Wednesday, January 11, 2017

When students become teachers

I was really looking forward to today, set aside for paper decoration. It's a nice break from papermaking and a whole new way of approaching paper. But the biggest reason is that one of my students who took this class two years ago was returning to teach marbling!
Jones (appropriately lit like an angel here) took my class as a first year and was almost totally silent the entire month. It was clear, though, that he was incredibly gifted and I insisted that he continue making things after the class ended. He went on to take the library letterpress course, where he met Steve Pittelkow, a master marbler. He was so impressed by Steve's demo at Oberlin that he ended up taking his next January term class in Florida, learning everything that Steve could throw at him in a month (which was A LOT).
Now, Jones has his own setup to work on his own, the knowledge to learn on his own in self-directed ways, and impressive papers for sale not only through his shop but the Morgan's. You can see his papers on Instagram and see a video of him working online as well. He's a natural teacher and of course my students fell in love with the whole process. It's also incredibly powerful to be taught by a peer, and they were engaged and excited in a whole different way.
These were the papers they made yesterday, and it will be interesting to see what they end up making tomorrow after having all kinds of new ideas through paper decoration.
Cori completely loves marbling already

Even the most reserved students were all smiles today.
What I enjoyed most was how Jones threw them all into the deep end from the start, showing difficult patterns and offering to teach them whatever they wanted to learn based on his images online. That's the beauty of being open to everything and not afraid of challenges. Everything is possible at this time in their lives!
They also learned how to make paste papers, and that made the usual grand old mess, but plenty of fun papers and fun painting.
And we had suminagashi going as well so that everyone could keep busy since we only had two marbling tanks and a limited amount of carrageenan.
So many papers on the line! A particularly good day to receive visitors, of which we had a couple.

So proud of all of my students, and glad to play assistant for a while. One student has a family member in hospice and she made a marbled piece as a gift that looked like outer space because she said, "I want to give him the universe."


Velma Bolyard said...

WOW! this is perfectly wonderful.

one small stitch said...

wonderful day for all,the patterns are fascinating.