Under a blue sky and warm sun, saws buzzed and gears turned at the 15th annual Spontaneous Construction event at Home ReSource, where teams start the day with nothing, and build a piece of furniture or art by late afternoon, all from reused materials.
Despite the "Spontaneous" name, Community Engagement Manager Jeremy Drake thought more teams came with plans than usual; a “focused year.”
“Over the years the pieces have gotten more beautiful,” Drake said. “The last few years we’ve been blown away by the craft of pieces.”
Teams are able to build whatever they want, without any guidelines or thematic restrictions, Drake said. They are able to bring their own materials if they want and, while Home ReSource would prefer them to be reused, they don’t have to be. Many teams bring their own glue and nails, for example.
Some teams will come in with serious plans, Drake said, and others will walk in and start heading down the stuffed aisles of home construction parts, until inspiration strikes and they get to work.
“This is the one day where we invite everybody to come out and show the community what’s possible with these materials,” Drake said. “People take materials and transform them.”
Craft, along with a mix of planning and spontaneity, was on display Saturday at each of the 30-or-so team booths.
Near the back, Heather McMilin and her team constructed a bed frame made of skis. She was hard at work screwing skis in a straight line across pieces of wood, to make up a headboard of cross-county and downhill skis, all a mélange of ‘90s neon yellow, white and blue. They did not bring their own skis for the project, she said.
“Home ReSource had them all,” McMilin said. “We came and we wanted to be inspired. It’s more fun that way.”
Gabby Garant explained the concept — a ski headboard, and two skis that stood up at each of the bottom corners, with old-fashioned bindings to serve as robe hooks.
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“So nerdy,” she laughed. “So wonderfully nerdy.”
Across the parking lot, another team fired up a small DIY forge to soften a metal rod, which was tamped straight and hooked at the end. Another group was constructing a chair, with what appeared to be rocket boosters on each side.
One team, which has been to Spontaneous Construction each of its 15 years, makes lamps. Kadin Bardsley explained that he comes to Home ReSource throughout the year to buy items he can use during the event, and looks the morning of as well.
This year he was using “various old plumbing and metal and rusty steel pipes,” he said, pointing out an iron tank cap he had found Saturday and used as a base for a lamp.
His assistant, Jolyn Eggart, pulled out a compressor that would serve as the base for a second lamp, painted a metallic teal.
“Usually he comes up with inspiration when he gets here,” Eggart said while Bardsley tinkered.
Each team can use any and all parts from Home ReSource, Drake said. The finished pieces deemed worthy by the judges are then auctioned off, with benefits going to the nonprofit.
The quality of construction has gotten so good, Drake said, that last year they auctioned off every piece made during the event.
“If there’s any north star for teams, it’s, ‘how can we make something that will benefit (Home ReSource)?’” Drake said.