In-Depth Post #5 & 6!

I have actually completed a project. And for my first step into restoration, I’m pretty pleased with it. Pictures of finished and in progress table will be interspersed throughout this post. So to start – the six hats. Following is a conversation approximated from memory on why a section of painting peeled off after it dried.

Me: So why did this section of the paint come off?

Karla: Well there are a few reasons this could have happened, depending on what sort of things were on the wood before you painted it. In this case, you had stain which was already applied to the wood. We used the stripper on it and scraped it away but this patch still had a bit on it, which was enough to stop the chalk paint from sticking to it when it dried.

Me: That sucks! What are we going to have to do?

Karla: Your options are basically to either scrape just that patch of paint off and repaint that place, or we can scrape the whole patch of paint off and repaint the entire top. Which is going to be pretty disheartening I’m sure. The only problem with the first method is that there’s a good chance that there will be a big noticeable edge to the paint which I can guarantee will really annoy you every time you see that. But obviously it’s up to you, what do you want to do?

Me: Audibly sighs Well I guess I’d rather just go for the patch of it. That way I’m doing a lot less work again. I guess if it doesn’t look great we can scrape the whole top.

Karla: That’s probably what I’d do too. Let’s do it!

End quote

As for the six hats, the conversation can probably be sorted like this.

White Hat (Information) – In the white hat section I would put in the part where Karla was telling me about why the paint came out, as well as the two ways to go about fixing about it.

Red Hat (Feelings) – The red hat section would hold my exasperation towards the fact that a part of my paint job didn’t work. When I said it sucked, or when I sighed.

Black Hat (Critical Thinking, Decisions) – This part would hold my justification for choosing which course of action I thought was best to use. I used my decision making skills to be efficient with time and previously allotted efforts in painting the table.

Yellow Hat (Insights) – A yellow hat moment would have been when Karla agreed with my choice to only repaint a part of the table. It reaffirmed my opinion that it was a good idea.

Green Hat (Openness to Other Ideas) – My green hat moment was when I asked Karla what the best thing to do was after she told me why my paint didn’t stick.

Blue Hat (Defining the Conversation) – This is the one hat I could use more work in. This particular conversation was not super thought out in advance. I was frustrated with my paint job failing a little bit, and Karla wanted to get me back on track with my project so it would be complete by that evening.

And now for part two, alternatives.

As far as alternatives, Karla’s mentoring method has been very open. She is eager to hear my opinions and gives me lots of options in what I want to do. She agrees that restoration can’t really be judged, and has much more to do with personal taste than to do with any generally agreed upon ‘style’. Specific alternatives have been offered, like the direction on which I wanted to take my in-depth project in the first place. We were both glad to find out we liked less traditional furniture pieces, moving away from the typical dark wood stains and enjoyed more modern paint styles. I also have been offered alternatives in the projects I do. Karla already had the table which you see in these pictures, but made it clear that I was more than welcome to find another item off of Craigslist or any other sources to find something. This is what I will be doing for my next piece of furniture. Another mentor might give me smaller and less important alternatives, like the colour of my paint or the ways to remedy minor problems, although I have not had any lack of these alternatives offered to me with Karla. Overall, I think she is a really helpful mentor and I couldn’t think of any ways the options and alternatives she gives me to be any better or more useful.

Until next time!


In-Depth – Hour 672

My project is fairly underway this week. I met with Karla last week, and we discussed my goals and what I kind of foresee myself doing in this product. She answered a lot of my questions, surprising me sometimes too. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that she rarely works more than a weekend on a project. I think that this will make the project a lot more compartmentalized and easy to do in conjunction with my other responsibilities this coming semester.

I have been looking online and have been trying to figure out a relatively easy first project. A table of some kind is what I have in mind at the moment, however I need to visit thrift stores and other resources in the area soon and look around for an actual item to restore.

I have already found myself talking about restoration a decent amount with people who know very little about it. For all the stress that the research essay on the topic put on to me, I must admit it gave me a good baseline knowledge base. It also armed me with something to discuss with Karla, while still showing that I have plenty of room to learn. In regards to our last meeting, I thought that I successfully implemented De Bono’s three objectives in a conversation, although I wouldn’t say I had an agenda in the matter. We very much reached agreement,  we worked a plan out together and I am already on the way to implementing the first ‘phase’ of it. We had some points of difference, however I very much consider myself the knowledgeably inferior one in this relationship, so I am going by what Karla says for the most part. This may change when I am more experienced in restoration, but for the moment I am content with it. Our time together was very interesting, our conversation was effective and all my questions were answered. I hope that our next meeting will be just as effective as our last one.

This is all I have for now, I’ll be back in 336 hours.

In-Depth – Week 3

Unfortunately, I have not made a lot of headway on my project yet. With my workload in school and being made to write about my in-depth more than I am being made to work on it, I’ve not had much time to sit down and get to work. I still need to meet with my mentor to discuss ways to start, however with the inclusion of the integrated essay in my life I may be a little more prepared for that meeting. My initial learning on the topic has increased marginally, though frankly research is not much of a replacement for an actual mentor.

Because I kind of forgot to actually talk about why Karla is my mentor for this project in my last post, I will do that now. Karla’s full time job is not restoration, however she has been restoring items that she has been skillfully integrating into her home for many years. I don’t intend to be doing anything quite too drastic in my restoration, such as rebuilding half of the piece. Most of my projects will be hopefully be cleaning, refinishing, painting and possibly a bit of light carpentry.

Because of my lack of actually meeting with Karla yet, I am not really sure how I can talk on how I’ve integrated the first three habits of ‘How to Have a Beautiful Mind’ in our discussions. However I will do my best:

1, 2, & 3. How to agree, how to disagree, and how to differ

In some project topics, this topic would be much more relevant. However, in restoration, the project is almost entirely process-based, and much like doing math, there is one right way to do it and many, many wrong ways. It is also a craft that, while somewhat teachable through books and research, is primarily learned through experience and doing projects repeatedly. Because I have no experience, and Karla has a lot, really her word on anything restoration-process based is gospel to me.

Hopefully, week four will bring with it a little more substance to write about.


In-Depth Introductory Post

Last year, my in-depth project, spoken word poetry, was wildly successful in my opinion. Hopefully, I can replicate that success with my in-depth topic this year, restoration.

Specifically, I want to restore furniture and other home items, hopefully I will be procuring these items from friends, family or otherwise at garage sales and other such places. Through the help of my mentor, I will go through the steps necessary to restore a piece on a case-by-case basis. If this item is something I intend to keep and is not belonging to another person,  I may add my own touches to it, which will probably be all aesthetic. When this is over, I will return the item to it’s owner, however I will be taking before and after pictures of the item and keep a record of who it’s from for potential use in my learning center.

I wanted to do restoration because most of what I do is performance and art based. My passions and primary interests are theater, spoken word poetry (last year’s in-depth really worked out for me) etc. so this year I’d like to do something entirely new. I will be working with my hands mostly, which is something I don’t really do all that much. I’m not sure, if like in poetry, if I will carry on doing this after the project has ended, but I think it should be fun and interesting for the duration of the project.

My needs for this project will be a lot of careful guidance from my mentor, as I know very little about restoration currently. I will also need a good flow of items to restore, one every two weeks or so.

My mentor for this project is Kharla Thompson-MacDonald, (otherwise known as Emma MacDonald’s mom!) I still need to meet with her, however she has committed to mentoring me and we will sort out logistics in our first meeting.

Finally, as I said before I will be trying to restore one piece every week or so, depending on the size of the item.

I am looking forward to getting to work!