This fall I’ll be teaching a fold forming class so I’ve been gathering willing, and a few not-so-willing subjects. (What is fold forming? See the previous blog entry.) One was the husband. I’d have to put him in the not-so-willing category but he finally succumbed to my sighing and gamely created a work of art that surprised both of us. We're not sure where it is now or it would be included here... The only two I’ve convinced since I started this web site are my sister Danni and the husband’s old Albion College chum, Larry Downs. The only one I remembered to take pictures of in the studio was Larry – so may I proudly introduce AuSable Designs August Student of The Month: Larry Downs of Coldwater Michigan (pictured above).
I've always felt an important part of teaching is figuring out how much guidance your student needs. Some are nervous and want step by step support. Others not so much. I quickly learned Larry was at the extreme end of “not so much.” I might have to make a new category of “show me only what you absolutely HAVE to then get out of my way.” No matter how quickly I tried to demonstrate, it seemed his hand was reaching for the tool before I was done. I found it best to keep myself busy in another part of the studio rather than hover. If I saw a problem developing I tried to move in and out with explanations ASAP so he could get back to his own pace. He did every step of the process from cutting out the copper sheet shapes to making his own sterling ear wires and applying multiple coats of Renaissance wax sealer in the final steps. Here they are. Who knows, this could be spoken about, in years to come, as the week that Larry Downs first learned he liked to move metal.