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Judi Tordo

B.F.A. Sculpture '86

There was a time when I was more accident prone than I am now. I took a woodworking class with Toshio Odate. He spoke English pretty good, and had a great accent. I often found myself sittin goutside on the grass with my chunk of wood, chisel and mallet. One day he was walking by on the way back into the studio. He looked at what I was doing, holding the wood with my bare feet. He said “don’t cut your meat.” Now 12 years into building our own house, my husband and I often tell each other “don’t cut your meat!” We just finished putting up bookshelves and finally got to unpack all the great books that I collected during my time at Pratt. Among them was Toshio Odate’s book, signed in Japanese. He taught me to respect my tools. When you forget to do that, you drop your chisel and it goes through your shoe into your foot. Now i’m teaching that to my kids, no injuries so far!

Francis J. Caruso

Evening Advertising Design

I was a returning veteran of World War II enrolled in the Advertising Design course
in 1948. There was much going on at Pratt due to the large enrollment of veterans.
However, my bright spot was being in a class conducted by Hershel Levit. He enjoyed
telling us about his experiences in the world of design which most of us were anxious
to hear about and become part of. No one in the class had any idea of what a great
designer he was and how far he would go and what he would accomplish.

Arnold Simon

M.S. Communications Design '77

In February, 1973, I was a student in the graduate Communications Design program. As part of an assignment to produce an autobiographical audio-visual presentation I took what I thought were artsy photographs of the Pratt campus. The photos may not be great, but I did get an A on the project for my creativity. Herewith, in 38-year-old faded Ektachrome, is some of the evidence.

Arnold Simon Arnold Simon Arnold Simon
Arnold Simon
Arnold Simon
Arnold Simon

Michael A. Joseph, II

School of Mechanical Engineering '88. 100th Year Graduating Class

Sculptor, millionaire, and philanthropist Mr. Alex Ettl helped me with a project in 1987 while I was at Pratt’s School of Engineering. While researching mold technology for a local brownstone restoration I identified Sculpture House as a source of knowledge. I arranged a meeting and visited the Manhattan studio. We were greeted by the huge copy of the statue “Behold, the only thing greater than yourself” Sculpted by Patrick Morelli, yet to be unveiled at the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial in Atlanta. The spry 92 year old Alex explained that he had pioneered RTV rubber mold technology at Pratt in the 1930’s. (Our eyes widened!) He was very pleased that my partner Noga Kalinski, MFA, and I were in attendance at Pratt and offered his help free of charge. The polyester resin cornice modillions cast in my basement still stand today, 25 years later, on a Brooklyn Brownstone on vanderbilt Avenue near the school.

Gerry Laytin

Was privleged to spend a year of Saturdays in a program for gifted kids in the NYC public school system when I was in 5th grade.

I am so grateful for the year of multi-media work that I did along with several of my classmates.  A year of Saturday classroom instruction.  We were in elementary school, three of us, from PS 26.  I will never forget that time.  Lost my art after my sophomore year of college, let the passion slip away, and then this summer, painted a mural at a United Cerebral Palsy children’s center with the NFP artist’s group, Splashes of Hope.  And thought back to those Saturday mornings in Brooklyn at Pratt.  Thank you Pratt. l and Happy 125th!!!

Cathy Laskiewicz

M.S. Package Design '06

I will always cherish the memories of working as a Teaching Assistant with Professor Chava Ben-Amos. I find her resilience, spirit and undeniable talent to be a source of endless inspiration for me. She is quite groundbreaking—surviving the Holocaust and becoming one of few women in our industry in a time when it was still dominated by men. In class, she shared treasured sketches and comps of work going back to the 60’s to present. It was fun for me to recognize her work for products like PermaSoft, which I used as a child in the 80’s, and remembered the design clearly! It goes to show how memorable her work is. She told me many interesting stories of her life and work experiences. I am so glad that she continues to teach at Pratt. She is truly a living legend in graphic design and packaging.

Cathy Laskiewicz
Cathy Laskiewicz

Cathy Laskiewicz

M.S. Package Design '06

For Professor Marc Rosen’s Fragrance Packaging Research Workshop, we all strived to receive the Marc Rosen Graduate Scholarship for Packaging Design. We became eligible upon successful completion of a full-scale fragrance campaign (perfume bottle, display, secondary packaging and advertising). There would be an annual awards dinner, in which Mr. Rosen would recognize the scholarship winners along with honoring a significant contributor in the beauty industry. Mr. Rosen was so grateful to my class for our excellent work that he invited us to the dinner prior to the year of my class’s eligibility. For the following year, he invited the entire class again, even though only a handful of students could receive the scholarship. Both award dinners were delightful, and I got a chance to enjoy socializing with the students and other members of the Pratt family. Getting to meet Molly Sims the first year and Dustin Hoffman the second year at the dinner was the icing on the cake! My class also took part in a preview showcase of our work several months before the awards dinner, in which the media and executives from Clinique came to see our work. I appreciate Mr. Rosen’s generosity so much. He cares about his students so much, and is very gracious in showing it.

Cathy Laskiewicz
Cathy Laskiewicz

Bruce Zahor

BFA Package Design

having fun in the Pratt dorm on Willoughby Ave. sometime about 1970-
Tom Nikosey, Sharon Klein, Bruce Zahor and Eliot Schulman

and sitting outside on the stoop of my 120 Willoughby Ave apartment

Bruce Zahor Bruce Zahor
Bruce Zahor
Bruce Zahor

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email us your story

If you would prefer to submit a memory from your time at Pratt via email, you may do so here. Please note that all submissions will be reviewed by the Pratt 125th Anniversary editorial team for possible inclusion in Institute publications and in the installation titled Recall by artist Jean Shin.

Recall: Jean Shin JEAN SHIN: RECALL

Join acclaimed artist, alumna, and faculty member Jean Shin in creating a major public art project on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus. To learn more and participate, visit the Recall project site.