Saturday, September 28, 2013


Last Tuesday evening, I went to the first ever adult-swim craft night at Tacoma's new creative-reuse center, Tinkertopia. Tacoma artists Ryan and Darcy Anderson opened this venue, with the help of Tacoma's Spaceworks Program, in the U-district on Pacific Avenue this summer. Tinkertopia, in their own words, is "A destination for teachers, students, artists, crafters, inventors, makers, hackers, and tinkerers (of any age) in search of unusual materials for any creative venture." The items they collect through donation range from paper and cardboard tubes to what-the-heck-is-THAT. Items are sold in bulk by the bag. Bags come in three sizes. Zany ideas are free for the asking. Tinkertopia also has a drop-in craft space filled with tools, sewing machines and glue-guns, where $7 gets you an hour and a half of studio time in the store.

I don't need studio space. I have that in my home. I also have plenty of my own "stuff." But I really really want this place to succeed. It is such a wonderful idea, run by young, energetic, creative people who are willing to take one of those out of the box chances. It is a kid's (yes even a geriatric kid) wonderland. It is a Place of Possibility. I wish it had been around when my sons were young. I can imagine handing them each a $10 bill and a bag, saying, "You have 30 minutes to find your Halloween costume! Go!"  It's also a place to share those items you hate to throw away, but have no use for yourself-- like those sturdy cardboard tubes from the large format printer where I work.

It's hard to describe Tinkertopia. You really need to just go there. You need to browse. You need come back and browse again, because stock changes all the time and you really did miss something last time you looked. I had a great time Tuesday night. I met some new people, I finished stitching up a journal, and I selected a few Mystery Items to bring home. I have a Nebulous Plan. I'll keep you posted.

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