Man, we've been lucky this year with the people we've had in to visit our Metals program. As I mentioned NC Black put on a great demo a few weeks ago, and two weeks ago we had Arthur Hash in for the week and he was phenomenal! I picked Arthur up at the airport on Tuesday night and immediately I felt like we had know each other forever. I've followed Arthur and the objects that he creates through my limited involvement with SNAG as well as through his blog, and we have some mutual friends in the field of metalsmithing, so that was part of the reason for feeling like I knew him, but he is just a super down to earth person. We chatted it up for a while as we waited on his luggage and then I took him to his hotel.
The next day I picked him up, we went for some coffee, then over the Kenilworth studios for a quick tour, and then down to Discovery World. We lucked out and one of my former Architecture students was working in the Kohl's Design It Lab, so he showed us around. Then we went for some lunch at Cafe Hollander and then back to the studio to drop in on Michael's forming class. We went back up to my studio and "talked shop" for a while and then over to campus to take the art building tour and then to the Metals office to get ready for his Artist Now lecture. He gave a great presentation and I know all of the students and faculty were blown away by all of the things he talked about and his work. We then went out for dinner with a small group of faculty and students.
The next day I taught in the morning, so Michael hosted Arthur and then I joined back up with everyone before my Industrial Processes class. Arthur conducted a salt-water etching demo using our rectifier and then later, two "double A" batteries. He talked about vinyl cut stencils and several different resist options for doing the salt-water etch. The students were mesmerized by the technique; and everyone had the chance to test it out. Arthur also had brought some pieces that he had created to look at; everyone swarmed him to see the pieces in person, as you can see above. As we waited for the etchings, he went over some Rhino techniques. It was an excellent two and a half hour demo!! After Industrial Processes was over we went down stairs for a critique of the senior and graduate student work. Arthur gave the students a lot of great feedback that they really needed to hear. We ended the night with a big Metals party at Michael's house.
I had to ditch out on Arthur on Friday, since I had meetings in the morning and had to leave for Denver later. Michael and Yev covered the rest of Arthur's day. I was bummed about this.
As I mentioned, I was blown away by Arthur. I think we might have been made from the same material. I honestly felt like I had known him for a lifetime. It's not too often that you meet someone that you've followed online and that they actually meet your expectations, let alone exceed your expectations. Rather, the complete opposite is usually true,... but not with Arthur. Arthur was so generous with his time and willingness to share his knowledge. SUNY New Paltz is lucky to have someone like him. I have the utmost respect for the objects that he makes and his abilities as a teacher. I am sure that he will continue to lead the fields of metalsmithing and design through the digital revolution, with the objects that he creates. I only wish that he were closer to us so we could get together from time to time to chat and share ideas. If you ever have the chance to take a workshop with Arthur, make sure you do so. Also make sure to follow his blog (he left a super nice post about his visit a few days ago). His blog is on my daily reading list and I always look forward to any posts from him.
Thanks again, Arthur!