As a Ceramic educator, I strive to empower students to be creative, innovative, and technically proficient artisans who can visually interpret life. Taking time in the beginning to inventory ceramic skills, subject interest and experience is a small gesture that goes along way in establishing a connection with students. Ultimately the aim is to build trust, which potentially leads to willingness on behalf of the student to risk. When a student is willing to go out of their comfort zone to try to experience something new and different, I believe you have the beginning ingredients for a healthy exchange between student and teacher. My objective is to teach students’ how to develop their conceptual ideas. One beginning method is to introduce them to ceramic and sculpture icons. Then place the artist within a relevant historic context. This provides a framework for understanding the connection between events, places, and people to the expression and ultimate creation of art. Knowledge of artists, their work, construction techniques, and styles c serve to guide students toward the development of their own personal direction, philosophy, and aesthetic.