Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Barbara Dunshee's Pottery Classes

These images are a small sampling of student work that I unloaded just yesterday. Will share more photos later.

I teach in my Seattle studio and the world of pottery students is fascinating. I recall vividly being one myself and that informs and influences the way I teach. I attribute my DE-burnout to my students. I was feeling the loneliness and insulation of being alone in my studio, after only a few years of supporting myself through clay work. I started to take on students for company, conversation and energy. After a few months of teaching it struck me that I was no longer experiencing that dreaded burnout. It went away without me noticing. I often discover new techniques and inspirations for my own work as I search to add interest for students. They keep the flow going.

My studio and kiln are small, there's no running water, just a few of many parameters that we deal with here. The studio evolves everyday, there always seems to be a better way to do something, to store something, improve the ergonomics. I fall asleep and wake up thinking of all things clay. My life and my work are a very homogeneous mix.

My students just went through with me a complete change of clay and glazes, going from cone 10 reduction glazes and clays to cone 6 oxidation glazes and clay. They were patient, funny and wonderfully experimental. They make the glazes come alive.

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