Joshua Flicker | Episode 290
In 2005 Joshua Flicker completed a BFA in Art Education with an emphasis in ceramics. That same year he moved to Salt Lake City, got married, and accepted a teaching job at Park City High School. He has been enjoying the mountains, sharing his art, and honing his craft ever since.
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What is it that motivates you to work so hard?
I just think there is something inside me that makes me want to use my hands and build something. There is not much more satisfying than being able to hold something in your hands and being able to say, Hey, I built that. I give away a lot of my stuff as presents. I can hand somebody a piece of pottery and they say, Oh, this is beautiful! Then they flip it over and see my name on the bottom and they see that I made it. That is my reward a lot of the time.
What is your proudest moment as a maker?
I guess the most exciting moment for me is when I’m cracking the kiln open and I am trying to peek in there to see if what I made survived and is looking good. It makes me proud when I see an idea that I had come to fruition. Coming out of the kiln it actually survived and didn’t blow up. It’s not a pile in the bottom of the kiln or anything.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a maker?
For me, if I am talking strictly as a maker, I think it is just finding time day to day. I can fit in 30-40 minutes here and there, but getting a sustained time to work on my stuff and develop it is a little bit hard. As a teacher at the high school level, I think another thing that is difficult for me is I don’t have that same kind of peer pressure or peer reviews. If I was in college, all those people working around me, struggling, getting through it, I don’t have them to bounce my ideas off of or to work with. The high schoolers do a pretty good job of it sometimes.
If you could only make one piece for the rest of your life, what piece would you choose to make and why?
I think I would make a bottle form. For me, I go to the water fountain a few times a day and fill it up and you are holding it in your hand, you are carrying it, it gives you what you need for the day. It replenishes you. Also, I use a lot of corks on the top and I just love the sound of pulling the cork out of there.
When you work, do you prefer working alone or do you prefer working communally?
That’s a hard question. I guess that even though I am a teacher I am pretty introverted. I like kind of being to myself if I am working on my specific project, but I also like having people around. I like to be able to ask, Hey, what do you think about this?. I like to have people around to throw ideas off of.
Who was your favorite teacher in high school and why?
Oddly enough it probably wasn’t my ceramics teacher. He was kind of a quiet guy and kept to himself. I had a math teacher and oddly enough I had him for 2 or 3 years. I kept getting assigned to his classes. Mr. Dewey. He was a fun guy. He made us work hard and we had a lot of fun in his class. He was involved in a lot of different things around the school and he encouraged us to participate in the school quite a bit. He was a good guy.