Working at the School

Artists who come for this residency, have the possibility to work at the Bengel Factory, or the Hochschule Trier (actually located in Oberstein). The school is about a 45-minute walk from my apartment or a 20-minute bike ride. I have been persevering trying to get a bike (rescued from the cellar) in working condition to ride to the factory. It is not a biking town- I am often the only one on a bike, and I need to weave in-and-out of walkers on the sidewalk as it is verboten to ride in the street with cars.


The beautiful village of Idar is bisected by a highway that makes this a driving town!

As mentioned before, Ute and Theo are professors at the school. Julia teaches the theory classes, and Jutta is the technician and artistic assistant. Winnie is the workshop meister for the stonecutting room. It’s amazing- he assists students working in the room all day. A few pics from the lovely workshops at the Hochschule:


The students in the undergraduate Bachelors program are mostly German. They have a structured education, and classes are held in German. The Masters students are international, study for two years, and come from all over the world. Many are ramping up at the moment for their final presentations in the third week of June, when the academic year ends. There are also guest students, exchange students, and graduates who can prolong their stay a bit. I look forward to participating in some of the final critiques, as well as interviewing students for my “lucky traditions” research project. The ability to work in a fully equipped stone cutting facility, in an artistic way, seems to be one-of-a-kind in Europe. Its all the more interesting that this program is nestled in a region known historically for both its mineral deposits, high-quality cutting and trading.



The Bachelors workroom


So great that the tool drawers are labelled in German and English


Basic shared hand tools are available


The stone cutting room


The wood and unusual materials room


Jutta showing me how the use the PUK welder


Now it is my challenge to decide how I will spend my working time. I can work 7am until 4pm at the Bengel factory, and 24 hours at the school as long as a buddy is there. Staff at the school have normal weekday hours @9-5, minus lunch, so if you need help cutting stones-come during the week!



The workbench near the door for the Artist-in-Residence


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