All of us have teachers in our lives who inspire in a very lasting way. Keith Lo Bue is one such teacher. I was privileged to do a weekend metals workshop with Keith last year, and was enthralled to discover he will be returning to Melbourne for a three day workshop in September. I’ll be there with so many bells on that they’ll hear me ringing across the Pacific.
The object is only part of the Lo Bue experience. Birthing it is at least, if not more important. There seems to be a kind of ecstasy experienced in his process; his sense of wonder is delightfully manifest in the finished jewellery. When you hold a Lo Bue object in your hand it almost quivers with history. The history of the materials used, often relics of another era. That of implied histories, his sometimes-scientific assemblages hinting cheekily at function. That history, finally, of the artist’s sweat: the intense and often laborious processes involved. Each project emerges from the studio like a kind of gift to the world.
It is perhaps Keith’s drive to learn which makes him such a marvellous teacher. The infectious curiosity that he shares with such enthusiasm is what makes his teaching so vibrant. To perfect a single project he will learn an entirely new craft, for instance his recent forays into bookbinding with the Diary of an Antiquary:
There is a lovely humility to the achievement of the binding; the book is eclipsed by the magnificent whole. Do see his fascinating posts on the intricate creation of this work. Here are links to Part One, Two, Three and Four.
The Precious Little workshop will be held September 17th-19th (Friday night, Sat & Sun days) in Melbourne this year. For more info on his work and the workshop, see Keith’s website. To register for the class, contact Marg by email, byrnemargaretm[at]yahoo[dot]com