Education
1978-Chabot Junior College- Hayward, CA
A.A-General Studies
1981-Utah State University- Logan, Utah 
BFA
B.S.-Psychology
1996-University of Idaho- Moscow, Idaho
MFA
Teaching Position
1997-Present: BYU-Idaho
Rich Briggs
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Welcome.  While I earn my living as a teacher and ceramic artist, I have included information on other hobbies and interests which may be of interest to some.


Teaching Philosophy
I consider myself a teacher who is also an artist, as opposed to an artist who sometimes teaches. This is a response in part, I suppose, to instructors I have seen who respond as though being in the classroom (studio) with students was taking them away from something rather than bringing them to something. It is true it's more difficult to "get one's own work done" around a teaching schedule. It's also true that there can be an energy and exchange of ideas when students and teachers contribute to each other. It raises the issue, what is "one's own work?" Teaching is it's own creative process which I enjoy as much as the making of objects. 
"There is no art without craft" is a thought I picked up at an NCECA conference many years ago. My expanded definition is: "Craft is what your hands know how to do; art is what your heart wants to express." Rather than being on opposite ends of the spectrum, craft and art work in concert together. Students deserve instruction, demos, and encouragement. Building skills will aid in developing ideas and supporting personal expression. I also believe that at some point we need to forget what we have learned and go with what we feel. That combination of knowing and feeling, which is sometimes in conflict, is part of what keeps teaching interesting. When to be helpful or not; when to answer questions or not; when to push or hold back and watch; and when to apply these principles to individual students along their path. 
My professor at the University of Idaho (Frank Cronk), quoted his professor (George Roberts) as saying, "You can't just hand everything to students. At some point, they have to reach out and grab it." Understanding that balance is one mark of a good teacher. 
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