Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dennis's First Post

Hello! This is Dennis Chen reporting from the workshop of Hester Street Collaborative. I am a Brooklyn Tech graduate and currently, I am attending Binghamton University this fall. This is the second week that I am working here and it is been a blast working for Hester Street Collaborative. We started with a little bit of summer cleaning and it was interesting. There was no dust to be found at the workshop per se but instead there was a lot of sawdust (there was construction going on down here). Cleaning was hard since there was sawdust everywhere but it was bearable because there were a lot of people helping me.

Then the next day, Dylan introduced us to silk screening. At first it looked a little complex but it turns out that it was really simple. Basically, silk screening is just creating art by using stencils. The stencils create the silhouette of image. Then you place the stencil onto a porous polyester material. You tape up the rest of the mesh so that the paint will not pass through and the frame is now set.

Then you attach the frame onto the table via a hinge and then you are ready to print. First you place a generous amount of paint above the stencil and you use the squeegee to move the paint over the stencil. The place where there is an opening, the paint will bleed through and transfer itself onto the material that is below it. It is pretty fun. It is almost like finger painting, almost. For the demonstration of silk screening, we did a since landscape picture of a sun, a blue sky and white cloud. We each had a turn to move the paint across the stencil with the squeegee and it was an interesting experience.

Besides silk screening we also tend the garden. It is also pretty enjoyable. Dylan showed us how the garden looked like and now the garden is more class friendly and the school that is adjacent to the garden will finally be able to utilize it in its school curriculum. There are many types of flora present at the garden. Such as cabbage, corn, sunflowers, oregano, tomato, peach and many more. Even though I just started to work at the garden, it has always been a work in progress. Now it is my turn to carry the torch and take care of the garden. This summer we’ll been doing a summer camp in which kids will be able to create stepping-stones for the garden. I am looking forward to that project.

Speaking of projects, we are also required to do a research project at Hester Street Collaborative. We were given a wide range of choices to do our project on, such as PlaNYC 2030, blog research, and product design. Since everyone showed extreme interest in the product design everyone will be working on that one and then another project independently. So far, for my project, I am leaning towards doing research on PlaNYC. PlaNYC is a project that was started by Mayor Bloomberg in an effort to develop NYC more carefully by addressing some of the problems that is happening right now. One such problem that he plans to address is the housing crisis in which New Yorkers are forced to pay higher rent just because there are not enough housing for everyone. To make matters worse. We predict that by 2030, the population will increase to nine million residents. Well this is enough about me. Until next week, stay cool.

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