I've been reading the kids thread with great interest.
A long time ago, as kids, we used to use our imaginations to build
forts, kit planes and boats from boxes of parts. I used to take a
bunched up blanket, put it on the floor and bring my toy animals to
create a magic mountain and make up stories of heroism, evil spirits
that lived under the blanket and animals that had special gifts. My
husband, a computer software engineer spent his childhood with broken
clocks which he dissembled and tried to fix.
In grade school I had a wonderful teacher who used to let us sit for
an hour (or it seemed like) and listen to music with our big drawing
pads and crayons. Her name was Miss Grassfield and I was in the 5th
grade in Santa Barbara. She would bring records and play "The Grand
Canyon Suite", or "The Moldau". Ms. Grassfield would tell us about
the music and what it was about. A slow moving river that meandered
its way through a sleepy city, but then with from storms which sent
torrents of rain, gathered strength and intensity as it moved into
the countryside with rocks and tumbling water.
This would put a visual picture in our minds and we committed our
crayons to paper drawing different images of the changing river as
the music played.
Now days, we don't have this kind of focused exploration in our
schools. We have Moms who are over committed, rushed to work during
the day, get their kids to and from school, drive them to endless
athletic events, slap cell phones to make sure where they are every
single second of their lives. It shows in the parents and it shows in
the kids as well.
Instead of Johnny or Susie's soccer game, how about finding a kit
model in a box and sitting down together and building it. Everything
now is about consumption without learning how enjoyable the process
can be. This mass consumption directly relates to the students in our
classes. We don't want to spend two full days or 9 weekly sessions
learning a process, we want it in three hours! Build a beaded
bracelet in 1.5 hours! Name that tune in 3 notes!
Take a deep breath and begin again. Kids are curious. Kids want to
touch. So do adults, but they hide it better. Parents who come to art
shows want to see beautiful hand made items, and possibly they will
purchase something that they want to take home for themselves or as a
gift for a friend.
I want inquisitive kids, but that is the mission of Metalwerx, not
the mission of a high end studio jeweler. Kids coming with parents
are inevitable and you will have to find creative ways to deal with
ALL of your public.
And by the way, my father's hand made ship models are a thing of
beauty. However, I was never able to share in the fun which is why I
think I didn't get into this 3D thing until much later in my life.
However, Miss Grassfield, where ever you are, I will always remember
the impact you made on my life.
M E T A L W E R X
School for Jewelry and the Metalarts
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
781 891 3854