A group from my local neighborhood highschool (Madison High in NE Portland) came into the studio to do some torchworking with me today. Here they are happily learning to make torchworked figurines, we made animals: snakes, slugs, turtles and elephants.
The kids were part of a group called "Focus" for students that are struggling with their studies in this large public highschool. Focus is so amazing that they have become their own program, separate from Madison. The kids learn to focus, stay in school, graduate from high school and get guidance in placement for continuing their education or getting jobs. One of the staff in the Focus program, Eddy, loves working with glass and she has taught her students to fuse. For a few years now she has been bringing groups of kids to Aquila to learn more about glass. So today was one of these "field trips" for a select group of guys. Eddy is great - she is a constant positive force for her kids and she is able to help them get grants to be able to do fun things like play with glass. She's an amazing teacher and its great that she brings in these groups to learn to torchwork.
It certainly keeps me on my toes, working with teenagers... but I am happy for them that they have such a good time. I would have LOVED to learn to torchwork glass while I was in highschool.