Tuesday, March 16, 2010
This is reposted from my website circa 1997.
Camp Quinebarge in Center Harbor, New Hampshire. Located on Lake Kanatsatka in the Lakes Region, Camp Q is home for many young people for seven weeks each summer. While at Camp Quinebarge, the campers, and the counselors, instructors, and administrators, find a rich and rewarding experience. During the Summer of 1996, I had the pleasure of teaching Primitive Ceramics, for about four hours each day. I found the opportunity to influence and touch so many lives to be worth the effort, and often I wish I could do it often, in favor of what I am typically doing.
In some unique way this experience reinforced my fundamental belief that teaching art involves the cultivation of a way of doing and being that ultimately reaches back through history at least to the point where humanity first discovered that the dirt under the cook fire had fused together to form a bowl., and reaches inward towards a heart that yearns to speak.
Discovering that it's fairly easy to form a simple vessel with your hands and the earth and wood that's readily available, enables us to draw on this vast history when creating Art. And it allows us to understand and give a form to our existence, our emotions, one in which we are confident, self-reliant, and can have at least a smattering of pride.
We discovered in that earth and fire that it was possible to have a great deal of fun and to make friends with ourselves, with each other, and with the earth that stood before us. We learned about the clay, about history and myth surrounding it, about an ancient tradition of making art. And after that we all went for a swim.