Thursday, March 8, 2007

Teach, Be Taught and Reminded

Remember, this teaching concept is pretty new to me. Unlike the one on one situation in my studio, the shawl pin workshops are taught in yarns shops, community buildings or, as this one was, a private school. I start by saying that although it is billed as a shawl pin workshop you can make anything you want. I do a simple demonstration detailing simple forging, bending and finishing techniques then I switch into hovercraft mode to be on hand for any questions. Susan Levine, my high school boyfriend, Ben's sister taught me this way when I was about 19. Today I have a studio full of tools, but in watching a new student working through the concept of making metal do their bidding using just a few simple tools, I remember all the feelings of wonder I had. I miss the simplicity of that process.
I knew Anne from our days at Curves. We had spoken occasionally and always with a shared style of directness and honesty. I didn't know she worked at the school where the class was being held. I did know she wove beautiful baskets because we had both shown our work at the annual Annisquam Art and Craft Show. At first she asked a few questions and I remember doing another quick design. I don't think she had a goal to make anything specific. She picked up some pliers and some wire and started making a spiral. I love that shape as it stands for growth and change, two things I am wanting for myself. She completed one and then decided to try a different metal in a different gauge. Somewhere along the process the elements were linked together and leather chord added. The end result was this beautiful necklace.
With independent study I "show and tell" and they go home and work on their own. I miss being witness to the "Ah Ha" moments like I saw with Anne. It is seeing that moment happen for someone else that is hard to describe. It reminded me of my own "Ah Ha" moments and also gave me that hard to define feeling that came from knowing I had helped someone else to experience it. What a gift!
Blog On,Leslie

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