Friday, August 08, 2008

Arrowmont 2008 - Part I

6 July 2008 - First day at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.

I wasn't sure what to expect in doing a one-week class, since my longest class is usually a two-day hands-on over a weekend. I was a bit nervous about the prospect of keeping a bunch of people busy for such a long time. I needn't have worried - the time went so fast and we could have used another couple of days!

New instructors are given an orientation tour of the school, which I found to be very helpful.

Bill Griffith is the Assistant Director of the school and he gave us a lot of good information along the way, including some of the history of the school.

We started up at the staff house, which is where all the instructors stay. It's also where the dining hall is located and so everyone gathers there three times a day. The food was pretty good, which was a nice surprise.

The old red barn is one of the historic buildings on campus. It's used now as a student dorm, but it wasn't in use during my week at Arrowmont.

The main building on campus houses several art studios, the administration offices, the store, the library (what a wonderful resource!) plus the gallery space and an auditorium. The lounge is in the basement of this building.

This is the view from the entrance near the staff house. The fountains are a welcoming sight. Just beyond the stone wall is the gallery space.

Studios are labeled above the door. You don't really get a sense of what's in there until you walk into the studio. Each one is well equipped with state-of-the-art gadgets and supplies.

The metal studio was being used this week for and introduction to metalsmithing class - oriented toward jewelry. I have photos from later in the week, but it looks very much like a wood studio to me.

You have to keep your eyes open or you'll miss some of the art gems that are tucked away into nooks and crannies. That was one of the delightful things I found about walking around campus. You really live with art for a week.

Here's a glimpse of the gallery. The summer faculty art show was going on. I didn't get something together in time to have a piece in the show. Next time. . .

The recreation lounge is open 24/7. I didn't see much of this all week. I was too busy in the studio - either helping students, working on stuff, or practicing music. I had brought my fiddle and hammer dulcimer along because of the gigs I had coming up for July and August.

The hallway coming out of the lounge is covered in postcards of artwork from the faculty that has taught at Arrowmont.

A quick look at the ceramics studio.

This is what greeted me in the wood studio. Mike Lee and Stony Lamar had been there the previous two-week session. I got a real kick out of Mike leaving me a reminder about the fun we had running rock in 2007.

On Sunday evening, after dinner, all the classes begin. I started my session with a lot of general information, including a rough draft of a schedule for the week. We certainly changed this as we went - especially by using the wood studio auditorium for powerpoint presentations.

Here are some of the students - I had eight altogether, plus Evelyn Lahti as my able assistant.

L to R: Hal, Bill, Mel, Bob, and Myra.

We did some turning on Sunday evening and Monday. Here's Tom and Hal.

Students got busy right away with starting some surface enhancement techniques.

Bill Stephenson had been there the previous two weeks and stayed on for a third to take my class. He was a real fount of knowledge for everyone. He's taken 23 classes, or something like that, at Arrowmont. He was a heck of a nice guy, too.

Bob on the lathe while most of the class was back at the carving bench.

Busy, busy, busy. The carving part was focused on surface textures. Everyone seemed to enjoy this part of the class.

We used everything from Dremels to Foredom to NSK and Powercrafters. Whatever anyone had.

My favorite tool for this work is the NSK Z-500.

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