Expressive Forging: Topography in Steel
This workshop will explore a range of experimental and traditional approaches to blacksmithing and metalworking to better understand metal as an expressive medium. Through unconventional forging exercises students will consider surface and texture in steel, pulling design influence from personally sourced images, drawing exercises, and the natural and human-made environment around us. Projects will focus on combining forged textures, forming techniques, and fabricated elements to create functional and sculptural forms. Discussions and demonstrations will cover topics such as tooling, sheet metal forming, welding, and basic fabrication—leading to an emphasis on various finishing processes appropriate to each project. All levels welcome.
MEGHAN MARTIN is an artist and blacksmith living and working in western North Carolina. Originally from Vermont, she began her metalworking career through the apprenticeship model— she is a two time recipient of The Vermont Folklife Center’s Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant and was a two year Core Fellow at Penland. Among her evolving series of sculptural wall pieces, Meghan completes a wide breadth of commissioned work regularly, including functional objects for the home. Selected group exhibitions: Metal IV, Metal V, LIGHT Art+Design, Personal Effects, Penland, At Work, Earlham College, and Nu Iron Age Contemporary Forged Art Show. meghan-martin.com
Pinching and Playing
Pinching is one of the most basic techniques used in creating ceramic objects. In this workshop we will use simple processes to explore more complex forms within the realm of functional objects. Traditional methods of pinching, coiling, and press molding will be the springboard for participants to develop their own unique mark making process and to look at pots in a new way. Additionally, we will recognize that vessels hold a language and can either move within or relinquish. Not only will we investigate the composition of vessels, but also push ourselves to discover new ways of forming them through methods unconstrained by the wheel. All levels welcome.
EMILY SCHROEDER WILLIS is a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She received an MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Emily was awarded the Jerome Fellowship from the Northern Clay Center and has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Archie Bray Foundation, the Zentrum für Keramik in Berlin, and Watershed Center for the Ceramics Arts. In 2012, Emily was a presenter at Arrowmont’s Utilitarian Clay Conference where Objective Clay, a collective she is part of, was formed. emilyschroeder.com
Students will be led through the process of warping, dressing a loom, and weaving from start to finish. We will experiment with a wide range of traditional and experimental techniques including basic 4-harness structures, double weaves, use of supplemental weft, pattern, and composition. After producing experimental samples, students will weave one or more finished pieces using the techniques of their choice. The primary focus is on the use of multi-harness floor looms, but students will also be able to build and work on portable frame looms. Designed for beginning weavers but also suitable to continuing hand-weavers who want focused work time.
CHRISTY MATSON has been weaving by hand for over nineteen years. Her practice engages a full range of weaving technology from portable frame looms, to hand operated jacquards, to industrial looms. Christy was an Associate Professor of Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received a BFA from the University of Washington and an MFA from the California College of the Arts. Recent exhibitions of her work include the Long Beach Museum of Art, Craft and Folk Art Museum Los Angeles, and Museum of Contemporary Arts Houston, and her work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. cmatson.com
Social Paper: Using Text, Image, Paper, and Print for Social Practice
Explore the use of printing and handmade paper techniques to engage the community through public and participatory art practices. Work with hand papermaking, a variety of stencils for paper pulp, and relief printmaking techniques while discussing how to use these as effective tools in social practice. We will brainstorm and experiment with combining text and image to engage a range of participants and convey meaning, as well as considering the ways material—the use of meaningful fibers to create paper pulp, whether repurposed cloth or specific plant fibers—can reinforce concepts and further the experience of participants within a participatory environment. All levels welcome.
MARY TASILLO AND MICHELLE WILSON are papermakers, bookbinders, and printmakers who form the collective BOOK BOMBS. Originally conceived as a series of public installations of printed matter, Book Bombs explores forms of political encounters, creating temporary creative communities amongst strangers through interactive projects. Mary is Manager of Common Press at the University of Pennsylvania and is also a co-founder of The Soapbox: Community Print Shop & Zine Library. Michelle lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area and has served as a hand papermaking advisor to Signa-Haiti, a non-governmental organization developing a sustainable and bio-dynamic economy in Haiti. bookbombs.net
Some Like It Hot
This workshop explores the aesthetic qualities that different enameling techniques and metal substrates offer—working with color, surface textures, image, and form—and introduces a variety of processes to create multilayered collages and three-dimensional objects. Techniques include painting and drawing, stencils, stamps and foils, etching, basse-taille, laser engraving, image transfer, and working with liquid enamels. Presentations of historic and contemporary examples will give context to the rich and diverse history of enameling in non–western and western cultures. Experimentation is encouraged and an ongoing creative discourse is intended to expand your artistic and conceptual vocabulary. Basic metalworking skills ideal but not essential. All levels welcome.
BARBARA SEIDENATH is a jeweler and educator, teaching at Rhode Island School of Design and Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Educated in Germany, she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich with Professor Hermann Jünger before relocating to the US in 1990. Her work has been published in Metalsmith Magazine and you can find her pieces in the collection of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Los Angeles County Museum, and the Enamel Arts Foundation in Los Angeles. risd.edu/people/barbara-seidenath
Outcasts, Strays, and Foundlings: Giving Old Objects New Life
Our world holds an abundance of objects whose useful life seems to have passed. Thrift stores, junk shops, garage sales, and roadsides hold items no longer needed for their original purpose. Using the found object as both design cue and conceptual seed, we will use the tools and techniques of the woodshop to build upon, in and around our objects, bringing back the old while creating fresh meaning and visual impact. All levels welcome.
TED LOTT maintains a studio practice, engaging the history of wood in Material Culture and Architecture, in Cooperstown, New York. He received a BFA from the Maine College of Art and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Solo exhibitions of his work were mounted at Swarthmore College and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte College of Art & Architecture. Ted has been an Artist-In-Residence at Anderson Ranch, Kohler Arts/Industry Program, Arrowmont, Center for Turning & Furniture Design, and Vermont Studio Center. He was recently selected as one of sixteen finalists for the Burke Prize—at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City—celebrating the next generation of Craft Artists working in the U.S. tedlott.com
Visiting artists augment the session with informal activities and are not workshop leaders.
“Want to go fast? Go alone. Want to go far? Go together.”
At the core of this African proverb is the notion that sustainability requires an integration of individuality with collaboration. In these workshops we will join forces through our experiences, empathy, and passions. We will explore ways to connect, share our methodologies, investigate our influences, dig into our distinctions, and unearth our commonalities. We will deeply root our work and measure the histories we have established while simultaneously branching into new expansive directions. The strategies we share will be carried into our everyday lives and studio practice. Together, we will merge and expand ideas in the hopes that new ones will emerge. Let’s go far together.
SONYA CLARK has rooted her twenty-year art practice in the intersections of textiles, hair, and history. She has exhibited in 350 venues and received a Pollock-Krasner Grant, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, an Anonymous Was a Woman Award, and a United States Artist Fellowship. Sonya is a Professor of Art at Amherst College and formerly served as the chair of the Craft/Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. sonyaclark.com