Whether we are artists, musicians, actors, or small business owners, our creative and business journeys can, at times, feel lonely. Sometimes we are floundering and need direction. We wish we had someone who could walk the path with us, help us develop a strategy, stay focused and that could help us stay accountable to our dreams. If you yearn for a guide with experience and connections that can propel you into your dreams, you may find The Creative Endeavors Mentorship Program a good fit. It is true we can learn from our mistakes, but we also can learn from the mistakes of others.
The heart and time of caring professionals are restoring the lost art of mentorship.
Locating such guidance may feel like an impossible task. It is a great resource to find someone who is invested in our success. It makes us feel like we can conquer the world. Master Sculptor/Writer and businesswoman, Bridgette Mongeon created The Creative Endeavors Mentorship Program to support individuals with experiential learning, to incite questions, encourage debates, and challenge mentees while providing intellectual and emotional stimulation and accountability.
Bridgette created the Creative Endeavors Mentorship program from the self-directed study that she received in her progressive education which she obtained with her Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College in Vermont. It is great to have physical access to your mentee, but in the age of technology, mentees can live anywhere, and mentor and mentee communicate through the phone, skype, mail, and the internet. Many mentees feel like there is no extra work involved in a mentorship program. They are merely documenting and having accountability for their dreams and goals while being given guidance and suggestions from a professional in the field.
However, the mentorship program is serious business. Mentees enter into a three-month-long contract with the artist and are, required to do extra work. They must document their expected process by creating a Statement of Purpose for each three-month term. They are also responsible for sending monthly packets to their mentor to document their progress and work. The mentor intern replies to packet work. At the culmination of a term, they are reviewing their progress. Bridgette has found that the extra work of documentation is essential. “I do this without pay, and the time I’m spending mentoring is a time I could spend writing and sculpting. My time is precious. I need to know the other person is serious and disciplined enough to document their dreams and progress. Plus studies have shown that goals not written down are only wishes, writing down your expectations of yourself help you to meet those expectations.”
Mentorships are different than internships. Bridgette uses interns in her studio quite often. Some Interns are paid others are not. Interns work alongside the artist on her work. In a mentorship program Bridgette helps the mentee achieve their goals.
LIST OF ITEMS NEEDED IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING A MENTEE
- Official letter of Acceptance
- Schedule Received
- Signing of Contract
- Advisory Meeting
- Statement of Purpose
- Monthly Packets
To apply for The Creative Endeavors Mentorship Program, Send the appropriate information listed below to the artist at Bridgette (the at sign) creativesculpture.com. Put Mentorship program in the subject line. Let her know you have read these guidelines and provide the information listed below.
Bridgette will be review new applicants
April- May 2018 for possible Summer mentorships and
September-October 2018 for 2019 mentorships.
To apply for The Creative Endeavors Mentorship Program please send Bridgette the information listed below. You can be as elaborate as you would like. A minimum of 500 words please, you may also put in images of your work on the document. Please describe the works, your process, medium what part you had in their creation. Did you design them, create them, cast them, etc.? All of this should be sent as a pdf to Bridgette Mongeon.
ABOUT THE MENTORSHIP
“Searching for a promising student or promising adults to mentor.”
Bridgette Mongeon searches for promising individuals, working in the arts or business, to take under her wing and mentor. A mentorship program is a one on one program. Ms. Mongeon takes on no more than one or two mentees a year. She is looking for individuals who live, breath, and think creatively, who desire growth, and that might like to be a part of a “term’” experience with a professional, established artist/writer and businesswoman.
Ages considered – high school, junior high, and university level, and adults are welcome, though maturity and commitment from younger mentees is essential. Professionals and beginners are welcome to apply.
Qualifications and requirements
A person that exhibits a passion for the arts or business, and is committed, dedicated, and reliable makes for a good candidate. You must be dedicated to the time and to the term. The hours you put into this will reflect in your progress. Bridgette will happily work around mentees schedule. However, if you don’t complete the other documents needed to continue with the mentorship, such as Statement of Purpose and Packets in the time designated, you will receive a letter stating that your mentorship is in jeopardy. Further delay on your part, without explanation, will indicate that you are not ready for this journey. Your current mentorship will be suspended, and your place will be given to another candidate. You may reapply at a later date for consideration or move to a paying consultation basis. However, the same commitments will apply.
A Written Application is a Requirement.
Please include the following in your written application.
- Why is this art form or business important in your life?
- Give a brief description of your interests and direction.
- Describe your present study.
- What do you hope to gain from this relationship?
- What do you hope to accomplish?
- Is there a specific goal you have in mind? What does that look like fulfilled?
- Where are you lacking? What areas do you feel you need help?
- Please share a bit of depth into who you are and a few samples of your work. Be sure to describe the work and your part in the work.
- What have you done thus far to try and reach your goals?
- You can also include personal things if you like, what makes you tick? What makes your soul sing?
- When would you like your mentorship to begin? Please note that Bridgette does this without pay, but is committed to your success. She can try to honor your start time, however, if another mentee is taken on before you are officially accepted then you may lose your slot until another time becomes available. You will then need to reapply.
Public or private?
See the section below, and in your application, please state how you would prefer to work your mentorship and how public you would like to be in the working arrangement. In your application, please include a Public Statement of one or two sentences about your feelings of this award, and one or two sentences describing yourself (Think Press Release. It needs to be written in the first person. You might look at this page to help you formulate your public statement. ) This will be used to formulate the announcement and possibly be used in future media about the mentorship.
Please also include all of your contact information: Name, address, email, phone, and all social media outlets such as Instagram, twitter, blogs, etc.
If you are under 18 you must have parent’s permission. Acceptance for students under 18 will also be discussed with parents. All younger applicants should think very hard about their school workload and social commitments before applying.
YOUR ACCEPTANCE AND CONTRACT
You have been invited, but you have not formally been accepted. Bridgette will send your acceptance letter to you after she receives your application. Along with the acceptance letter, please note that there will be a contract that needs to be signed. It is a formal part of the process. You will sign an agreement that you understand the duties and responsibilities. It also will state that you have received much of the Acceptance Packet. This agreement is important. It assures accountability on both parts.
WHAT A MENTORSHIP PROGRAM ENTAILS
Through this mentorship program, you agree to focus on your determined goals and have regular communication with Bridgette Mongeon. All correspondence between you and your mentor will be through a shared Google Doc Folder. Once a date of your acceptance is received, a schedule will be put in your mentee folder. Please look at these dates carefully. They are a bit flexible, but should be used as a very important guideline. If changes need to be made upon first viewing, then this will be done in the Advisory Meeting. Of course, life happens, and in light of that, flexibility is important. This can easily be done with communication. Besides not doing the work, a lack of communication is the biggest thing that can jeopardize your mentorship.
For most mentees, they do not find that working a mentorship program takes any additional time as they are already pursuing their heart’s desire. The mentorship program gives them an opportunity to document this, gives them direction and accountability to themselves and their mentor. However, one needs to designate and carefully schedule an appropriate amount of time in their personal schedule to finish monthly packets and other paperwork so that the mentorship can continue. The amount of time this takes depends on how easy it is for you to write. Some find keeping a working journal will help them to easily do packet work.
Advisory Meeting- Usually, there is one advisory meeting every three months. If you have received an offer for an extension of a mentorship and your mentorship is going to be officially extended for another three months, then mentor and mentee regroup after the three-month date. A request to continue should be in your last packet. There is an exit meeting with your mentor in which you will discuss what has been learned, and talk about three-month term. If a mentorship is extended The same paper work of Schedule, Statement of Purpose, Packets, etc. are required during each Term.
A Statement of Purpose
After being accepted, it is now time to set out your goals for your first three months. What is your primary focus for these next three months? Much of this may be culled from your advisory meeting and your application. You may have more than one direction, and that is certainly fine. Just list them and what you hope to accomplish, as well as how you plan on accomplishing this. This program is about accountability- accountability to yourself and your mentor. You can’t be accountable if you are not sure what you want to do.
In this Statement of Purpose think of your next three months. Please list what resources do you hope to investigate, books, groups, etc. Are you hoping to get in a show? Exploring a new medium? Investigating a business situation? Are there areas that you feel you need help? How will you find this help? This statement of purpose really is your guide to what activities you plan on doing to assist you in the next three months. Don’t worry, new opportunities come up as you progress through this mentorship. This is expected. You may, at times, have to deviate from the statement of purpose to focus on immediate opportunities. As long as they are inline with your direction, this is fine. Please document how they relate, and the new direction in your monthly packets
Once this Statement of Purpose is complete, let Bridgette know through a text or PM on Facebook. She will respond to this Statement of Purpose and add things that she thinks might be helpful or useful to you.
Monthly “packets” are required. A schedule of the due date of packets will be included upon acceptance. This mentorship program is based on the Interdisciplinary self-guided studies found in the progressive education of Goddard College. Here is a good description of their packets. Though it focuses on writing it may help you to understand the process. You might also float through http://perpetuallearner.blogspot.com/ This is a blog that Bridgette kept through her journey at Goddard and Vermont College. She has some of my own packet work there as well as some from other students. In the below description taken from Goddard College, and advisor has been changed to Mentor. If you are looking for a self guided study for credit. Bridgette highly recommends the programs at Goddard College.
“Packet exchanges” allow you to sustain an ongoing dialogue with your mentor about your work throughout the term. You submit one packet a month to your mentor, on specific due dates, and your mentor responds in writing.”
“ A typical packet might include the submission of a new chapter of your novel, a revision of a short story, new and revised poems, scenes from your script, as well as critical work examining the books you’ve read. Packets also include a process letter in which you raise any artistic concerns or questions about your work and life as an artist.
Your mentor not only reads your creative work and makes detailed margin notes but also writes a lengthy response letter. Your advisor may offer support, highlight a particularly successful passage, challenge your arguments, suggest places to trim, and propose strategies to develop your work. Additionally, your advisor will engage you in a dialogue about how your craft-based exploration can assist you in bringing your work closer to your vision.
In other words, a mentor won’t dispense one-size-fits-all advice that you could get from a book. Instead, they are focused on helping you realize your unique creative vision.”
In addition to the original packet, your last packet in your agreed upon term will include a summary of the previous three months and a request to continue in the mentorship program. If accepted then you will proceed to another Statement of Purpose for the next three months.
PUBLIC OR PRIVATE
This mentorship is a private. Bridgette does request an exit statement from you at the end of the mentorship. This statement will be made public to encourage future interns. The announcement of your award of this internship will be made public on social media. Should you desire to keep this arrangement discreet, this can be taken into consideration, and should be made known in your application. All of the work done in this mentorship will be done privately in Google Docs. Please do not share you google doc link with anyone without permission. Should you choose, and it is highly recommended, you can make your mentorship public in a variety of ways such as sharing your acceptance, progress, and accomplishments in blogs, Twitter, Instagram and other social media. If you do, please share this with your mentor as they will be able to extend the social media reach and reshare. In doing this, your network grows. Some individuals find that documenting their process of public mentorship online helps to keep them accountable and gives them an opportunity for exposure. This may even be your packet work, though you should copy this work to you google drive packet work and give links to your blog. Simple and free blogs can easily be set up through http://www.blogspot.com . If you make this mentorship a part of your personal online blog as a part of your website, just include this information in your packets. You may do public documenting alone or encourage your mentor to participate publicly through a joint blog. Though the mentor will still create a private response to your online doc. Those working and striving to become professional artists also can leverage their online presence by being in association with Bridgette Mongeon through public documentation of this program and their progress. First and foremost— this is your experience, and you should choose what will make you most comfortable and promote your inspiration and motivation. You may change your decision on private or public from term to term.
If you find after reading this lengthy blog post that a Creative Endeavors Mentorship Program is just the thing that you have been looking for you can certainly begin your process by preparing your application and then submitting it at the appropriate time. Bridgette is honored to work with such dedicated individuals and will delight in the achievements and success of each of those she has the privilege to mentor.
I was so honored to be asked to be the keynote speaker at the Texas Art Educators Conference (TAEA) in Moody Gardens, Galveston, Texas. My goal was to show others how art can and should be integrated into science, technology engineering, art, and math. Just before the lecture, I added a slide about my lecture at the 150th-anniversary celebration of Lewis and Carroll, where I spoke about my Alice in Wonderland sculpture project to be installed in Evelyn’s Park in 2018. In that lecture, I also talked about STEAM education. STEAM education is based on an educational initiative that focuses on STEM. STEM focuses on encouraging students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. These are areas of focus that needed encouragement because there are many jobs needing to be filled, but it is hard to keep students motivated in these disciplines. STEAM adds the Art element. When at the 2015 Lewis Carroll conference someone came up to me and was very upset that I added the A to STEM. The comment startled me. It was the first time I had ever had to defend the “A”.
My motto developed for TAEA was,
“Defend the “A” and go with STEAM!”
In fact, at the book signing, I signed many of my books with that same quote. It was my motto for TAEA 2017, and I’m carrying it forward.
I absolutely loved the group at TAEA. The excitement and positive comments that I received from so many about how I am incorporating STEAM with the Alice In Wonderland Project was encouraging. We are not done. Stay tuned for the virtual tour, and the educational game created from that virtual or augmented reality.
PLEASE if you like the keynote or attended my workshop and have comments I would appreciate it if you could send them to me along with your title and name. By making these public I can procure further engagements and this helps me to defend your “A.”
CONTACT ME If you have any questions or need information please feel free to contact me. I would love to know how teachers are using STEAM.
www.digitalsculpting.net My website on my book and digital technology
www.creativesculpture.com My fine art website.
Finding Alice Sculpture Page on Facebook
COVETED THIMBLE INVITATION WINNER!
During the conference I took names and offered the Coveted Thimble Invitation- this entitles the receiver to bring a friend to have lunch with me at the sculpture. Congratulations to Shane Skinner the TAEA Winner!
RESOURCES AND NOTES FROM THE KEYNOTE
Many of these are listed in the back of the book.
Many of these resources are found in my book 3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting, and Milling. For those of you who purchased the book at the conference, Thank you. If you have not purchased it at the show you can find it on Amazon. PLEASE- Amazon reviews matter. You don’t have to purchase the book from Amazon to review. I’d greatly appreciate your reviews.
The book has a corresponding website. It can be found at digital sculpting.net
- SymbioticA is the program at the University of Western Australia that combines scientists and artists. The podcast with Oron Catts on the art called Victimless Leather can be listened to on the book’s website.
- Joris Laarman is the artist that created Dragon Bench
- Bruce Beasley is a pioneer using digital technology in fine art.
- Leanor Caraballo created Object Breast Cancer – an artist’s work make a change in how cancer is researched.
- Robert Lazzarini morphed skull and telephone booth. An artist morphs work digital and recreates it using technology.
- Mary Neubauer creates art with code
- Nathalie Mibach weaves data into art
- Bathsheba Grossman Is another pioneer in 3D printing and make math into art.
- Erwin Hauer with the help of Enrique Rosada– Are recreating the deteriating panels of Erwin’s work created in the 50’s using 3D tech.
- Captured Dimensions- Dallas company that does photogrammetry with a booth and captured my granddaughter.
- 123D Catch- Photogrammetry with your phone. Please be aware of the fine print. They will own your 3D model. When searching for their URL i discovered that they have discontinued all of their free software including catch. This article has some other free options, but I have never tried them.
- Saving Mes Aynak A race against time to save a 5,000-year-old archaeological site in Afghanistan threatened by a Chinese state-owned copper mine. The video can now be seen on Netflix. 3D scanning subject.
- CyArk– Digitally preserving architectural heritage. They have a varied amount of educational material on scanning and 3D.
- Smithsonian 3D has a variety of educational material on 3D scanning artifacts.
- Olivier Van Herbt – 3D printing in ceramic. There are many free resources on how to build your own 3D printer for ceramic.
- Synappsys Digital Services– CNC ( Computer Numerically Controlled Milling.) See the process in the TAE video above.
- Shapeways and i.materailise These are two companies that offering 3D printing from files in a variety of materials.. They also list some free software to get one started on creating. ( Check the book for the different software to fix files for 3D Printing. )
- TXRX Makerspace in Houston is offers 3D Printers for Houston schools to purchase with a trade in program if they break.
- Smart Geometrics came in and scanned the sculpture “Move One Place On” to reduce it down. They will be back in the park to scan the entire area to create a virtual or augmented reality. I’m still looking for a gaming company to take that and make it into an educational resource.
- Utah Teapot. This is the tea pot that the Mad Hatter holds. Want to see a video about this famous tea pot and what it has to do with 3D technology?
RESOURCES FROM MY WORKSHOP- Please follow this link
OTHER RESOURCES- Alice In Wonderland
- Free printable of the Wonderland Detective Book. Use this with students to help find the 150 hidden items in the sculpture. I will be creating a series of YouTube videos to help teachers.
- Free printable of dodecahedron and a triangle with Alice in Wonderland images and sayings. Use this in conjunction with the books Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass. This also helps to open up a conversation about the math and geometry behind 3D Technology.
FREE OR INEXPENSIVE GEMS HAT ENCOURAGE INDIVIDUALS TO PLAY WITH MATH
- Knot Plot Helps to visualize knots http://www.knotplot.com
- Surface Evolver Visualizes minimal surfaces http://www.susqu.edu/brakke/evolver/evolver.html
- TopMod A topological mesh modeler http://www.viz.tamu.edu/faculty/ergun/research/topology
- SeifertView Visualization of Seifert Surfaces http://www.win.tue.nl/~vanwijk/seifertview/
- Excellent tutorials on geometry and computation http://www.christopherwhitelaw.us/?p=567
- Blender Free- open source 3D Modeling, animating and much more http://www.blender.org
- Sculptris Free http://pixologic.com/sculptris Hard surface and organic.
- Daz Studio 3D Posing program- Free http://www.daz3d.com
OTHER FUN STUFF
- JWEEL Free browser based jewelry design program https://www.jweel.com/en/
- Learn Code for Art Processing 2 http://processing.org/
- Kids learn to create with code https://www.tynker.com/
- Provides the leading curriculum for K-12 computer science https://code.org/
It does not matter what your age—high school student or adult, we all have aspirations and need some help in reaching our goals. Through our journey, we hope to find individuals that will inspire us, give us hope for a future, and introduce us to those working in the area we desire. The adage, “It is not what you know, but who you know,” may even come into play. Internships and or finding a mentor can be the key.
Bridgette Mongeon has helped others achieve their dreams and calls this process “Pony Keeping.” She explains, “A young person wanted a pony, but a friend said, what do you know about pony keeping? So the aspiring pony keeper researched everything they could know about pony keeping, they even volunteered for others who had ponies. Upon finishing this investigation, they were well versed in the art of pony keeping. Yes, they may have had to shovel a bit of ‘you know what’ along the way, but they learned that this too was a part of pony keeping. Upon finishing their adventure, they discovered they did not want to own a pony, but instead wanted to be a jockey. But the most important thing about their experience is that the learning was invaluable, and they became known to all of the pony keepers.”
Interns and Volunteers- For the young and the not so young
There is much to be said about volunteering, apprenticeships, and internships, and many cities area is filled with opportunities. For the youth, volunteering and internships shows employers and college admission committees that you are committed, focused, have outside academic interests, can work with others, and are dependable. For older adults, it helps them to set their goals, and move in a different direction that may be more fulfilling for their life.
But how do you find such opportunities? Mongeon’s reply to that is simple, “You ask.”
There are, of course, numerous websites that offer volunteer opportunities and internships, but more importantly, if there is a direction you want to go or someone you admire, then muster up all of your courage and call them, or email them. Be sure to represent yourself in the most professional manner, but make yourself known. Some internships pay, but if you go with the attitude that the learning is the value, this will be to your advantage and will show in your work.
Mongeon, a Houston sculptor, and writer is known for her numerous commissions of entertainers, commissions of loved ones, mascots sculpted for universities and most recently for her monumental sculpture of Alice In Wonderland’s Mad Hatter tea party slotted for Evelyn’s Park.
“Just ask” is what two very nervous students did this week. Amy Vonn’s parents came by Evelyn’s Park grand opening in Bellaire, Texas this past April. They met Mongeon as she was talking about her monumental sculpture titled “Move One Place On” that will soon be in the park, The parents shared their daughter’s love of art, and as she always does, Mongeon encouraged the parents and their daughter to come by her studio.
“I try to help—to inspire everyone I meet.” I would have loved to have such a thing when I was young, and I know I can help them.
Vonn is a resident of Meyerland and a senior at the High School For Performing and Visual Arts. She mustered up her courage to call Mongeon and is now shadowing her this summer in her Houston Heights area studio. “I’m excited to witness and learn about the translation of 3-D program designs into tangible sculpture, like the Alice piece.” States Vonn. Mongeon has a lot to offer besides the introduction to the hands-on work, she introduces the team to the creative process, working with an art business, digital technology and has been known to pass on additional paying work to interns.
Sam Kenn, a high school student from Spring iSchool High. Kenn heard about Mongeon’s studio and the incredible opportunity of working with the artist. His schedule did not allow his participation until now. He too sent a letter inquiring about the possibilities.
“ I am so grateful that my wish for tactile and hands-on experience with art, the craft of art, is coming to fruition. In addition, this internship allows one to grasp the esoteric qualities of being an artist that are necessary but unexpected, namely: group work, technology, entrepreneurship, etc.– all these things go hand in hand with the making side of being an artist.”
Mongeon does her best to schedule interns so they can experience a working studio. “I love sharing. I can’t use everyone that inquires, but I encourage them to visit, stay in touch, and be persistent. It does take a bit of time and focus to include interns in the daily workflow. It means the studio is not only a workspace, but I’m always searching for opportunities to educate.” When working the many long hours in 2016/2017 to sculpt the monumental characters of Alice and her friends, Mongeon had 12 individuals who helped in the capacity of volunteers, paid interns, and students working for class credit.
Mongeon also offers to bring interns on field trips when available. She visits other artists space, foundries or artistic, social gathering.
Mongeon has become a well-known and influential educator using the creation of her art, making each project’s influence stretch further than the art itself. But she has not stopped there. A sign as you exit the artist’s studio reads…
“Searching for a promising student or promising adult to mentor
I am looking for a promising art/writing student to take under my wing and mentor. If you know of a student that lives, breathes and thinks art and that might like to be a part of a “term’” experience with an artist, please let me know- high school, junior high, university level, and adults are welcome.
Qualifications: a passion for art, committed, dedicated, and reliable.
I often can work around mentee’s schedule.
Please include in this written application:
Why is this art form important in your life?
Give a brief description of your interests.
Describe your present study.
What do you hope to gain from this relationship?
Share a bit of depth into who you are and a few samples of your work.
If under 18 students must have parent’s permission.”
Bridgette is now accepting applications for mentorees. Send written request through her website at https://creativesculpture.com
Periodically Mongeon volunteers her time with creative individuals both adult and youth. She mentors them through their desired creative inspiration. Being a mentoree is different than an internship.“Some people just need a guiding hand to get where they want to go; they need help to find their direction, and they need accountability. I partner with them to help them through this journey. Think of it as an inspirational, motivational couch.” These mentorships are different than internships; it is a one on one partnership where the learner either youth or adult, designs their goals and Mongeon helps them. They even sign an informal contract, so things are clear. Mongeon’s volunteers her time to these chosen few. She says it is her way of giving back, but her time is limited; she only takes one or two mentorees a term. Most mentorees have a creative focus such as writing, art, dance, or theater. Individuals must apply. “I’m looking for the same thing I am with interns. I’m looking for passion and a heart. The rest can be learned or taught. I will keep you accountable though. So whatever the term of agreement, dedication is necessary.”
The opportunities for learning are out there, not just at Mongeon’s studio, but also with many others. All you need to do is make a decision that you want to evolve creatively, tap into your passion, find a place that will encourage that, and as Mongeon states, “Just ask.”
You are welcome to use this article complete with images. Please download images to your own server. Please give credit to Bridgette Mongeon www.creativesculpture.com
For further information
B. Mongeon Sculpture Design Studio
Contact Jessica Brown assistant PR-
I am thrilled to be chosen as the keynote speaker for the Texas Art Education Association conference to be held November 2017 at Moody Gardens Galveston.
Throughout my career as an artist and a writer it is as important to me to share information and create a learning experience through the creation of my art as it is for me to create the art itself. At the 56th annual conference I will be speaking about the educational initiative title STEAM. I’ll share how others have used , Science, Technology, Engineering Art and Math in an interdisciplinary learning experience and how I have done that in my own studio.
Of course the Alice in Wonderland project title “Move One Place On” has the STEAM education in spades.
I’m delighted to be presenting and can’t wait for November.
You may also know that I had a new book that came out last November called 3D Technology In Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting, and Milling. I’m proud to say it has been a number one new release on Amazon. It seems that from starting the sculpture last July, to the book release in November, it has been a whirlwind of activity in my studio.
You may not know that I have used the same digital technology with the Alice Sculpture as I have written about in the book. It is fascinating, and I can’t wait to write a new book on the process of sculpting Alice.
The Whirlwind Continues
I’m thrilled that my publisher, Focal Press is jumping on board. With the new Alice in Wonderland Movie coming out we have an entirely new promotion strategy for the sculpture and the book. I’m thrilled when Focal Press has asked me to come to book signings, be a featured author, etc. This is a great way to start off my first solo book. I have longed for a publisher that could work with me as a team, and Focal Press is doing just that. Thanks to everyone for jumping down the rabbit hole with me.
For the last 3 years I have been asked to participate in encouraging young girls in math and science through a program called Expanding your Horizons in Math and Science. Of course my rusty right arm Allison Faith Gonzalez has always come with me. Together we try to explore STEAM. We talk to the girls about Science, Technology Engineering, Art and Math . Most people focus on STEM, but to me the Art component is very important.
What is an artist doing at a conference where pilots, biologists, engineers, and the others that are presenting? Well, you know if you have read my book 3D Technology In Fine Art and Craft, Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting and Milling that we work with math, and technology in the creation of my art.
I love the dinners that the Association of University Women, (AAUW) the organizers of this event, put on for the presenters. I was also glad to have a new intern with me Gabriel Martinez.
It was a fine time tonight. I’ll have to post more about our presentation titled Adventures Down the Rabbit Hole: Match Technology, Art and Alice in Wonderland, but that will come after we do present. For now, I’m just basking in the wonderful meal and wonderful people of (AAUW) and our exciting things we will doing. So glad to take this journey with Allison and now Gabby, a new intern. Let’s go inspire.
Here is what we did last year, talking to the girls about the math of Lewis CArroll and the technology we use with 3d Printing, 3D scanning, and 3D milling. The girls have to have a hands on activity so we created these coolDodecahedron. Links provided in the post.
The year before that we did 3D scans of the girls hands and feet using a program called 123D Catch. They also got to see a wonderful video from Coco, a girl their age who built a 3D printer. Here is a video that I created about our first year.
Today I created my first virtual book signing, thanks to an old friend. How was this done? Well they contacted me and asked me to sell them a signed copy of my new book “3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting and Milling.”
I was delighted, and wondered if other family, friends and those in the arts might like one. You can, of course, purchase a copy from Amazon, but it won’t be signed by me, and if that matters to you then I would really like to accommodate you. I have made up this Pay Pal button for your convenience. Let’s see how this works.
Click on the image and let me know how you would like me to sign the book. The price includes shipping and handling and is about the same price as purchasing 3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting and Milling on Amazon. $45 including signature and shipping. The book is 44.95$ on Amazon. Do go to Amazon and see all of the wonderful 5 star reviews. And you don’t have to purchase a book from Amazon to review it. Amazon reviews matter and I would appreciate your review.
I would love to combine this sort of thing with an online lecture. Anyone interested? Let’s talk.
Last week I returned to my hometown in Western New York, searching for familiarities of crunchy colored leaves, chestnuts, and savoring tastes of Concord grapes. Amid the streets and on the deep porches I hear voices of childhood that fill my heart.
I feel sorry for those who can’t “go home” and experience this. One can return home many times, but returning to your high school as a featured presenter gave me that curious feeling that Alice must have had as she jumped down the rabbit hole.
Someone commented on a picture that I snapped and posted of the halls of Kenmore West High School, “Looks like a scene from Alice in Wonderland.” This comment seems very fitting as at this point in my career as an artist, for my reputation is growing with Alice.
I have been commissioned to create a monumental sculpture of Alice In Wonderlands Mad Hatter Tea Party. It has been a milestone few months as articles are coming out of Italy about my project, and I’m receiving emails from Prague and China, and last week an article was printed in French. If jumping down that rabbit hole was not exciting enough, my first solo book 3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting and Milling came out just days before my visit. While in Buffalo, I discovered my book has been a number one new release on Amazon over the last few months in a few different categories.
I use much of the same technology that I wrote about in the book to creating Alice and her friends. In fact, I’m pushing the use of those technologies to new heights as I plan on making this Alice project my next book project.
I didn’t want just to visit Kenmore West. My hopes were to inspire the students. My career and life are typically interdisciplinary. I am a sculptor but, as I describe in my book, the technology that I use, is used also by many different areas such as science, architecture, engineering, industrial design and more. It is interesting, I would not consider myself a “math” person, but indirectly I work with math every day in the underlying geometry of my work. I knew my lecture would be cross-disciplinary. 3d Technology does that. Also, the sculpture is the art component and with Alice, the lecture even includes a twist of literature. I desire to promote these interdisciplinary studies in education. I was glad to see that Superintendent is Dawn Mirand could see these possibilities.
I also had ulterior motives in my return to Ken West. I have had such great milestones in my life. There have been terrific accomplishments, from sculpting entertainers like B. B. King to being commissioned to create a sculpture of Neil Armstrong for Russia. I graduated with one of the first MFA degrees that incorporated digital technology in Fine art. I have been contributing author on several books, the co-author on Digital Sculpting with Mudbox: Essential Tools and Techniques for Artists
and now flying solo with 3D Technology In Fine Art and Craft, and have four new books including a novel the works. I have spoken at large prestigious conferences in technology and education, but the one life accomplishment I cannot claim is that I never graduated from Kenmore West. One day I will use the details of that part of my life in a young adult novel. But for reasons beyond my control, I left Ken West in 10th grade, a high school drop out, and cannot “officially” call it “my home.” Though, as of this trip, I am adopting it as my own. I shared a smidgen of that story with the kids, including how the adults at Ken West were stellar in their help in that very difficult part of my life. I figure students are talked at enough in school, I hope that my story can somehow give them courage and fortitude in their difficulties. I wish I could have focused more on options, and opportunities- in my lecture instead of just talking about technology but that is a different lecture entirely.
In my life as a professional, I embrace helping others to follow their passion and look for ways to help. A motivational speaker for those in the arts, taking on interns and apprentices and recently creating a long distance mentoring program for students are a few of the ways I satisfy that desire to help. It seemed only fitting that I create a special opportunity for some of the students of Kenmore West. This is how Dave Rigolski, my host and the art and technology teacher at Kenmore West and I accomplished that.
In the scene of the Hatter’s tea party, I will need tea cups. I had planned on 3d scanning my grandmother’s tea ups, 3D printing them, enhancing the cups if necessary and using them in the scene. Mr. Rigolski’s class is working with 3D sculpting and 3D printing. I sent him a digital file of a teacup with the challenge to the students to help me recreate the cup to put in the bronze sculpture. Three students seem to have taken on the challenge. I’m happy to say they are all young women. I’m very passionate and supportive of tech girls!
I was thrilled that the maker space Buffalo Lab in The Foundry sent Rob Peters to assist the school with the 3D files. This entire project is a true collaboration.
I’ll be talking more about the students progress in up and coming posts and on also on the finding Alice’s sculpture Facebook page where I am documenting the project. .
If my visit was not exciting enough, another important element for me in this engagement was the book dedication.
My book dedication states:
I would like to dedicate this book to those many pioneers who have gone before me and encouraged individuals to merge traditional and digital technologies to create incredible fine artwork.
I’d also like to dedicate this book to Mike de la Flor, who said,
“Maybe you should look at digital sculpting.”
To Debbie Lloyd, who is one of my favorite art teachers. And to all of
the art teachers who spend countless hours sharing their passion and being advocates for learners, especially those who break new ground with new tools and techniques.
Debbie Lloyd was my art teacher at Kenmore West, she went on to be one of my closest friends, and we still see each other upon my returns to Buffalo. She was also one of those stellar individuals that helped me through that difficult time. I was so proud to present her with the book at the lecture. She had no idea. I only cried one tear or two maybe, but I held it together.
I also donated a book to the library of Kenmore West, I also donated a book to the Kenmore Library as well as the North Tonawanda Library. To my delight, the Albright-Knox where I first was exposed to art as a child also received my book in their collection.
After the lecture, some of the students examined the 3D prints that I brought to show. I visited them in their computer lab and saw their excitement over learning Mudbox.
It was a delightful and incredible experience with Ken West. I do hope there are other opportunities to help in the future.
From my lecture at Penn State to my visit with Kenmore West and Buffalo Lab it was an exciting and rewarding journey to the North. I can’t wait to see the final tea cup from a Kenmore west student and place it in the scene.
My hope is that one day one of my bronzes will be in my home town, until that time, I hope my books and visit inspire others, and I’ll be looking for other ways to share.
Thanks also to:
Kenmore West Art Teachers Amy Veltri, Patti Wallace and Darryl Swanson for introducing themselves and their students. Keep up the good work! The book is also dedicated to you.
A recent article from the Ken Ton Bee
If you want to see what the Alice project is all about, check out this video.
This past week, Penn State University, The Behrend College invited me to Erie PA to speak on my new book, “3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting and Milling” I also shared about my new project of a monumental sculpture of Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter Tea Party. The processes I am using on the Alice sculpture are the same processes I cover in my book.
My host was Heather Cole from Penn State’s new interdisciplinary degree major- Digital Media, Arts, and Technology. My visit was supported by the Endowment Fund. Penn States interdisciplinary degree combines the broad perspective of the liberal arts with technical skill. The Penn State website describes the Digital Media Arts, and Technology major. The students study technology history and theory at the same time they are learning to use the newest programming languages, digital tools, and computer systems. I’m thrilled that this program is looking at using my book as a textbook for Digital Media, Arts, and Technology major.
There were both students from the campus and others from art groups in the area that attended. Many students from the engineering department were also in attendance, in fact, when I asked how many students in the arts that there were in the audience, 1/3 of the audience raised their hands. There were, in fact, more people interested in engineering than those working in the arts. That is no surprise to me. The book and the lecture are very interdisciplinary. I cover such things as 3D printing, and computer numerically controlled machining, digital presentation, and the workflow of a project from digital concept to fabrication. It is a good lecture for both those in the art, those studying engineering, architecture, design, industrial design and more.
Along with the book signing, I had samples of the 3D prints created by 3D RP of the digital design that I used to create the 15-foot bronze sculpture of the Grambling Tiger. 3DRP also created a 3D print of the March Hare. He is a bit stained with clay as we have been looking at him constantly while we are making the 8-foot tall sculpture. Other examples that I brought of 3D printing were some 3d printed bronze by exone. Some 3d printed wax jewelry, articulated pieces and 3d prints that are examples of the great detail you can get from the different types of 3d printing and 3d printing of objects inside of other objects.
Of course, there were plenty of Alice in Wonderland pieces that I was showing and I encouraged attendees to follow along with this newest project on the Finding Alice Facebook Page. And I always try to have other materials that attendees can take home like a list of all of the contact information such as:
- A description of the website created for the book at digitalsculpting.net that has further information will hold tutorials and has podcasts about art and technology.
- There is also a Facebook page for the book. These are created for others to share their work. It is a place where others and I can address questions that people have about the technology and processes, I also encourage vendors to come and share their processes and expertise.
- Brochures from my vendors like Shidoni foundry, my ( CNC) Computer numerically controlled milling companies such Synappsys Digital Services and Across the Board Creations. The video of milling by Synappsys was a big hit in the presentation, and you can see it for yourself on you tube. (Fast forward to about the two minute mark.)
The Digital Media, Arts, and Technology Department brought their MakerBot fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3d printer and had it running. Many thanks to Heather’s Bread and Circus Club at Penn State who monitored the table while I was in giving the lecture.
My daughter created a wonderful banner for my new speaking engagements, and we had that outside the auditorium.
The attendance was great, the hospitality and the quaint campus a pleasure to visit. The next day on my way back to Buffalo for my next engagement, I took a short jaunt to Presque Isle state Park. It was a lovely little side trip. I drove through the park, looked at the wildlife and learned about the Battle of Lake Erie, from which came the saying “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.” The Penn State Library with their intriguing exhibit complete with a replica of the ship was my first introduction to the-the battle of Erie and Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry.
Thanks, Penn State University, The Behrend College. I look forward to helping your students through the various resources mentioned above. Who knows, maybe their work will be in the next edition of 3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting and Milling.
If you are interested in having me come to your University or group, please contact me through my fine art website. I am traveling around quite a bit and would love to come and talk.
Bridgette’s presentation excellently conveyed the practical aspect of 3D modeling. Being able to see the models she created come to life in a real physical project was very inspiring.
Will Gerould- Student
I was thrilled about the broad turn out of students and community members that were in attendance. Bridgette did a wonderful job of covering the subject from an interdisciplinary approach and I think many came out with a better understanding and appreciation of the work involved.
Heather Cole- Instructor Digital Media, Arts, and Technology
Heather, thanks for bringing Bridgette, it was a great glimpse into the life of a professional artist and some amazing technology.
Dr. Chris Coultson- Professor School of Engineering.
I’m headed up to the north next week. Won’t you join me?
Monday Sept 28. 7:00 p.m. I’m scheduled to speak at PennState Behrend, and I am delighted to share my new book 3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting and Milling. It was a number 1 new release on Amazon. I’m also thrilled to be talking about the new Alice in Wonderland Project that is getting so much attention from around the world.
Wed Sept 30. 8:00 a.m. I’ll be headed to my home town of Buffalo New York and not only speaking to my high school, but the kids are helping me with one of the tea cups that will be made into a bronze and placed on the table of the monumental sculpture of the Mad Hatter Tea Party that I am creating. They will be using 3D technology and 3D printing to achieve this. I’m delighted to have this participation and make this art into a learning experience. Here is a press release for the Buffalo Trip.
Thursday Sept 31. 7:00 p.m. I wanted to have a place in Buffalo to present to the grown ups. On Thursday I’ll be at the maker space called Buffalo Lab 7-9 298 Northampton St, Buffalo NY 14208 inside The Foundry. How fun to have a book signing and a special lecture in my home town.
Please help me pass the word by posting this to your Facebook and other social media accounts