Monday was my first real day in the studios at Gaston College and I found myself in a familiar, but yet totally strange environment. First of all, there is a huge age range in the studios. The youngest student is 18, she just graduated from high school and is starting a degree in art education. There are also some people who are about my age, a few of us anyway. Then there are the middle-aged types, they decline to give their age. Finally, there are the people who are in the class under the North Carolina laws for free tuition for senior citizens. I love having such a range of people, it makes for a more interesting class.
After the people, I noticed the equipment. There are fewer kilns at Gaston, mostly because it is a smaller department. There are also some things I didn’t expect. Someone finally figured out the solution to mixing dry mix… it isn’t a 6ft wooden paddle, it is a cement mixer. It mixes clay dry mix very well. The studio is overall more clean than the studio at UNCC. It is a little more home feeling as well. There is plenty of space, but we are all very obviously in the studio together. I love the fact that the wheels aren’t lined up against the walls, they are in a circle off in the corner (with a few spares in other places). Ceramics is very social at Gaston.
In general, I love the studio and am looking forward to learning some handbuilding techniques this semester.