Thursday, June 12, 2014

Berkeley County Talented and Gifted High School Summer Arts Program

(Above:  Students creating unique fiber artworks using heat-activated techniques.  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

This week I've been teaching for the Berkeley County Talented and Gifted High School Summer Arts Program near Goose Creek, South Carolina ... which is just outside Charleston, South Carolina.  One way, the drive is about an hour-and-a-half from home but it is well worth it!  There are two classes ... one with the rising ninth and tenth graders and the other for the rising eleventh and twelfth graders.  For some totally unknown reason, I've only snapped photos while with the younger students.

I spend the morning with one group and the afternoon with the other.  Jan Welborn is the other guest artist instructor.  He's teaching architecture.  This is a two week program.  By next week, all the work created in these two classes will be on display for parents, friends, and other art lovers in the area.  Both classes are doing very, very well. 

There's a middle school teacher also participating in both classes!  We are all having a blast.  It is so much fun to see young men getting into fibers and stitch.  My class focuses on heat-activated techniques for creative embroidery.  Everyone is busy ironing previously painted Wonder Under, applying heat-activated metallic foils, fusing polyester velvet shapes, using the soldering irons, and exploring stitch by both hand embellishments and free-motion machining!

Almost every student is well into the construction of a second piece.  All the pieces are being created to fit inside the 8" x 10" mats that I cut last week.  The mats' openings are all 6 1/2" x 4 1/2".  Thus, more than one piece is easily possible.  We are definitely going to have a stellar exhibit!  (I promise more photos of the students and their completed work!)

The program is organized by Robin Boston, the art teacher at Stratford High School.  Ms. Boston has a personal collection of ATCs (Artist Trading Cards.)  These 3 1/2" x 2 1/2" miniatures are great ways to exchange art with others.  She is encouraging students to make and swap their own. 

Because I mounted CYBER FYBER in 2009, I happen to know quite a bit about the success of ATCs.  I brought the entire collection of CYBER FYBER ATCs to show the classes.  They are quite a hit.

For CYBER FYBER, I made and exchanged fiber postcards and ATCs with other fiber artists in 23 different countries and all but seven states in the USA.  When I did this, I had a few extra ATCs ... but I've given them all away since then.  I really want every student to have one of mine ... but I don't have the time this weekend to make so many from scratch.  There are 33 students!

So ... last night I browsed through some of my older pieces.  I found one made in 2003 ... before I'd ever heard of a blog.  It had been taken out of its frame years ago and was simply matted and shrink wrapped and shoved into a print bin.  It didn't take long for me to decide to cut it.  It was actually quite fun to do!

But ... I also had no digital images of the piece.  It was made when I was still taking slides.  So ... I snapped a full shot ....

 (Above:  Madonna, mixed media on paper with free motion machine embroidery.  22" x 16 1/2".)

... and a detail shot ...

... but I'm very, very happy with a collection of small ATCs to distribute to my "talented and gifted" summer students!

I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber artwork.


Summer said...

You go girl! These students are so lucky to have you as a teacher. I'm sure they appreciate your inspiration.

Teresa Duryea Wong said...

what a fun class. Looks like the kids are enjoying it. you might inspire something that could change their life... or at the very least they will probably remember the class for a long time. Well done!

jeanne hewell-chambers said...

Don't I wish I could be a gifted high schooler! What a wonderful opportunity for them, for you, for fiber arts. And I love that the theme is exploring/creating with heat-activation. Brilliant.