Introducing: Teva Chaffin
How long have you been working with metal clay?
I began my adventures (and addiction) with this wonderful medium in 2008. I traveled to Colorado, Florida and East Tennessee and Texas for the certification classes.
What did you do before that?
My art background consists of pencil and/or pen drawing, in addition to acrylic and oil painting. I began drawing as a very young child. In fact, I never remember life without art. As a teenager, my income came from drawing and/or painting old home places instead of babysitting as my friends did.
What other mediums do you work with?
I'm also metalsmith, working with sheet metals such as copper, brass, and sterling silver. I just received my first order of Titanium and am very excited to get started experimenting.
How did you come to be a PMC Connection Senior Teacher? What year?
I knew from the very beginning of my adventures that I wanted to be a Senior Teacher. I always enjoyed sharing and guiding others in many aspects and thoroughly enjoy teaching about this wonderful medium. In 2009, I submitted all required documents, was asked to visit Mary Ann and Ken Devos in Florida and was selected as a Senior Instructor.
What do you think is the most exciting aspect of teaching?
Absolutely, without a doubt: sharing. Sharing techniques and excitement! I love the ah-ha moments that occur each time a beginning student realizes the workability and the wonders of PMC. Also I must say that I enjoy and also appreciate the experience and lessons that I receive while teaching when those class challenges pop up.
Do you have a studio in your home? What does it look like?
Yes currently I have a one-room studio, which is not quite large enough. Once an artist begins to collect all the wonderful tools and equipment needed to work in a variety of mediums, you tend to outgrow your studio space. My husband just recently surprised me with a building permit to build my new studio. I am excited as it will be so spacious and set up so perfect to hold at least 2 classes at the same time. Plans include five metalsmithing stations in addition to two classroom table areas. I am very excited!
Do you teach at home or another venue?
I will teach anywhere on the globe. “Have kiln - will travel!” Currently I offer classes in my home studio in addition to traveling to present classes. As a member of MTGMS (Middle Tennessee Gem & Mineral Society) I also teach classes at the local Fifty Forward Center.
Do you like to take classes yourself? What kind?
I am a “lifetime student” and love to take classes. I feel as an instructor it is my responsibility to keep my skills current and top notch in addition to learning new techniques that I can share with my students. I have spent the past two years with consecutive metalsmith classes. I attempt to seek out artists whom excel in their field and are willing to offer private instruction workshops so that I can absorb as much as possible.
Do you sell your work? Where?
I do sell my work... to anyone, anywhere possible. I am currently in two local galleries (Gallery 202 in Franklin, TN and Harpeth Art Gallery in Pegram, TN), several local shops and one Bahamian Island shop.
Where do you find inspiration?
Most definitely from nature. I was fortunate to have lived in a country setting during childhood and I recall spending hours at end in the woods. I have always found comfort being surrounded by nature (trees, flowers, wildlife). After all, my name Teva means nature in Hebrew. What a coincidence...
What are you working on at the moment?
I have discovered a strong attraction to PMC3 syringe. I am working with perfecting using the syringe as a pencil. Imagine drawing with a syringe! I am loving it.
Where has your work been published?
Pictures of my creations have appeared in the Metal Clay Magazine and the Nashville Arts Magazine.
Tell us about an artistic hero or influence.
I have two artistic heroes or influences. One is Georgia O'Keeffe and the other is Mother Nature. I admire Georgia's combination of styles that include realism, cubism and modernism. I appreciate her approach to creating art as she saw it while not being concerned with what “Professional dealers or collectors” desired. In most of Georgia's creations, she included a reflection of nature as well - whether in form or content. Mother Nature is the most wonderful of artists; beginning with the shapes, colors, and textures of all things natural.
Is there a new direction that you'd like to explore?
Yes, funny you would ask. I am very interested in pursuing small sculpture with PMC. I have dabbled a little and nearly ready to jump right in more.
Thanks for this look into your world Teva! Can't wait to see your new work.