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» What is the daily schedule like at the school?
Typically I (your main instructor, Ben Parks) show up at the studio around 9 am to give a demonstration. If you are an early riser, you may have already put in an hour or two at the wheel… My demonstrations generally last from 45 minutes to an hour—I’ll demonstrate various forms and/or techniques, and I do take requests. After the demo, the students go to work, and I hang around to coach on
an as-needed, as-requested basis. We break for lunch about noon,
re-convene around 1:30 pm. I may introduce a new form, or
pick up where I left off in the morning demo to trim a foot, pull
a handle, throw an addition, slip and carve a piece…and/or take another request.
Usually around 5 p.m. we’ll break for refreshment and a slide show, presented by one of the faculty, frequently my father, Dennis. The content of these shows ranges from examples of personal work, to historical surveys of English, Japanese, or Chinese work, just to name a few. Supper is served around 7 p.m. If a piece needs attending to—e.g. a large jar that requires another section added—I may give another quickie demo after supper.
As far as the schedule for the two weeks breaks down, the first 7 days we spend making pots, then have two days to decorate and glaze, then one day to load the kiln, one day to fire (this is a good day for students to take a breather). On the day the kiln is cooling, we do a couple of raku firings. We unload the kiln on day 13 (flaunting superstition), and part company on day 14.