For over 80 years, the Hop Student Workshops have opened the doors to students diving into a craft, expressing themselves and finding community among their creative peers. And each year, we love sharing with the many friends of the Workshops who have experienced the joy and learning of these magical spaces. This has been a year of adaptation and invention, and we are happy to share these student stories with you here in digital form.

Home Away from Home

Greg Elder, Woodworking Shop Director

With the Hopkins Center being renovated and expanded, we’ve been in our new temporary woodshop since the spring term. We’re located on the plaza next to the Studio Art building. It’s a beautiful location in the sculpture court with high visibility and where we have lots of visits from folks passing by. The space is of course much smaller than the Hopkins Center shop, but nicely set up with all the familiar and fun tools. With south-facing glass doors and windows that open for wonderful breezes to blow through, it’s a space that feels really good to work in. Almost without exception, the first time people see it they comment on what a great space it is.

the discovery of one’s own abilities is a transformational moment.
L to R: Ellie Morrison ’27, Rebecca Valls GR, Yifei Liu ’26

We’ve been engaged with students building bat houses for the Dartmouth Outing, Flora and Fauna Club; underway are the second and third guitars being built in the new shop; a graduate student is building a new white oak bathroom vanity for her home that she’s renovating; a magnificent walnut dining table was finished just as we were starting to pack up the Hop shop last fall. The woodshop has been consulting with and helping one of the Studio Art interns about fabricating their beautiful designs. Then we had a crew cutting out their class year numbers to mount on the top of the Homecoming Bonfire. On the academic side, we’ve been working with engineering, sculpture, architecture and digital drawing classes. These are just some of the ways that students are getting engaged and excited about making through their own hands and effort. The discovery of one’s own abilities is a transformational moment. If you’re in Hanover, please visit us, see our great new space, and soak up the energy of creating.

Quintin “Keeks” George ’22

I’ve always enjoyed starting from scratch. When I was eight, my dad taught me how to tie a fly. That summer, I caught a bluefish on that fly and was hooked for life.

The Woodshop let me start from scratch. When I first entered the shop, I didn’t know how to use a drill press. Greg, Janet and Pete guided me through each step of my projects carefully—a process that involved visiting the shop most hours it was open, unless glue or finish was drying.

I’m grateful to be reminded of these formative moments, starting from scratch.

Not only was the crafting process incredibly satisfying, but it also allowed me to get closer with peers I wouldn’t have met in other campus spaces as well as other workspace staff, like Jeff from the Jewelry Studio, who helped me create custom brass hardware for my guitars. When the Woodshop moved to the new temporary shop, it was even more intimate, and I grew closer to people of different ages and walks of life.

Even though I’m now far from campus, every time I play through my custom guitar setup, guitars and amps, I built in the shop, I’m grateful to be reminded of these formative moments, starting from scratch.

Check out a brief introduction to woodworking's new workshop space from Spring 2023.

Our Torches Firing Again in BVAC

Jeff Georgantes, Donald Claflin Jewelry Studio Director

It was a long, hard journey to pack up and move out of the Hopkins Center, but now that we’re settled into our new Black Family Visual Arts Center (BVAC) Jewelry Studio we love it! The folks in Studio Art and Film & Media Studies have been wonderful in welcoming us into their space. Perhaps most importantly, our students love it too! Pretty much every day that we’re open we’re packed. In addition to our regular maker space open hours, we do weekly special topic workshops, plus jewelry-making events with student organizations and academic classes.

it’s such a wonderful space to explore creativity and to find community.
L to R: Senior Ring Day, Class of ’24, Coin Ring Class

One of the things that I’m most proud of is that even though our space is smaller, I was able to figure out how to bring over almost every bit of technology from the Hop to BVAC. We also have about the same student occupancy as before. Yes, sometimes it’s like a crowded subway train, but our students are patient and appreciative that they have such a wonderful space to explore creativity and to find community.

Karina Madzari GR

In a twist of fate, I found myself at the Jewelry Studio, because of my classmate and Ukrainian poetess Daryna Gladun. Little did I know that I would be the one to become deeply captivated by the art of jewelry-making. The first thing I learned was cutting gemstones. It was a childlike delight for me because I never would have thought I could do such things with stones.

The earrings you see in the photo are the first piece I’ve ever done. Jewelry-making was an absolute novelty to me, and I must express my immense gratitude to Jeff for teaching me how to work with the studio equipment and how to better bring my ideas to life from a technical point of view.

Another important thing was the people I met, because in the Jewelry Studio, they all are amazingly wonderful kind people. It’s truly a welcoming place and a significant reason why I want to return here again and again.

Photo: Karina Madzari GR Teaching Jewelry Summer ’23

Theodore Castellani ’23, Hopkins Center Fellow

The Jewelry Studio has been the most fundamentally impactful space for my Dartmouth experience. Having shifted from STEM towards art, I thank the studio and its community for my growth as a jeweler and visual artist. Aside from being a well-equipped space with talented and knowledgeable staff, the studio builds and supports a community unlike any I’ve interacted with on campus.

the jewelry studio has, without a doubt, been the most fundamentally impactful space for my Dartmouth experience.

When you give students access to the tools and instruction necessary to create within such a technically intensive art form as jewelry, you end up with a group who will consistently come back to improve their craft and expand their artistic vision. More importantly, you get people who care about the art of their peers, and who are invested in helping those peers develop alongside them. We draw inspiration from each other, we ask for and receive advice or instruction, and we build relationships with each other based on our shared fascination with this craft.

The studio is a space where we can grow and learn and create on our terms, outside of the purview of our academic commitments. Like any space that shares these characteristics, the Jewelry Studio is a haven for students from all walks of campus life, and we treasure it as such.

Check out a brief introduction to jewelry's new workshop space from Spring 2023.

Reimagining Our Program

Jenny Swanson, Ceramics Studio Director

It is a pleasure and a privilege to be in BVAC. As someone who ran the ceramics program for 12 years off-campus, I am keenly aware of both the advantages and the challenges of relocating. We have moved into a smaller space with less equipment and have put our efforts into reimagining the program. I am enjoying interacting with art and media students and faculty in the building, and this has led to new and interesting collaborations.

It was very exciting to host our first visiting artist in our new space. Yeonsoo Kim demonstrated his contemporary approach to making Onggi jars (traditionally used for fermentation containers). Students and faculty enjoyed watching him create and draw on a large piece in just a few hours, and talk about finding happiness in his work.

it is a pleasure and a privilege to be in BVAC… relocating has led to new and interesting collaborations.

A group of 12 students and faculty from the ceramics department of Tokyo University of the Arts visited as part of their exchange residency at Colby-Sawyer College. We toured Dartmouth and visited the Hood Museum, including viewing pieces up close from the Asian art collection in the Bernstein Center for Object Study.

L to R: L: Maya Clarke-Brunetto ’20, Victoria Page ’25, David Goodman ’22

We worked with Professor Jami Powell’s Contemporary Native American and Indigenous Art class, building coil pots with micaceous and terracotta clays. We also collaborated with the Studio Art Artist-in-Residence Anna Hepler.

Perhaps the highlight of the term was having the FILM35 Animation: Principles and Practice, taught by Professor Jodie Mack, in the Ceramics Studio for a “mini-residency”. It was a thrilling collaboration creating “pre-cinematic optical toys—phenakistoscopes and zoetropes—with clay,” which were then filmed and presented at a final screening in BVAC.

Larson Kaidel, TH

The Ceramics Studio has not only provided me with a space to decompress while on campus but has introduced me to a form of artistic meditation I will carry with me beyond my time at Dartmouth. The studio brings in artists from the broader community, giving opportunity to connect one-on-one. Opportunities such as the live demo with Yeonsoo Kim make for rare connections. I later had the pleasure of attending Yeonsoo’s and Ceramics Instructor Jenny Swanson’s local exhibit opening. The wealth of connections and wisdom in the Ceramics Studio is unmatched and provides an invaluable lab for exploring creativity and engaging with art on an expanded level.

Check out a brief introduction to ceramics's new workshop space from Spring 2023.

L to R: Anais Berumen Swift '22, mug | Maggie Drunkenmiller ’24, fabricated & bezel set sterling silver necklace | Issac Kobe Letoa ’21, lamp fabricated on the laser cutter

We would like to thank the donors to the endowment funds that provide steady support to the Workshops and all our Friends of the Student Workshops.

We’d love to hear from you: