Following my own instruction:
Hi! I’m Chris Cooper and I am running for Fired Arts Chairperson,
When I ran last session I wrote up a post addressing some big ideas about the future of Fired Arts. So before tackling this one I went back to see how I had done with executing those plans. Some of them, with the help of a great committee, we rocked out. Others, I was less successful in getting off the ground.
We do not have a formal kiln class running. I am still hugely in favor of this and have talked about it with many members, instructional designers and Conor at Trinity. If elected, I would like to make this a priority for Fired Arts. On the positive side, we have been doing one-on-one instruction for those that want to fire their own work and have been doing special firings with those that need something other than the standard community ones. There is a calendar being built to allow those that have been approved for individual firing to better coordinate with the firing team.
The rebuild is still incomplete. This was a big undertaking and has gone much slower than anticipated, but big strides have been made and the area is staying much cleaner and usable. Finishing up our big projects is a priority for me and I’d like to work further with our SIG leaders to complete them.
Over the past term, we’ve made some great achievements in the functioning of the committee. We have had regular meetings with agendas posted in advance and minutes published on our wiki. We’ve also filled out our administrative arm by creating three new SIGs and I would like to see those roles expand even more. We are new to SIGs in FA and now that we’ve got the feel for it, we can use those groups to grow our community and make the business side of the committee function more efficiently.
We are also growing our pool of teachers and diversifying our class options. This is critical to the health of our committee and we have plans for even more. With some begging, funding requests and a fabulous donation, Glass is back in Fired Arts! We are now offering lampworking and, after DMS growth, are poised to have a fully functional glass studio in Fired Arts with dedicated glass kilns, furniture, tools galore and consumables. Our clay offerings have also expanded with the introduction of slipcasting tools and classes. The committee has discussed new ways of encouraging and supporting new teachers which has me very excited about the future of Fired Arts instruction.
As much as I regret not having a completed FA rebuild, we have made great strides. Our area is cleaner, functionally larger and stocked with new tools. There are still areas we are working on, but we are increasing in community involvement and moving ever closer. Perhaps most satisfying is seeing how many people can now work in Fired Arts simultaneously which is a huge boon in encouraging our sense of community. I’ve loved watching people discuss their work, learn from each other and collaborate.
I’d like to think I had a small hand in the successes of Fired Arts these past six months. I’ve put in a lot of sweat, more emails than I can count, and so many meetings, y’all. So. Many. But none of it could have been done without the awesome work and support of the committee.
Firing Team SIG: @dryad2b
Glass SIG: @Kathryn_Bredderman
Ceramics SIG: @Shirley
All of the amazing instructors who give their time in both formal classes and one-on-one.
All of the awesome committee members who are ready to lend a hand, come to committee meetings to offer their ideas, clean up their mess plus a little more every time and who MAKE awesome things!
And our VC @FrenchFrog who has never, not once, said no when asked to do something difficult, gross, time consuming, inconvenient or boring. You are a champ!
As far as what I I envision for FA if elected, I would like to continue on our same path of making our space (wherever and however that may be) better, listening to each other, increasing community involvement, increasing community fun, supporting/acquiring instructors and making cool stuff. I will also continue to attend board meetings and member meetings (or obtain a proxy to give any necessary reports if I am unable to do so), as well as be active in informal administrative meetings and discussions. I would also like to continue working on Moodle classes for our tools that don’t require in-person instruction.
If anyone has any questions, hit me up.