On March 10th, 17 teens enjoyed the opportunity to create personal and unique keepsakes at the TCR Teen Metals Workshop. Beginning with several introductory group activities, everyone had a chance to relax and make connections before beginning the metals work. They later commented on the comfortable atmosphere created during Teen Program events, with one saying “They are so fun and welcoming and a great place to be!”

Local artisan Karenna Maraj then walked the group through demonstrations of a variety of metals techniques. She invited them to explore the stations set up between the two floors and experiment with the materials offered. The participants were then given time to work independently while continuing to talk with one another, sharing ideas and casual conversations.

The pendants, key chains, money clips, bracelets, and mixed-media pieces produced during the workshop were as unique as the individuals who created them and the memories that they represented. Some brought in photos of their person who had died and preserved them within epoxy or collage. Others focused on combining techniques to capture initials, names, or phrases. The group was also offered a unique approach of placing a metallic, shimmery coat over top of words, so that their pieces held a private meaning belonging entirely to them.

As a collective closing, participants shared about the process of creating their metals pieces and what they each represented. The opportunity was also given for each to identify what they were most taking away most from the afternoon. The teens expressed appreciation for having been given “the freedom to be creative.” One shared “I just really loved that I could do what I wanted in terms of creating and that there were so many options.” Many agreed that they would look forward to additional Teen Program events, stating “It’s a fun program with great opportunities to do something cool.” The message offered for other teens curious about joining the program was: “Do it! It’s great to be with other teens who get it.”