Teaching Philosophy

1220 E North St
Tampa FL 33604
(517) 404-8368

I believe that the best way to teach something is to create an encouraging environment and allow room for discovery.  Beginning with basic concepts and approaches without discussing all potential mistakes is important to me.  Mistakes or failures allow one to realize, in their own way, what could have been done differently.  Rather than offering suggestions I tend to offer questions, hoping that students will consider alternative perspectives and solutions. If a student rushes through an assignment, I will ask others in the class to offer ideas and possible improvements for that student’s work, as a form of mini-critique.   

With studio classes, I believe a strong foundation in handling materials is essential to utilizing the endless potential of artistic media.  With beginning ceramics, my goal is to provide opportunities for students to become proficient with clay. My goal is to develop basic skills, introducing students to the origins and properties of clay and glaze materials. I would at this level instruct students on traditional techniques of coil building, slab building and wheel throwing. I would help students investigate clay in its different forms including terra cotta, stoneware and porcelain. My students both at the beginning and intermediate levels would be expected to examine ceramic construction and firing processes. Exposure to a variety of techniques including wood firing, raku and salt-firing would provide students with a foundation to build on as they move towards more advanced and independent work.

With advanced classes my focus would be on encouraging students to consider their intentions as artists as they begin to develop a body of work that is unified in direction, innovative and personal in its expression. I would expect that each student develop a vocabulary of concepts relevant to their work. Visiting artists, field trips and artists’ studio tours would provide further opportunities. My classes at this level would become a forum for critiques and discussions of and research on contemporary art. Through periodic media presentations on the ceramic traditions of Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas students could begin to see the connection between the most ancient of art forms with the cutting edge art of today.