In my last post I talked about the beginning of my glass education and teaching at the New Orleans School of Glassworks. This month I will talk about how I continued my glass education over many summers by traveling to various Craft Schools, such as Penland School of Crafts, Red Deer College, and the Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass. It's too hot to blow glass in the summer in New Orleans, anyway!
I did this over the period of about 8 or 9 summers - applying for scholarships and work-study programs at different places, each and every year. Every time I applied for scholarships, I got something. There are many different types of scholarships at these art centers. From continuing education grants, to work-study and other scholarships, to teacher and studio assistantships. I would highly recommend this avenue to anyone pursuing a career in the arts. Just look google craft schools with your discipline and make a list of application deadlines. Most applications come out around the end of the year, with February/March deadlines for summer workshops.
A number of these summers I found myself cooking in the kitchen at Penland School of Crafts in a work-study exchange for housing and meals and taking a class. These classes and travel can be expensive but they can also be a great way of learning and getting out of your element, not to mention the New Orleans summer heat. It was how I pursued my passion during and after college.
Over the years, I was lucky enough to be chosen as a studio or teacher assistant to artists like Bandhu Dunham, Brian Kerkvliet, and Lucio Bubacco. I was also lucky enough to study with Paul Stankard, Roger Paramore, Robert Mickelsen, Loren Stump, Dinah Hulet, Richard Ritter, Jan Williams, and others. Look any of these artists up. They are all my maestros and people whom work has influenced and inspired me and who have allowed for me to make this segway into teaching.
The cool thing about Penland (and the like) is not the amazing artists that they get to teach there, or the great meals at the Pines, or all the cool and different people you meet. It is how artists of all levels and backgrounds come together over a common goal to create, and ignite or reignite their passion for their chosen medium. It is a reminder that I will always be a student of my craft.
Next month I will tell you a little bit about Yaya and Yaya Creative Glass, where I currently teach. I also often travel to teach and have some workshops scheduled in Las Vegas and Milwaukee in the early half of next year I will tell you about. I then plan to wrap up this initial series of my blog with a little bit about the future and what kind of classes we plan to offer at the new studio.... when it is finally up and running. It might be a year out but we're already working on making it a great place that anyone can learn and be creative with glass.