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Mendhi hands by Pushpa Jain. Photographer unknown. All rights reserved.Fish decoy. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Embroidered dress detail. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Cedar bird by Glen VanAntwerp. Photo by Al Kamuda. All rights reserved.
Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Awards



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Timothy Higgins and Sam Pettersen
2013 master artist and apprentice
Elsie (Clinton County)
metalsmith arts


As a youth, Timothy Higgins was interested in creating things. Mentored by his ninth grade metal arts and crafts teacher, Timothy developed the skills in foundry sand casting, copper working, metal forging, and leatherworking that now serve as a foundation to his art. A job offer to run the local village hardware store triggered a “virtual explosion of learning in the skills of creating things and locating resources.” His friend Clyde Gilbert, a retired projection engineer who he met through the hardware store, helped Timothy to hone his skills in artistic metal fabrication and to break down Timothy’s self-described barriers of self-limitation in the potential of creating projects. He now loves to takes scrap metal and pieces of old farm machinery and repurpose these materials into art.

Now retired from working at the hardware store, Timothy especially enjoys producing large pieces that are installed outdoors in public spaces where he believes the pieces best serve the community. In July 2012 Timothy  began working with apprentice Sam Pettersen. Sam’s interest in learning metalsmith arts is, in part, because he enjoys “the ability to create something from the heart into something physical.”

-Mary Worrall


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