Nightmare Before Christmas

Jessie Jots...

Please note that this assignment was done last semester, I apologize for the delay. It was literally Nightmare Before Christmas. The assignment given was to build a chair and the primary construction medium was wood. I freaked out the moment the word 'wood' was mentioned.

(My brain immediately brought me back to the horror of high school days. I was 15 and slapped with a music box project from the course "Kemahiran Hidup" (Direct translation: Skills in Life?) . I remembered the torturous sawing of a rectangular piece of wood in the hot room with a lil' dinky fan that never blows any wind. And I always ended up not able to attach the pieces of wood together because they are never straight. I always had to re-do until the point my teacher was fed up with me because I used up all her woods and sand papers. Now I have to deal with this again?)

We had to create a chair with a theme for the strangest place. For instance, a chair in an outer space gas station. Or a chair for the underwater world. Mine was a chair of Nightmare Before Christmas. When my sketch was approved, the nightmare started. I had to buy woods! I dreaded to go. I kept asking my professor, what kind of wood? How big? How thick? To at least get some ideas but all he said was "Find 2x4s... that will help you get started". I was even more clueless than the beginning.

*An approved sketch of the chair

My next trusty resource was to get Hushby understood my idea and have him help me to decide what type of wood I would get. I trapped him to drive me out to the nearest big ass hardware store called Menards and search for "2x4s". The moment I stepped in, I knew this place was not for me. I sensed all the negative vibes from the woods, I got lost in this giant retail store, I felt the constant stares from big American men and they're probably thinking "What're you two lil Asians doing here?"

Ok I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill but my feelings really felt like this project was going to fail. I think we spent at least two hours just deciding and got some pieces of wood to finally been told

"Excuse me, is this piece of wood 2x4s?"

"No, but what are you building, ma'am?"

"A chair"

"Are you going to use that for the chair?"


"I recommend that you use woods from that area"

"Ok..." *sensing negative vibe coming*

"Those you're holding are for staircase" -_-

ARGH embarassing. I had to put on a fake smiley on my face, quietly put that piece of wood down and walk to 'that' area. Hushby is also just as clueless.

Other than Menards, I even end up at Jo-Anns, a fabric store. I walked in and I got the stares again... this time from older grannies and they're probably thinking, "What're you Asian girl doing here?" You see, I had to get some fabric to cover my stupid chair. In 2 minutes, I picked up some velvets of black and red. I thought, dang! That was easy. So I happily walk to the counter with the rolls of fabric in my arms, ready to pay.

"How many yards you want?"

"Er... see I'm building a chair..."

"How big is your chair?"

"Errr... *hand moving wildly* err... 5'9?"

"I think, 2 yards would do"


"No, yards. Y-A-R-D"

"Oh that! Oh yeah, sure..."

ARGH... Humiliation.

By now my skin is as thick as the Great Wall of China.

We had 3 weeks to work on that chair. I saw, I nail, I put it up right, form it into a chair and I nailed it again. Then I put the foams over, staple it, glue-gun it, then put the chicken wires to create volume, put more foam on the chicken wires, sew, staple it and sew it again. I worked really, really hard for this and try to mask the fact that the chair is a preliminary production. I have a feeling it will crumble and lay on the ground than stand. A day before the due date, you can see classmates with eye bags, curly hair to straight hairs, guys with blue blacks on their hands, people cutting their fingers using the sawing tools, people sewing their fingers with all types of scratches.

Thankfully none of the above was experienced by yours truly. I escaped the project with minor bruises, mostly just chicken wires scratches on my arms and broken fingernails. My fingers were stiff too but nothing compare to cutting a piece of your flesh off.

And thankfully, the chair manage to stand on its own. It supports my weigh and everybody else's. The sewing work stays put and nothing falls or breaks. Here is the final product, and I took these pictures well after 1 month:

*Views of the chair and its models

In the dark, it scares everybody just sitting in the apartment. No kidding.


ooi said...

Totally awesome! Hurrah for the girl-who-didn't-know-2x4s-and-yards, lol..

Jessie said...

Haha glad you can laugh with me. Thanks!

Wens said...

wow... it sure looks amazing! well done and glad to hear that you're enjoying your classes... it's never too late to pursue your dreams girl!

You go! :)


Jessie said...

Thanks Wens! Nice of you to confirm that it is never too late.

janediva said...

Wow... I love the chair!! You've got talent, girl. Keep it up. By the way, the hair looks great on you too :)

Jessie said...

Wow, wow and wow! I'm so flattered. Thank you so much for all the compliments. :)

MaryKate said...

i'll be honest ok, scared me when i saw it the first time too, but beauty is in d eye of the beholder, so i guess it must be a masterpiece lah

Jessie said...

marykate: Actually when it was displayed in the gallery, a lot of people got scared too. I take your critique as a compliment because provoking that feeling is afterall, my goal. I welcome all criticism. Thank you!