Friday, September 26, 2014

Inspiring students..

Back view of Galerie Friesleben - the house is huge - photos are deceiving!

Traveling abroad to teach is a wake-up call in the very best way:  to really find out that one's basement cave studio is not the whole world.  To enjoy the experience of meeting other wonderful artist students and see what they get from what you show.  To watch in awe as someone catches hold of something you taught and runs with it - and then influences the whole class - amazing!

View from my balcony

To make friends and watch other friendships blossom, and to find that a group who have been in touch only virtually are now meeting for the first time time in the flesh - in your class - all incredible! And all in such a gorgeous natural setting.

my first view of the Alps from the Autobahn

The clouds are always changing and dramatic around the mountains

Storm over the lake while ferrying to see King Ludwig's reproduction of Versailles on the island!

Two workshops and 36 students later....teaching at Galerie Friesleben was such a big experience for me that it's taken me this long (5 weeks) to process it and write about it - and of course, school started (enough said..).  The workshop space is fantastic and the the gallery has to be seen to be truly appreciated, and it is wonderful to be living and teaching in the same building! My apartment was wonderful - thanks Ariane and Reinhart!

I had decided when I started teaching to just pass on technique and not to concentrate on making particular finished objects.  I feel strongly that this open ended approach better encourages people to integrate what they are learning in class with their own skills, and decide what part(s) of the information are useful to them.  This worked well, I think.  I would look over in amazement at the ideas and objects sprouting up all over the class.  And this is of course why I titled this post 'Inspiring students' - they gave me great inspiration ( and joy) and I hope I was able to do the same for them.

before the first workshop - can you see - the tables are tidy!

The first day of each workshop was more technical - just mastering the idea of hollow forms.  We worked through problems and then to make it more interesting we moved on to adding colour in the afternoon.

love this photo - what is Monica looking at on Evelyn's desk?

lots of ways to add colour!  Oh, the supplies people brought!

Some interesting hollow work started to emerge...people just needed to practice and then had the next day to investigate other surfaces and more color on new beads/forms.  And to make friends, of course...

a wee bottle...

hollow box beads

Oh, we had fun...

Breakfast in the cafe (see the gallery behind), site of the fabulous cappuccino machine! I confess, I am a coffee addict....

All too soon, it was over...the end of the second workshop coincided with the arrival of thousands of young people to the town of Uebersee for a music festival.  A muddy business, as it rained on and off for most of's the programme!

I also want to thank the most generous suppliers who made my workshop a delight - Huge thanks to Polyform and Iris Weiss, who sent the clay I ordered to Germany and heroically managed to get a special order of their new clay Souffle sent out later as well!  The Souffle is a delight for hollow work ( and other things) and you can read my review of it here.

Also, great thanks to Viva Decor for supplying surface colorants for the workshop, and also to FimoStaedtler for supplying samples of their new professional series clay for goody bags.  All these donations were greatly appreciated by the class.

And finally, a huge thank you to Bernadette Ward and the PanPastel folks!  The pastels you sent were a big hit in Europe in the polymer community!  It was amazing to see how far your colours go - still plenty more for my next workshop, where I will continue to spread the word.  Now with new your Pearlescent line, as well....more to come on that!

some pods in progress...

demo hollows from my class

Actually, the final phrase is 'Thank you, Ariane!'  Because she contacted me out of the blue and made all this happen.  It felt like a huge ripe peach that just fell in my lap and I was so excited to do it and meet all these wonderful people ( you really can stay in your basement studio too long, you know...) and pass on some things I've learned.  I hope to go back sometime...

At least to eat another peach.....strangest shaped peaches I've ever seen!


Claire Maunsell said...

For some strange Blogger reason, people have mentioned that they have not been able to leave comments : ( Sorry about that! It might be fixed now, but I'm not entirely sure.....perhaps if anyone is reading this and liked my post, they could try and leave a comment? Pretty please?

Nan Smith said...

Great post and pictures, Claire. It looks like so much fun! I would love to attend a workshop like that. Do you have any coming up in the next year in Canada. I live in Hamilton so am pretty central but I don't have a car so I need to use public transportation to get to where ever.Please let me know if you have anything I might be interested in. I'm experimenting with PC but still haven't found my voice. wirednan13(at)hotmail(dot)com

Claire Maunsell said...

Thanks for commenting, Nan! I've just changed some settings on my blog and yours was the first comment to get through!
As to workshops, I would be happy to teach in your area if you have a guild or other interested people! I am often in Toronto visiting my family so it could be quite convenient!

Genevieve said...

What a fantastic studio space - I'm sure its a real pleasure to teach and to LEARN in. I see the Canadians want you to teach there but I think a Philadelphia class would be a great idea ;-)

Now…back to ogling the beads!

fanciful devices said...

im blind with jealousy- i wanna take a class from you sooo bad!

Stories They Tell said...

Glad to see this post up-- even if I never get to Germany, I can experience your wonderful time vicariously! Those are some lucky students, Claire!Glad you're home safe and sound.