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News . Feature Stories . Becoming a maker

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October 05, 2016

Becoming a maker

Q + A with Jewelry + Metals major Ryan Bodley

Becoming a maker

What made you choose CIA?
I was interested in doing biomedical art. There are not many programs for that in the country. I came here for that originally. But in the spring semester, there is an elective course offered within the craft areas. So you would spend five weeks in Glass, five weeks in Ceramics, and five weeks in Jewelry + Metals. After I finished my time in Jewelry + Metals, I kind of looked back and said, “I want to do this instead.”

What made you want to shift your major to jewelry and metals?
Definitely making things with my hands and crafting. It was very different than my experiences with drawing and painting. I like math and science, and in the metals field and jewelry-making, there is so much science and process behind it.

How have you found the faculty at CIA?
The professors in Jewelry + Metals definitely help the students to steer their portfolios in whichever direction they choose. I know some people who are not interested in jewelry at all. And the professors are fine with that. They work with the students to develop the work they’re looking toward. They know their stuff about everything across the shop, whether it’s technology like 3D modeling and printing, or traditional techniques like raising and gem-setting.

What does it mean to have a studio?
Having a studio space that I can call my own has definitely helped me feel a lot more comfortable in my major. I’m a pretty messy person but I don’t like to impose that on other people, so having a space where I can be messy in my own way makes me feel more at ease. And it gives me a great place to store my stuff so I don’t have to haul it back and forth from home.

What do you think of the campus environment?
Being in this part of the city gives you access to a lot of great places. Around here there are great institutions like the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University. All students in all years are also able to get free bus passes. So they are able to take the buses and trains to all of the different areas around the city. There’s Little Italy – great food; Coventry – food, a toy shop, video games. A lot of students who don’t live here in University Circle end up moving out to Coventry or Little Italy.

What has surprised you the most?
Something that really surprised me about CIA is that even though it’s a pretty small school, there’s a lot of variety in what everyone brings to the table. Even in freshman year, there were people doing vastly different things with all these materials. In high school I really hadn’t thought about what could be done with plaster or paper or some of these other materials sculpturally. Even people in their first year here were able to do amazing sculptural things that I didn’t even think were possible.

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