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DIY or die


Even in an increasingly techie world, a do-it-yourself revival is in full swing among the local arts scene.

Charles Martin April 6th, 2011

As industrious Oklahomans climb out of a recession, handmade products surge in popularity.

It’s a way of life for Lindsay Zodrow, owner of the handmade-centric Collected Thread, 1705-A N.W. 16th. Staying true to do-it-yourself sensibilities, she began hosting Saturday crafting classes last week.

“These classes go along with the whole purpose of the store: promoting handmade work,” Zodrow said. “Taking methods that have been passed down — and seeing how the new generation does something different with it — is exciting.”

Classes continue Saturday with a jewelry class led by Jackie Porter, graffiti with Dusty Gilpin on April 16, and basic knitting with Erin Merryweather on April 30.

“The classes are open for everyone, any age,” Zodrow said. “I would love to have a 6-year-old working right next to a grandmother.”

above Lindsay Zodrow offers craft classes at her store, Collected Thread.

Blue Sage Studios offers classes on glass blowing through the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch. Owner Andy Boatman said basic classes teach production of simple items, like wine toppers or paperweights; advanced classes exist for sculpting and making vessels.

“Just about anyone can do it, but it is something very difficult to become good at,” he said. “When folks come in, they can make something they can take home. It’s a piece your mom will hang on the fridge because you made it, but after six hours, someone is making something that they can say, ‘Okay, I can show this to people.’”

He noted it takes a little bravery, as the kilns burn at 2,000 degrees.

“It is scary,” Boatman said. “Everyone gets burned. It’s just part of the process.”

Heat of the culinary variety attracts others to [Artspace] at Untitled, 1 N.E. Third. The gallery’s “Taste of Art” program shifts attention from the artistry created in a studio to the imagination displayed in the kitchen.

“One of the most accessible art forms is the art of cuisine, the art of cooking,” said Lindsay Hightower, programs administrator. “It’s not just about cooking a meal every day — it is about creativity.”

For “Taste of Art,” a notable chef gives a hands-on demonstration. After participants prepare the meal, they sit down for dinner. The $75 cost covers all the supplies.

“The whole point of the class is that it is as hands-on as you want it to be,” Hightower said. “Some people like to just drink wine and watch; some people want to really get in there and do everything there is to do.”

On April 13, chef Loretta Oden offers fresh insight into American Indian cuisine. After that, the series shifts to Saturday afternoons for the summer, starting with chef Eric Smith on May 21.

“We’ve had people who’ve never stepped through our doors come to the class, and then at our openings,” Hightower said. “That is a really important crossover for us.”

 
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