I am back in the classroom and teaching during Covid is a new world. I love being back with my students, but I only see two classes this quarter and gone for now are semesters. We are following very strict protocols and there are no students in the hallway, students are escorted in and out of classes at staggered times. This means there is no opportunity to chat with past students or even staff, it is a bit isolating and I am worried for my students. My room has lost its communal tables and the students are not only physically separated, but the mask is also keeping them emotionally isolated. This is only the second week of school so I am hoping that they begin to relax and realise they can still share, in a safe manner with each other. I am missing my energetic, chatty, joyful and at times chaotic class... the quiet is very unusual for my classes and I have been teaching for 2 decades.
On the pottery side I am just finishing another order for Tryst Wine and Small Plates. They are moving to a fall menu and needed a few more dishes. I was able to get them made quickly and now just have to fire and glaze them. I love being part of this process and there is something very satisfying about production work. Making 20, 40 or 80 of the same thing and making sure that there are as close to identical as handmade gets is very, well, powerful. When I first started pottery I was in awe of potters in the class who could achieve this and I struggled at times to make work that was the same in size and shape. One of the 8 Studio Habits of Mind is perseverance and persevere I did. I still remember one of the last pottery classes that I took with the amazing Bob at the St.Albert pottery classes and he said that I could be a production pottery...I had final made that leap! I love the technical skill of knowing how to recreate the same size and shape. However, that does not mean that I still do not play and explore on the wheel, the clay journey never ends.