Masterclass with Caroline Broadhead at K2 Academy
Anthony, Kochi with Caroline, Inge and Sandra, sorry Eva I missed taking a shot of you.
A fabulous cohort to work alongside over four days at K2 Academy in central London last week with the very lovely Caroline Broadhead. Postponed from last February because of lockdown restrictions, it was long anticipated and looked forward to by me. I've never had any 'teaching' on jewellery regarding the theory or aesthetics of the discipline so the opportunity to spend four days brainstorming with Caroline was for me a fabulous investment, particularly because she doesn't use conventional materials, but references jewellery in a variety of ways including performance.
Day One. We started off swapping an ordinary object and given an hour to make something to wear. I was so lucky to get two tubes of old pewter letterpress pieces from Anthony. I'd hit gold! Not only a recycled material but also incorporating text which I'd been hoping to use again in my work but hadn't found the right way of doing it. Using Tiger tail I joined the letters together with some spacer knots and tangles - as in speech when we trip over a word or reach the end of a sentence. I was also reminded of visiting the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford and seeing the 'Witches Ladder' made from feathers knotted on a cord to ward off evil and had always wanted to use that idea in a project. Double excitement!
I was so inspired by this original necklace that I continued for the next three days to make multiples of shapes using self hardening clay, copper and brass exploring ideas around hidden words / sentences / messages and form. I was also interested in the noise the pieces make as they jostle together as another form of 'speech' the very lovely Kelvin Burke suggested the obvious - use brass! but it was just too tough for me to manipulate, so reverted back to my reclaimed copper wire which naturally patinates quickly revealing the words I'd stamped into lengths of it.
In addition to the encouragement and challenges from Caroline were the class crits which were insightful and supportive, particularly when I'd reached the end of a thread of an idea and wondered what to try next.
Day Four finished with a number of maquettes and exercises in pushing ideas forward which I hope to be able to use in a new series of work later in the year.
Some of the other pieces which I really liked by the rest of the class ...
Kochi - such thought provoking ideas and stories
Inge - I loved these pieces, the duo colours on mesh, the feel, the semi-matte perspex fade
Anthony's horsehair and original piece made on the Monday. Like me, he continued to explore ideas using the hair and also dots which ended up all over building as a way of mapping a walk which he is doing later on.
Sandra came up with some lovely ways to use champagne cages, playing with ideas around bling and the throwaway.
Finally Eva persisted over the days to drill into perspex to create illusions of space which for me were beautiful, with plenty of potential to expand in the future.
Katrin Spranger and Kelvin Burke of K2 Academy provided generous accommodation and a happy environment to work in for a few days. Caroline created a safe place to challenge and get inspired, to fail and to make something that is on the way to a new way of working. Thank you all, I had a wonderful week.