We have officially welcomed our first cohort of GlassRoots Fellows to campus. Here, Andrea (Aye) David, one of the first group of five fellows to arrive on campus, reflects on her experience thus far:
“It’s been 3 weeks since I went from being a participant at Glassroots in the City of Newark learning about new crafts and skills, to now being a City Girl in the woods for the first time participating in intensive Arts & Crafts workshops… What an experience it has been so far. I’m currently living with 4 other people that I’ve only known for 5 weeks before now. We all don’t always have the same classes but we spend a lot of time together like a family. We go on adventures exploring the grounds of Peters Valley, doing mundane chores like laundry together, finding ways up the sometimes treacherous Thunder Mountain, and even cooking dinner and breakfast with each other throughout the week. At first I was very anxious about living with new people for 7 weeks coming out of a pandemic, but now I see this is a life changing experience and a great way to learn about others lifestyles and build friendships.
Personally, my favorite class so far has been Ceramics. It was also my first class, so I guess you can say it left a lasting impression on me. I really enjoyed the process. It’s an art form that requires technical skill and focus but at the same time it’s so freeing, relaxing, and messy. Making a mess was my favorite part because typically I don’t like getting messy at all, so it allowed me to let go and just create.
I also appreciate meeting Bruce [Dehnert, Peters Valley Head of Ceramics] and Grace [Kerr, Ceramics Studio Assistant]. Bruce knows a lot about Ceramics and has an inspiring, unique style in his craft. He also introduced me to his wife Kulvinder, who creates amazing drawings, is a curator, and describes herself as a “sentient being.” I see myself in her a bit and would like to know her more. Then there’s Grace who took a lot of hands-on time during one of the workshops to help me perfect my bowl-making while working with clay on the wheel. At first I didn’t like all the attention, but she actually taught me a lot about understanding the basic techniques and I felt like a pro after my 6th bowl.
In the first week of me being at Peters Valley as a Glassroots Fellow, they have definitely made an impact on me and influenced my inspiration. I’ve also taken Blacksmithing, Basketry and Loom Weaving since being here, so I am looking forward to seeing what else is in store for the rest of my participation here.”