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Haystack Mt. School of Craft Mentoring & Workshop

Sihaya Hopkins

This spring I had a great time at Haystack teaching. For those who are not familiar with Haystack its a truly wonderful school of fine craft on Deer Isle, a 40 minute drive from my studio. Perched on a tree covered point, the campus's studios look out onto Penobscot Bay. The school is famous for its architecture, beautiful Maine Island surroundings and the world class two week workshops it runs throughout the summer, where you can learn from the very best craftsmen & women a wide variety of fine handwork. 

Each spring Haystack in collaboration with the Healthy Island Project hosts a one day intensive creative workshop, filling up their studios with local artists teaching and local people diving into creativity in the beautiful and well equipped studios! I had a fabulous time teaching 10 intrepid students the glories of molten glass. As we only had the one long day and our glass would be in the kiln still during the end of day studio walk through, we recorded what we made in watercolor and students exercised their drawing and color working muscles as well, ending up in the end with beautiful watercolor notes as well as an amazing handful of beads of their own creation! If you ever have an opportunity to do any of Haystacks workshops I couldn't give you a higher recommendation. It is the most amazing creative environment and in addition they feed you the best food you could ever imagine! 

Not only did I get to teach on the big Healthy Island Project day but Haystack lent me use of the studio for a couple of weekends before the season started to teach my High school mentoring workshop. Haystack runs a mentoring program connecting local artistic high school students with local artists. I can usually only take one student as my studio is only 8' by 13' with a lot of equipment stuffed into it. But this year, clever Hannah who organized the program, figured out that these two weekends the studio would be available and so eight lucky teens and I, practically had Haystack all to ourselves. It was a little chilly, being early in the season, but we had a marvelous time. Lampwork is hard, focused work and everyone poured their hearts into it and had an experience I'm sure we will all remember.