Coronado High School Teacher in the Spotlight: Eric Rempe
Why did you want to become a teacher?
“My high school teacher arts teacher also taught Ceramics and that changed the course of my life. I’ve been making pottery now for almost 25 years and it’s a pretty rewarding way to spend my time. As I encountered other people and shared some of the things that I’ve learned it made me feel like I was paying back some of the debt that I owed my high school art teacher. I just really enjoy helping people discover that they actually are artistic when the first time in my class many and most of them believe that they aren’t.”
Why did you pursue Ceramics?
“I think over time the feeling of making things that people could use and hearing back from them kept me coming back. Somehow they couldn’t explain it but it made the food and coffee taste better and they just enjoyed waking up and using my pieces. People would tell me that they would wash things that were dirty of mine even though they had something clean they could use. They wanted to use mine instead. I just felt like I was doing something that was making a difference in some miniscule way in their lives.”
What for you is unique about Coronado High School?
“I think that there are a lot of kids here that really genuinely want to learn. A teacher is at a huge advantage when you’ve got a classroom full of kids who want to figure out how to do this thing with clay whether that’s building a sculpture or throwing a bowl on the wheel. A lot of them want to learn, and I think that’s not always the case at other schools. Many other campuses have much more challenging issues that they are dealing with.”
What is it that you love about Ceramics?
“Probably a bit of what I said earlier. There is something about it that is very different from the commercially made objects that are boiled down the lowest common denominator. They’re made to appeal to the largest amount of people and often times, it’s a deadening thing but when you make something yourself you can make it much more personal. It’s a heck of a lot more interesting, or potentially more interesting. Also, if it doesn’t work out it’s not an expensive piece of wood that you just ruined. With clay you can just recycle it and start over, so it’s pretty friendly that way.”
Any advice for those just starting out in Ceramics?
“Probably, not just starting out in ceramics but some advice that my grandfather closed a letter with one time. He wrote a long letter to me and at the very end it said dream your dreams and work hard to make your dreams come true.'”
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