Saturday, July 30, 2011

beginning woodworking (aka getting comfy with power tools) class

took a great workshop today at the sculpture studio. billed as an intro to woodworking class, it was all about tools. i don't really have any interest in building things per se, but i do want to be able to make panels or stands or whatever else may pop into my little brain for a piece of art, and to know what tools i can use for making marks in my mixed media.

i love hardware stores and it was cool to find out what some of those things that you look at and go "hmmmmmm" are used for. the class was taught by sue latta, a very talented artist who uses a wide variety of media in her work. this is where i took the resin class a few months ago.

we started with the safety talk, then moved to hand tools- some of which don't have power tool equivalents and are therefore necessary.

this is sue explaining why, if you have only one power tool, it should be a cordless drill.

we got onto a great discussion about different sorts of bits and what they are used for. how to drill BIG holes, how to hide nails & screws. got me thinking about mixed media pieces on wood with holes in it and plaster or different types of gel medium in those holes.....

after a lunch break, we moved on to saws. this is me doing a horrible job of following the lines with the router. i look like i'm concentrating, though. (first and main safety rule- focus only on the task at hand, be in the moment, don't let your mind wander. zen power tool usage)

next up was the jigsaw (i checked with my husband and we have one- this seems a handy tool for many things if i can get the hang of making it go where i want it to).

then the sawsall- less finesse, more power

next was the basic skill saw- that wasn't too hard. after that, the one that had us all scared- the table saw. sue demonstrating. the first time was kind of scary- i was so careful to keep my fingers away from the blade that i was on the outside of the left rather than on top pushing down. second time was easier, though. just about paying attention.

next a miter saw- this one adjusts all sorts of ways- which felt very easy and safe after the table saw.

and lastly a band saw, which can be used for finer, more intricate detail. well, by most people. my cut wasn't so good ( i didn't have my cheaters on- that's my story!)

great class, can't wait to get out the dremel and attachments (among other things) and start playing! loved the smell of sawdust- reminded me of my dad making things when i was a kid, and i look forward to being able to build more of my surfaces & substrates as ideas occur to me.

every class is a good class for feeding the imagination, even if i don't go right home and, oh, buy resin for instance. i like having the knowledge so that if i do want to use the material at some point i know that i can. most of the women in the class build things and wanted to know more about (or get more comfortable with) tools for doing that. i took the class so that some day when i go "how would i....." i can come up with an answer.

and now- to the studio!


Barb said...

Oh - MY- Gash (I mean Gosh)! Now you are on to power tools! Will it never end? Be sure to be Zen and don't let your mind wander. I don't want you to be missing a finger the next time we meet in Denver!

FayinCA said...

Yay, TOOLS! MY favorite part of your studio. You go, girl - You look good behind that router!

marianne said...

@ barb- let's hope not!
@ fay- yep, bought dremel attachments, we have saws- look out! will never be able to do anything like the bob pumpkin tho!