Sue Silverstein Art Room At Bishop Gibbons, A Humming Hive Of Creativity

Hser Nay and Folasade making mosaics.

Someone once described my studio as a humming beehive.  That’s just how Sue Silverstein’s classroom felt to me when Jon and I got there today.

It was in between classes so there were only a few students in the room, but the ones who were there were focused on their work and the room itself had an energy of works in progress.

Hser Nay and Folasade were making Mosaics.

Hser Nay is making the moon and stars and Folasade is making flowers in a field.   Sue, who lets nothing go to waste,  took apart some old broken furniture that she found in the storage room then cut up the bigger pieces with an old hand saw to use as the bases for the mosaics.

Some of the old sheets that were donated to Sue’s Class.

Three students were braiding strips of old sheets, then weaving them through wireframes to make baskets.

One of the braided baskets and a painting

Sue asked if I could help with the sewing machines.

Some of them had thread stuck in them and bobbins that weren’t working properly.  Mostly I just rethreaded them and reset the tension and thread lengths.

There was one machine that had a problem with the bobbin case so I took that one with me to be fixed.  There were also a couple of machines that were donated without cords or foot pedals.  I’ll find comparable ones online so the machines can be used.

I took the one machine to a sewing shop in Greenwich called Ruby’s Nimble Thimble.  Terry who owns the shop spent some time trying to fix the machine but couldn’t get it working so she’ll have to send it out to be fixed.

When Terry heard about Sue’s Classroom and the work she is doing there with the students, she donated two sewing machines that she had gotten in an Estate Sale.

Terry used to work with a woman in Albany who taught sewing to immigrants and would donate sewing machines to her students.  But the woman retired so Terry was glad to have a way of getting the sewing machines to people who need them.

Some of the Dog and cat bed the students made for a local shelter

I didn’t get to do any teaching today, but there are already some students who know how to sew and some that are learning.

Since school started, they made a bunch of dog and cat beds for the local Animal shelter.

And Hser Nay has been practicing on the free motion sewing machine.

I’m getting her some invisible markers.   This is how I first started drawing with my machine.  The markers make a mark that you can stitch over, then the mark disappears and you just have the stitching.

Now Sue is looking for broken jewelry for the student to make their own found object jewelry from.  Jon wrote about this particular need on his blog, you can read about it here.  

Or you can just send any old broken jewelry to Sue Silverstein at Bishop Gibbons High School, 2600 Albany Street, Schenectady, N.Y., 12304. 

The jewelry section of her art room is the most popular, and the students love the idea of making found object jewelry similar to how they made the wind chimes.

My head is spinning just thinking of all the creativity that is happening in Sue’s classroom.

2 thoughts on “Sue Silverstein Art Room At Bishop Gibbons, A Humming Hive Of Creativity

  1. I have a fair amount of nice old jewelry and such. Will need to wait a bit til I can affird the shipping. But I will send to her for sure.
    That will be an ongoing popular area of art I knoe

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