A half-century of teaching

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BRATTLEBORO — Having recently participated in the 35th anniversary celebration of the Brattleboro Clayworks, founding member and long-time ceramics teacher, Alan Steinberg, is now facing an even more startling milestone. When his winter hand-building and sculpture class begins on Jan. 9, it will mark his 51st year of teaching.

It's an anniversary his body knows well. It's been more than 10 years since his aching knees, hands and back told him to give up teaching wheel throwing skills in favor of more diverse ways of relating to clay such as coil, pinch, and slab construction. Presenting these techniques has allowed him to encourage exploration and creativity as well as skill development with his students. Over the years exercises, stories, poetry and music have become an increasingly enriching part of the offerings. While much of the work that comes out of the class may still hold water or food, many of the sculptural works speak to the lives of the makers and to the state of the world they live in.

At the Clayworks 35th anniversary celebration some of his students created a clay village from their collected works. They held a candle-lighting ceremony in which they shared their gratitude for something in their community.

Steinberg's class begins on Wednesday, Jan 9, at Brattleboro Clayworks, 532 Putney Road. For more information, visit brattleboroclayworks.com.






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