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FACULTY SHOW 2009: Recent Work by SRJC Faculty
November 5 - December 12, 2009
I am dedicated to the creation and the preservation of quality utilitarian ceramics. Making a well-designed and well-crafted pot is the same as making sculpture. Many of the same issues are at play such as form, line, balance, weight, positive/ negative space, and surface treatment. Many fine artists, collectors, gallery owners, and educators fail to see this in studio pottery. Unfortunately, many potters don’t see this as well. Much studio pottery made on the West Coast is about surface treatment instead of strong form. A good pot always has to have form first, function next, and then surface treatment. They all need to work harmoniously and that is my challenge as a potter. I prefer minimal surface decoration, which might include stamping, faceting, or simply making appropriate marks on the pot while it is on the wheel. I might wipe the glaze off of a small stamped area to accent that mark. I also add functional or decorative handles to add interest and balance to the piece. I sometimes fire in a traditionally designed high-fire wood-burning kiln. The wood ash at high temperatures can melt and create subtle variations of earth colors such as grey, ochre, and shades of brown. Glazed ware can be greatly enhanced when the natural wood ash from the fire is present. The two pieces in this show are both wood fired.
Freedom of self-expression is absolutely necessary for a student to realize his or her capabilities as an artist. Guided work projects are necessary but often students should be given broad interpretive power within an assignment. I also believe that a teacher has the responsibility to encourage a student who may need to work outside the boundaries of an assignment. The talented and exceptional students may be stifled by the assignments of a teacher. I sometimes need to rearrange my perspective to allow a student to learn the material that I am presenting, but in a way that is relevant to that particular student. My students teach me a great deal about the power and the lust for creativity and I need to honor them in the classroom, even if it means encouraging their creative rebellion.
Santa Rosa Junior College is officially accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges