For the Ceramic class at North Tahoe High School It would be nice to update our potter wheels.
New Potter Wheels for the ceramic class will benefit the students by making working on the wheel more enjoyable. When I worked at THS, we had nice wheels the students would want to work on the wheels more often, at NTHS with our old wheels the students only seem to work on the wheels 2 times a year. I think better wheels will encourage wheel usage. I like the idea that when students are done with a project/assignment they will have the choice to work on the wheel and that they would want to practice more on the wheel.
Right now we have three wheels that have a switch with 2 speeds (slow and Fast). New wheels would have a petal that can students can control the speed and make working on the wheel easier.
Also the wheels that we have I have been maintaining them to keep them working. Slowly they are falling apart, one only goes fast, one I rewired the cord to keep power going to it and one seems to overheat while working on it. These old wheels are becoming a safety hazard.
None of my wheels have capability to put bats on them, having bats is important because it helps remove the piece from the wheel easily and more students can work on the wheel during a class period.
One has a lip on it that makes it hard to workaround and water builds up in the head part which make it harder to work on this wheel. (most students avoid this wheel).
The way my old wheels are design you have to place a catch bowl under it and still when working on them watered down clay tends to fly all over the place. This makes clean up more intensive. Washing and cleaning aprons happens more often, mopping the floor, walls, and counters around the area needs to happen every time the wheel is used, and cleaning the wheel and it's parts takes time. Students have trouble cleaning up all their mess when using the wheel and dicourages use. The new wheels will have a catch area that self contained and removable for easy clean up.
The old wheels I have will do for someone who knows what they are doing but, for the students, all the querks on them make working on the wheel difficult and not enjoyable. The features on modern potter's wheels are needed to help the students be more creative and efficient. The modern wheels will also encourage more wheel usage.
At the beginning of the year I teach the students how to use the wheel and every student must use the wheel. Later on in the year they work on the wheel again and try to do better. I have three wheels and it takes 2 to 3 weeks for every student in the class to get their chance.
Throughout the year, students have the option to practice on the wheel when they have completed an assignment and I believe modern wheels will encourage this work.
If anyone wants to use the wheels for their class, I will let them. Maybe the middle school could use them.
Art and Measure A funds pay of the clay and all ceramic needs for the students.
Modern wheels for the ceramic class will make working on the wheel more enjoyable for students to learn how to throw clay on the wheel. We have wheels now but they really need to be updated.