Steven Lubecki arrived on campus today as the twenty-second annual Britt Nelson Visiting Artist.
He will be on campus for the next four weeks, leading workshops for every student in Kindergarten to sixth grade, and holding two for faculty, as well.
He's also working intensively with students in the seventh and eighth grade visual arts electives.
He had his first group of seventh and eighth graders today.
Steven is a professional goldsmith, and handmakes jewelry, cutlery and knives.
As an opening lesson, he introduced them to several of his tools, and had them begin bending wire.
As he talked them through the materials, he felt them out for a sense of their experience and vocabulary.
Yes, they all had experience with contour drawing.
Yes, they could make the leap to imagine contour drawing in three dimensions.
Yes, they all had a working sense of "parallel" and "perpendicular", the difference between 90 degrees and 180 degrees, and all other math he tried out on them.
Yes, they knew the basics of cursive handwriting.
For his part, he started explaining Rhode Island's history as the capital of the American jewelry making industry.
Who knew? In North America, wire thickness is measured according to the "Brown and Sharpe" scale, named for the manufacturing firm once based in Providence, in the mill building where Lubecki now has his studio.
(Gordon has at least one Sharpe - Henry Jr., class of 1934 - among its alumni, as well as many former Brown and Sharpe employees)
After a few minutes, the studio had a familiar workshop hum.
One of the goals of the Britt Nelson Visiting Artist program is to give students the experience of working alongside a professional artist.
In that respect, this residency was off to an amazing start.
The students easily welcomed him into their midst.
And they began producing work right away.
Steven Lubecki will give two artist talks that are also open to the public: Wednesday, February 13th at 2:20pm, and Wednesday, February 20th at 2:00pm.
The Britt Nelson Fund has brought professional artists together with Gordon students since 1998. More on the program is at www.gordonschool.org/visitingartist