Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Last Class?

I had a fantastic weekend at Glasgow School of Art attending a ceramics course as part of their continuing education programme.

I'll have to wait and see if any of the things I made survived the firings. I made a huge cake stand which needed a bit on engineering to get it to stand on a very very tall stem. It might not be totally level but lop-sided cake still tastes great! 

Whilst we were all feeling inspired by our teacher Wendy Kershaw we were also feeling a little sad. Surrounded by an amazing selection of kilns, and a mountain of equipment, we were scheduled to be the last ever ceramic class at GSA.

The degree course finished a year ago and since then the department has been wound down with the staff being made redundant. Everything is being sold off or thrown out and some of the kilns are being destroyed, as they are two large to remove from the building intact.

As a gallery we sell a lot of ceramics. Being a potter is a fantastic way to make living as an artist (although I'm sure many potters will tell you it may never make you wealthy!). However, for people wishing to pursue an artistic career it can't be better. The UK has such a strong history of ceramic production and now Scotland will not be part of creating our potters of the future.

I was told that nearly every department in the Art School used the Ceramic Department - from Sculpture to Environmental Art. So now these students will be denied the fantastic skill, expertise and facilities of the Ceramic Department.

Unless room is found to keep one kiln even the evening classes will finish.

Where is the sense in any of this?

1 comment:

Christine said...

It is a crime, it's not as though it isn't a popular course and the equipment well used. It makes me so angry as well as sad - the shortsightedness of it all.
Hope your cake stand survives.