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Oct 20, 2010

Interview: Michelle Valigura >> Institute of Lower Learning

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[Switcheroo (Amanda Visell and Michelle Valigura) recently started the ‘Institute of Lower Learning’ – a series of workshops offering hands-on practical instruction on art-making techniques.  We recently cornered Michelle (she’s elusive) and asked her to spill the beans about the Institute and her Ceramic Tile workshop  (info sheet) which is this Sunday, October 24th 2010 in Pasadena].

VP: The 'Institute of Lower Learning'. Clever name.  What is it and why did you start it?

M: School schmool. You don't have to get a fancy degree to be an artist, both Amanda and I learned everything we know from real life and awesome people. That’s the idea behind the institute, bringing real life experience together with some of the amazing artists that we know and respect.

VP:  Michelle, you've been quietly transforming yourself into a serious ceramic artist.  Some of your pieces are pretty amazing.  What's the attraction to ceramics ?

M: Awwww, you're just scared of me. I always suspected I would like ceramics but never knew how much we would get along. I feel like I went on match.com and they hooked me up with my soul mate.



VP: Tell more about your workshop which is this Sunday (10.24).  From the description it sounds like people will learn to make ceramic tiles or trivets of their own design.   Btw, what's a Trivet ?

M:  Google it! Yup I'm going to show people how to make a plaster mold and some secret stuff I've figured out over the last couple years. I think the cool thing is all this materials are inexpensive, you don't need fancy equipment and its easy to adapt and keep doing stuff at home.

VP: Who's the ideal student for this workshop ?

M: Someone who wants to show people how cool they are.


VP:  The Institute has featured resin casting and molding and ceramic molding.  What's next?

M: We are super excited to have James Baxter, animation wizard, (if you don't know that name look it up, you will be impressed).  I've gone to one of his workshops and it was amazing. Also Timmy Biskup will grace us with his amazing color sense.  Jamie Mathis from Fully Visual will rock some metal shit (if he will ever return a phone call). Oh and the best one will be Jack Muramatsu on the art of blogging.

[The next ILL workshop is Michelle’s Ceramic Tile (and Trivet) workshop, this Sunday 10.24.  For more info and to reserve a spot – check out the official workshop page. ]

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