Session II: Arts and Crafts Immersions
June 28 to July 3, 2015
Though all subjects throughout the grades should be enlivened and permeated by the artistry of the teacher, specialized arts and crafts skills are first introduced in the Waldorf middle school and continue through the high school. Yet many aspiring and experienced teachers lack the practical and artistic expertise to provide students with the called for aesthetic experiences.
This year, the Alkion Center is providing the opportunity for intense explorations and practice in four areas: the two-dimensional (painting and drawing); the three-dimensional (clay, wood, and stone); the fiber arts (spinning, weaving, and basketry); and bookbinding techniques. [See individual course descriptions and instructor bios.]
We encourage participants to stay as focused as possible in their specialized discipline of choice, but if enrollment numbers allow, two may be chosen – one for the morning session and one for the afternoon.
Sunday, June 28
6pm – Registration
7pm- Opening Presentation and Orientation
8:30 to 9:15am – Morning Seminar
- The arts and the seven-fold human being
- The phenomenological approach to art and crafts
- The progression from middle to high school arts
- Arts and crafts and moral psychological development
9:15am – Coffee, Tea, and Snacks
9:30am to 12:15pm – Morning Studio Hours
12:15 to 1:15pm – Lunch Break
1:15 to 4pm – Afternoon Studio Hours
4 to 5pm – Snacks and Conversation
[Friday, July 3 – Closing Exhibition Plenum]
5 to 7pm – Dinner Break
Evenings – Open Studios
Painting and Drawing with Martina Angela Müller
In painting, we will work with a living color theory, how to move from color to form both in a representational and non-representational way. Familiarity with the mood and quality of each color can lead to freedom of expression. Basic rules for composition are taught with every project. We will work with watercolor, water soluble oils, collage, pastels, mixed media, and contemporary techniques that incorporate direct interaction with nature. We will explore how to accompany the soul development of the pre- and adolescent through numerous projects, some of which can also be taken up during open studio times in the evening. A library of art books, numerous student and teacher examples and guided projects are sure to inspire and expedite skill development and artistic competence. Participants are encouraged to bring their questions and areas of interest to the class, so that guidance can be offered on individual projects as well.
In drawing, we will work on observation, accuracy, shading, mark making, perspective, nature studies and projects from imagination. Charcoal, pencil, ink and colored chalks will be used as needed with these different drawing projects. Building confidence in drawing will be exhilarating both for the practicing teacher and art enthusiast.
Guidance, materials, and facilities will be provided for practice in painting and drawing according to the needs and inclinations of the participants. Projects and themes will be explored appropriate to developmental stages of grades 5 to 12.
Sculpture led by Patrick Stolfo
Guidance, materials, and facilities will be provided for practice in clay modeling, wood or stone carving. Projects will be given that meet the interests and needs of the individual participants, and be chosen from a range of exercises appropriate to the developmental stages of grades 5 to 12 — any of which are enriching for the adult as well.
Some examples to choose from include:
- Wood shaping and carving, based on sculptural principles of concave/convex and utility/beauty. Simple shapes, spoons, and bowls. Animal gestures, reliefs, free standing, abstract sculptures, etc.
- Clay modeling for middle and high school – geometric, natural, figurative, and abstract forms out of movement and gesture, the plane, and convexity-concavity. The human figure and head. Metamorphosis as an inherent principle of sculptural art.
- Stone Carving – uncovering the form within – from observation to imagination, to expression. Practical and aesthetic aspects.
All clay, tools, and equipment use is covered in the the materials fee. Wood and stone costs will be charged on an individual basis.
Fiber Arts led by Candace Christiansen
The Fiber Arts experience is designed to guide students in the elements of spinning, weaving and basketry. These three areas are chosen since they are an integral aspect of adolescent education. We will have the experience of spinning on both drop spindle and wheel. In the weaving, we will experience inkle loom and card weaving, and the preparation and weaving on 4 harness looms. In basketry, we will explore materials and their application to various forms of baskets.
Projects are chosen that give students a clear picture and experience of how things are made in an artistic way. The curriculum in the Waldorf School puts strong emphasis on learning where everyday, useful items originate, and on the creative activity of the human being in their planning and production.
The course comprises an introduction to the craft, the use of materials and the studio time to focus on chosen aspects of fiber arts.
Candace studied at the College of Saint Rose and Cornell in biochemistry. She has been a Waldorf educator in Chemistry, Math, and Fiber Arts for the past 20 years at the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. In addition, she has taught fiber and clay arts at Maple Crest and Banner Hill in the Catskills and the Roarke Center in Troy , NY. Her interest in craftsmanship extends beyond the craft into the aspects of human development and the education of the adolescent.
Guidance, materials, and facilities will be provided for practice in bookbinding according to the needs and inclinations of the participants. Simple paper making, marbling and paste papers will be explored as appropriate companion activities. The role of bookbinding in the curriculum, along with projects and themes, will be explored. Materials, tools, paper, and where to purchase them will also be addressed.
Bookbinding is a practical art that combines a strong sense of aesthetics with technical skill, architectural/geometric thinking and mathematical precision. In these 5 days participants will learn the basics of bookbinding – including coptic stitching, signature sewing, hinge making, glue types, and tools. In addition simple paper making, marbling and paste paper techniques will be introduced. Participants will have the freedom to explore a wide range of small projects, or to focus on the completion of a case bound journal.
If you have a few favorite bookbinding books and tools of your own (bone folder, awl, scissors, etc), feel free to bring them along.
Lisa has been a Waldorf educator for over 25 years as a class and special subjects teacher at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She has been instrumental in Waldorf School start-up initiatives and currently teaches guest blocks and mentors new teachers at various schools. Areas of special interest and experience include bookbinding, metal and stone work, and spacial dynamics, as well as high school life and earth science. She is especially interested in the role of craft and practical life in human development.
*Artwork by Hawthorne Valley Waldorf High School students.