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Inside Studio Row

by Emolyn Liden, Writer, Student & Instructor on February 17, 2010

in Studio Tours

Studio Row is a place on campus where, in one twenty-yard stretch we have the Enameling, Clay, Woodcarving, and Jewelry Studios as well as the outside wood-fired and gas-fired kilns.
Recently in the Enameling Studio Tony Prince inspired his students to make miniature glass animals in the “Free-Form Flamework” class.  In his demo Monday evening he made a mini wasp that looked like it could spread its wings and fly.  Inside the studio, the hot kilns and friendly conversation created an inviting workspace. 
Next door in the Clay Studio the students were busy throwing at the wheel.  During the week they discussed their work with instructor Vince Sansone in the class designed for intermediate to advanced students to tweak techniques and hone skills. 
Just across the way, the woodcarvers chipped at wood blocks in the “Focus on Faces” class with Chris Howard.  By Thursday, when I stopped by, the students had shaped their blocks of wood into lifelike faces and were working on the finer details. 
At the end of the Row, instructor Sheryl Koch was teaching how to make flat paneled stained-glass lamps.  The next time these students curl up on the couch to read a book they will read from the light given off by their own handmade lamp.

While the close proximity of the studios in the row is a place where people bounce ideas in many mediums, it’s important to look outside the studios as well.   Truth be told, part of living as a full-time or recreational artist is the need to be supported by others and whether you decide to be a professional or a hobbyist, arts and crafts thrives from understanding of why it is important to create.  The beauty here has inspired photographers and painters for years.  The round hay bales have appeared in photos, paintings, poems, and quilts; the flower gardens the same.  The dining hall staff shares their understanding by having hot food ready and waiting three times a day.  The music classes play for students and our local musicians volunteer to play for the Tuesday night dances.  The cooking classes hand out samples to the office staff and to students at Show-and-Tell.  The writing classes give readings on Thursdays so that others on campus can put down their tools and sit in a comfy chair to listen.  The grounds and maintenance crew salt the sidewalk and fix leaky faucets while yoga classes and massages de-stress, relax, and strengthen.  All of these aspects, visual, verbal, tactile, aromatic help create an atmosphere that can inspire.

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