Enough spleen - as in the previous post about Fat Cats.
Well I'm sad to read of the death of my jewellery teacher when I was at school in Cornwall - during the 1960s.
Breon O'Casey died, at the age of 82, last weekend. Maker, printmaker, painter and sculptor, I think of him as the last of the St Ives' Artists to leave us. The St Ives of the 1960s that I remember, that is.
I was still at school when I went to his evening classes at.... I think Redruth Art School. I went with a schoolfriend whose family knew O'Casey. And Breon would kindly pick us up in his car and give us a lift to the classes and then back home. I remember him as a burly, gentle-voiced man with a bit of a smile on his face, and as a patient teacher.
In his class I learned to solder, shape, and polish; to make rings, chains, earrings - and, in my case, to set stones not very well. I recall my determined effort to enamel a simple design onto a ring... The enamel never fused and the ring collapsed impressively. But I don't recall a single "Tut"- nor any feeling of failure infused into my efforts by Breon. Believe me, that's quite a gift.
So maybe it is no surprise that, on returning to Cornwall from London... my first serious efforts to get back into creative work were given over to jewellery making. Breon O'Casey, I realise, was a strong keystone in my creative learning. I'm sad that he has gone, but I'm thankful that I was lucky enough to have been taught by him.
Oh- and you can read his obit in The Independent by clicking here.