Makers Symposium Weekend including Alchemist Picnic V
Friday through Sunday, June 1–3, 2018
You won’t want to miss Touchstone Center for Craft’s first Maker’s Symposium Weekend June 1–3, 2018, where makers gather together for a weekend of demonstrations, presentations, and networking. This year’s 5th annual Alchemist Picnic, a metalsmithing retreat, is merging with three other craft disciplines to bring a new and exciting dynamic to the event. A great opportunity for metal, ceramic, glass, and mosaic artists and makers from the mid-Atlantic region and beyond to come together to learn, be inspired and network. One of the most exciting outcomes of the immersive craft experience, like those offered at Touchstone, is the blending of craft disciplines. Exploration and collaboration culminates from the buzz of conversations in the classroom and around the bonfire. Collaborations and life-long creative relationships often emerge. Think of the possibilities!
Alchemist Picnic at Touchstone Center for Crafts will once again be hosted by noted metalsmiths Wayne Werner and Jim Bové. This year’s Maker’s Symposium Weekend itinerary includes a keynote presentation by artist Rachel Rearick. Rachel will be speaking on the topic of ‘Versatility of Craft: Opportunities and Materials,’ encouraging artists to think outside of functionality and form to consider how materials may apply outside of the craft field – opening up a world of opportunity. Beyond her career as a maker, Rachel currently serves as the Arts and Cultural Manager for Allegheny County Airport where she manages the ‘Art in the Airport’ and the ‘Creating a Sense of Place’ programs.
Other artists offering presentations and demonstrations throughout the weekend include metalsmiths, Jim Bové, Cyd Rowley, and Michael Brehl. Kevin Rohde, Yoko Sekino Bové, and Julia Weber will be offering demonstrations in ceramics. Mosaic artists performing demonstrations are Laura Lyn Stern and Jessica Liddell. Glass presenters will be announced at a later date. Admission includes great food, evening bonfires (weather permitting) & the return of midnight fireside casting with Richard Hoff. All makers, artists, craftspeople, arts organizations, guilds, schools and universities are invited to this one-of-a-kind event! A special discount is being offered to students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Registration includes meals and access to any demonstration or event taking place on campus. Lodging may be purchased separately.
See below for event pricing. Click the register now button to register online or call the office at 724-329-1370 to register today!
Note: Demonstrations will be held in the studios and in the great room of Blaney Lodge. All meals will be served at Touchstone’s Dining Hall.
Friday, June 1, 2018
- 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Check-In at Blaney Lodge
- 5:30 p.m.: Dinner
- 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 pm: Keynote by Rachel Rearick –
‘The Versatility of Craft: Opportunities and Materials’
Saturday, June 2, 2018
- 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.: Breakfast
- 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.:
- Metals/Jewelry: Michael Brehl – ‘Highlights of Box Making’
- Ceramics: Yoko Sekino-Bové – ‘Throwing and Decorating Techniques’
- Glass: Maggie Gallen – ‘Fusing Techniques’
- 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Lunch
- 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.:
- Ceramics: Julia Weber – ‘The Ins and Outs of Working with Decals’
- Mosaics: Jessica Liddell – ‘Architectural Ceramics’
- 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.:
- Metals/Jewelry: Jim Bové – ‘Tool Making For Jewelers’
- Glass – Joy Knepp – ‘Italian “Soft” Glass’
- 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: Dinner
- 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.:
- Metals/Jewelry: Cyd Rowley – ‘Hollow Form Vessels with the Hydraulic Press’
- Ceramics: Kevin Rohde – ‘Construction of the Human Hand’
- Mosaics: Laura Lyn Stern – ‘Sculptural Processes’
- 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.: Bonfire at Fire Circle or Lodge Hearth (weather dependent) including ‘Fireside Casting’ with Richard Hoff
Sunday, June 3, 2018
- 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: Continental Breakfast & Checkout
Weekend Session Pricing
Admission Fees (includes meals) per person:
- $130 Weekend Member
- $140 Weekend Non-Member
- $70 Special Student Rate
- $90 Saturday Only Fee (includes lunch and dinner)
- $80 Shared Dorm
- $40 Shared Cabin
- $10 Camping
* Meals include the following: Friday dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Sunday continental breakfast. Special dietary needs must be given at the time of registration. Individual meals are not available for purchase.
** All inclusive lodging includes Friday and Saturday evening accommodations. Campers must bring own tent, bedding, towels, toiletries, etc. and will have access to the bathhouse. All cabin/dorm lodging is based on a shared option and does not include bedding, towels, toiletries, etc. Attendees may request to share a room/cabin with a specified attendee. Requests should be given in advance with the understanding that not all requests are guaranteed to be fulfilled.
Meet the Presenters:
We have a terrific lineup of presentations and demonstrations in store!
Makers Symposium Weekend
June 1–3, 2018
‘The Versatility of Craft: Opportunities and Materials’
A familiarity and finesse with craft materials opens up a world of opportunity. Rachel will encourage artists to think outside of functionality and form to consider how materials may apply outside of the craft field. As Pittsburgh is experiencing a resurgence of growth and redevelopment, there are more and more ways for artists to be involved. From civic design projects that include handmade benches or parks with artist-designed enhancements, opportunity abounds for those familiar with materials such as metal, wood, glass, and ceramics. In the world of public art, an increasing number of calls are open to the exploration of traditional craft materials being utilized through contemporary approaches. Rachel will also touch upon the opportunities that are open to local and regional artists at the Pittsburgh International Airport.
Bio: Rachel currently serves as the Arts and Cultural Manager for Allegheny County Airport. In that position, she manages the Art in the Airport program as well as the Creating a Sense of Place program. Additionally, she writes reviews about local women artists and entrepreneurs for LOCAL Pittsburgh Magazine. Previous roles include that of Arts, Culture, and History Specialist for the City of Pittsburgh, and the Assistant Director of Education at Contemporary Craft.
2018 will mark the 5th Annual Alchemist Picnic at Touchstone Center for Crafts, combined with our 1st Annual Makers Symposium Weekend. Join us for a weekend celebrating all things metalsmithing complete with lectures, presentations, and demonstrations. Feel free to check out the other demonstrations in ceramics, glass, and mosaic arts.
Jim Bové – ‘Tool Making for Jewelers’
This demonstration will introduce various techniques for making your own tools using worn-out files, drill bits and burrs to create scrapers, burnishers, stamping, texturing and stone setting tools.
Jim will also be offering a workshop at Touchstone from July 16–20: ‘The Lost Art of Lost Wax.’ Click here to learn more!
Bio: Jim Bové is a practicing artist, educator and former board member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG). He has organized and curated several international exhibitions and lectures between the United States and Japan, including the cross-cultural exchange, Metalsmiths Linking. Jim’s artwork has been featured in Metalsmith magazine’s Exhibition in Print, several books, Humor in Craft, 500 Art Necklaces, On Body and Soul: Contemporary Armor to Amulets and most recently in Cast. His artwork resides in collections in the United States and abroad. Jim currently teaches jewelry and metals at California University of Pennsylvania.
Cyd Rowley – ‘Hollow Form Vessels with The Hydraulic Press’
This demo will cover all the steps involved in taking flat sheet and creating a three-dimensional vessel pendant. I define “vessel pendant” as any container, worn on the body, usually hanging from a chain around the neck, but not always. Historical examples include needle cases, pomanders, lockets, perfume vials, snuff containers, and vinaigrettes. The demo will cover design considerations and fabrication stages including cutting metal blanks, surface treatments of blanks, creating a silhouette die, pressing silhouette forms, cutting, refining and fitting pressed forms, soldering, finishing, and bail styles.
Bio: Cyd works from her Kensington Maryland studio where she creates sculptural “vessel” pendants that are inspired by her fascination with containers worn on the body, and with creating pieces that can be personalized, that tell a story, and that provoke conversation and connection with others. She studied design and jewelry fabrication at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore.
Michael Brehl – ‘Highlights of Box Making’
Michael has been working and teaching as a metalsmith for over thirty years. In this demo, he will present his method for making small to medium size boxes, including a unique method for scoring and folding and bench tricks for fitting and soldering hinges.
Bio: Michael Brehl is a teaching artist/metalsmith who lives and works in Mount Rainier, Maryland. He has been a practicing silversmith for 30 years. Metalsmithing has been a part of the human experience for ten thousand years, and has applications in the art world, industry, and everyday life. Michael’s career reflects this and has included gallery exhibits, extensive prototyping and production, consultations with museum professionals, and numerous commissions. Several years ago Michael realized that what he loves most is teaching and demonstrating metalsmithing—to adults and children of all ages. He has created a portable teaching studio that he brings to many venues, including community centers, the Smithsonian, farmer’s markets, the Washington Goldsmith’s Guild, schools, and maker fairs.
Fireside Casting with Richard Hoff
Primitive casting into stone molds is one of the oldest techniques in metalsmithing. In this demonstration, pewter is heated in iron ladles in the hot coals of the Touchstone bonfire. The molten metal is then poured into stone molds to crystallize before your eyes! Everyone will get the chance to participate and take home what they make.
Host for the Alchemist Picnic – Wayne Werner
Wayne Werner is a third generation metalsmith from Baltimore, MD. He has traveled around the world to learn with metal workers from Italy and Egypt to Java and Bali. Specializing in cold-forging precious metals, Werner has incorporated the traditional techniques of gold and platinum smithing with his artistic vision of paying homage to the fertility cults of the ancient world. Primarily making a living retailing his work, Werner has participated in more than 200 high-end craft shows nationally. He has received many awards for his work, including the World Gold Council’s Gold Distinction award and the MJSA Vision award for Mokume Gane. Werner is a former instructor at the Fuji Studio in Florence, Italy, and is an adjunct faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. In 2006, he was asked to demonstrate his craft at The Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, NC.
An exciting weekend filled with ceramics lectures, presentations, and demonstrations at Touchstone Center for Crafts First Annual Makers Symposium Weekend. This is a great opportunity to learn new techniques and processes from our talented presenting artists. Feel free to check out the other demonstrations in metals/jewelry, glass, and mosaic arts.
Yoko Sekino-Bové – ‘Throwing and Decorating Techniques’
Yoko Sekino-Bové will demonstrate throwing techniques on the pottery wheel, and decoration techniques on a greenware surface. Yoko will also discuss how to maintain a small-scale ceramic studio for people who are interested in setting up and maintaining a studio in their own home.
Yoko will be back at Touchstone from July 16–20 to teach a workshop: ‘From Ideas to Art: How to Develop Your Style.’ Click here to learn more!
Bio: Yoko Sekino-Bové was born in Osaka, Japan. She worked as a graphic designer before her passion for ceramic art took her on a new path. After receiving an MFA in ceramics from the University of Oklahoma, Yoko moved to Washington, Pennsylvania, and started working from her home studio. Her porcelain work has been exhibited in galleries, museums, and most importantly, many private homes (mainly kitchens). Yoko also teaches ceramics at Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. To see some of Yoko’s work visit yokosekinobove.com
Kevin Rohde – ‘Construction of the Human Hand’
Hands are one of the most intricate components of the human figure and possess incredible communicative potential in the sculptural form. Kevin Rohde will be demonstrating the construction of the human hand in clay using the solid building method. This demonstration will cover the basic construction, general skeletal anatomy, measuring techniques, and surface details i.e. fingernails, folds etc. An overview of the necessary sculpting tools and hollowing techniques will also be covered in this in-depth look at one of the arts most iconic features
Bio: Kevin Rohde is an award-winning sculptor living in Baltimore, MD. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Keystone College and his Master of Fine Arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Ceramics at Towson University in Towson, MD, and George Washington University in Washington DC, and is the newly appointed Resident Artist Coordinator at Baltimore Clayworks in Baltimore, MD. Images of his work can be found at rohdeworks.com or on Instagram @kevinjrohde.
Julie Claire Weber – ‘The Ins and Outs of Working with Decals’
Julia will demonstrate the ins and outs of her decal process. From designing to applying! Learn from this thoughtful approach to decorating your surface. Julia will cover how she draws and designs a decal from scratch based on form and composition. Then will move on to the application process and troubleshooting errors after firing. The demonstration will include hands-on moments and plenty of discussions to aid in the excitement and advancement of new ideas!
Bio: Julia Claire Weber received her BFA in ceramics with a minor in Art History from Edinboro University of PA. She then went on to become Coordinator of the Erie Art Museums ClaySpace clay studio where she developed programs, managed the studio and taught everyone from at-risk youth to Bhutanese refugees. After 5 years of hard work, Julia decided to pass the torch and fulfill a longtime dream to be a studio potter. Julia accepted the residency at Odyssey Clayworks in Asheville, NC. Since then she has been granted a long-term stay as resident and filled the position of Gallery Manager. In between, Julia has been a technician at several clay studios, assisted various workshops at Arrowmont and Penland, and has exhibited work nationally in several shows.
This weekend gathering will celebrate the process of thought and action in the ancient medium of mosaics. Use this opportunity to learn the processes and techniques of our renowned presenters, and be sure to check out the other demonstrations in metals/jewelry, ceramics, and glass.
Laura Lyn Stern – ‘3D Substrates for Mosaics’
Laura Lyn Stern is a Philadelphia based artist who creates multimedia mosaic work that is both sculptural and functional. Her demonstration during the Makers Weekend will focus on sculptural processes. She will present an overview of how to create 3D substrates using easily obtained materials and will demonstrate how to design and produce dimensional mosaic elements using simple one-piece molds. Examples will include mosaic bits and pieces made using glass, ceramic, resin and bronze as well as finished panels which use these mosaic pieces.
Laura will also be offering ‘One Piece Molds and Casting’ at Touchstone from July 23–27. Click here to learn more!
Bio: Laura Lyn Stern is a Philadelphia-based educator and mosaic artist. Her artwork utilizes high bas-relief, unconventional materials, and skillful design approaches. Laura Lyn works with both project installation and object-oriented pieces. She has designed collections for Metaphor Bronze Tile and Wilton Armetale in addition to showing her work in numerous exhibitions and galleries. To see some of Laura’s work Click here.
Jessica Liddell – ‘Architectural Ceramics’
Architectural ceramics are an important aspect of the Ceramic tradition. Ceramic artists looking to expand their studio practice are often excited to discover the many options available to them within the world of tiles and mosaics. This demonstration will cover the basic tile making processes and surface design techniques that Jessica uses in her work. She will also demonstrate how to assemble and grout a mosaic panel. The discussion will also cover substrates, surface preparation, and adhesives.
Bio: Jessica Gorlin Liddell has been making mosaics professionally since 1997. Her work can be found in private collections and public spaces throughout the country. She has extensive experience with large-scale ceramic installations. She also fabricates her own clay and glass tiles. Based in Philadelphia, Jessica teaches adults and children and has conducted artist residencies in schools, hospitals and community centers throughout the region. Jessica’s business, Bella Mosaic Art, has been featured in numerous books and magazines. She and her work has appeared on HGTV, The Travel Channel, The NBC 10 Show, and Good Day Philadelphia. To see some of Jessica’s work, visit, bellamosaic.com.
The weekend will also include an exciting celebration of glass arts, with presentations, lectures, and demonstrations. While you are here, be sure to check out some of the other great things happening in our metals/jewelry, ceramics, and mosaic studios for the Makers Symposium Weekend.
Maggie Gallen – ‘Fusing Techniques’
Maggie will be demonstrating the process of creating a strip assembled fused piece that will be raked in the kiln. Spectators will observe how to score, break, assemble and damn glass for thicker work, in addition to a hot raking!
Bio: Maggie Gallen is drawn to glass’ versatility and has worked with and for a number of artists learning various ways to manipulate this medium since 2007. Often cross-pollinating processes, she draws from experiences in the glass blowing studio to elicit a sense of movement and exploration in her fused work, and vice versa. She uses depth and color application to highlight glass’ natural ability to transmit light and create a sense of inner authenticity. “I’d like to remind people to speak their truth and follow their own path – it is yours to relish.”
Joy Knepp – ‘Italian “Soft” Glass’
Joy will be using Italian “soft” glass to demonstrate 2 different styles of glass beads that focus on embellishing a glass bead with stringers, or very thin sticks of glass. The first will be a striped design that is marbled or raked in a pattern on a bi-cone shaped bead. The second one will be an “implosion” bead that traps patterns of colors by encasing the design in transparent clear glass.
These are just a few of the techniques Joy will be teaching in her August 6-10 class at Touchstone, ‘Let’s Get Fired Up: Flameworking Techniques in Soft Glass.’ Click here to learn more!
Bio: Joy Knepp has been working as a glass artist for more than 14 years and has recently retired as an art educator at the Shanksville-Stonycreek School District after 27 years. In her glass work, she uses a torch to melt colored glass rods and then forms and shapes the glass into beads and small sculptural pieces. The beads are used to create jewelry and other sculptural forms. She enjoys complexity and versatility of the material and how glass illuminates light and color. She is inspired by colors, textures, and patterns found in nature especially in the changing seasons of Pennsylvania.