There is now a discrepancy between what I can offer to most of my students and what they expect to learn. I understand their frustration. Some of them have come to class with a fair amount of skills; they can read and write Chinese, they know how to write with a brush and so on. Why they’d elected to attend a basic introductory course is a mystery to me but they insisted that they’d come to learn. My suggestions were largely disregarded as they were basic and required repeated practice.
I was at Pottery on the weekend and I saw similar dissatisfaction in class. Everyone wanted to ‘get on with it’ as the tutor had spent the first of three classes on pinched pots and rolled slabs. On Saturday, the second of the three lessons she asked us to use the techniques she demonstrated on Lesson One and ‘make something’. Those of us who went for wheel throwing techniques were told that it’s not going to happen: we will not be making any new pieces as we are going to spend the last session glazing.
So I made some pieces for Chinese calligraphy and rolled a slab for a dish. I was disappointed about the wheel work but the opportunity to return to square one was rather fun. I enjoy playing with clay and this I did. The $180 for three sessions included all materials and firing and I think that is fair value.
However, going back to square one is not fun for some so I will give my students new work next session and leave them to it. Those who want to master the basics will have my attention. I teach for free and the centre charges $18 for eight sessions so I think they are getting fair value as well.