Handi-Hour is Back at the Renwick

Handi-hour on Friday, November 13th is SOLD OUT! For those who were unable to get tickets and those who want to get an idea of the crafts ahead of time, we have three different crafts that we'll be making that evening. Public program coordinator Gloria Kenyon demonstrates how to make each craft in individual videos.

Make a marble necklace inspired by Maya Lin's Folding the Chesapeake.

Or create a holiday wreath based on Patrick Dougherty's large sapling installation, Shindig, with greenery from SI Gardens.

  • Public Programs Coordinator Gloria Kenyon demonstrates fall wreaths for the Handi Hour program at the opening of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

    GLORIA KENYON: Hi, I’m Gloria Kenyon, the Public Programs Coordinator for the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, and today we will be making holiday wreaths.

    So, I’ve made an example of one right here. I don’t recommend this type of wreath, because it’s woven pretty tightly and hard to get your ends in, as you can see, but we’re going to use actually a grape vine wreath or this one’s also similar to make our wreaths.

    So, what you’ll need are some floral wire, a pair of scissors, and some greenery, or if you’d like some dried milk pods or other dried things to represent the fall season, this is more of a holiday one. You can use those, just make sure that there are no bugs on them before you bring them in. Evergreens like this pine or this holly are fine, bugs generally aren’t on those but before you bring them inside just make sure you’re not also bringing some insects in.

    So, these will keep your color throughout this season. What you’re going to do is take your wreath and kind of determine where you want to place them on the wreaths, or you could do it all the way around, but we’re just going to do a small accent in the corner. So, I’m going to layer them on top of each other in a way that looks kind of nice and simple, and the reason the grapevine works really well for this is you can weave them in. And then I’ll pull in the other holly on top of it – and we’ll slide in the pine, and the pine doesn’t go in quite as well, so we’re just going to lay it on top – and if you want a little extra color in there you can put in some berries. You can get fake berries, you can get real ones, anything works, but we’re actually gonna add a pop of color with our string. But some berries or something else would look really nice in there.

    Then you’re going to take a few inches of floral wire, probably about six inches, and we’re just going to cut this off. And you’re gonna weave in the ends to hold your greenery on there. So, we’re going to just gently wrap it around, making sure your ends stay in, and you’re also kind of trying to hide it a little bit behind.

    Now to hang your wreath you can simply hang it like this, but since we want a little bit of a pop of color, we’re just going to take our yarn and find the end of the yarn. We’re just gonna cut a loop. Determine if you want it at the bottom, we want ours on the side, so we’re just going to loop it around and tie a knot. Cut off the excess, and there you have your holiday wreath!
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    Write home about the newly renovated Renwick on stationery inspired by Chakaia Booker's ANONYMOUS DONOR.

  • Public Programs Coordinator Gloria Kenyon demonstrates crafting matchbox car stationary for the next Handi Hour program at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

    GLORIA KENYON: Hi, I’m Gloria Kenyon, Public Programs Coordinator for the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery and today’s craft is making your own stationery with Matchbox cars and an ink pad. So, in addition to the Matchbox cars and the ink pad, you’ll need a ruler, a pencil, and a paper towel is really helpful. So, these are some examples I’ve made before and you can see how you get these really interesting, very parallel lines from the cars and the way the ink is on the tires creates some interesting looks as well.

    You’re going to take your paper, and I like to put it on a paper towel or some plastic just to keep your ink from bleeding all over your surface and determine how far down you want it to go on your stationery. For this I’d like to go probably about no more than two inches, especially if you’re going to be a very prolific letter writer you’d like a lot of space to write to your friends.

    So, I’m going to go about an inch and a half down and just mark that line off and you can erase this later. This just acts as a guide for when you’re creating your pattern.

    So today I’m going to use silver, gold, and blue, and depending on what kind of car you use you get a different tire and a different pattern. This one has rubber wheels, so you’ll get a different tread and we’re going to use this one, we’re going to go for this blue. So, you’re going to run your wheels all over the ink pad and you want to be careful depending on what you want your pattern to look like to get every part of the wheel covered. If you don’t, you actually, you get a little bit of a broken pattern which can be interesting, but for this one I want a solid line.

    So, we’re just going to run this right along that line I made originally, and you see that it gets a little lighter at the end so we’re just going to re-ink and do it again… and come back the other direction. And now we have our nice solid line for our pattern started, and then you need your extra paper towel to wipe off your tires. I recommend wiping them off before switching between inks with the same car so you don’t muddle your inks but we’re going to switch to a different one and we’re going to use this gold and this one I want a little bit of a different look, so I’m just gonna, I’m not going to be as careful about it because I want a little bit of a broken line so we’re just going to run the tires over it. We’re going to create a zigzag, so I’m just going to go back and forth.

    So, we’re almost to the end, we’re just going to keep doing our zigzag and finish out these last few little marks, and there we’ve created our pattern for our stationery! So, you can make a whole series out of this, you could switch the colors back and forth, or you could use the two different colors and have a variety of stationeries that are similar pattern but for different things.
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    In addition to crafts, we'll have craft beer from two local breweries, small bites catered by a D.C. restaurant, and live music. Keep an eye on our calendar for the next Handi-hour, which will be on February 10th, 2016.