Monday, January 31, 2011

Teaching and Lecturing at Kenan Institute/UNCSA

Tuesday and Wednesday of last week I gave a lecture and taught two back to back workshops at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, a program that brings "a Penland artist to UNCSA each year for a special lecture and workshop." (from the Penland School of Crafts website.) My lecture went well. This time I included a section on my process and the ways I generate ideas, work through blocks, and learn about my work. I've been wanting to do this for a while now because process has become such an important subject for me. It was great to have a chance to follow through and to share it with others.

The classes I taught focused on one of the ways I work in my own studio. I based the lesson on a composition exercise by Leslie Noell which I had translated into a jewelry making exercise for myself last year. For this class I translated it back into a composition exercise. I had the students make photocopies of drawings from their sketchbooks before class. Once we were together I asked them to manipulate their copies in any way they wanted, to add a color field, and to create at least three compositions with office supplies--different kinds of tape, staples, a variety of papers. The compositions were kept to 5" x 7" and students had two hours to work. Then at the end of the two hours they pinned their pieces up and we spent the last 45 minutes talking about them. I was impressed with the compositions and all the insightful things the students said during the crit.

Some students brought in photocopies of things other than sketches and I picked up a few ideas from them like the above image of a copy of layers of cut chipboard. I would love to try this myself.

More on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

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