After many years teaching metal shop, Rioce Bassett has retired, leaving the new position to Derek Metz– a teacher of Buena for five years now.
Before Metz took on this new position, he spent his days teaching directive studies. “I did enjoy doing that, although I enjoy this much more,” Metz said. Not only is metal work a huge passion of his, he also enlisted himself to put his skills to work. “I went to UCSB, I did sculpture there. A lot of the training you get is on the job training.” Metz said. These jobs include working for companies like Sculptural Services in Los Angeles where he works on “very high end artwork
large scaled bronzes and aluminum pieces that [he] installed all over California,” He also has his own private metal shop for some clients who had worked with him in the past, however Metz said that he does not have “a name outside my shop, it’s just something that’s kind of lowkey.”
Students feel optimistic about having a new face in the classroom. Junior Marcel Oerlermens who has been enrolled in metal shop for the past three year says, “He brings a whole new perspective to the shop.” Oerlermens mentioned how he is looking forward to what he will learn. An example of something he’s excited to learn is car work. Oerlermens said, “Some of the guys might want to make either a go-cart or their own little vehicle. Or at least learn the skills to make their own.”
Overall, the metal shop experience will remain the same as Bassett has left it. “I’m trying to continue with the program that some students have started in the sense that I have a lot of students that are in the middle of half-finished projects and things like that.” Metz said. “Then I’m introducing some of my own projects as well. Smaller projects like jewelry, I hope to get kids working on old cars, get kids involved in doing sculptural stuff too and being as creative and honing their skills.”
For those who still need a fine art credit while still getting a productive and fun experience out of high school, consider metal shop Metz brings lots of new vision to the program and says “I’m super optimistic about the potential that this metal shop has and super excited to getting students to work on their own projects.” Metz hopes to grow the program and said, “If you’re interested in working with metal, even just a little bit, take metals and find out what’s it all about and hopefully you’ll discover something you are interested in.”