We’re back! After a long break, we have a new episode of the MudTalk podcast! Thanks for listening.
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This is episode 21. Thank you so much for listening. In this episode, we are going to talk about what you can teach to someone else. This was actually a really interesting topic because there were a lot of different responses. There were so many that I didn’t even include them all. It was really interesting to me to see what people are confident enough to teach someone else. This is especially interesting to me as I set up expertclay.com which will allow other people to teach or share their knowledge. For example, I put together an online course about setting and achieving goals as a potter. I hope to find others who want to share what they know, whether it’s a simple tip for working with clay or a detailed course exploring a topic on a deeper level. At the end of this episode I’ll talk more about how you can make that happen if you are interested.
But first, let’s get to the responses. I separated the responses into two categories. There were plenty of people who could teach others how to have a proper mindset. We’ll hear those at the end. But we’ll start with the people that could teach techniques for working with clay.
kathrynburnsclay How to recycle clay.
sandyvanderwyk Find your tool.
pinkmoonceramics Underglaze painting and sgraffito tips ?
terraforms Pinching textures.
fancyfrogpottery To centre clay on the wheel.?
butalaclay Base wall thickness for great foot rings
carolyn_sawyer Always valve grind lids…glazed or unglazed.
chuck_dm3 Go into how to find textures and tools (sticks/rocks/bark/leaves/etc)
cabreraceramics Make their own glazes
clay_with_mi Pulling walls
artbygretamichelle Finish is everything. It makes the pot.
dowidat.ceramics Carving technique I love making clay look like something else
suzie.hawkes How to slipcast
wildfirepotterypenn How to fire obvara raku ?
laurieandwilliam Pulling handles.
hillbippieclayco Attaching handles ?
The rest of the comments were less about techniques and skills for working with clay and more about how to have a proper attitude or mindset to work with clay.
vivita5 Love every pot you make
txochi7 I’m a complete newbie, so could only impart enthusiasm ???
claybylaura Embrace the failures, learn and move on!
dtaylorsatm Don’t get in a hurry.
artroxinabox Love what you are doing & do it with your heart not only your hands ?
sandywithaq If you don’t like something out of the kiln, give it a couple days. If you still don’t like it, it doesn’t mean nobody else will.
wisp.ceramics Don’t get frustrated, it’s just dirt.
leslie_mbizz Don’t try to work if you’re tired
forgottenfern If you don’t love it smoosh it- it’s the only way you will grow.
bettys_pots Make something creative with every scrap of clay. Don’t make extra work for yourself by putting little bits in the reclaim bin.
earthartam The joys of handbuilding
shesonthepath Study wabi sabi
pamelabarclaysatx Make multiples. Each one you make will be just a little bit better than the last.
kleesestamps Put your personality into your pots – make what you like and they will come.
bentwingley Make 500 more and you’ll be in good shape
nichibeipotters Everything matters. From wedging till it comes out of the kiln. Never settle, always strive to get better.
Susie Lawrence M indfulness with clay, connecting with your soul through clay play creating connection with Mother Earth.
Libbi Hutchence To relax on the wheel and remember to breathe. Play …. lots is learnt through play. Don’t forget to have fun!
Thanks to everyone for those great answers. It was interesting to hear such a broad range of topics and skill levels. It reminds me that even some of the most basic things need to be learned if you are just starting out. That is a good reminder to some of us who have been working with clay for a long time. I know some of the things that I don’t even think about anymore were once unfamiliar to me and maybe even a struggle.
I asked about what you can teach for a few reasons. I wanted everyone to think about something that they were confident in doing. It’s good to think positive about yourself instead of always thinking about things that you can’t do. Give yourself a pat on the back for the things that you have learned well enough to teach someone else. Especially if you can take something complex and simplify it enough to teach it. Teaching is hard work. You not only have to know the content, you have to figure out the level your student has mastered or not mastered and then figure out a strategy that will lead them to the next level of mastery.
I think it’s also important to support and grow the clay community. Even as a beginner you can help someone else learn something new. It may be a simple clay technique that you just learned or it could be something to help their mindset or even a skill from outside of clay that could be useful for a potter or ceramic artist. You definitely don’t have to be an expert to teach something. I just created a whole course about setting and achieving goals. But I’m no expert on the topic. I just shared what has worked for me.
So what if you have something you want to teach but you don’t know how to get started? You know the content. Maybe you even have materials and lessons ready to go. But you need to find some students, you need to give them access, and you need to deliver an experience that is worth their time or money or both. This is where I hope that Expert Clay can help out. If you are interested in finding out more about sharing your story or your knowledge go to expertclay.com. Look for a link in the menu that says Teach / Share.
As for me, I feel like I’m at a place where I could teach a lot of the basics of pottery making pretty well. And this is perfect because I’m in the process of building a new pottery studio where I’ll actually have the room to teach other people. I feel like I’m starting to create my own style so I could share some of the unique things I do in my own work as well. I’ve also been working on skills that are outside of actually working with clay but will be very useful when I become a full time potter. Things like design, photography, marketing, goal setting and time management. I’m far from a pro at any of these kinds of things but since my actual profession IS teaching, I feel like I could teach the basics on some of these topics. Think about all the skills you use every day when you work with clay or run a business. I bet there are plenty of things that other people would love to learn from you.
To conclude this episode, think about how you can find opportunities to teach something. If not to earn some money, or increase your status, or even to help someone else, maybe you can do it just to make the clay community a little better.
As always, thank you so much for downloading, listening and sharing. Remember, I love to hear your thoughts about what you have enjoyed about the show, how it could be better and especially topics for future discussion.
The next episode will hear about your favorite clay tools. Until then, keep teaching and stay muddy.