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The inside scoop: metalworks

%E2%80%9C%5BFor+the+final+project%5D+I%27m+making+a+necklace+which+is+like+a+sun+and+a+ring+that+is+a+raindrop%2C%E2%80%9D+Lesperance+said.
“[For the final project] I'm making a necklace which is like a sun and a ring that is a raindrop,” Lesperance said.

“[For the final project] I'm making a necklace which is like a sun and a ring that is a raindrop,” Lesperance said.

Credit: Caitlin Newton

Credit: Caitlin Newton

“[For the final project] I'm making a necklace which is like a sun and a ring that is a raindrop,” Lesperance said.

Caroline Raymond and Caitlin Newton

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Students sit at the back of the class creating unique 3D formations. They are torching, soldering and saw cutting. These techniques are what students use to create their metal works projects. Saw cutting is where students take a saw to cut intricate designs through a piece of metal. They can choose to make items from jewelry, to abstract pieces. Metalworks is a one-semester elective that is available for all students to take. It is a unique class that combines the art of craftsmanship and creativity to create breathtaking pieces.

Metalworks is far less structured than many art electives as well as many classes at WHS in general. For the most part, students come up with ideas for their own projects.

Credit: Caitlin Newton
“My favorite part is making whatever you want. You can make really anything,” L’Esperance said.

“My favorite part is making whatever you want,” freshman Ella L’Esperance said. “You can make anything.”

The environment of Metalworks is unlike other art electives in the sense that it has more of a studio feeling to it. Students work close together, and there is much movement throughout the classroom. It is not often that a student can be seen idling.

“Everybody kind of gets to know each other well, sharing the tools and sharing the space,” Metalworks teacher Amy O’Connell said.

Many students have expressed that Metalworks is a nice break from core classes. The environment is laid back and it gives students a chance to work under low stress.

“It’s a lot more chill and relaxed than other classes. It’s low stress to no stress,” said L’Esperance.

In Metalworks, students are just beginning to learn and use some of the techniques taught in class. Right now they are working on their final project which will showcase the techniques they’ve learned in class in two parts.

“Their final projects consist of making a two-piece set design that incorporates a related theme,” O’Connell said. “Their goal is to take everything we’ve done together this year and put it into a big final work that they will work on for several weeks.”

For students taking Metalworks One, their final projects reflect their interests or ideas. They often create pieces they want, instead of having to follow many requirements.

“[For the final project] I’m making a necklace which is like a sun and a ring that is a raindrop,” L’Esperance said.

After taking Metalworks One, students are eligible to take the advanced course. Advanced Metalworks take a different approach to metals as students learn to use more difficult techniques.

Credit: Caroline Raymond
“Students inspire me all the time. I’m not a practiced metalsmith, I’m self-taught. Watching what students come up with always gives me new and fun ideas either for new and different projects,” O’Connell said.

“We do things like etching with metals, using tougher chemicals, and maybe doing a little more advanced soldering,” O’Connell said. “It’s much like what we do in Metals One, but challenging yourself a little bit more.”

Most of the students’ creations are unique to them. O’Connell uses that as inspiration for her own projects.

“I think that watching what students come up with always gives me new and fun ideas either for new and different projects or things I want to come up with on my own,” O’Connell said.

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The inside scoop: metalworks