He was referring to students helping during the raku firing, but this quarter's clay class seems to be more helpful in general than previous quarters. Yesterday as I started to load the glaze kiln, two students came over and said "what can I do?" I didn't need to ask.
|loading the glaze kiln|
Both these students put in more more than average...and later took additional clay classes.
More time in the studio translates into more work, which translates into better work. When a bunch of students are working hard and pushing themselves, we get a feeling of friendly competition in the studio to see who can make the most or the biggest work. At the end of the fall quarter, we also have the impending holiday season and student often try to make extra work for Christmas gifts.
|homemade holiday stockings|
|They look friendly, I'm not trying to imply they aren't helpful|
|Look, I'm cleaning, you should too.|
There is one other significant factor that impacted this quarter's class. Most quarters I have taught a cluster of classes at the same time, with some Functional Pottery students and some Hand-building students. I don't teach more students, but my class time is divided between the two groups. It shouldn't be surprising that fewer classes and fewer things to demonstrate, describe and explain should result in more attention and more in depth demonstrations or explanations in the remaining class.
good students make good work
The two classes should mean double the students (or close to double), which will mean more work. If I am correct in a couple of my assumptions, I should be able to get the students next quarter to help out quite a bit with the studio clean up and loading, unloading, and maintaining clay and glaze. First, I will again be clear in requiring and giving points for help with studio tasks. Second, I should have at least a few students continuing from the fall quarter. These intermediate level students should be able to model their helpful and conscientious behavior and thus impact the studio atmosphere and the group dynamics in the classes.