Fall semester starts next week, after a very busy summer with a break in between that seems too-short, now that it is almost over! Summer classes are only ten weeks long, while Fall and Spring classes are 16, allowing more time to cover the work included in the course. This is especially important in art classes, where there is a lot of creative work to be done. It is never advisable to put homework off to the last minute in any class, and it just is not possible to cram three or four good paintings or a dozen bowls, or three pendants into a single weekend of work at the last minute. Far better to put every minute you can into creating beautiful items that also happen to be your homework!
When class time is over, you have the option of continuing on at home or at school during open studio time. Student monitors, often advanced students, have set hours each semester that they work to keep the ceramics, jewelry, painting and photography rooms open for those enrolled in the classes. (see the new open studio hours listings in the sidebar)
Here you see Ron’s homework from the summer casting class–a beautiful silver pendant cast in a mold he made from an original he carved in wax. This photo was taken before he filed away the excess metal at the bottom, the sprue where the molten silver entered the mold. Ron is one of the students who kept the jewelry studio available for use in the last several semesters.
It is a great thing to be able to put in a few hours of work in a studio that is all set up with what you need in the way of lighting, space, worktables, and the company of your fellows–but not ALL of them, as you have in class! There’s usually more room to spread out, and time to work on your projects. Its just astounding how much time doing good work can take, particularly when you are learning and practicing new skills.It’s worth it too–it feels great to produce a piece of artwork that is beautiful and lasting, even when it doesn’t quite match up with what you first envisioned. The next piece will be even better, because of what you learn when you practice.