The new facility provides individual work stations and personal storage for each
student majoring in jewelry design and metalsmithing.
The metallic clanks ring through the hallways and classrooms, conjuring up images
of red-hot iron rods shaped around anvils in a 19th-century blacksmith’s shop.
But no farrier’s establishment ever would have carried the haute couture jewelry
displayed in the 3-D Art Annex. Highly honored by top jewelry-making judges, these
pieces are the future of design – 20 years ahead of what we wear today.
On a cool Monday in February, as one student hammers away at some metal rods in the
graduate student studio, Emily Schuhmann takes her time cutting tiny clover-shaped
designs into 14-guage copper sheets.
“I wanted to go somewhere where the professors are well known,” she said, explaining
her trip from Ball State University to Texas Tech this year. “I looked all over
– even in New Hampshire and New York. Then I heard that SUNY got nine feet of snow
in the winter and decided to come to Texas.”
But really, this room, this building, is the reason why Schuhmann says she came
from Indiana all the way to Texas. That, and her professor, Rob Glover
. It’s not just a studio for his learning artists. It’s a new benchmark for universities
across the nation when it comes to design and development of a university art facility.
“This faculty is the best I have ever seen,” Schuhmann said. “And I’ve looked at
some of the best schools. Plus, it’s exciting to pioneer a new program here in the
new space. This graduate area is awesome. These facilities are astounding.”
All around her sit art objects in various states of completion. She picks each one
up as she talks about her themes and ideas. Sometimes her inspiration comes from the
shapes of dangerous bacteria and viruses. Other times it’s a matter of mix/match
metals and organic shapes that blend into a vase and tray.
Before the Art Building Renaissance
Glover remembers the old days of jewelry art making in the old Art Building. They
weren’t pretty. He taught in a quarter of the space in a room that didn’t even approach
his needs as an instructor.
Kilns made such horrible smells and put off so much heat, it turned the classroom
into a stinking furnace. Artists set them to come on early in the morning, which
meant delays in completion.
The 3D Annex, located across from the Recreation Center, is a renovated building with
33,000 square feet. The new jewelry area accounts for 6,000 square feet of the annex.
Staying clean was next to impossible. The building, he said, just wasn’t designed
for teaching the art of jewelry design. It was an archaic room prone to mess and
Then, a food warehousing facility on the west side of the campus became available.
Glover saw more than the bare, 33,000-square-foot industrial building where meals
were made for the dorms. It had the one thing Glover knew his department needed:
lots of space.
“We had one room and some storage cabinets in the hallway,” he said. “That’s it.
Now, we’ve got two undergraduate labs, a central soldering area, an acid and etching
room, spacious graduate studios, ample storage, faculty offices and this really cool
covered outdoor area to hammer and raise metal.
“Who could ask for anything more? It has changed how I teach everything.”
Now, hoods vent the odor, and any kind of soldering or casting torch is available
in the myriad of drawers. Glover now has the ability to get top-notch work out of
Residency in the new 3-D Art Annex began this fall, and it currently houses classes
for jewelry design and metalsmithing in a 6,000-square-foot area. Eventually, the
building will hold classes for sculpture and ceramics.