Today marks the half-way point for my class "A Complete Thought" at the Penland School of Crafts. It's been a busy time in the metals studio with daily walks in the morning, two demonstrations a day, independent work time, one-on-one sessions with me and nightly artists talks.
We began on Monday with a day devoted to process. We took a walk and observed and then looked at all sorts of sculptural jewelry in a PowerPoint. I lead the class through a thinking and writing exercise and a hands-on jewelry making project. In the afternoon we talked about the elements of sculptural design and the basic steps of artist process. Then for the rest of the day, students worked on ideas for the piece they want to make now and individually met with me to ask questions and review plans.
Yesterday I demonstrated bezel setting and later talked about using alternative materials, showing them a number of easy low-tech methods. I also described how I use spray paint. My bezel demo was the most challenging demo I have ever given. Everything that could go wrong did and I struggled, but, as I explained to my students, I felt it was a good thing. It was very real. Anything can happen while making ones' work and problems inevitably arise, even when you have a lot of experience.
So, it's been a wonderful time already. I have a great bunch of hard-working and fun students and I am enjoying every minute of just being at Penland. Today we will be covering tab setting and pin stems and students will continue to work on their individual projects.
one-hour, sculptural necklace by one of my students
Thanks for reading.