Work Practice: A few days teaching never hurt anyone!

Another first for Kipenzi. I feel as if  I am finally becoming part of the art/design establishment in Frome UK. Someone looked up to me professionally as a business owner for a while and though time consuming,  it was quite exciting.

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked if  I could have a 14 year old student for work practice. I thought,  well,  why not?.  The only issue was it was four solid days and I am a jeweller that  juggles  jewellery making with other jobs to keep things going. when asked nicely to do  something, I find it so hard to say no so I said yes.  I had to shift things around to make time and space. I even sorted ‘the hub’ – the space  where we keep  everything whose future location in the house has not been established and also acts as my studio and our office. It is THE HUB!

The hub ready,  on the 4th of July 2016.  I was having coffee and toast – my student arrives  20 minutes early. Still I wanted to linger but decided to take my coffee to the  hub. Work practice by a sole business owner can be challenging  but in my case I found it quite easy. I will be the first to tell you that I do not have much patience with younger students but patience is perhaps something I have taught myself to do in recent times. I also think it is to do with the system here. You must tiptoe around students so much that they rule the place. Back to matters at hand – there are bits of my past that make it a breeze. When I was about 18 – while my friends were getting drunk and or working in coffee shops, I was called back to my high school to teach Biology and Art. Until now,  I have no idea how that happened. I may have had some level of responsibility which I was unaware of –  then but it happen so for almost two years while I waited to go to university I was a teacher and was good at it.

I loved it! Here is a  little secret – teachers have homework! Then I  spent the next ten years partly being a designer and the rest being a ‘trainer’ -which is just teaching  for grown-ups – sort of. Trainer is the term used  just so that they feel a bit less like kids.

I digress – back to the work practice.  My student,  I decided would not learn biology but what I trained people to do. The design process. He liked the theory as well as the practice. Went though  my sketch books, works in process and a few finished products. Introduced him to the Kipenzi  website and when I thought he had seen enough, started him on some research on the ideas he wanted to explore. My mission was  to enable him learn the process of making something individual and unique.

He settled for an elephant – his mum loves elephants and he wanted this to be a gift for her.

A few sketches later and a chat about materials

An introduction to the studio and the rules and tools.


Making the prototype in brass.

Kipenzi Kenya UK By Linda Odhiambo  _16
Kipenzi – Oscar’s complete minimalist silver elephant head
Kipenzi Kenya UK By Linda Odhiambo  _15
Kipenzi – Oscar’s complete minimalist silver elephant head
Kipenzi Kenya UK By Linda Odhiambo  _14
Kipenzi – Oscar’s complete minimalist silver elephant head
Kipenzi Kenya UK By Linda Odhiambo  _13
Kipenzi – the individual bits to make the minimalist silver elephant head

The finished piece in Silver


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