In ceramics there are many many workshops and lecture opportunities. A workshop experience can help jump start new work, assist you with technical problems, help you find a community or simply work in different studio to invigorate you. It can be a great educational experience outside of school. Many places have generous scholarships for which to apply. Workshops can vary from one day to six weeks. Here are a few things to keep in mind when taking a workshop:
- Do some research about the person you are going to study with and read the workshop description carefully. They may not be teaching their own techniques.
- Learning new things involves a lot of trial and error, and loss of work. Do not expect to make and keep a lot of artwork.
- Work with the facilities and equipment that is already at the art center – the goal is to LEARN rather than duplicate your own facilities.
- During workshops there is a lot of very condensed learning, often it is a very intense experience.
- With both the workshop, and the hosting art center, there is an educational experience of both taking and giving. So help out if you can!
- Often time away from our day to day life brings great reflection and life decisions, remember that you will be returning home when the workshop is over.
- Have a great time!
There is a lot of discussion about what is or is not appropriate for a students to take from a workshop – can they share handouts from a workshop? Can they use learned techniques and sell the work as their own? Is it different if you are paying to attend a workshop of downloading techniques off of Youtube? These are big questions and are addressed in a lecture called The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. This lecture by Harriete Estel Berman is about the impact of the internet. This lecture evaluates the good of the Internet, some bad trends, and a few ugly behaviors that threaten the healthy growth of crafts. It also discusses workshop etiquette.
Many many places have workshops. The Ceramics Monthly April issue usually has an excellent and extensive listing of the upcoming workshops. These are just a very few of the numerous places that host workshops: