markets and MOOCs

Volcanic oystersWell, the last few pots have been sent off through the Post Office, and that’s it for 2014! This year, a few galleries are already asking for more work in January 2015: usually it’s April before people start buying again. Another weird change in the market for objects! If any you have any ideas on these changes, I’d be very interested. Is it cut-backs by the squeezed middle or a generational de-cluttering? A lot of the research is USA-based, but this article on Gen Y, that is 25-35 year olds, has them living at home, and spending money on backpacking holidays and tech gadgets, not objects. Hmmm – actually, that fits the ‘Gen Y’ers I know…
 
Volcanic OystersI’ve finally managed to get my volcanic glaze working again, and am now sending them off to waiting galleries, like Blackwell, a wonderful Baillie Scott Arts and Crafts-inspired house in Cumbria. It really mixes up historic and contemporary craft – I’m dying for an excuse to visit!
 
While kiln-sitting – I’m now watching it like a hawk in case it goes wrong again – I’ve been learning online with FutureLearn. These courses are MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), and really rather good! If you have a bit of time over the Christmas Break, you might want to try one. This guide lists providers and recommends courses – I’m registered for ‘Gamification’, which sounds great, and FutureLearn’s Shakespeare course with Jonathan Bate is well recommended.
 
The surprise with the courses it how engaging they are. On FutureLearn, there’s a huge amount of discussion between participants, almost the best part of the course. My favourite so far has been “How to Read a Mind”, about the way we interact with fictional characters. Lots of talk about favourite characters and books. A smaller course, not so overwhelming, so a good starting point. Register interest, and they’ll email you when the next one starts.
 
I’ve also tried creative writing and coding classes, both good. The great thing is, you don’t have to continue if the course doesn’t work for you: drop outs are not considered a bad thing at all in this model of learning. This article may encourage you to recommend some courses to any bored teenagers you know, too!

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