To close off my teaching season, I decided to give myself a creative gift, and become a student for a weekend. It was such a refreshing and informative time. Even outside of learning new skills under the extremely talented ceramicist, Julie MacKinnon.
The workshop was held on the my first weekend back after teaching at the Okanagan School of the Arts, and many weeks of both online teaching and on location workshops around the province. On the first morning of the workshop I was acutely aware of how I was thinking about that day, in contrast to the first day of a workshop when teaching.
I became aware that there are two definite approaches to workshops. Really the difference between master/process based classes and interest classes. It benefits everyone to clearly differentiate between these when people sign up for a workshop. Ceramics will (probably…almost certainly) never be my main material to work with, so my mindset in attending the class was entirely interest based. A little side trip into a new world…I know many people that come to my classes work in felt, and fully expect to take every nuance of what we do home, to integrate into their own work. This sets a very different tone for both student and teacher. Both are good and wonderful…but quite different in expectations and delivery.
I loved having the opportunity to work on the other side of the table, to work with a material that felt familiar and yet very foreign, to talk with all the interesting and creative participants, and learn from such an exceptional teacher…..so much so I’m going back for more in June…The last chance I’ll have to play outside my medium before intensive studio time kicks in for the summer. I can’t wait, and my sketchbook is filling up with projects that combine felt and clay.
If Julie and I could work out the logistics around the firing and glazing of the ceramics, we could create a great collaborative workshop!
You can see more of Julie’s work here:
Julie MacKinnon Ceramics