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Torno experimental

by Tibor Uhrín

Juan Pablo Blanco Nieto: Vase HelikoniaEscuela de Artes y Oficios Santo Domingo (the School for Arts and Crafts Santo Domingo) in Bogotá offers training to artisans in a number of forms and techniques. Four materials are processed here: wood, metal (mostly silver), leather and textiles. The country abounds in all these raw materials; the choice is really big, particularly with regards to wood, leather and various kinds of textile fibres. Basic courses offer students the opportunity to familiarise with the material and the crafts techniques. In the so-called extended courses the students having completed basic courses may refine their skills while working already on their own projects. Teachers are often invited from non-academic environments. Students also attend theoretical lectures in the areas of business, management, industrial protection, ethics, theory of design, history of arts, etc. All school courses are subject to payment of school fees. Students mostly recruit from painters and sculptors, designers, architects and artisans willing to find a programme for their additional commercial activities. But there are also enthusiasts among them that seek meaningful ways how to use their leisure. Various foundations provide funding of basic courses also to people with disabilities that are interested or to the youth from socially disadvantaged families.
The author of the article was leading a school course called Torno experimental, which means experimenting with the technology of lathe turning or woodturning. Artisans had to be given assistance in searching for new applications of this technique, which still offers untapped artistic potential. The greater part of the twelve students participating were experienced and skilled artisans. The technology itself, the structures and colours of wood as well as natural shapes served as sources of inspiration.




Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 04/2009: