As I mentioned in an earlier post, we went to see Rachel's Core show at Penland on Friday night. I was moved to tears to see her and her beautiful and accomplished work that night. I have been so fortunate to watch Rachel grow as an artist and a person, and I have enjoyed living vicariously through her journey from Milwaukee to Detroit and now to Penland. I have been amazed to see Rachel's ability to create finely made objects and how those objects have allowed her to make numerous meaningful relationships and open doors into new places.
Rachel took my 3D Foundations course in the first few years of my teaching career at UWM and then took Intro to Metals, as well as other advanced Metals courses with me in subsequent years. She excelled at everything she did there and was always a standout student. Those early years were really great as we had some super talented students during that period of time in the Metals program, and there was a strong sense of community then. Rachel thrived in this atmosphere. Rachel assisted with the first Chancellor's medallion and her and Erik Darbo's portion of the video is one of my favorites that always brings an intense smile to my face. I was so pleased to give Rachel a glowing recommendation to Gabriel Craig of Smith Shop when Rachel graduated. She did excellent work there and really helped build their reputation. She was recently was named a Core student at Penland. Rachel was aware that I was interviewing for a job at App State and she actually called me before I accepted the position there. We talked about Penland and how great it would be in close proximity. Being at this show was high on my priority list to support Rachel and her work.
I feel so fortunate to be a teacher and to enjoy proud moments like Rachel's show; I was so glad I was able to experience the Core show in person so that I could reconnect with Rachel. I'm so proud of her!
The rest of the show was amazing and I met Thomas Cambell who made some amazing pieces in the show. His "Cold Connection Stool" was one of my favorites! Rachel also introduced me to Hoss Haley (one of my heros), Leslie Walker Noell and Jay Burnham-Kidwell and later in the night, my colleague Lilith Nielander introduced me to Elizabeth Brim.
Jill and I celebrated our dating Anniversary the following day (we actually always do a better job of observing this date than we do our wedding anniversary). Jill surprised me and bought Rachel's forged bronze hammer for our Anniversary. What a great gift and what a great night spent with Jill and the Kids and Rachel!