Tuesday, March 20, 2012

1st Day as a Craftsperson

Today was my first day as a Craftsperson at La Jolla Playhouse.  I accepted a postion there through the end of August.  I have to admit, I am all excited and giddy about the learning experiences I am going to have...

Image from My Hikari Cosplay blog
You see, I have an MFA in Theatre with an Emphasis in Costume Design, and I never really got to play much with crafts.  I had some minor experiences when I worked at the Old Globe Theatre for five years--I learned how to put dance rubber on shoes and play with a variety of different tools, but I never really got to invest much time in a solid "learning experience" that I felt I could actually do anything with...

What little knowledge I had about the craft area of a costume shop I took with me to my faculty position at the University of San Diego, where it managed to get me by.  I gleaned bits and pieces as I went to different professional conventions, and read about different crafting techniques.  But by and large, I was very limited in my knowledge of costume crafts.

I've always been rather jealous of the wonderful things crafters can do with their skills--they're so varied and so versatile.  In the short opportunities that I had over the years, I would glean as much as I could from the short experiences I had working with crafting materials in costume shops, but I knew there was always a world more that I was missing...

That all changes this summer.

Even today, I learned a great deal about different materials and techniques that I know are already going to be invaluable.  For starters:

  • I watched a demonstration on how to use Thermoplastic with hot water.
  • I repaired the shoe rubber on three pairs of shoes using a rasp, Barge cement, and a shoe stand.
  • I mixed Angelus leather paint to match a shoe color (as close as possible) and repainted a pair.
  • I assembled silkscreen templates for a t-shirt project.
Any one of these skills could lead down a path of incredibly useful crafting knowledge that could have an incredible impact on my personal wearable art business.  For example, I already have some ideas of how I could start using thermoplastic for some great vintage circus costume items.  Angelus leather paint is a DREAM to work with.  And my limited understanding of silkscreening is going to explode when I actually get to do it myself--a skill I could undoubtedly use in a wide variety of different applications...

All this on the first day.

I'm stoked.

Now it's time to get back to finishing up some projects I already have on my plate so I can make room for some new ones!! 

Live Life with Relish!

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