- Fiber Arts
- Creative Writing
This workshop offers hands-on skill development in the ancient craft of blacksmithing. Making virtually anything that was made out of iron or steel prior to the age of mass production is fair game to the latter-day blacksmith.
On the first day, participants are brought into the experience of the blacksmith shop by learning to light the forge and by practicing hammering skills as a way to get a feel for the primary tools in our creative arsenal.
As you build your skills, you can undertake production of small forged objects which require mastery of a number fo different techniques. You then move on to design more challenging projects that are appropriate to your developing skill level, your ambitions, and your desire to work at the forge. Projects include everything from hearthside tools to medieval armor or forged-steel sculptures as pure expression in metal.
Roger Ballou gravitated to blacksmithing as a creative medium and as a way of experiencing the material culture of earlier time periods. After five years working as a demonstrating blacksmith in a living history museum, Roger opened his own business, making everything from small gift-shop items to large architectural pieces. His ironwork can be seen in the movies The Scarlet Letter and Killian's Chronicle.
This workshop is for designed for beginning to advanced work in fiber arts. Our primary focus is weaving on four and eight harness floor looms with natural fiber yarns including cotton, tencel, rayon, linen and wool. Beginners learn to design textiles, wind warps, dress looms, and weave in a variety of patterns and with a variety of materials. Intermediate and advanced students have the opportunity to create complex textiles and large pieces using our 50, 54 and 60 inch looms. Sewing with handwovens, painting warps, designing knitwear, and spinning wool are also options. The weaving studio is equipped with 20 floor looms, sewing machines, spinning wheels and a knitting machine.
Melissa Johnson moved to southern Vermont from Istanbul in 1973 and graduated from The Putney School in 1977. She attended the University of Vermont, Goddard College and apprenticed to Trudy Walker, a production weaver, before beginning her career as a weaver and knitwear designer. She teaches workshops on weaving, knitting, and natural and synthetic dyeing. Melissa is a designer, dyer, and color consultant for The Green Mountain Spinnery, and creates custom textiles on commission.
The focus of this workshop is on the fabrication of individual pieces: rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets and pieces of your own design. Initial projects to design and craft rings and bezels are used to familiarize participants with the tools and procedures in the studio. Techniques are then taught for cold forging, forming, soldering, cold joins, stone settings, piercing, surface embellishments, and chain making. We work with silver, copper, brass, and bronze, and cabochons; the workshop is designed for those having up to intermediate experience with the craft. A $60 fee covers initial materials used.
Jeanne Wulsin Bennett is an award-winning freelance metal designer who has worked for custom jewelers in Vermont, New Hampshire, and the Virgin Islands. Jeanne teaches at the Community College of Vermont and offers workshops in her studio in Westminster, VT. She is a juried member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and a member of the Putney Craft Tour.
Painting is a process, not an endpoint. It is the field work of connection -- a connection with content. Painting's outcomes, such as finished compositions, are byproducts of a researched journey. On this journey you will experience how to stop worrying about what you paint and start becoming enveloped in how you paint. It is the process that produces valid work; a process that engages progressive levels of vision, heart and mind.
In "Painting as Voice" we will set out together as team. We will use traditional jumping-off points such as drawing the figure and working from masterpieces, but we will mix up these exercises: we will place the model outside; we will dissect masterpieces by restructuring the compositions to include modern and personal objects; and through these processes, we will create independent, imagined narratives.
The goal is to encourage you to open up and to develop and expand your working method. By the end of the week, you will have more confidence, clarity, and self-direction. Familiar methods and ways of engaging both with subject matter and materials will have been shaken up, and you will feel charged with new possibility and deeper understanding.
Bring your paints and Putney will provide light-weight, sturdy, and easy-to-transport masonite surfaces to work on. Long-sleeve shirts, hats, sun-block and backpacks (for storing materials) are also good to have when we paint outside. During the high sun and on any rainy afternoons, we will have a studio to retreat to, and we will continue working there. All levels of ability are welcome; individual critiques will provide an appropriately challenging dialog for every painter's level of experience.
Jason Buening began studying painting and drawing at the New York Studio School and went on to earn a BFA in Painting and Art History at Marlboro College. He completed an MFA in painting at American University and studied for a year in Italy. Jason organizes mural painting workshops in elementary and middle schools, teaches painting and art history to high school students, and directs drawing marathons at colleges and art centers. Exhibitions include group shows in New York, Boston, Washington, DC and Rome. His work can be viewed at: www.jasonbuening.com
This class focuses on the exploration of your unique vision with the medium of traditional black and white photography. Beginners and experienced photographers alike will return to the basics of light, line and point of view. Students will play with pinholes and cyanotypes as an introduction to alternative processes, and free themselves from the digital world. Our facilities accommodate 35mm, 120mm and 4 x5 negatives for both processing and printing. Our campus at The Putney School offers beautiful rural landscapes, a working dairy farm, and gardens to photograph. Students may spend the week refining photographic skills, building a portfolio, or trying something entirely new. Bring your camera, your choice of photographic paper and black & white film. Putney will provide chemistry.
A three-time recipient of a Golden Light Award for photographic excellence, Christine Triebert’s original prints are held in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Polo Ralph Lauren, Bank of America, and The Ritz Carlton Hotel. A native of Long Island, NY, Chris is a graduate of the Art Institute of Boston where she studied Graphic Design and Photography. Her background in design and love of Vermont’s rural environment are powerful influences in her photographic expression. From her studio on the Rock River in South Newfane, Vermont, Chris combines new and traditional approaches to photography to create unique, personal, and compelling imagery. Chris is also a skilled and dynamic teacher. She’s led a variety of workshops at the Vermont Center for Photography and In-Sight Photography Project in Brattleboro, Vermont, and offers small group and individual sessions in her studio throughout the year.
This is a workshop about surprise. Through practice, diligence, and discipline, writers find themselves and their readers being surprised by their writing. Right about now you might be asking yourself: what do things like practice, diligence, and discipline, have to do with surprise? Doesn't surprise just happen?
Well... no. Not exactly. We need to lay the foundation for surprise so we can recognize surprise when it happens, because "surprise" is a many faceted thing. We can be surprised by an unexpected plot twist, by a strange yet somehow accurate juxtaposition of words, by a voice that is so powerful and unexpected we cannot help but read on and on, by the sound of language, by an observation that echoes across days. We can be surprised by setting, by imagery, and by attention to form. So, when I say that this is a workshop about surprise, I am also saying it is a workshop about preparing for surprise. And, although it sounds a little strange to say it this way, preparing for surprise involves studying surprise.
We'll study surprise by reading lots of good poems and stories and talking about them. You should read these works as selfishly as you can, asking, "How can this writing help my writing?"
We'll prepare for surprise by doing lots of exercises and prompts. These exercises are an opportunity for you to experiment with language, with form, with ideas, and with the simple act of saying "yes" to everything that comes your way in order to preempt the "no" that so often short-circuits the writing process. You will share your exercises with one another. There will be time to workshop and for one-on-one feedback.
Bear in mind that although we may all start in one place, writers do not move in the same direction. As soon as that starting gun fires, some writers sprint into the woods; some slam the gearshift into reverse; some jump up and down; some amble towards the concessions area. This is one of the benefits of sharing work: you'll have the opportunity to see the choices that other writers make.
Will you leave with a portfolio of polished work that's ready to submit to literary magazines? Or, will you leave with one piece that helps you to remember that week you spent with other writers on a beautiful hill? Well, we'll just have to see.
Brian Mooney’s work has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Cincinnati Review, Chicago Review, Columbia, Seattle Review, and many other national publications. He is a recipient of a creation grant from the Vermont Arts Council and the NEA, and short stories he’s written for the arts advocacy organization United States Artists have been presented by Leonard Nimoy at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Paramount Studios, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. He’s currently finishing a book for Colonial Williamsburg about the history of Jamestown. He is also the guy behind The Storymatic ("six trillion stories in one little box"), which can be found in stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. His writing and teaching is very much informed by Robert Frost’s statement, "No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader."