“Students come into my office and kind of poke around all the time, checking out at all the weird stuff I make, which is good. I talk to them about how this or that is done, or this is how you could make this. I like just having cool stuff on hand to show them, physically.
I didn’t learn all the things that I know how to do in a four year degree so I can’t give students everything all at once. I might see three really efficient ways to do something but I also remember what it was like for me – they need to figure out how to do some things themselves. To go through the exercise of coming up with their own solutions. That’s what I love too; that challenge.
I say to people, if they’re doing their Masters [degree] to get someone to guide you who is going to call you to account, you know, critically – someone who’s going to hold you to account on what you’re writing – someone’s who’s going to call you out about what you are making. But also find a cheerleader, too. You know, because we all need that. We all need someone to just to go, “Wow!”. And not just say it, but really mean it.
I also tell students to be really strategic about their education. You have to be an active agent in what you’re doing. You need to find the right teacher. We’re all waiting for someone to give us this whole nice package; the neat package with a little bow on top, but it doesn’t always work that way. Find out who has the skill sets that you want, or who will help you think critically about things, and then go find those people.
I am continually faced with students that are really excited when they learn new things and you remember to remain excited about what we do. I can take for granted, all these really cool things that I can make and the things that I do, or I can choose to know that I am pretty privileged to do what I do.
I’m excited. I have so many former students that have gone on to do some really great things.”
Foundry/Metal Studio Technician
Dept of Visual Art and Art History, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
Gallery work: oenogallery.com/artists/p-roch-smith/
Photo credit: davidgoldmanphoto.com