In conjunction with IU Bloomington’s Themester on beauty, the Office of the Provost is hosting a series of free festivals throughout the fall semester on the first Thursday of each month. Each event includes live music, dance and theatre; hands-on arts, crafts, and games, treasure hunts and prizes; and free as well as purchasable food. Traditional Arts Indiana is contributing programming to each of these events throughout the semester, presenting a number of artists and craftspeople and displaying exhibits relating to regional folk art. September’s First Thursday Event featured willow furniture maker, Greg Adams; blacksmith, John Bennett; decoy maker, John Bundy; and basket maker Viki Graber.
For the most recent event on October 6th, TAI highlighted Indiana’s limestone heritage. Local limestone carvers, Casey Winningham, Matt Bruce, and Will Galloway participated in the event, and TAI’s limestone exhibit was also on display. Casey, whose expertise is with lettering for monuments and gravestones, demonstrated carving by hand with a chisel
and mallet, showing event goers key techniques for creating clean lines and three dimensional shadowing with carved lettering. Alongside his workspace he displayed examples of his work.
Matt Bruce, well known for his inventive pieces such as giant scissors and pocket knives that can actually open and close, loaded his compressor onto his truck and brought it with him to the event so that he could demonstrate air chiseling for the crowd. Matt not only demonstrated with the air chisel, he also taught event goers of all ages how to hold the chisel and use it to carve into the piece of limestone he brought for the purpose.
For the first part of the event award-winning carver Will Galloway displayed projects at various points of completion, talking interested event goers through the journey a piece takes from its conceptualization to its completion. As the evening drew on Will moved over to demonstrate and teach hand carving techniques at Matt’s table and Casey joined them to talk carving techniques. This gave festival goers the opportunity to learn two methods of carving and hear some of the differences between various carvers’ approach to the craft. It was an excellent end to the evening and provided an experience that melded education and hands on experience wonderfully.
We hope you will join us at the next First Thursday event in November to talk with craftspeople and see them demonstrate and teach their craft!