My basic Introductory Workshop: Cloisonne´and Enamel Color Layers
My beginning students inspire me as they create enamel imagery which I never would have imagined. They learn to ask and answer their own questions. Not just the "how-to" questions but the "what to make" questions. By mid-way through the week, most need little help at all and most don't want any. They have learned to think for themselves. It is incredible for me to watch their growing sense of freedom and confidence blossom right in front of my eyes.
Because I don't teach a "project-based" workshop, many students begin the week feeling a little anxious. There is no guarantee that they will make something "good enough" and they will have to think about and decide upon what they will make. When students are able to "let go" of doing it the right way and can just have fun with the enamel, they make the shift from "perfomer to learner". And then the magic begins. Here is how I try to help you along this process of transformation:
I will show you some basic skills and demonstrate some important scientific principles.
I will describe what is "happening inside of my head" as I am making my pieces.
I will invite you to "just do it" and give you permission to make mistakes and fail.
I will even encourage you to make "BAD" enamels to help you get over your fears. This way you cannot fail.
When you come to me with a question, I will almost always respond with the one honest answer: "It depends". And then I will ask you to think about what it depends on so that you can learn how to answer your own questions.
I will point out all of the "mini-successes" you have achieved when you are confused and frustrated.
I will invite you to connect to what you are making, to think about why you CARE about it, and suggest that you exaggerate something to make it more expressive.
I will encourage you to just play. In this way you will learn what is possible and what your like.
The students who allow themselves to embrace these concepts make the most fun and interesting pieces and end up learning the most..