13 August 2014

A Visit To Culver City reDiscover Center

Open Studio & Warehouse
image via reDiscover.org

I am continually on the search for great things to do in Los Angeles that I have never heard of or done before. After searching a few websites full of fun things to do in the area I found reDiscover Center in Culver City.

It is a non-profit arts and education center that is a dream mecca for creative minds. You can read all about their history here. They collect all sorts of "junk" and provide it for kids and adults to create art with. Saturdays are open studio days and you can go in and make a project for $5 materials and supplies on hand included.

I couldn't even begin to list all the bits and pieces of things they had available in their warehouse of supplies to make art with but here's a short list:

  • fabric remnants
  • wood scraps in all shapes and sizes
  • ceramic tiles
  • cardboard boxes
  • CD cases
  • electronics
  • party supplies
  • cardboard tubes
  • pipes, nuts, bolts, plumbing tube, plastic tubing
  • maps & lots of different papers
  • linoleum tiles & carpet scraps
  •  foam balls
  • old wheels
  • string, ribbon, yarn and thread
It was quite amazing to see the things that have been made there and the fantastic creativity that can make such unbelievable things from junk. I just looked at bins and played around with ideas for over an hour. The Bug and The Man did the same. There were almost too many possibilities.

At one point I was going to make a trivet with glass tiles and wood. Then I found an old painted wood scrap that would've made a fantastic shelf. Then I found scraps that would make a great bench and a beautiful piece of woven faux leather that would be a perfect upholstered seat.

We found a remnant of fabric that would make a a lovely skirt with gorgeous embroidery all over the bottom of it. I found some beautiful ikat upholstery samples that would make gorgeous little pillows. Oh, my mind was spinning. And then I started getting overwhelmed. I should mention there is a whole aisle of tools you can use there as well including: hot glue guns, saws, vices, and more.

In the end The Bug pulled all the supplies she would need to make a fox: a plastic jug, gray fabric, beads and buttons, a pointy cone, a piece of cardboard tube, and some gray linoleum to make ears. All the supplies for one project cost $5.

That's an amazing price when you consider what you could pay at a craft store for the same supplies and how hard it would be to find such unique objects. We brought all the supplies home because it was getting late and the shop was getting ready to close soon and we did the project later that weekend.

Instead of doing a project I bought a few supplies to play with at home. I purchased the large piece of woven faux-leather and will definitely do some kind of upholstery project with it. Then I also picked up four Altoids boxes (great little boxes to paint and use as gift boxes, etc.). If you haven't been keeping up on the Altoids box craft projects out there, here's a link to Pinterest where tons of projects are posted. Quite impressive and seriously worth a lot. I'm talking about little doll beds, holiday ornaments, magnetic game boards, first aid kits and more.

I got the embroidered fabric to make a skirt and lastly The Man got a fish net party decoration (not exactly sure why...still thinking on that one.) The prices for all these items was $5 so in the end we spent $10 total.

Next time we'll have to get there earlier in the day. I had no idea there was so much to look at and how many options for creative projects there would be there. I am already scheming up some good project ideas from what I saw there. Now that I have an introduction to everything you can do there I can't wait to go back. I am making a mental note of all my artist friends I would love to take there too. What a fun couples date, girls outing or playdate reDiscover Center would be.

Another thing I love about reDiscover Center is that it is that place I've been wanting to find where I could recycle bits and pieces of things I hate to throw away that always seem like they still have some use to them. You can give them small increments of things like three or four party paper plates, bits of ribbon, craft supplies, wood scraps, old greeting cards, shipping tubes, bits of fabric, old jars or old lids you don't have jars for. They will take little bits of just about anything.

I am so happy to think someone can make art out of the little things I hate to throw away! -- and relieved that I don't have to feel obligated to make something with it just because I don't want to add it to the garbage dump.

Here's a link to a map and directions. I am so happy to have found reDiscover Center in Culver City. I'm a big fan of Culver City for lots of reasons and this is just another great reason I am fond of Culver and will keep supporting business and growth there.

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