Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ode to Monitors -- Melanie Weeks

1. What is your name? 
Melanie Huntington Weeks

2. When did you start coming to Lillstreet?
2007. My first class was wheel throwing with Karen Avery.

3. What brought/brings you to Lillstreet?
I had been studying at the Chicago Mosaic School, and was inspired by the owner, Karen Ami, who was creating and firing clay sculpture then covering them in mosaics.  I wanted to expand my knowledge of the craft, so I sought out a clay class, and ended up at Lillstreet!

4. What is the nature of your clay work -- functional or sculptural?
Functional, although I've recently become addicted to tile making.

5. What is your process? Do you sketch, prototype and conceptualize? etc.
I love being a student; I love the challenges set forth by each teacher I have.  I generally do not sketch, unless I'm working on a clay tile.

6. What or who influence your work?
I'm influenced by my instructors, by things in the Lillstreet gallery, by things in museums, magazines, and online resources.  I've been known to fall down the Pinterest rabbit hole looking for clay inspiration.

7. Do you work with other medium besides clay?
I studied Stained Glass for several years in the Washington, DC area before moving to Chicago (working with lead and copper foil techniques).  I work with mosaics.  I also teach different forms of art through Kidstreet and ArtReach at Lillstreet.

8. What are your duties as a monitor?
As a Kidstreet Monitor, we take care of everything from cleaning to supply replenishment (and whatever Karen asks us to do).  :-)

9. If there’s one thing you absolutely have to inform the Lillstreet clay community that would make your work easier, what would it be?
When working in the clay rooms, please don't forget to scrape/wipe down your clay table when you're done, and don't throw any food into the clay sinks.  We clean them once a week, and the food can get pretty gross after seven days.

(Editor:  This is the last post on the Monitors series.  As you may or may not have noticed, there are a few monitors missing.  Responding to the questionnaire is voluntary and there are a few that chose not to respond.  If I receive any other response after this, I will post the answers.  I hope you have enjoyed reading the series.  Please let me know what other types of posting you would like to see in the future by commenting.  Thank you!) 

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