Autistry Newsletter – April 1, 2013

Posted By on April 1, 2013

Happy April Fools Day! As with any day at Autistry we are working hard, playing hard, and letting our inner-tricksters roam wild. It is one of our fundamental tenants that each of us creates our life given the materials available. And great lives, not just great projects are being created at Autistry!

Highlighting the Saturday Workshops:

Chris is getting closer and closer to finishing his helmet!After months of hard work, Chris is finishing up his Star Wars helmet. Chris has shown amazing tenacity, overcoming lots of production obstacles but sticking with it. Amelia is researching how to create a mold so that more helmets can be made using Chris’s as a prototype.

Connor E. wrote a comic book story about a family picnic. He staged the action using adorable mouse figures. This type of photo-novella is the perfect introduction to stop action film making. It also a good way to practice the art of storytelling – sequencing disparate events to create a narrative flow.

Connor is finished with his angelwing mirror !!! Now he's getting started on his new project - putting together a model BatBoat.
Connor B. finished his angel-winged mirror and is now hard at work on a model BatBoat. Connor used several different tools to create the wings – the bandsaw, the router, chisels, etc. And he learned new painting techniques – highlighting, dark wash, etc. And it all came together beautifully.
Peter and Allie
Peter is making a very difficult Crow T. Robot to accompany his Tom Servo. You may remember these characters from Mystery Science Theater 3000. Tom Servo was difficult to build but Crow is proving to be an even greater challenge. Allison and Peter have spent hours deciphering the instructions and creating their own designs to make this project work. Learning to overcome obstacles is all part of the process.

Andrew and Allison working on an Art Box.
Andrew is making a Box World Diorama of an historic bedroom – complete with carpet, bookcases, and a pillow case for the bed pillow! They used several tools including the bandsaw and the sewing machine (rather similar those two machines!) Andrew and Allison make a great working pair. He has great concentration and she has infinite patience.
Maya is working very independently creating plushies of characters from Homestuck. She has drawn her favorite characters and cut out fabric pieces ready to assemble. Homestuck is a web comic that combines different techniques to tell a story. Traditional drawings are augmented with animated gifs, Flash animation, and instant message logs. So cool!

Joshua is the train master!The trains are running for Josh! He finished detailing his Amtrak engine which included painstaking work carefully placing decals on the train. He also had to spray paint the engine first with a flat black, then with silver, and after the decals were attached he sprayed it again with a clear coat. Focus and attention to detail can come in handy when doing model work. When he was finished he set up the track to take it for a spin.

And, there is Lauren, ShopBot Queen. Lauren has certainly tamed this machine. She runs it independently, with just a little help from Dan. She has really taken ownership of the entire process of running the ShopBot from setting up the cutting bits to programming the cut files. Lauren has created several signs, a wooden box, and a cool set of gears. There is much more to come.
The Autistry staff also creates projects! Ashley, who claimed not to be creative when she arrived, has become quite a talented artist. This week she finished her Majora mask. Ashley works with several of the students and is happy to learn right along with them. This is a trait we cherish.

Sitting like a lady!We are so fortunate to have the very talented and creative Amelia as our Workshop Lead. She is multi-talented, at home on the ShopBot, the bandsaw, the sewing machine and in the kitchen! Ameila recently finished a ShopBot project that is worthy of auction at Sotherbys – a fold-up stool with an antique finish.

All our mentors are encouraged to create – to try, fail, and to try again. How we handle the stress and frustration of making something real serves as a model for our students. We are not flawless and we make mistakes. Those too are learning opportunities.

We’ll be highlighting different workshops throughout April and May so stay tuned for more cool project news. You can also follow us on Facebook and see fabulous photos on our Autistry Instagram page.

About The Author

Janet is the Executive Director and co-founder of Autistry Studios (also known as SuperMom). She co-leads many of the workshops, counsels individuals and groups, supervises MFT interns, makes brownies, sews costumes, edits video projects, builds websites, and mops the floor.