Teaching, or rather being a thesis consultant at home, went very, very well. Working one-on-one as a thesis advisor was my absolute favourite part of the years of grad school teaching, and it was wonderful to experience a brief version of that once again.
We worked from Thursday morning till mid-day Monday. It couldn’t have happened without Paul’s help as pup-sitter, and the extended-weekend time frame worked for him as well. My ‘advisee’ was able to complete eight test objects and to make five reusable armatures, as well as to gather notes and ideas for more series she’s working on, and ways to further her sculptural ideas beyond thesis. We mostly used the basement paper studio, though on fiber-beating day she spent time in the quieter, warmer, more comfortable second-floor studio, making armatures. We wrapped it all up with a Q & A session on Monday.
The main reason this worked so very well was the excellent caliber of this particular person: mature, focused, inventive and motivated. She embraced the experimental nature of the processes and was looking for exactly what I could help with in a short, intensive time period: a springboard towards her own further investigations. Moreover, her aesthetic was one I was able to entirely relate to, and she had the astuteness to contact me initially, hammer the parameters out with me, and to find funding for the whole thing. On top of it all, she took Vivi’s daily intense interest in her shoelaces in, um, stride. I wasn’t joking when I told her she would be a hard act to follow for future private study candidates.
Now, as I segue back into my free year (or two), there’s more to think about. Will I do a similar private tutorial again? If so, I’d want to do so during the summer, when cooking and larger sheet formation can happen outdoors. I’d also need to set up a firm selection / vetting process.
In the meantime, I took no photos (it was a private tutorial), so you have to make do with Vivi, who’s busily doing what puppies do: getting bigger. We begin puppy school in ten days.