Artists from Ghana came to a Kansas community college to teach Ashanti weaving, pottery, bead making and bronze casting to students from across the country, reports the Wichita Eagle.
The week-long course at Hutchinson Community College was funded through a National Endowment for the Arts grant. A second course was offered at Northern Kentucky University. Teresa Preston, who teaches art at Hutchinson, and MaryCarol Hopkins, a NKU anthropologist, organized the program. The two met while traveling in Africa to study native artwork.
Just before beginning her pottery lessons, Mary Asumadu spoke through an interpreter to explain that the students would learn to make functional pots for grinding, cooking, and storing wine and water.
Hopkins explained that Asumadu comes from the potter’s village near Kumasi, which is the capital of the Ashanti region of Ghana. The artisans live in the village of their craft — the goldsmiths live in the goldsmith village, and the bead makers live in a specific village.
All four of the artists learned their craft from family members.
Students’ pottery, beads and bronze work were fired outdoors in traditional African kilns.