"The free play of art is the result of mastery. " --Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." --Ladybird Johnson

"...a well-trained ear, a well-trained intelligence, a well-trained heart, and a well-trained hand...." --Zoltan Kodaly


Adventures in Learning, 3

OK, more in the exciting saga of learning in daily life.

First of all, in case you didn't know, the 'preferred method' of maintaining aluminum chairs? Car wax. Yep. Surprised me, too.

Second, that clothesline. I was inordinately proud of being able to a) hang it up high enough without falling off the ladder and b) using screws, not nails. This last tidbit is thanks to a friend who carefully explained to me the proper uses of each.

See? I'm learning. It's just s-l-o-w.

In any case, the clothesline worked great--until I put a moderately heavy sleeping bag on it. Hmm: sag-city. Also, the hook worked itself right out of the dandy little hole in the tree bark. Ugh.

Unfortunately, most of the directions online include using a posthole digger, metal poles, and cement. Budget for this project is at zero for the summer, so now it's time to learn through experimentation. Wish me luck on this one! (Better yet, how's about some advice?)

On a more successful front, I also started a repainting project using some old chairs from my Mom's basement. They were destined for the 'free' pile anyway---great raw material for learning.

So what did I learn?

1. Despite meticulous effort, the paint streaked like crazy with the paintbrush. Either it's too big (which it was) or it's the wrong kind of brush for this kind of paint. Switching to a sponge worked better but now there are small bumps in odd places. Grrrr.
2. Sanding these pieces down before washing them, then painting, would probably have been a very good idea indeed. I'll do that on the other chair.
3. For the first time, I understand why my Grandfather and some of my friends want to have workshops, separate from the house. It's nice to be working in the quiet outoors, and it's also handy to have the proper tools nearby. There's something about working in a space which is intended for just this use, also, which gives me more patience and the willingness to take the time to do it right. Perhaps a teeny tiny bit of the dignity of (and true desire for) good craftsmanship is starting to become mine.

Lastly, it occurred to me today how much different this whole process of doing things is, from watching or reading about other people's work. Far more absorbing, though I love to read about it. Actually starting to do things myself, overall? Moments of sheer frustration coupled with intense satisfaction.

I'm ready for more. See you tomorrow.


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