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Choosy about MFA Program


was: Soft enamel production work

So a question for you. Then, why do you want to get into an MFA
program? You seem to know something of where you want to go, want
to make. why not skip the big program and learn what you need and
go do it? Just thinking out loud. Marianne 

Well, that’s what I’m doing now, on a part-time basis. J

I take workshops and continuing ed classes fairly regularly, plus go
thru books and videos. Made it to the Enameling Conference at
Arrowmont, where incidentally I got to meet you briefly, admire your
work in person, and go halfsies on a set of enameling pencils with
you (which I still haven’t gotten around to trying out.)

I’m learning, but it’s slow going doing it part time, after my day
job, family time and civic commitments.

I think I could really benefit from a good MFA program, or several
good mentors in any full time setting, for that matter. I enjoy
teaching as well as making things and an MFA would open the
possibility of a university teaching position. Then again, I’m a bit
long in the tooth for a school to hire me and there are darn few
teaching positions anyway, so that’s probably a moot point, but one
can always plan, work for it, and hope for the best.

Plus the idea of learning and working on art full time and hanging
out with other folks doing the same would be an awesome way to spend
several years.

Conceptually, the MFA program that’s interested me the most has been
at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London.

However, they don’t really have a metals based program. L But maybe
they really want to get a byzantine enameling program going, it never
hurts to ask. seems to have a good program
and is fairly close to me. Close enough to live at home and attend,
but not close enough to take classes during the day and work a day
job, too. They also have a ceramics and wood program, too.

I know some of you would advise, “Follow your dreams, just go for
it.” It’s good advice. But I have a wife and a mentally handicapped
adult daughter.

My daughter can’t take care of herself and I don’t want her to be a
financial burden on her brother once we’re too old to take care of

That means my wife and I have to save for 4 retirements, not just 2.
2 for the 2 of us, plus 1 for our daughter while we’re alive, plus
one for her after we’re not. I make good money making software and
the loss of that income would make that much harder to pull off.
Unless I win the lottery I’m unlikely to be able to attend full time
until I retire.

Plus, I sure as hell am unwilling to pay $25,000 to $60,000 to be
tortured into putting rusted out derelict car frames on blocks and
pretending it’s art. Or to have to write papers for teachers who
don’t recognize either of these are jokes:

Thanks for asking,


Hilarious! Thanks for sharing David. I went through the process and
my “statement” was a scream - I have saved it for future use.

I get that you’re a slightly older Brit: me too - perhaps our lot
were taught not to get too intense about stuff nor to take ourselves
too seriously…

Or maybe you and I just share a warped sense of humour !

Best to you and your family.



Best stuff EVER! Being a Studio Art major, both of these make me
laugh. Iswear I’m saving my “artists statement,” and I am 80’m gonna
have to find a way to use it. I’ve always thought the whole artists
statement thing was pure crap. Maybe it started at one point as
something relevant to a person’s actual art, but now it’s just
warped into who can vomit out the most BS. I once entered a juried
exhibit and had my writer sister write my statement. When she asked
me what to write, I honestly told her to “crap out the most
ridiculous, artsy BS you can come up about me that has something
slightly to do with my art. Here… read some other people’s artists
statements onlineand you’ll get the picture.” She read the stuff,
laughed, then said, “I get it! Pure crap!” And she made up some
esoteric BS about my art. I not only made it into the exhibit, but
one of the jurors complimented me greatly over my statement. The
hardest thing was having to wait three hours for the darn thing to
end so I could laugh for 10 minutes! I’ve always felt that either
you make art/jewelry etc.,or you talk about it. If the work is good
enough, why would you need to come up with a bunch of stuff to say
about it to make it more meaningful?