In my class, students are exposed to a messy hands-on creative practice; they dare to engage in it, to make sense of their mistakes, and to reckon the limits of their skills.
For me, the most natural way of being with students is through active engagement in the studio, where my style of teaching brings energy and contagious enthusiasm for learning. As an instructor of glass and studio art, I aim to motivate students to discover their own authentic, valid, and ethical studio practice. I continually refine teaching strategies that reveal how material knowledge, creative discourse, and cooperation in the hot shop are woven together in a cooperative studio practice (with glass).
My teaching philosophy is anchored by three principles of learning and experience: (1) Meaning through Making, (2) Understanding through Critique, and (3) Lifelong Learning. These three principles stand as a reminder to me of my core values as a teacher and artist.
I consider my classroom, the hot glass shop, as a micro-laboratory for pedagogies that focus on inclusivity and diversity. Whether on a university or college campus or in a foreign country where language, culture, and local practices differ from my everyday life. My approach to teaching glass is to focus on building community in the classroom where trust, honesty, and respect are overarching values and are foundational to the art of blowing glass. The actual process of blowing glass is dangerous and requires, in a very real sense, the need to care for and trust others in the classroom.
I encourage students to explore their own narratives and bring their stories into their art. This process validates their life story, instills confidence in their personal narrative and brings meaning to their art.