from both sides now

published on

I had good intentions of documenting my journey as VET student and almost a term in to my Cert 3 in Ceramics this is my first posting. I guess my hesitancy lies primarily in sensitivities around professionalism and difficulty in separating my lives as consultant and student (as opposed to learner). But it's an interesting journey and worth capturing albeit in a less than totally uninhibited way.

Ceramics is just one of many artistic loves of mine. I cant remember doing much at school but was drawn to it as a child by my mother who studied at Armidale TAFE in the 1970s and who experimented at home on a kick wheel built for her by my father in our little shed. At Uni I studied a sub-major in Art for my Early Childhood education degree and enjoyed a series of one semester explorations into drawing, sculpture, ceramics etc at the Canberra School of Art. After having kids I went back to a non-accredited 'hobby' course at Lismore TAFE a day a week, when the importance of such things was still recognised. So I was not new to ceramics but had largely only explored hand building techniques and was keen to tackle my lack of technique (and interest) in wheel throwing. Based on this gap in my knowledge I sussed out what was on offer and figured Cert 3 would fill the gaps.

So how am I finding it...

The course isn't as flexible/holistic as I (and others) would have liked; Monday is wheel work and Tuesday hand building. I had hoped to be able to do a bit of both and only attend one day. A woman in the group who had attempted Cert 4 last year found that she could only do glaze theory on the day she was free which is not much use if you don't have pots to put it on. So I'm trying to fit two days in.

While my technical skills are probably only Cert 3 level my interest in theory is beyond that. I'll need to find time to read to stretch my knowledge around clay, glazes, kilns and techniques beyond the basics.

There is no means to connect with other students, to access recordings of techniques/demos, to share resources/ news/events etc so I set up a Facebook group which is slowly growing. Such a visual medium cries out for use of multimedia and as a visual learner I find it very useful to be able to return to videos of procedures to refresh and practice. It must drive teachers mad to have to repeat things over and over.