The 3rd-year students are back! Rural Studio has welcomed its new students to campus this spring, kicking off the semester with a tornado scare, some porch sitting, and five fresh faces.
A Warm Newbern Welcome
Before the storied Neckdown Week, we picked up right where last semester’s class left off at Rosie’s Home. We are tasked with finishing construction and designing a front porch for the project. But before that, we slowed things down and went on a Hale County front porch tour, as research of course. Our first stop was with Rosie and Frankie, meeting them for some of Frankie’s famous hamburgers in their front yard, taking in the surroundings and getting to know our clients.
Our next stop was at the Myers’ Home where we enjoyed some lemonade and Judith’s homemade cookies out on the porch. Being a Rural Studio project, the Myers’ porch was a perfect opportunity for us to learn how students in the past had tackled a front porch and how we could learn from their design.
Next on the agenda was an early morning coffee break with the “leftover” students living at Spencer House. Being new to the program, it was nice for us to get to talk to some Rural Studio veterans and discuss all sorts of things, but most importantly, how they use their own front porch. Here we learned some of the history behind the Spencer House and got to meet Linus, the porch cat.
Moving right along, we next visited Reggie and his porch at another past project, Rev. Walker’s Home. This project is a pole barn structure too, like Rosie’s! We took the time to sketch and measure to get a better understanding of the dimensions we will be working with. After all of that hard work, we took the time to relax and listen to some music.
Taking a break from Newbern, our next stop had us traveling to Whitsitt to meet longtime friends of the Studio, Mike and Frances Sullivan. After enjoying some grilled cheese, taco soup, pound cake, and pecan pie, we did some field work, measuring and sketching the outdoor “shed,” to understand how porches can work in unfamiliar settings. We also saw a buzzing beehive.
Wrapping up our Hale County front porch tour, we headed to Greensboro to meet Tim Higgins and Aaron Sanders Head to have an afternoon porch sitting. Here we were able to experience a porch similar to Spencer house but one that lived close to the road and close to town. Being so close to infrastructure, this was a great opportunity to study the relationship between the front porch and sound, especially that of semi trucks. Ew!
First Neckdown of 2023
Our third full week began at 7:00 AM every morning and saw us helping out around Newbern and Greensboro with Neckdown Week. We helped clean and paint the Bodark Amphitheater, build new raised beds for the farm, fix some plumbing post-freeze, paint the Safe House Museum, repair the Newbern Firehouse, and paint the Newbern playground.
The Return of the 3rds (to Studio)
After moving into our new studio in the Red Barn, we started by taking what we learned from our front porch study and began working on long section drawings. We incorporated the measurements we took as well as the experiential aspects of the visits. The drawings also help create a multimedia drawing with the goal of summarizing our time on the porches. See the finished drawings next month!
Report from the Woodshop
Our first week of Woodshop class was, to say the least, solid. Hah! We began by studying the past semester’s work on Rosie’s cabinet system and eventually presented a good old-fashioned critique on our thoughts and observations of our peers’ work.
Then, we were introduced to our first project, a cutting board!
For our first History class, we met with Aaron to learn how to make our own watercolor/paint dye using foraged materials from around the area including black walnuts, onion skin, iron, cosmos, and sumac leaves. We also learned how to create our own charcoal sticks to use later on in the semester.
To New Beginnings
We are so happy to finally be here at Rural Studio and can’t wait to share more in the coming months! See you soon!