One day, not too long ago, my daughter asked me if I would work with my granddaughter at meetings of Wild Clover Collective.
Wild Clover Collective is an organization for families that meets to provide children with fun learning opportunities. They meet weekly at the Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park, Maryland.
Chesapeake Arts Center
From their website: Chesapeake Arts Center offers classes and workshops in visual and performing arts in dance, theatre, visual arts, music, and technology.
Wild Clover takes advantage of the classrooms, computer center, ceramics shop, dance studio, theatre stages, and makerspace. Makerspace has a fully outfitted wood and metal workshop, 3-D printer, laser machine, and screen printing shop.
Called to help
She asked me to assist in the wood shop. I have some experience, gained in my workshop building cradles, baby changing table/dresser, pen turning, spindle turning, and more.
My daughter’s selling point was, “Since you are retired,” blah blah blah. She named my granddaughter as my shop prodigy. She sold me.
Henry was the shop steward. He used the first afternoon to introduce the teens to the tools they would use to make a wood tray. He began with safety issues. He required safety glasses and ear protection when using the saws or sanders. Henry admonished against long sleeves and required long hair be tied in pony tails.
Demonstrations of the drill press, miter saw, band saw, scroll saw, band sander, and spindle sander followed. There were concerned looks as he introduced each piece of equipment. He finished his introduction with the reminder to come to him anytime, and he would assist.
Elizabeth at work
My granddaughter, Elizabeth, selected her wood and began construction. She made her measurements and cut, followed by sanding. She was comfortable using the tools. I provided techniques to make assembly and surface finishing easier. She had a finished tray after working on it four afternoons.
The next project she worked was the design of a workbench for the smaller children. She joined three other girls in drawing plans for building the bench. When they finished the plans, Henry provided them cardboard and hot glue to build a mockup.
They never built the benches. Henry left the arts center, and there was no access to makerspace until they hired Nick several weeks later.
He started the teens on a tool carrier project. They received individual attention from Nick during cutting and sanding stages. My involvement in this project was the final assembly stage when they were gluing and screwing the parts together. Then, Nick introduced the laser and let them add a personal logo to their work. This was a nice touch.
The Art Center closed makerspace before another project started.
Wild Clover is on summer siesta with meetings to reconvene in the fall. I enjoyed working with my granddaughter and the teens. I haven’t decided about the fall, but this was another experience I wouldn’t have had if not retired.
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