: artist/teacher

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From: linda (lwoods_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Feb 12 2002 - 15:21:31 PST


Hi,
   I have TOTALLY enjoyed taking classes in the summer. I have spent
wonderful and intense weeks of creativity at Arrowmont School of Crafts in
Gatlinburg, Penland School of Crafts in Burnsville, NC (north of
Asheville), and have visited and WANT TO GO to Haystack Mountain School of
Crafts on Deer Island, Maine. There were several whirling dervish years
of my life where I did a LOT of ceramics during the school year and
exhibited in a gallery for 8 years. I also made ceramic jewelry like mad
and sold it. ONe year I grossed $10,000 bucks. I thought for a while
about dropping the teaching and just being an artist, but just about that
time, I also started to not like the business end of it, and noticed that
I was creating more for sales and less for me. I was lucky, I had a
wonderful gallery that gave me 70% of the split. The owner was amazing to
her artists. In the real world, that doesn't exist anymore anywhere
anytime. I have a built in marketplace at school. I decided that I
really did LIKE insurance and paid vacations and summers off. I also
decided that I liked being around kids and kids art more than I liked the
business of art that would take up so much of the time if I went pro. I
used to teach in the summers...workshopsin June. Not anymore. Now I use
the summer to create as much as I can, and I sell it throughout the year
at school. We have a Christmas sale here at school. Any person who is
creative can sell their stuff. No split with anyone...pure profit. I
make a killing at that one sale. If I start to accumulate more some year,
I'll find a way to sell it somewhere. But, really, back to Penland,
Arrowmont and Haystack....there are others. They are AMAZING places to
spend a few weeks. Teachers from all over the country who are excellent
crafts people teach them. It's like heaven. You eat great food and stay
in a pretty place, and they don't cost much. Arrowmont has scholarships
and I got one that paid for travel and room and board and tuition. I felt
like Queen for a Day. If you need funds, Penland has work study grants
that you can take advantage of...you work three hours a day in exchange
for tuition, or a big chunk of it, anyway. I tried taking a class during
the school year and it stressed me out too much. So, I have set up a
studio in the corner of the classroom and I do what I can when I can
during the year. I don't have to pay rent anywhere, and kids get to see
some of what I do. I decided this year to move my jewelry studio in, and
it's one little corner of the room that they know is MY WORKSPACE, so they
are free to watch but not touch anything. And of course, I keep a great
deal of it locked up. But it's good for them to see that I do something
besides look at people making art...even if I know it's not quite as much
as I wish it was...Anyway, it's an age old battle. It can be pretty
stressful to try to do too much.
Linda

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