Published: Dec 07, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Dec 06, 2011 11:48 AM
The Fuquay-Varina Women's Club recently awarded a $300 grant to the Jewelry Club at Middle Creek High School.
The student-led club meets twice monthly and works on a different project each month. The grant allows students and their advisors, art teacher Brenda Taylor and science teacher Carrie Jones, to purchase materials such as beading wire, thread, polymer clay and beads.
Both Taylor and Jones are enthusiastic about the first few months of the club.
The club, which bridges socio-economic barriers, has attracted a diverse group of 30 boys and girls.
The teachers also hope to blend art, science, math, social studies and English by drawing connections to geometry, chemical reactions, expression and multicultural traditions. I spoke with Taylor and Jones about their experiences.Q:
How did you get involved in creating jewelry?CJ:
I was working on my dissertation at N.C. State and was looking for a creative outlet. I started taking classes in metal-smithing, glass-fusing, wire-wrapping and beading through the N.C. State Craft Center and Pullen Arts.
Since I've been at Middle Creek, Ms. Taylor and I have been talking when we eat lunch together about creating a club like this one.BT:
I have a passion for pottery and have a small pottery business called Mucho Mud. I belong to the Cary Clay Cooperative and also make jewelry with polymer clay, precious metal clay and recycled materials.Q:
Have there been any surprises since the club started up?CJ:
Students have really taken on the leadership of the club, and we have a diverse group of students who are all interested in the same thing. It helps break down barriers. Not only does the club encourage minority females to participate, but our president is a male who makes beaded animals and jewelry for his girlfriend.Q:
Currently, there is a focus on preparing our students for the technological world. Why do you think students are interested in non-technological skills like jewelry-making?CJ:
This generation of students is into creating things. These are 21st-century skills; they are generating their own learning. The jewelry club is one example of the creative piece, giving them a chance to express themselves.BT:
No matter how high-tech we become, there is always a return to the root of things. The creative spirit of people is more about 'What I can do with my own hands.' Everyone has a creative spark... we just help bring it out.Q:
What are your goals for the Jewelry Club?CJ:
I would definitely like to take things to a higher level, with more equipment, more tools, maybe even a dedicated kiln someday. The students could learn about putting glass powder on metal, then melting it, learn about lab safety, the chemical reaction that's occurring... I think it teaches them a higher order of thinking and more science skills.BT:
I'm also an advisor for National Honor Society, and we do a lot of service hours. So in the future for the Jewelry Club, I'd love to have some way to do fundraisers to raise money for good causes.