A place to try new things and make mistakes

Hello, I'm Arianne, one of the April residents. I am a software developer and educator who feels bored when she's not learning new things.

As a kid, I knew I wanted to learn how to woodwork. I used to marvel at the tree houses that some of my cousins had in their backyards in our childhoods. But the high school I went to didn't offer woodworking, so I put those dreams on hold.

In the interim, I learned how to sew, rock climb, and program. I also made friends with a cactus.

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When I turned 30, I realized that I finally had enough resources to pursue my dream of woodworking. After taking the Woodshop 101, 102 and Metalshop 101 classes at Makerlabs, I still didn't understand how to use the tools to actually make something. So I signed up for a woodworking course at Yaletown Roundhouse and got accepted into the Tools for Women residency.

Here is a side table I made in the Level 1 woodworking class.

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The residency has given me a chance to learn the way that I like best, which is through experimentation and un-guided practice. At the beginning, I relied on help from the other makers in the space, which helped me get started on tools I hadn't used in a while. Now I feel comfortable with most of the tools in the wood-shop and the metal-shop, and have also gotten to try new things that were not even on the bucket list, like welding, wood turning, and CNC. Everybody has been very supportive (shoutout to Theunis, Ken, and Randy) and it has been great to learn alongside some really creative and kick-ass women (Crissy, Andrea, and Chris <3).

My focus for the first month was to become familiar with the tools I had used before, practise the ones that are new to me, and be okay with making mistakes. So far I have made plenty of mistakes, but there have been a few highlights. In the next month, I am going to plan one or two larger projects and try to work on them until completion.

A stool prototype from scrap wood. I tried making plugs to cover the dowels, but it turns out drilling a larger hole on top of a smaller one does not work well.

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My first time using the metal-shop, a year after taking the 101 class. I used the drill press, bandsaw, and bender, with lots of help from Randy.

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The lathe is very fun and meditative. This is the sample project that you get to make in the intro class.

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Some wooden beads I made when practicing the lathe.

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