Place of Wonder- Origins

My grandpa, now legally blind, carefully uses spline weights to lay out the curve of the hull of a sea sled that his friend and co-conspirator, a naval architect, continues to refine.

My grandpa, now legally blind, carefully uses spline weights to lay out the curve of the hull of a sea sled that his friend and co-conspirator, a naval architect, continues to refine.

I returned this week to a place of original inspiration: my grandparents' basement. Both in their late eighties now, my grandfather is still building wooden boats in the garage while my grandmother sculpts small figures in clay a few feet away in her pottery studio.Their adjacent makerspaces are unique to each artist, and often intersect on projects for local galleries, libraries, friends, and family.

Their large array of tools, arranged so long ago that they are accessible by muscle memory, hang above different workstations: some well-lit for small tasks like sanding or painting, and others are movable platforms and rigs for molding sculptures, steaming wooden planks, and assembling skeletons of window displays and watercrafts alike.

As the foundational workshop in my life, their basement is the wellspring of possibility in my mind. I still walk slowly down the stairs with a sense that anything can be made here. There is mystery to the ongoing projects laying about in the wood shop and studio: what was the inspiration for this piece? What new medium are they experimenting with? Who is coming over to collaborate or apprentice?

The combination of the access to expert knowledge, seemingly endless variety of tools, and a leisurely mindset allowed this young mind to wrestle out creative expression with purposeful energy.

What are your first memories of feeling wonder? Tell us your origin story with pictures and annotations and anecdotes!

The original Bob the Builder. 

Rosemary in her pottery studio.