Some years ago I had a dream about walking through the history of ceramics. I wanted to stand in a room and see how pottery changes over the years, through different countries, and see the influences of trade and natural resources. I wanted to see whole in front of me what I understood in bits and pieces. Hence, the "Making History" course was born. I decided to teach a class where students would make historical pottery; they would research the building techniques, clays and glazes of iconographic pottery from all over the world. They would make these objects to understand, to learn how to see, and to learn how to make. I wanted the students to work on something outside of themselves; work not based on their own self-expression or ego, but based simply on learning through making and through researching, and on the sheer pleasure of re-discovering things that have come before. This study would culminate in a large-scale exhibition of all of these objects, arranged within a timeline and within geographical relationships.
I have taught at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design twice before and I know that NSCAD students are extremely talented, thoughtful, ambitious and always up for working hard. In addition, when I was a student, Professor Walter Ostrom helped me understand the importance and profound influence that the history of ceramics has on our understanding of clay today. Teaching this course at NSCAD is a way of paying homage to Walter Ostrom's great dedication to his students and the study of historical ceramics.
Read the rest of the story at Julia's Site.