I’ve done a lot of crafts in my time but one I had never tried was woodworking. I love wood. The look of wood, the smell of wood, the feel of wood. But for some reason I’ve never worked with wood. So when I saw that Site 3 CoLaboratory was offering a Basic Woodworking class I was eager to check it out.
Site 3 is a workspace which provides members with access to tools and equipment for working on projects. It’s a pretty impressive list of equipment including a laser printer, welding equipment, a 3D printer, woodworking equipment and much more. As well as memberships they also have open nights on Thursdays where anyone can stop in to use the shop. And they have a variety of classes to choose from.
The project for the woodworking class I took was making a wooden box. The instructor is Marc Reeve-Newson. He is a very knowledgeable and affable teacher, and very brave to trust a bunch of newbies around large power tools, lol. We used a planer to take a piece of rough lumber and turn it into a usable board. To do this we put a board through the planer and it skimmed off the rough surface. We used the table saw to cut the pieces into desired sizes and the chop saw to cut the lengths. We used a router to cut the grooves where the lid would slide in. And then we clamped the boxes together and used the brad nailer to put it together. Lots of work and lots of measuring!
The end result is very cool, a box with a sliding lid. I didn’t quite finish mine because I had a prior commitment and had to leave, but the others in the class stayed and did their final sanding, staining and even had a beautiful Celtic design put on the lid by a Site 3 member. Gorgeous! I’d definitely recommend the class. Just make sure you get there on time and give yourself some time after the class (Marc lets you stay until you are finished the box) because there are a lot of steps involved!
Besides making a beautiful box you also get a great intro to using the various woodworking tools. I plan on using this for some of my future projects.
Marc is offering the class again in July. Here’s the link:
Posted in art, classes, craft, workshops
Tagged box, class, classes, CoLaboratory, Collaboratory, ontario, Site 3, tools, Toronto, wood, wooden, woodworking, workshop
It’s so funny, this is one of the most exciting things to happen for me business wise this year and I forgot to post about it! I found out on October 31st that one of my big enamel focal beads was chosen to be in Lark Crafts new book “1000 Beads”!
The Lark Crafts books are absolutely gorgeous. Each page is a full shot of some stunning work, whether rings, glass, enamel, ceramics, etc. They have quite an extensive series. I’ve always admired them so when I saw their call for entry I thought I would give it a shot.
The piece that was chosen is called “Lava Flow”. It’s a very large focal bead I made using plumber’s pipe and a LOT of layers of enamel. I think this bead went through about 50 firings before I was happy with it. Because I fire each layer flat it’s hard to realize that each of those firings was an additional layer of enamel, with a total of about 10 or 12 colours (maybe more, I lost count!). It also takes a careful burn firing to make the colours blend this way. And because there is so much enamel I had to keep flipping it each time I fired so the enamel wouldn’t all slump to one end. So a lot of work for one bead ;)
I’m really looking forward to April when the book comes out and I can see my piece and all the other wonderful creations by artists from around the world!
Here is my lovely Lava Flow :)
I finally made it to the new Ripley’s Aquarium in downtown Toronto this week! I love aquariums, from the small home version with guppies to the huge Osaka aquarium with it’s whale shark (yes, I was lucky enough to visit that one a long time ago).
The aquarium has very strict guidelines for animal care and is involved in a lot of research and conservation projects, including the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. They have many educational programs for those visiting and for teachers to share with their classes.
I like the fact that the Toronto aquarium has native species as well as the more exotic and colourful varieties of fish. The tanks are large and beautifully presented. The Pacific Kelp Exhibit even has a wave maker to simulate the surge conditions of the British Columbia shoreline – it’s mesmerizing to watch the kelp and the fish swaying back and forth!
It’s really hard to pick my favourite part of the aquarium. It’s amazing watching all the different species of rays in Ray Bay. There’s such a hypnotic effect to seeing them gliding gracefully past. But of course Dangerous Lagoon is so amazing too, I swear those sharks are watching me as they swim by! And the jellyfish! Oh the jellyfish! I could stand there all day watching them undulate and change colours with the light. I think I took about a hundred pictures of them!
Needless to say I enjoyed my visit. Apparently they have sleepovers in the aquarium too. I can just imagine going to sleep while watching sharks swim over my head! Magical :)
If you’re interested in visiting or more information here is their website – http://www.ripleysaquariumofcanada.com/
And here is a little slideshow of some of the pictures I took. I have some amazing videos too but they’re a bit large to put on line.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged canada, conservation, eel, fish, grouper, jellyfish, kelp, nemo, octopus, ontario, rays, Ripley's Aquarium, sharks, Toronto, tropical fish