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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mobile Metals Program

Last year I assisted Michael Boyd with the Mobile Metals Program, which takes our love of metalsmithing into the public and charter schools arts classes.

It was a great trip out of town and teaching these kids a new skill was very satisfying. To see there eyes light up as they have an aha moment when the solder flows at just the right heat and the two ends of their silver ring come together and become one was something i'll never forget.

It's important to show these kids that beyond the realm of school subjects there are so many other opportunities for careers and artistic expression. Metal working can be a place where the mechanically minded kids find a love of crafting and creating something with the materials they are familiar with in other applications. The artsy kids find a common ground with the gearheads and vicaversa when they both arrive at a place of creation. The act of creating something in the mind and then acquiring the skills to manifest those ideas in the physical world is a powerfully attractive thing to a wide swath of humanity.

You can see the cogs in motion as they talk about their ideas for other projects, many of which are currently beyond their skill level. But, to me, it's this inspiration and desire to learn and figure it out, to create, which is satisfying.

To see kids excited about something healthy and constructive these days is more than refreshing. It renews my faith in the creative and cooperative future of humanity.

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