The Mentorship Programme
I have been teaching ceramics in both the formal and informal sector for a number of years, and with the closure of most of the local academic ceramic programmes there is a definite need to explore aspects of students’ work that once a week classes are not able to. It is out of seeing this need that my Mentorship programme was born. Now in my sixth year of running ‘The Mentorship Programme’ I can honestly say that I am astounded by watching the transformation that occurs in the participants and their work.
I consider one of the most exciting aspects of the journey of any creative is the ability to discover one’s ‘voice’. Finding this is probably the major focus of my Mentorship Programme. How do I address this? Over the years that I have been presenting this programme I have found one of the most difficult things for participants to do is to talk about their own work, and to define what it is they want to achieve with their work. By discussing the work presented to the group and encouraging participants to talk about their work they begin to focus on what it is they want to achieve and so begins a journey that for many has never been considered.
Presented in three hour sessions, held once a month over a period of 6 months, we meet at specified times to discuss, debate and critique whatever work has been carried out between these sessions.
The Mentorship programme is not a practical class, nor is it prescriptive in what participants are to make, but rather a forum for discussion, assessment and feedback on whatever work they are making. Asking each candidate to create precedent and inspiration boards and asking them to present theirs to the group starts to produce a clearer vision of what it is they wish to achieve in the programme. Participants are encouraged to journal about their work and to write about and sketch ideas they have. Also included is the writing of artist’s statements as well as producing up to date resumes and other marketing materials that candidates could need for the marketing of their work. For many this has proved to be a turning point in their ceramic journey. Intended for anyone serious about their ceramics and wanting to engage with it in a more proficient manner. The reasons for participating on this programme are numerous, and yet the aim is clear: to take your work to the next level. For those wanting to stretch the boundaries of their work and to create an identity through the medium of ceramics, the Mentorship Programme could be just what you are looking for.
Please contact me for dates of the next programme or any further information you may require.