Confections For The Soul

Sunday, February 24th

My life is not always a cupcake, but I have to tell you, the last weekend at the Yuma Symposium was sweetness itself. The Thursday night review of upcoming workshops left me doubting there would be anything really special I could carry home. Oh my, how wrong I was. One workshop after another brought gifts of inspiration. Here are a few words about one of them.

Alison Pack beginning her workshop demo.

Alison Pack beginning her workshop demo.

Let me introduce you to Allison Pack. She describes herself as a “Backwoods Barbie”, a serious shopper and a fashionista. This 36 year old associate professor at Radford University in Virginia walked on stage Thursday night and announced (in her best southern drawl) her workshop wearing cat eye glasses, a 50s twirl skirt, and short, pastel socks with lace trim. Images of her work pretty much matched her outfit. Eee-gads!

Be careful about judging a cupcake by the icing. This woman is clear about her identity, courageous to express her aesthetic, very knowledgeable about metalsmithing and is passionate about her work. Besides her ability to work with metal, perhaps her greatest asset is not crinolines and cat eyes, but her ability to entertain. She teaches her students to use “buttefly kisses” and “puppy kisses” to form the metal. Wearing embellished safety glasses and a colorful hair tie, she insists on good safety practices and states “safety is sexy”. Why shouldn’t the serious business of getting an MFA be fun?

Samples of raised forms.

Samples of raised forms.

I love seeing people joyfully express themselves. Allison is happy bringing into the world work she adores, along with new metalsmiths. I probably won’t be wearing poodle skirts anytime soon, but I must say the passion and creativity of this young professor filled me like a yummy dessert.


All images and text are ©Copyright 2010-2013 Connie Fox except where indicated. All rights reserved.

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  1. Allie, she had some of her samples (see above) but I don’t recall seeing finished pieces. I attempted to take some shots of her power point presentation but the quality of my images is poor.

  2. allie kelley

     /  February 28, 2013

    Professor Pack’s work is truly marvelous. This was a lovely write up of her enthusiasm, but I wish you would have added images of her metal smith work which is both intricate and delicate.

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