Monday, July 02, 2018

Summer is Here

We are now in July.  Even if I never had a calendar, no doubt about summer- the consecutive days of 100 degree temperatures and high humidity say it all.  I have a bunch of summer workshops and classes on my schedule, so if I'm stuck inside most of the day in front of my air conditioner, I may as well use the time to get ready.  I'm talking about materials, since I am somewhat responsible for making sure people have what they need.  Unfortunately, few place in the area sell anything that is needed, which is why I have to start preparing now.

Actually I began last night, doing an inventory of my woodcut class tools.  Over the past few years it has been my practice to use some of the materials money to purchase items that everyone will be using, now or later in the class.

As a result, I have a decent pile of inexpensive quality tools, which I make available to the whole class at each meeting.  (if they want their own to use in between, I give them the catalog information)  I had plenty to serve my two students earlier this summer, but the next time (about 2 weeks from now) we have 6 signed up.  So this morning, before the heat reached its high point, I went up to the Studio to test what I have.  Nice big table with room to spread out, and all my spare wood is stored there.  It turned out most of what I had was in pretty good shape, but for 6 students, I think I'll need several more.  Materials fees from 6 students means I can afford to buy more.

Out again in the afternoon and one of my stops was a local dollar store, which I was told would be a good source for what I needed.  Indeed, they had plenty of rolls of non-slip shelf liner.  A rubbery mesh like substance, which I guess is designed to line shelves, but (as to borrow a line from William Gibson) the street finds its own uses for things.  I learned about this stuff from a former student, who was told about it in another woodcut class she took- does a good job of holding the wood block in place while being cut, reducing the effort needed to hold it down.  The rolls are 1 foot by 5 feet, enough to make several non skid mats.

After cooling off back home for a few minutes, I put the finishing touches on my big supply order from Portland.  Several more woodcut tools, more ink, linoleum for my lino cut classes later in the summer.  So that is taken care of.  I may do more later tonight, but this day has not been a waste.


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