Arts4All Blog

Summer Camps Feature - Plaster Casting & Stone Carving

Posted August 11th, 2017  |  By A4A.admin

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CSMA Summer Camps offer a wide variety of classes taught by professional artists with 2.5 hours of daily instruction (Mon-Fri) and meet in the morning (9:30AM-noon) or the afternoon (1-3:30PM). We sat down to interview Sarah McNutt and Andy Phares, instructors of Plaster Casting & Stone Carving for an inside look at one of our most popular camps.

Sarah McNutt and Andy Phares, Plaster Casting & Stone Carving

How long have you been teaching at CSMA?

Sarah: I’ve been teaching since October 2016 through the Art4Schools program and January 2017 onsite at CSMA.
Andy: I’ve been teaching here since 2007.

What do you like about teaching here?

Sarah: We have wonderful, engaged students who are ready to be challenged. We also have access to lots of different materials to make all forms of art, from digital art to sculpture.
Andy: I enjoy the freedom in designing my own classes and it is well staffed with lots of friendly and capable people.

What is your favorite part about teaching summer camps?

Sarah: I really enjoy the more relaxed atmosphere of the students, you can see the difference when they aren’t worried or stressed about school. They are motivated and also ready to explore new materials, ideas, and have fun.
Andy: I enjoy teaching several camps in a row so I can get to know the students a little better than I do with the Spring or Winter camps which are just a week long.

Describe the project the students are working on today.

Andy: We are carving soapstone rocks using rasps and files into small sculptures.
Sarah: They designed them first in clay, and then translated their ideas into stone designs. They really are tackling a tough and time consuming material but have been showing us some really awesome dedication. 

What was the inspiration behind this project?

Andy: This is such a great project because it’s a chance to work with a material that they may never get to handle anywhere else and create work that could become a treasured keepsake for them or a loved one.
Sarah: I think the students have been inspired to examine the limits of the material closely and create designs around those qualities. It’s unusual to have access to stone and all the tools to shape it, so this is a real novelty and we want them to have that new experience.

What do you hope for the students to learn from this project?

Andy: Attention to detail and following directions is key for this project.
Sarah: And patience! There is a direct correlation between their success and the amount of time committed to working and sanding. They are used to more instant gratification from other art materials but you can’t really rush the carving process. These students have buckled down and shown us they are hard workers, most even skip their break to stay and work instead. It’s amazing to watch!

View more photos from the camp below.

Tags: art-school