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oh man it’s finally done

February 20, 2009 at 6:25 am

drying rack #2 !!!!!!!

It’s two years later and my drying rack design is so much improved. The second rack works much better, and is actually simpler in its construction, than the first one which you can see to its left!

improved print drying rack

(the same side of the studio, april 2008.)

Here’s the how the top & side connect:


Yes, I like cutting things precisely, even when working with medium-quality plywood and drywall screws… and yes, I finally bought a dado blade set, it does beautiful work…! (It may only be hilarious to me that the same week, I bought a food processor: two things I had felt the severe lack of for a long time, both potentially dangerous, high-precision, specific-purpose, well-made cutting tools… at opposite ends of the classic gender binary!)

The whole thing, without the shelves — it’s on wheels (or else it would be totally immobile: it’s bulky, about 3’x3’x4′, and when the shelves are in, it’s pretty heavy).

exterior structure

I don’t know why this took me sooo long to finish, it’s what I’ve been working on, or at least, putting as my first priority, for the past two weeks. Initial guesses: some difficulty with logistics like transporting wood and tools from my house to the shop (requires a car, which I don’t have); being restricted in how late I could work in the shop, since people with ‘normal’ schedules live and sleep above it (and I usually work late at night); needing to recruit a helper for cutting large pieces of plywood on the table saw (a problem I partially solved by finally, yesterday!, setting up a run-out table to catch wood coming through the saw); and really, a lot of ‘being scared’ of the project and getting overwhelmed by the thought processes necessary to figure out the numbers precisely and actually finish it. I don’t know why that is scary, because it is also the fun part! But there is a feeling that I got to know quite well during the process of making this rack, that would stop me, when it would get late or I would be tired or cold, that would just say in my ear: “Man, go to bed, this is too complicated to figure out when you are [tired/cold/sleepy], just work on it in the morning!” and my thought processes would stop dead.

Oh, also the fact that for a lot of the past two months, the temperatures in the woodshop have been BELOW FREEZING — that might have had something to do with the long time this project has taken me. (This is a recent realization: till a couple of days ago, I thought it was just really, really cold in there, then one of my fellow shop-mates pointed out that the sprinkler system must be a dry one, because otherwise its pipes would have burst…) Mostly I wear fingerless gloves down there; but because I’m not an idiot, I take them off to run stuff through the tablesaw… plus the square and ruler I use are both made of metal… ow ow ow. Looking forward seriously to SPRING.

Building this second drying-rack is a precursor to cleaning up my studio & sorting out the long-unsorted piles, which is a precursor to printing. Which I have to do, to finish up old stuff, before I can really draw any more new stuff. All in all, that means: I will be working on posters and prints soon. !!!

Books and magazines have been piling up in my bed-loft: the other day I counted 17 and took a picture.

pile of books in bed!

(subject matter, generally: architecture, japanese art, dystopian futures, radical art & politics, gender identity and theory, photography, feminism, utopia… plus a couple of national geographics from 1988.)


  1. Glad to see a project crossed of your list, and I love, love Ursula Le Guin, she wrote a really good essay about writing the Left hand of Darkness, and how she couldn’t escape gender even when building a world from scratch, I can’t remember where I read it but I know you would love it, maybe you have a friendly librarian who could help you find it….

    Comment by deb — February 21, 2009 @ 9:22 pm
  2. hmm… I will definitely look for that essay! The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed always seem to come back into my life at the times when they will have a great effect on me — both those books have, at different points in my life, changed my outlook on and interaction with the world… super, super crucial.

    [two days later update: studio cleanup is progressing apace! there’s nothing like sorting out the piles that were the most disorganized and frightening, it is such a weight off my brain. as of tonight, four tables’ worth of pile are sorted… there’s only one more to go, and it’s the most recent, so it’s actually not even that intimidating!]

    Comment by jean — February 22, 2009 @ 6:21 am
  3. nice post and congrats on the finishing the rack — looks seriously pro.

    speaking of distopian futures,did a mini unit on 1984 with some refugee students, talking mostly about Newspeak, but also about the 1984 world in general. …realized that distopian futures look very different when you’re coming from a place of dictatorship, censorship, and near-continuous war… worth discussing further sometime.

    much love.

    Comment by richy — February 22, 2009 @ 7:29 am
  4. after I cleaned out the 17 or 18 books from my bed, I uncovered Martin Buber’s “Paths In Utopia”, which I am making some slow headway in. here’s a quote:

    …What is at work here is the longing for that rightness… which of its very nature cannot be realized in the individual, but only in human community. The vision of “what should be” — independent though it may sometimes appear of personal will — is yet inseparable from a critical and fundamental relationship to the existing condition of humanity. All suffering under a social order that is senseless prepares the soul for vision, and what the soul receives in this vision strengthens and deepens its insight into the perversity of what is perverted.

    Comment by jean — February 23, 2009 @ 3:08 am
  5. off to find and read said book, glad to hear progress is continuing!!

    Comment by deb — February 24, 2009 @ 7:03 pm
  6. Nice Buber quote there. He’s got a lot of good quotes. My favorite is the one about how if someone asks you for help, act as if there was no God and it was all up to you to help them.

    Comment by Jonathan — March 2, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

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