Thinking Through Craft


Fall 2015, Winter 2016 and Spring 2016 quarters

Taught by

visual arts, architecture

What if we acknowledge the recent historical status of craft as “inferior” to fine art and then seek out the potential of that unique vantage point? What if contemporary craft is used as a subversive strategy to question issues such as function, materiality, skill, and the role of the amateur in our culture? What if we propose craft as foundational to environmental awareness? The impetus for this program is Glenn Adamson’s book of the same title, which treats craft as an idea that transcends discipline. This program will center on a studio practice working with wood, metals, and other materials. There will be collaborative workshops and seminars, as well as lectures, design challenges, and research assignments.

Work in wood and metal readily deals with issues of function, structure, ornament, finish, and comfort, but can just as readily address issues such as power and personal space, identity, privileged resources, the uses of discomfort, or the limits of utility. The studio will explore and advance studio practice in functional and expressive works, using primarily wood, wood composites and substitutes, metals, and a variety of mixed and re-purposed materials, and working in the college’s well-equipped wood and metals shops. Fall quarter work will address foundational skills and background readings on craft, art, and materials, with individual and collaborative studio and research projects. Winter quarter projects and research will work from this base to address more complex challenges in wood and metals. Students will have the opportunity to develop their own individual or small-group studio work and research projects for the spring quarter. Craft-related internships are also possible. Readings may include: Thinking Through Craft (Adamson), The Poetics of Space (Bachelard), The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things (Kubler), NeoCraft: Modernity and the Crafts (Alfondy), and The Object Reader (Condlin and Guins).

Many visual artists today are interested in the meaning of workmanship and the physical experience of manipulating and interacting with three-dimensional forms. This will be an opportunity to participate in the redefinition of craft today by making works in wood, metals, and other materials, studying the environmental, social and economic significance of these materials, exploring tools and processes, and reading, writing, and reflecting on craft. Eschewing the well-worn “craft vs. art” arguments, we will investigate the potential of craft as a vital subject in contemporary art, design, and environmental stewardship, and as a means to create timeless and timely forms.

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

visual arts, design, architecture, and craft.

Location and Schedule

Campus location

Olympia

Schedule

Offered during: Day

Books

Buy books for this program through The Greener Store.

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online

More information about online learning.

Required Fees

$65 per quarter for entrance fees and supplies.

Special Expenses

Students can expect to spend up to $150 or more each quarter on tools and materials, depending on their project designs.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall); 16 (Winter); 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Sophomore–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 21

Fall

Conditions

(40% Sophomore, 30% Junior, 30% Senior) Enrollment is based on adding a second faculty member - the proposed new hire in Fine Metals or a Fine Metals visitor.  The newly remodeled Fine Metals Studio will be back online in Fall of 2015.  Number of students is based on current availability of work stations (21 in Fine Metals and 21 in the 3D Studio), as well as number of students who can safely use the Wood or Metals shops at one time.

Course Reference Number not yet available.

Winter

Accepting New Students

Signature Required

Students interested in joining the program will be asked to present a portfolio of six 3D works that show mastery of foundational skills in design and construction in wood or metals.  Based on qualifications and available seats, they may join the wood or metals studio in the program.

Course Reference Number not yet available.

Spring

Accepting New Students

Signature Required

Students interested in joining the program will be asked to present a portfolio of six 3D works that show mastery of foundational skills in design and construction in wood or metals, and their preparation for advanced individual projects.  Based on qualifications and available seats, they may join the wood or metals studio in the program.

Course Reference Number not yet available.

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