Thing Nothing

Spring 2017 quarter

Taught by

When is a thing a thing, and when is it nothing? On what objects do we place importance and why? How do we establish the use or uselessness of objects? In a creative practice, how do we know when something we have been working on is complete?

During this spring quarter program, we will consider our relationship to objects and object making. We will study and discuss skill and deskilling in the arts, and material hierarchy and contingency. With the goal of developing a personal visual vocabulary, participants will begin by discussing what we admire and collect, while considering and questioning our aesthetic predispositions. Students will quickly move on to create a collection of completed objects, using material experiments to develop their ideas and explore the line between what makes a piece done or undone. In the fine metalsmithing studio we will focus on hollow form techniques, advanced construction, and joining skills. Using mixed media in the context of metalsmithing will also be investigated, and discussed alongside broad considerations of material use, value, hoarding, and waste.

Students in this program should look forward to spending a significant amount of time outside of class working on studio work. We will attend the Evergreen Art Lecture Series, and weekly seminars, lectures and workshops will center on discussions of craft, art, and design. Reading and writing in preparation for weekly seminars will feed visual and material research done in the studio. Regular work reviews will encourage listening, group problem solving, and thoughtful critique.  The development of a regular drawing practice will be emphasized and students will keep a sketchbook specific to the program.

By the end of the program, students will have developed a portfolio of writings, illustrations, and images related to their studio investigations, and will edit and produce a supplemental printed companion to the physical series of work made throughout the quarter.

Program Details

Fields of Study

aesthetics art history visual arts

Preparatory For

visual arts, craft, design, and humanities.


Spring Signature

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First class meeting: Monday, April 3rd at 9:30am (Sem II C2107).

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning

Special Expenses

Additional material expenses of $100-$200 may apply depending upon individual student projects. Students new to the metals studio may need to purchase some basic supplies.


$125 for entrance fees and supplies.


2016-09-13New spring program added.