Looking Jumbled

The ceramics studio started the summer session May 28th and I didn’t sign up. Instead I waited to enroll in the shorter 6 week course that started Wednesday – sort of. I’ll explain that in a bit. It is entirely OK with me that I decided to delay my class because I haven’t shared most of what I produced this last session. The studio management has been conducting “research” to determine the average output for students. I’m pretty sure that my output will be well below the threshold. The people who work on the wheel turn out at least 6 bowls/vases/mugs a night where I’m hard pressed to complete a single orb per class. We’ve been emailed yet another message assuring us that they haven’t come to a decision and are still gathering data. The last message also assured us that there would be lots of forewarning for any changes. We were asked to come to the studio management with any concerns “to avoid miscommunication and rumors that can fuel anxiety and negativity.” Really. These are the same folks that shortened the sessions from 10 weeks to 8 weeks but kept the price the same. These are the same ones who increased the fees and included 25 pounds of clay and a year later took the clay away but didn’t reduce the fees. These are the same folks who reduced the number of glazes and took 5 years to fix the sink faucets. They had 12 wheels but only 5 were working properly and it took them 2 years to fix them. In the interim a generous ceramics student donated 3 brand new wheels but they reserved them for instructor demonstrations (until the student and her lawyer husband made a stink).

The most recent “improvement” was to offer a 3 week extension to the last session for only $100! Currently an 8 week session with the member discount costs $152. I may not be a math whiz but 3 sessions for $100 is too pricey for me! Anyway there are many students with jumbled opinions and emotions. Also I was informed that I had to remove all my stuff from my shelf – for cleaning. My shelf is clean. I have lots of stuff. I don’t want to have to cart it all the way to the parking lot and home and then get assigned a new shelf. The last time I was assigned a shelf they put me on the top shelf. I had to stand on a chair to get to my things. I’m too old for that.

This summer they offered a 6 week course that I signed up for. The first session was Wednesday night. I had received an email a few weeks ago that indicated that there were only 4 students enrolled and that if additional students didn’t join it might be cancelled. Without any further communication I assumed the class was being held. I arrived a few minutes before class to discover the studio locked. Long story short, the instructor had a family emergency and the class may not happen. There was no communication and so far no indication refunds will happen. I was able to have an open studio night with the other 3 women in the class… Not too happy about the whole thing.

This is a slightly jumbled orb. It was supposed to be a monocyte covered in antibodies but it looks more like a glob of tapeworms. I glazed it in Yellow Salt. The yellow salt when applied thinly should have a variegated look in browns. When applied thickly it has a creamy yellow color reminiscent of pus. If you didn’t catch on, I’m not too pleased with how this one turned out.

23 thoughts on “Looking Jumbled

    1. Got a phone call this afternoon – officially cancelled and a refund is on its way. A profuse apology from the class coordinator about the lack of communication. I’m still miffed. There is a bright spot – I can sign up for a $60 pass for 6 sessions on Wednesdays.

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  1. Such a problem with those in charge. perhaps you should do like a friend of mine years ago. She got everything at her house to fire her own work. (she made things like dolls and yard ornaments)

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    1. I work in high fire clay – I’d need a gas kiln that fires to cone 9 or 10. Most of the electric ones a re designed for low fire clay and glazes (cone 06). I don’t think I could afford a gas kiln ($10,000) nor do I have the space. There are however other places that have facilities… I’m considering it.

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    1. There are other places but you have to join for a monthly fee and then pay for the firing, glazes, shelf rental, etc. It comes out to be kind of pricey but I’m considering it. I’m hoping that at the “open house” to discuss the changes they take the comments to heart.

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      1. I do hope you’ll be able to continue with your ceramics — you do such a great job! Among the treasures that will NOT be given away is your ceramic orb that I bought a couple of years ago — it has a place of honor when my house is not torn apart as it is now (for bathroom reconstruction).

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        1. I’m happy to know the little orb is going to remain. I am not giving up on ceramics but this summer has become a smidgen difficult. I am waiting for my punch card to come in the mail – hopefully by Tuesday night! I wish my house was torn up by a bathroom reconstruction! I still have most of the supplies and fixtures sitting in the guest room.

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      2. At the moment, there’s not a room in the house that is tidy and not full of boxes. It’s amazing how much stuff had to be packed on a temporary basis (cleaning and personal needs things for each of 3 bathrooms) and how much other stuff has been stored, given away to Goodwill, and thrown away! At least the 3 bathrooms are currently empty and ready to go — but lots of questions to be answered before work begins!

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      3. I asked the contractor a couple of weeks ago — he promised he’d make sure there was one working toilet at all times. Work began today — the tiles are laid in two of the bathrooms, and will be grouted tomorrow morning — the tile guy said he’d call his plumbing friend tonight and make sure he comes late tomorrow morning to reseat at least one toilet, and the other two perhaps later in the day, or one tomorrow and the other on Wednesday. I shouldn’t be without for more than two or three hours! The guys worked hard today — it looks like tiles completed tomorrow, faucets etc. on Wednesday or Thursday, and painting on Thursday or Friday! Then I can put some of the boxes back, and get on with the rest of the downsizing!

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      4. It’s looking a little raw right now, but should be much better when the grouting is done — and hopefully the paint will finish it off nicely!

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      5. Yes, I picked the colors. This is for my house, that I’ve lived in for 25 years. My realtor wanted me to change to black cabinets, dark faucets, and dark flooring. I balked at that — picked porcelain tiles that are slightly lighter than the granite I chose for my kitchen — gray and brown tones — and a light gray paint for the walls. When I move, I’ll do carpets and the rest of the walls — probably the lightest possible grays. Oh and the faucets will be brushed nickel.

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  2. That is so frustrating! Charging more and taking things away seems to be a common practice these days. I hope things work out and the $60 for 6 sessions sounds pretty good. Good luck! peace always

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    1. Yes frustration and perturbation are rising. I’m not sure what the future holds for the studio. I’m not sure another tuition increase will be accepted by the students. I’m guessing there may be a mass exodus causing the studio to close. (I sometimes think that is their intent!)

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