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Re: [teacherartexchange] beadwork - help!


From: Marvin Bartel (marvinpb_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Nov 03 2008 - 06:39:58 PST

>Is anyone out there a beader? I need help. This can't be so complicated. I'm trying to do some beading. One needle has an eye SO small I can't see it to thread it. The other beading needle can be threaded with much effort, but then won't fit through many of the seed beads. Am I missing something really obvious?
>Any help is appreciated.

I recently was asked to help screen the entrees to an art fair. Out of about 10 beaders wanting to sell jewelry, one of them showed original thinking and design. This artist actually designed and created her own beads. The other nine did not appear to have studied art. If students make the beads, the holes can be made large enough not require a needle. More importantly, when students make the beads (and other objects to include) it may be easier to for them to get experience thinking like an artist.

When thinking about jewelry design learning, I speculate about the thought process of artists like Robert Ebendorf. No, I would not show his work to students prior to their work, but studying it myself really helps me think of better questions to ask and student experiments to do to help my students learn how to develop their own ideas as emerging artists.

I never met Ebendorf until 2002 when he came to Goshen as our visiting artist.
He conducted a workshop with our students. His workshop was centered on practice in developing creative compositions---not jewelry making. Students rated this very high as a learning experience.

I had followed the career of Robert Ebendorf because I did half of my student teaching with Mrs. Wolfe. She was Ebendorf's high school jewelry teacher at Topeka High School, Kansas. Mrs. Wolfe was justifiably proud of his artistic success.

When Mrs. Wolfe taught jewelry, she did not show examples prior to student work. She had them draw many preliminary ideas. She then had them use tracing paper to refine, refine, refine, several of their best ideas before they were allowed to start working on the jewelry. She assumed that every student could learn to be creative. She required a high level of care in the crafting as well. She assumed that every student could learn to improve, simplify, elaborate, refine, etc.

During the summers during my first high school art teaching position, with the encouragement of Mrs. Wolfe, I took grad school jewelry and silversmithing courses with the same instructors that Ebendorf had studied with at the U. of Kansas.


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