Friday, 26 June 2009

I have decided to round off the week with another experimental piece of work.

This was made during the year that i was doing my HDip (that is teacher training).

i was planning a jewellery making module with my transition year students and had to make up some ideas for making jewels using everyday objects.

Surprise, surprise i thought that nature would be a good inspiration for my own work and so chose this wonderful Oak leaf as a basis for this pendant. It is shiny because i varnished it to preserve it and suddenly it looked like a jewel in its own right. The embellishments with wire and beads turned it into a new object.

I hated the Dip year - really hated it and decided afterwards that i would never teach again. I haven't taught since finishing in 2005 but now - as you know from an earlier post - I am thinking along those lines again. However, I will not be teaching in a school situation again. There are too many restrictions within the system - certainly in Ireland and England and from what I have read and learned in many other countries too. Also take into consideration the fact that in most places art is viewed as a second rate subject anyway. That is also felt when teaching in a school, manifest in budget as well as the attitude of other teachers. I hasten to say that it does not apply to all teachers but the majority.

In fact - i considered myself a 'dummy' at school. i was only good at music and art! I have since learned that there are different types of intelligence and those more 'feeling' subjects are just as valid and do not mean that you are stupid. You simply have a different way of processing the world. In fact there are many artists who are well read, well educated and extremely articulate. We are not all dyslexic lefties!

The point I am trying to make though is a serious one. The perception of art and artists is not always entirely positive and as an artist I have struggled with this perception throughout my entire life.

Returning to thoughts of the class that I was teaching at that time. i thought that it was one of my more successful classes. The girls loved the idea of making jewellery and were very inventive in using the materials - found objects, beads and wire. One project in particular stands out in my mind as particularly original. One of the girls had recently started rowing with a team on the River Lee in Cork. Her necklace was based on the river itself and the sinous lines of the course of the water lent itself perfectly to a flowing neckpiece. Made from articulated segments it sat perfectly around the neck and across the collarbones.

So I suppose, although a horrible, horrible year, there were certain simple successes within it. In any event it is always enjoyable getting to know your students - at the end of the day they are the one thing that makes teaching worthwhile.

On a completely unrelated subject: The Volleyball World Championships continue in Stavanger. The weather is delightful and the town is heaving. The only fly in the ointment is that there are all these absolutely stunning 6ft girls wandering around wearing tiny shorts and vests which show off their well developed shoulders. They all have six packs and long brown limbs! I am afraid it makes me feel short, plump, middle-aged and pale as i walk in their wake. Oh well nevermind - I could never be 6ft anyway, no matter how hard I work out!

Have a nice weekend! I will!

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