Tucked away in downtown Cody, WY, the curriculum and demonstration workshop make it easy for both mentors and interns to focus on learning and sustaining the craft. While some interns enjoy learning in the artisan’s workshop, all opportunities follow a detailed yet customized plan.
Interns become experts on a variety of different types of equipment, add skills from actual crafting and creating pieces, and learn the basics of business through interactive as well as hands-on instruction. Meaningful discussions take place on project-embedded ethics, functions of production, marketing, management, and finance. Rather than concepts that are presented in piecemeal fashion, instruction occurs in specific, planned and non-contextual settings. New behaviors and thinking contribute to this very unique learning value.
A 2020 graduate Garrett Phillips described success as putting together a plan “to go back to school and decide what to do with my life.” With his mentor John Gallis of Norseman Design West, Phillips said they’ve addressed “pretty much all life stuff.” Although his mentor told him he’s still learning, Phillips expressed admiration for the artisans and their work – “The quality they put into it is ridiculous.” Phillips is unsure if the training will lead to a vocation or avocation, “but either way, I’ll be able to build some really cool stuff.”
Another resource is a safety manual complied by Anthony Fink, Cody High School industrial tech/woods teacher, which is available online. Bailey said it’s the interns’ responsibility to review the manual.
Ten Artisan Mentors and By Western Hands staff and supporters are available to work with interns. Year two of the program begins in the fall of 2020 and interns will meet criteria developed specifically for By Western Hands. At the end of the program, interns receive an accredited NWC Associate of Applied Science in Technical Studies (Business or Art) – By Western Hands degree.
Excerpts from The Cody Enterprise, “Intern Program on Track”, Buzzy Hassrick, June 15, 2020
Excerpts from Conversations with Dr. Nancy Bailey PhD, August 8, 2020