Appetite for Reconstruction

comments (0) April 27th, 2009     

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extremecraft Garth Johnson, member
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Video Length: 1:40
Produced by: Eyekiss Films, 2009

I've always struggled with how to reconcile being a crafter and being all thumbs. The reason I write about craft so much is that it's much more gratifying for me to write about craft than to be in the pit, risking strangulation by rickrack or first-degree burns from a soldering iron (the latter actually happened during an ill-fated stained glass experiment). When my friend Jeanee Ledoux, author of Abode a la Mode, approached me with a proposal for co-hosting a D.I.Y. Craft video that would take viewers through a dozen hands-on projects, all indexed on a DVD instead of in a book, I was intrigued, but I had visions of losing a finger to a pair of pinking shears. In the end, I sucked it up. My faith in Jeanee's vision outstripped my own neuroses about craft safety.

ReConstruct: Eco-Friendly Crafts Made Easy began to take shape. Jeanee's fevered craft brain came up with projects like a beautiful upholstered cardboard ottoman and a lounge-friendly martini tray made out of old baking sheets. David from Eyekiss Films, the production company putting together the DVD, secured a beautiful studio set, which Jeanee decorated to reflect her vision for the DVD.

I flew from Huntington Beach, California, where I was living at the time, to do the DVD taping. I was amazed to see all of our plans come together. After some run-throughs and test shots, we wrapped day one, and I went to visit some Atlanta friends I hadn't seen in a while. Over the course of the evening, I noticed that my voice was getting scratchier and scratchier. When I woke up for the first morning of the shoot, I realized that I had laryngitis. David made the brave decision to scrub the shoot for the day, and I spent the day in bed with my face in a D.I.Y. vaporizer steam tent.

The next morning, I actually had a voice...in fact, I credit the laryngitis with my buttery, deep Barry White voice in the video. Filming was a blast. In addition to co-hosting duties, I had to scrub the pots and pans. The shoot was completely unscripted, and it gave me ample opportunities to try out my patented "dad humor." It's amazing how difficult it is to teach a video camera how to do even the simplest craft task...particularly when you're all thumbs, like me. Luckily, the projects were all tailor-made for people like me, and none of them needed elaborate tools or anything beyond my caveman skill-set.

I couldn't be prouder of the result. Eyekiss and Jeanee put together a visually stunning DVD package that's both easy to use and inspires new creations, not just slavish imitation. These projects are all eco-friendly, using thrifted materials like old books, ceramic plates, cookie sheets, and old appliances. Eyekiss is working on making the delivery method as eco-friendly as the projects. Eventually, viewers will be able to download the projects they are interested in directly, rather than having to buy a physical DVD.

This DVD has already led to me other projects on repurposing. I just finished putting together my first book, 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse, which will be released in November through Quarry Books. I'm also looking forward to future volumes of ReConstruct...even if I have to risk glue-gun injuries (and more dish washing).

posted in: houseware, craft, recycle, alternative, couture, mod, upcycle, refashion, repurpose, reconstruct, dvd, extreme craft, creative reuse

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