Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Meet Our Teachers...

Introducing Linda Kline
Director of Curriculum and Teacher Development

How long have you been working with metal clay?
11 years

What did you do before that?    
Do you mean a “day job”? I worked in public relations and marketing in higher education and the travel industry.  If you mean, what did I do artistically - metalsmithing and fiber artist, primarily.

What other mediums do you work with? 
Fiber arts, metal, mixed media, ephemera.

How did you come to be a PMC Connection Senior Teacher? What year? 
It was 2002. I basically bugged then Educational Director Mary Ann Devos until she appointed me!  

It was a pivotal time in my life with lots of transition. I was going through a divorce and moving from the Florida Keys to Vero Beach, Fla. Whew! Such incredible change on a multitude of levels. I didn’t know it at the time but I was about to reinvent my entire life. I took the scary big leap, quit the “day job” and devoted myself to art and teaching full-time.

Things always work out according to Divine Order if we just get out of our own way and allow the process to unfold. I had no idea that my passion for metal clay would evolve to the point where I’d be appointed the Director of Education and Curriculum Development for PMC Connection. 

What do you think is the most exciting aspect of teaching? 
It’s magical, watching someone “get it.”  It’s like the light goes on and they begin to see the limitless potential of their creative ability.

Do you have a studio in your home? What does it look like?
My home IS my studio! It’s a magical little house with fabulous creative energy.  My backyard is an “Old Florida” jungle with big, lush, beautiful trees, orchids, and flowering, tropical vegetation. I’ve had students visit from all over the world and everyone appreciates its uniqueness and natural beauty. 

Being single, I don’t have anyone else to please. It’s just me and my Golden Retriever Bear, and he never complains. So I can make all the mess I want and play in every room. I do have a dedicated metalsmithing studio in my garage, but it gets really hot out there in the summer months. Mostly, I work in my dining room where the view of the jungle is the best. 

Do you teach at home or another venue?
Where ever! I’ve been blessed to teach all over the world, and I hope to do lots more traveling. I teach weekly classes at Vero Beach Museum of Art, and most of my certification classes are held at home. I’m more than happy to go where ever I’m invited. I’ve also started offering jewelry-inspired group travel opportunities. So far we’ve had two very successful trips to France and Spain and I’m currently working on another destination for 2011. 

Do you like to take classes yourself? What kind?
YES! Every teacher needs classes to refresh the creative juices and broaden their artistic vision. What kind? All kinds - writing, painting, art history, collage, mixed media… There is so much to learn.

Do you sell your work? Where?
Yes, but not as much as I used to. I hate putting everything on the recent economy, but I’m afraid it has made an impact on what people spend. I have had great success with a friend’s gallery, Lady Gaia in Colorado. She knows me well and she knows how to sell my work. She “gets”my artistic voice and artistic vision.

From the Rain Forest Series
Where do you find inspiration?
From history, nature, and environmental concerns, mostly. I live on one of Florida’s beautiful barrier islands. Bear and I walk the beach almost every day and there is no end to the inspiration nature provides. A bigger problem is finding the time to create all the ideas that come to me. 

I like my work to have a voice, make a statement about a social or environmental issue, so I often dedicate entire series of work to a cause - the deforestation of the rain forests; the oil spill in the gulf; animal welfare; etc.

What are you working on at the moment?  
In jewelry I'm working on an evolving series of earth elements and natural formations – stalactites, stalagmites, lightening, coral, icicles, etc.  I’m also working on pieces dedicated to animal welfare as a fundraising effort for the Society for the Prevention Cruelty to Animals.

Tell us about an artistic hero or influence.
I’m most impressed with “outsider art,” primitive art, the work of unschooled artists… those with limited resources who create for the sheer joy of expressing themselves.

I’m a big fan of the “romantic” styles of jewelry design, the Elizabethan period…so elegant, feminine, and stately. And I’ve always been a big fan of Thomas Mann’s work. I love the eclecticness of his work… mixed media, found objects, movement. He was a pioneer in this area.

Thanks Linda. It was great getting to know you.


Tonya said...

This is great. It is wonderful to learn more about your past and present. I love this series.

Kathy C. said...

Hey Linda! What a fabulous interview..I loved it! It seems just like sharing a moment with you.

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