Making thoroughly considered jewelry is the challenge of my upcoming class at the Penland School of Crafts. In a few weeks I'll head up the mountain to teach "A Complete Thought" during Session 7 and I'm busy putting the finishing touches on my lesson plans. I'm also busy developing a challenge for my own art practice: I would like to create something while I teach. I don't really make my own work while I'm teaching because it's hard for me to separate the making mindset from the teaching one. However, I do believe it's good for students to see their instructor work and I like the idea of talking about my process as I make something right in front of them. So, I'm thinking about creating an installation or series of installations using simple, predetermined parameters while students work independently. I would like to treat these pieces as large-scale, ephemeral sketches that echo and complement what is happening inside the classroom.
The class will happen August 24-30 and students will work on one piece of jewelry during that time. As they work, I will ask students to really consider the piece from all sides, placing equal importance on the front and back and creating jewelry that has a presence both on and off the body. Since my interests are leaning towards installation and sculpture, and I'm thinking about ideas so much, I'm looking forward to sharing fresh thoughts with my students as I lead them through the process of creating their own new works.