New Mexico School for the Arts to Partner with Axle Contemporary, Sculptor Piers Watson for “Luted Crucible” workshop & exhibition

(Monday, August 10, 2015) SANTA FE — Last fall, as part of its Guest Artist program, New Mexico School for the Arts brought artist Piers Watson to host a workshop on a traditional Luted Crucible metal casting technique. He presented this fascinating workshop (demonstrating the casting technique and guiding NMSA students in the creation of their own projects) to members of NMSA faculty, the Visual Arts Department, and NMSA’s donors and community members. Watson grew up in Santa Fe and spent two years studying traditional East Indian wood-fired bronze casting in a small village in India. He now lives in France and travels teaching this traditional casting technique.

This fall, NMSA is excited to announce a collaborative Visual Arts workshop as part of our Guest Artist program for 2015-16, involving Piers Watson and local mobile gallery Axle Contemporary, along with professional artists Chris Collins, Anne Russell, Rose Simpson, Diane Tintor, and Erika Wanenmacher.

In collaboration with Axle Contemporary, NMSA sculpture class students will be grouped with these artists (each of the five artists will work with groups of three students) based on how each students’ own style and interest aligns with those of the professional artists. Through collaborative sessions starting August 19 and lasting until September 12, 2015, each artist will work with student groups to create sculpture pieces using wax or 3d scanning and printing.

“The visiting artists will be both teachers and mentors.  We believe that the mentor relationship is invaluable for these young aspiring artists,” writes Axle Contemporary co-founder Matthew Chase-Daniel.

Following the initial artist/student collaboration, Piers Watson will return to NMSA to work with both students and artists, finalizing sculptures and reviewing and detailing the Luted Crucible process. Through the last week and a half of September, students and artists will build their luted crucibles with Watson, preparing their pieces for the casting process. Finally, Watson will preside over the construction of the fire pit and furnace to be used for casting and students and artists will complete and refine their sculptures!

Axle Contemporary will host an opening exhibition of all student and artist sculptures at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe on October 9, 2015 (5:00pm-7:00pm). Finished work will be on display and can be seen throughout town – and throughout the state – from the October 9 through November 1, in Axle’s “art gallery on wheels,” an innovative installation space housed in the back of a custom retrofitted 1970 aluminum stepvan. Matthew Chase-Daniel and Jerry Wellman, Axle’s founders, are able to use their unique mobility to visit “both typical art venues and unusual ones (axleart.com/about).” NMSA is thrilled to partner with such a wonderful fixture of New Mexico’s arts community as Axle Contemporary and sees special opportunities for innovative outreach and engagement with our immediate Santa Fe community, as well as partners and young artists across the state. NMSA plans to travel with AC to display this Luted Crucible exhibition throughout New Mexico.

Below are links and more info about Piers Watson and his teaching of the Luted Crucible technique:



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NMSA provides access to a rigorous mastery arts and academic high school education for youth with passion and aptitude in the arts, leading to post-secondary learning, careers in the arts, and lives that contribute to society.


NMSA is a public/private partnership comprised of the NMSA-Art Institute, a nonprofit art educational institution, and NMSA-High School, a New Mexico state charter high school. NMSA’s purpose is to provide the highest standards of excellence in preparing New Mexico’s artistically talented students to compete in the national arena for post-secondary education and/or professional careers in the arts. NMSA offers pre-professional instruction in the performing and visual arts with rigorous academics leading to a high school diploma. NMSA is located in the former St. Francis Cathedral School, 275 East Alameda in Santa Fe. For more information, visit: www.NMSchoolForTheArts.org.