Today I Made Stuff

Or tried to.

I’m working on a structure to display my little bottles of contact lenses, for my ‘obsessive sentimentality’ project. The case has to be similar to a thimble case but be able to hold 84 bottles. So I thought I’d whip one up in the workshop.

Mondays attempt took half the day and I ended up pounding it with a mallet til it cracked and broke. Today I tried again using beech instead of MDF. The beech is a harder wood and just ‘nicer’ really. It worked a lot better, but theres still a couple of problems with the backboard to sort out. Its eyeopening making things like this by hand. I would have bought one from a shop without a passing thought for design or manufacturing. When presented with the need to make something from scratch, you realise how much you don’t know about anything…

That sounds depressing, but it’s a good thing really. I think.

So yeah, its a sort of slot together grid piece. Woodwork gets frustrating because often measurements can be even just a millimetre short of accurate, due to thick pencil lines or inconsistency in sawing, and this affects the whole success of the piece. Theres been a few dramatic ‘This isn’t working. I want to die.’ moments. A wood workshop is a bad place to have these thoughts… But it’ll all work out by tomorrow hopefully 🙂


It’s good being back in the wood workshop, I like just zoning out and getting on with the task at hand. Having thought through that previous sentence, I probably shouldn’t zone out when operating a band saw.


Such satisfaction when the strips slotted together today, there was no such luck on the first attempt yesterday. I hope second times a charm… I don’t want to be making this one thing all week. I have so many ideas this semester, I want to just go.

84 Eyes

I’ve written previously about sentimentality, and attaching affection and memory to a material object. This surrounds a lot of the work I’m doing this semester. Obsessive Sentimentality.

Let me tell you a story. I went to Paris in the Summer of 2010. I saw everything. I saw Matisse and Rothko, a perfect sunset on top of the Arc de Triomphe, quaint towns and monumental architecture. And when it came to throwing my monthly contact lenses away at the end of July, I just couldn’t.

Which is stupid. It is completely irrational behaviour to allow these pieces of plastic that have been sitting on my eyeballs for a month, to have some kind kind of lasting power. If I lost the knackered old lenses, would I lose the visions of what I’ve seen? No. But its somehow a comfort having them. There’s a feeling that memory just isn’t enough.

So sometimes I keep my lenses. Because I can’t not.

I’ve worn 84 pairs of contact lenses. I keep some and remember them all. And I allow them to represent everything I’ve ever seen. Am I crazy? Perhaps… Certainly an obsessive sentimentalist. But I could make some art of this.