So I just got back from Arrowmont. What a blast. I met so many interesting artisans and students. I taught a "green studio" class which involved alternative techniques to keep your metals studio environmentally friendly. Of course working in metals as a whole is kind of nasty. It can be almost impossible to get around using chemicals and acids that often create fumes and hazardous waste. For my workshop I demoed different pickle recipes, pouring ingots from scrap, Japanese alloys, alternative patinas etc etc etc. My mantra for the workshop was "don't be lazy". I learned a lot and I hope that the students took home a lot of new information to make their home studios safer. Arrowmont is a magical place. I often find myself wishing that academia could be more like a workshop. There are no grades, there are no due dates and everyone has a great attitude. I can't wait till next summer when I can have the time to teach another workshop. Also, the food at Arrowmont touched my heart. Being from the south and living in the north I have missed some of Virginia's staple foods. Grits, biscuits and gravy, pie, country ham, BBQ, they had it all! I would highly recommend taking a workshop, retreat or just a visit really. I loved meeting with the resident artists and assistants. I also loved talking with all the instructor and finding out their format for what they were teaching. Over all I brought back a ton of info for future workshops and future projects. I am very excited to get the year started at SUNY. We have a bunch of incoming grads and undergrads and I will be busy whipping the studio into shape the next couple of days.