from FSU Art BFA ’21 Kiera Garvin:
This Spring, I have had the incredible opportunity to intern at Master Craftsman Studio of Tallahassee. The internship program at Master Craftsman is designed to allow interns to gain experience in a wide variety of new mediums and studio practices throughout the semester. In my time at the studio I have gotten to try staining glass, fusing glass, making leaded glass, as well as working with faux finishes, staining wood and soldering with lead and copper. I was also able to make my own pen out of wood, sculpt clay molds to cast in rubber, and a variety of other useful skills around the shop that I was not previously familiar with. Additionally, I have been able to brush up on basic woodshop knowledge that I was briefly introduced to in past courses, such as using the drill press and band saw.
While the unexpected consequences of the virus complications changed the internship experience half way through the semester, I still learned a great deal from this opportunity. Each morning I arrived at the studio, I would sign in and pick up on the last project I was assisting with or working on. All interns were able to take on a personal project if time permitted it. This could be in any new medium, whether it be mold making, glass fusing, or crafting something out of wood, the project could relate to one’s personal studio practice or simply be for experimentation purposes. There is always someone around the studio to ask for help of guidance on any given project, and if they aren’t sure how to solve a creative issue, they’ll be happy to figure it out with you. The most important thing to remember at Master Craftsman, is to ask questions! To learn something new and be willing to work with new mediums alongside others who are just as passionate about learning as you are. The largest obstacle an intern could face in this position would be not being present, in the sense that one can become distracted or dissuaded from learning new skills outside of their existing skill set.
While I learned a variety of new skills in my time at the studio, some of them were briefly introduced and not used again, but this was as a result of personal interests. For example, while I certainly have a better understanding of using tools like the band saw or chop saw, they are not tools that I use often because I prefer not to work with wood. However, the mold making process is one I intend to further investigate in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed sculpting in clay and that was not something I have tried before to this extent. This is one of the reasons interns are introduced to so many new practices, we don’t know what will interest us at the beginning of the internship and are given the time to figure out what we would enjoy pursuing further. Although my time at Master Craftsman ended a little earlier than expected due to world events, I could not have asked for a better semester here! I got to meet incredibly devoted and hardworking individuals, as well as learn a number of new skills that I intend to use in my own practice in the future. I plan on looking into interning at the studio for a second semester in the Fall so that I continue developing the new skills I was introduced to this Spring, as well as contributing as much as I can to the studio community.