We got technical down at The Little Mule as Bruno Herfst and the guys draped cables and wires around the room, adorned the tables with circuit boards and taught us about Arduino. The sounds of typing and talking were soon joined by the whirring of electronics as people created their own miniature robots and got them moving. The following Tuesday the computers were out again, this time for Casey Morter and a class on 3D Animation Using Blender. Each person received a USB with the open-source software and worked on everything from the very basics and on: how to create 3D objects, move them around and even break them apart again.
We hosted interior designer Mel Lunardon for her class on Finding Your Style: A Renter’s Guide. Mel got her inspiration from countless friends who felt like their rental property wasn’t really ‘them’ but didn’t know what to do about it. We learnt a whole host of ideas from removable and reusable wallpaper to jazzing up old op shop pieces. and then we were joined by another Mel – Melanie Fawcett who pushed all the tables aside for Mobile Movie Magic. With iDevices at the ready we learnt to shoot film and move our way along the production line to indy movie genius.
Then, we moved on to Glass and Paper Jewellery with Jenny Zhang. After a quick explanation we all got to work choosing images, glazing, cutting and gluing. Of particular note was Tom’s set of cufflinks made of faces and a necklace showcasing a lovely pair of legs, but we were all very pleased with our handiwork and eager to showing our new jewels.
Erin Margrethe taught us about Nails: The History, Art and Science of Manicures. We learnt that the Ancient Egyptians used to colour their nails with henna and used different colours to distinguish between the social classes – Cleopatra had her nails bright red! Also, did you know that nails on your dominant hand grow faster because they get more blood flow from greater use! There were mystery nail polishes as prizes and we each got a manicure kit to take home along with all our new found knowledge.
We then worked to ward off the advancing autumn chill with The Fundamentals of Movement with Zac and Tuan. This creative expression class used all the natural momentum of our bodies to twist and turn in a fusion of dance and martial arts. And once we’d worked up some warmth we wrapped up to head outside for another round of Maria Yebra’s Light Painting class, complete with light-up kids’ toys, bike wheels, sparklers and burning steel, wool. Did you know that light painting was first used in 1935? True story!
Then, it was another week and another Monday. This one was kicked off with d’Arcy Lunn and his Happy, Simply lifestyle approach. We learnt how to build and live in a fully portable, yes portable, house for just $10,000! Proof that you don’t need a heap of money or material possessions to be cool or content. d’Arcy also talked to us about how we can use Social Media for Social Change. In recent times the internet has become a very powerful tool for reaching people and motivating them to act. Whether that is organising rallies on Facebook or getting thousands of signatures for a petition it all helps to make a difference.
Maria Yebra was then back on centre stage to teach us about Steampunk and show off some items from her crazy homemade collection. We played with table lamp guns, watches galore and, of course, aviator goggles as we learnt what steampunk actually is, how it came about, and how to make some awesome costumes for the next convention! Then it was the turn of Max to explain the Theory of Comedy. What makes a good joke (in general at least)? What structure could Collins? And how do I deliver it?
We then got intellectual as Wallace Wong taught us the Science Behind Your Screens. Starting off with old cathode ray tube TVs we played with sparklers and glow sticks, plasma balls and new organic chemical compounds to move through the history of screens and understand how they all work. Amazing!
We were lucky enough to have Maz Pugoy back at Laneway Learning for her deliciously guilt-free Raw Food class. We talked about the benefits of raw foods, different superfoods to get into our meals and tried everything from an unbelievably creamy ‘pasta’ dish to a super easy, super healthy chocolate mousse!
For our last night of the month we started off making some Army Essentials: Survival Straps with John Wonnacott. These chunky paracord straps make great keychains, bracelets and can help you snare a rabbit for dinner (maybe!). And last but not least we welcomed back Alisdair Horgen for a repeat of his awesome Italian for Beginners class. Forget the four week intensive course, in 75 minutes we learnt a bunch of the basics and are ready to embark on our trip to Europe!