Skill & Creativity from Ken Bova’s Students

You know how ‘they’ will tell you not to spend to much time on Facebook etc? Well, let me tell you it is not always a waste of time! I’ve got to know some amazing people and had some interesting conversations, even though I’ve never met them in person…. yet… One of these people I met in a roundabout way was Ken, it was through some of his student’s work, which he shared on Facebook. That post got shared by someone else, who then came up on my home feed, the student’s work was enamel on copper, one of my favourite techniques! (I’ve nearly finished my next ebook and it is on that subject!!:)) All this work was well made, as you would expect, but there was something quiet different about it, it was very inventive and amazingly quirky sometimes, not just a couple, but all of them! This is very unusual, for such a large group of students! So I had a look around and found out a little more about Ken Bova, who was their teacher. His Facebook photo albums had lots more work by his students, all very inventive and ‘out of the box’  I don’t think Ken has a Facebook ‘page’ so you might have to ‘friend’ him to see the work, check it out for yourself, it might be visible to anyone. So when ALL the students do fantastic work, you just know there has to be a great teacher behind them, one who encourages a more creative approach. I decided to go to Ken’s web site to see some of his own work. I love Ken’s enamels, liquid enamel on copper, rich surfaces and textures. Another thing I found very interesting were a series of brooches, made with hand ground pigments, applied to paper, a historical approach to color, this was how the old masters made their paints, these brooches are just beautiful!

Ken Bova Handbook - Cover

Ken Bova Handbook – Cover

Then something caught my eye, the Ken Bova Handbook! This book contains Ken’s teaching notes going back 20 years or more. I think this is just pure gold, not only for people learning traditional metalwork, but also for teachers! I just had to have it, it’s the next best thing to being in his class! It took a while to organise, me being in Australia and all, but I was patient and my book came at the best possible time, during the Xmas holidays, so I had some time to read. I can tell you now that my notes at college were never like Ken’s, and I must admit that mine, to my students, aren’t either! I need to lift my game!

Ken Bova Handbook - Page 92 Wood die forms

Page 92 – Wood Die Form

The information is thorough and presented in a fun way, with great illustrations, hand drawn, and pages that have fun bits of clipart to liven things up. I think I’m officially jealous of Ken’s students, I wish he was a little closer so I could do some work with him!

Ken Bova Handbook - Page 65 Patinas

Page 65 Patinas

And… while you’re at his web site, have a look at the workshop his students at East Carolina University, in Greenville, NC, have access to, and all the great facilities available to them there. Not even mentioning the other tutors there: Linda Darty, Tim Lazure, Robert Ebendorf and Mi Sook Hur, all legends in their own right! What an amazing campus that must be! I can only drool, and be super jealous!!!

Maybe we’ll get him to Australia some day….. for some very creative enameling classes perhaps! I’d also like to do some electro-forming with Ken, for some nice organic enamel forms! Hmmmm, don’t get me started! So go and have a look when you have a bit of time, I think you’ll be blown away too!

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