Preparing for the Residency

The next few entries will mostly serve as a resource for future Artists-in-Residence who are preparing to take part in this program.


As I mentioned before, I had initially expressed an interest in participating about three years before. One can write Professor Ute Eitzenhöfer or Professor Theo Smeets at the Hochschule. They select the artist who will participate in the program, and plan years in advance.



Once here, artist can spend their time working with the historic Bengel “Industrial Monument” or at the very well equipped Hochschule, about a 40 minute walk away.


View, workbench, and stone cutting room at the Hochschule.



I was delighted to be in touch before arriving with the technical assistant at the Hochschule, Jutta Kallfelz, whom I had met many years before at the German Zimmerhof symposium, and whose jewellery I have always admired.  When I asked Jutta which tools I should bring, she said there were alot available at the school, but sort of mixed up, and that I should bring my favourite hand tools, saw blades, burs etc.



This is what I packed:



Now that I am here, I would say this was a good choice. The Bengel factory also has lots of hand tools, saws, etc, so I will keep these tools at the school. Also- they use Aluminum at the factory, and there seems to be a lot of steel dust everywhere from repairing the machines, so if I do any silver soldering, it will be at the school.After Jutta introduced me to the department, she gave me this handout that illustrates the scope of what is available locally, or easy to order within Germany. This is great as some residencies I have taken part of are truly in the woods, and you need to come with everything.



I was told to bring some shorts and skirts as it is summer, and I am usually in danger of packing way too many sundresses when I leave Halifax, as I always imagine it is tropical everywhere else when it is still cold in Halifax… it is nice and warm here in Idar-Obersten, but I should have brought heavy-duty dark (because they get dirty) closed-toe shoes for the factory and dark, old clothing. An apron is a must!





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