SchoolArts Magazine

DEC 2008

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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a journey to the artists, origins and work of American craft Cary Esser, Sarracenia Tiles, 1998, Seth Tice-Lewis photograph. A s a basket maker weaves apprentice, where the apprentice processes, and often in the work plant fibers to form a learned craft skills while assisting itself. As the student moves into the container, as a jewelry the master. Within this guild system, professional world of craft, he or she artist shapes fine metal some apprentices reached the status may take on students of his or her and stones into objects for personal of journeyman. After creating what own, thus continuing the tradition. adornment, and as a potter creates was judged to be a "masterpiece," a Ceramics artist Cary Esser is functional objects from lumps of clay, journeyman might become a master professor and chair of the Ceramthese artists are continuing tradicraftsman with his own apprentices. ics Department at the Kansas City tions that are thousands of Art Institute. Her clay tiles, My mother taught me and her mother wall reliefs, and installayears old. When asked how they learned their art form, tions reference motifs found taught her and I taught my children. craft artists often talk about in architectural ornament. —Mary Jackson, basket maker learning from another artist, One of her students, Nikki sometimes even a family member. Although the guild system is no Lewis, talks about what she learned Many families carry on a craft tradilonger formally in place, some craft from her teacher and mentor. "Cary tion for generations, allowing younger artists today have studio apprentaught us how to communicate with members to acquire the knowledge tices who both assist and learn from a high level of professionalism. She and skills held by those who came them. In various academic settings, also showed me that it's possible to before them. the student-teacher relationship is wear several hats as an educator and There is a long history of artists highly important. Those who seek a leader, while maintaining a sentransmitting their craft. Throughout to become skilled in their craft will sitivity to each student's individual the world and dating back centuries, often work with one teacher; and in needs." A studio potter whose work craft guilds—organizations formed special cases, that teacher becomes a has been called "exquisite and deliby artists practicing the same craft— mentor whose influence can be seen cate," Nikki Lewis teaches pottery at consisted of a system of master and in the students' work habits, thought schools in Los Angeles, California. " 20 December 2008 SchoolArts "

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