On the topic of parting gifts and Milwaukee influences. Chad Bridgewater just gave me these bronze workboot soles/ footprints that he cast a few years ago. Chad is on the same list as Bryan, that I mentioned in my previous post. Chad and I met when he enrolled in the first Industrial Processes course the first year that I started teaching here at UWM. Chad was a Sculpture major but decided to take a few Metals courses. We immediately hit it off with our interests and thoughts on society and the future of fine craft; not to mention, at the time, we both thought that we were born in the wrong time period. Chad graduated with an emphasis in Sculpture and Jewelry/Metalsmithing. After graduation he worked a local foundry job, but then returned to graduate school where I was his major professor on his graduate thesis committee. During that time Chad assisted me in really whipping the DCRL into shape. We built the large 4' x 8' CNC router together and he helped me realize many of my ideas on organization and set-up of the space. Together we built most of the tools and displays and created digital files for many of the objects and tools in the lab. He also assisted with all of the digital file organization that we now have as a part of the DCRL file resource.
Chad is an amazingly talented individual. He truly has a gift for creating finely crafted objects and I am proud of his tenacity in learning new techniques and thinking about the meaning behind his actions. I have always respected Chad and his abilities, but he has made me most proud in seeing what he has accomplished most recently with his freelance work for Boca Bearings, video documentation, and home studio building. I am also extremely proud to see him in the role of teacher. Like Bryan, Chad has grown into a great teacher and his enthusiasm for teaching is evident in his student work. I will miss our recent Saturday morning tool-building sessions, but I know we will forever be connected through our love of teaching and creating.
Thanks, Chad for all that you did to help me build and envision what the DCRL could be. But thank you most for your friendship from the time of our first conversation in the Metals studio up to now! When I look at your work, I'll be sure to think about our many iron, aluminum, and bronze pours and the fun times working in the DCRL together!