Bricolage Hosts Holiday Gift DIY & Exchange

Though winter break may seem far away to Haverford students yet to enter finals week, the holiday spirit of giving was in full swing at James House Friday night.

The Bricolage Co-op, a student-run group that fosters creativity, community, and a do-it-yourself spirit, hosted a “Holiday Gift DIY & Exchange” last week in James House. In addition to gifts, the event featured homemade foods and chai, student musicians, and a variety of activities.      

“I think the event went incredibly well,” said Caleb Eckert ‘17, who helped organize the gathering. “It’s so great to see people get excited about DIY stuff and working with their hands, especially at a time of the semester when many of us are spending hours writing and studying.”

DIY activities included wooden top construction and paper marbling-a technique that entails painting marble-like designs on the surface of water that can then be transferred to sheets of paper.

“[Paper marbling] was really fun because no one had tried it before, and I am pretty new to it myself,” said Bricolage member Chloe Wang ‘17. “Each design is different and you can’t fully anticipate the results, so it’s pretty mesmerizing to watch.”

Though not required, many of the 35 students who attended brought food, gifts, or talents to exchange with others.

Instead of tangible gifts, Samuel Walter, Dora von Trentini, Jake Bernstein and Hayden Kesterson brought music to share.  

“The student musicians who performed throughout the evening were phenomenal, and I would love for us to collaborate with them again sometime soon,” added Eckert, who brought photo cards and sweetbread to exchange.

Bricolage, whose name means “something constructed or created from a diverse range of available things,” is a product of a course Assistant Professor of Anthropology Joshua Moses taught last spring. The class, titled “DIY (Do it Yourself) Movements and American Environmentalisms,” focused on democratic initiatives that support making, exchanging, and encouraging the “do-it-yourselves” ethic.

Bricolage has hosted a variety of community exchanges, workshops, and other gatherings so far this year inside and outside of James House, part of which is currently being outfitted to serve as the Bricolage’s permanent home in the Spring.

Indeed, what students seem to love most about the various Bricolage events is the diversity of options, crafts, and skillsets that they attract.
“While I was marbling paper, the guy next to me was making a wooden top, my freshmen were feasting on homemade food, and two musicians were playing live music,” said Alana Thurston ‘16. “[The exchange] was a really awesome blend of being a space for people to learn and also for people to share their talents.”

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