Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Hand" building

My pottery sampler class started today at the Artscenter and I am so excited about my new students. This might just be the most diverse group I have ever taught. I have a tiny little woman from Thailand named Payong who is adorable and the most excited clay student I have ever seen, there is a french woman that is a professional french pastry chef, and her assistant/friend, and they chattered all morning to each other in French, so cool. There is my new friend Bridgett who took the class last session and made that wonderful Raku platter, there is a very tiny quiet woman that I don't know much about yet, but she has a very calming presence to her and then there is a UNC grad student that was born without her left hand. And..... she wants me to teach her to throw on the wheel. I cannot tell you how exciting this will be for both of us. Can you imagine? It is such a challenge for me some days with two hands and here is this beautiful young girl that has come into my life, wanting to learn to make pottery. Today we learned to make a cup using a slab and she made the very best cup of all of us. God bless her!!! I love these people that are brought into my life, they uplift me, challenge me, make me smarter, make me laugh, make me cry and they all stay with me in some way, long after they are gone.
If anyone has ever had a student that was physically challenged or knows of anyone, if you have helpful tips that would be great. I am determined that Amber will throw a pot on the wheel!!! And I know she is just as determined so it will happen, wait and see.


cookingwithgas said...

as I was saying before the connection died.
when I was in greensboro I had one student who did not have any fingers on one hand.
After I got over my first reaction I just thought to treat him just like all the other students and he did great.
Also my pottery teacher only had a thumb and pinky finger on one hand.
He makes wonderful pots.
Best of luck you are always so open, I know you will find a way.
Just never say never.

ang said...

try throwing one handed yourself trace, nice soft clay i reckon you'll figure it out....what a charming post, all the best with your new class!!..

Dirt-Kicker Pottery said...

Your excitement totally came through in your blog post. I can tell you are a fantastic Teacher :)

Trish said...

Great post, Tracey.. You will make it work for your student. What a wonderful group to share your gift with. T.

Tracey Brome said...

I do think I am a good teacher,you guys, and it's such a bonus when you get a group like this one and groups like my last Raku class. Their enthusiasm for learning is so infectious. I had an email tonight of a video showing a man with one hand throwing and it's great to see how very possible this is going to be. Thanks Cindy for sending that to me. Ang, I am going to try with one hand although my throwing skills with two hands are sometimes sketchy!

Judy Shreve said...

Gosh Tracey - your class sounds so exciting - but what I love is your openness to the diversity of the group & what they bring to you! Your students must get so much from your classes.
If your one-handed student has a strong enough desire, I'm sure you both will figure out how she can make work on the wheel. How interesting!
And I absolutely love the peace symbol pendant - it is luscious!

Linda Starr said...

how uplifting to read your post this morning. Thanks

Anonymous said...

i don't know anything about throwing one-handed but i would tend to believe it can be done. i saw a couple videos of people throwing with their feet before. what an exciting challenge

Patricia Griffin said...

You've got some lucky students to have you as a teacher.

Liz said...

Hi Tracey, I am a potter in Canada. I have one full right hand and one thumb on the left. Just do your demos the same as you always do.She will have methods for adapting. I teach as well, and was faced with a left handed student last term. hmm, me no left hand, her left handed. We stumbled through! and she signed up for a second round of classes. Good luck!