Thursday, September 14, 2006

:: Projects Abound ::

Responding to my own advertisement for hobbies, I've started several projects in the last week. The reading still continues, of course (though I am currently reading Merleau-Ponty, a french phenomonological philosopher whose work is as easy to understand as is my description of him here, so it's going substantially slower and with more interruptions).

First and most interesting is a course I signed up for at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center, a division of the Columbus Parks and Rec department with this incredible building that's part studio part gallery. They have probably twenty different art classes to choose from each six-week session, and I chose the one that seemed the least like anything I've ever done before and the least like something I could ever have a chance to do again: bronze casting. Basically, I am taking a class in how to make bronze statues!

I had my first class this past Monday and it went pretty well. I had to make a small sculpture in wax (not very easy) that in the coming weeks will be put into a mold and heated so that the wax disappears and created a place for me to pour in the bronze, which then cools, etc. But the hardest part comes after the bronze hardens: there are all these added things you have to sand off, chip away at, and otherwise mess with before you have anything resembling the wax sculpture you started with. Then you have to polish it and, if you want, add the patina.

But it's super cool.

So in addition, I am also dusting off my sewing machine and working on a couple of projects. Even though I am not an artist like my sister or a crafter like my mom, I do really enjoy making things, so I decided to get a few practical projects going on the sewing front. It's actually really practical in addition since we're not exactly rich and we're working really hard to save money for when Brian's loans start to come due in the winter and spring.

Project number one is a skirt for Puerto Rico. I forgot I needed to keep some summery clothes for the trip and I accidentally weeded most everything out at the end of August when I went on a mad cleaning spree getting rid of anything that didn't fit, was worn out, hadn't been worn in more than a year, etc. It was very Real Simple.

Project number two is a messenger bag inspired by Timbuk2's new wool messenger bags. My own Timbuk2, bought in 2002, is so dirty and gross that even when I wash it it doesn't come clean anymore. It's sherbet orange and ecru colored, so the dirt really shows. So I got on their website and discovered that their prices have gone up! I didn't have $125 for a wool messenger bag, so I went to Joann Fabrics, bought some remainder vinyl for the lining and some felt/wool blend for the outside and then only needed some webbing and hardware for the rest. Easy!

Project number three is a smalll handbag. I'm not into purses at all, especially not the ridiculously ugly things I see in Macy's when I'm there, but I did finally give in last summer and start carrying one for the first time. It's the only one I've got, I'm proud to boast. But while at Joann's, I found this oh-so-seventies fabric that I just had to buy, but it was expensive, so I had to come up with a good use for a small piece. Voila! Small handbag. It's going to be very cool. Think Amy Butler.