Metals are an amazing material! Come learn about copper through the lenses of art and science and its importance to the Great Lakes region. In this seminar, we will explore artistic forming processes and scientific viewpoints of working with copper. Each participant will undertake their own copper-working project, forging connections between the beauty and structure of the metal. The seminar format will provide a little history, some fundamental science background, instruction in forming techniques, and time to explore creatively. The uniqueness of this course centers on providing an enriching experience for both science and non-science thinkers, both artisans and non-artisans, with glimpses at advanced scientific equipment and artistic, hands-on metal forming. Participants can expect to create a copper bowl, learning forming methods and an understanding of the microscopic and macroscopic behavior of the material.
There is a $12 materials fee per person and there will be additional materials available for purchase.
Martha Buche ’86, is an artist and teacher. You may have spied her sculptures in Appleton’s City Park, the first to be installed there, more than 35 years ago. While Martha is particularly fond of things sculptural, she also works in many 2-D media. She teaches in numerous settings, working with very young children and their parents, as a Visiting Artist in elementary schools, with Home School groups, at the high school level, and teaching people of all ages at Folk Schools around the region. She has focused a lot on copper for the last 17 years, loving the regional and indigenous links to her Potawatomi heritage. Martha likes to explore the intersection between art and craft, converting existing copper into works of art, as well as transforming natural nuggets with fire. She has helped “birth” dozens of copper rings, earrings, bracelets, pendants and hand forged copper bowls using stone tools.
Margaret Koker is a niece of Martha Buche and an Assistant Professor in the Physics Department. She has degrees in mechanical engineering and materials science. Prior to coming to Lawrence, Margaret worked as a research scientist using x-rays to study the behavior of metals and other materials. After 3 years as a visiting professor at Lawrence University, she joined the Physics Department as a tenure-track faculty member in Fall 2021. While Margaret has always been interested in how things bend and why things break, her current research focuses on the analysis of material properties to tell a story about an object’s history, namely for Lake Superior copper artifacts dating back thousands of years.