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RE: Didaction


From: Jane Manner (jmanner_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue May 21 2002 - 06:22:31 PDT

... over the summer i read every ceramics-related book i could get my
hands on - from the chemical composition of clays, physical changes that
take place during firing, building your own kiln - to the history of
porcelain and development of delftware and precolumbian vessels and
everthing else my large city library had to offer. after immersing myself
in all i could find about ceramics - the theory: science, history,
industry, contemporary movements... i fell in love with ceramics and
excitedly developed a curriculum that incorporated sharing the theory i had
learned together with studio work...

This is not the kind of "theory" we have been batting back and forth. This
is the "technique" that I have been saying the students need to learn before
and as they begin to create. Knowing what happens with the clay, the kiln,
and the glazes is the "how" I've been saying students want. What has been
done before is the "what" they want to know. Seeing quality work leads to
"creativity" and quality work. Knowing what has happend historically with
an art medium and understanding how contemporary artists are producing with
that same medium helps students develop their own creativity.

You wanted direction. You wanted knowlege. You wanted an aesthetic base
from which to work. Isn't it a shame that when you were taking that course
your teacher didn't see those things as his responsibility. Everything
wasn't supposed to be up to you. You had a teacher, for Pete's sake, and he
should have taught you what you needed to know to be creative with that