Enjoyment > Perfection

By Hayeon Lee ’23

The extent of my drawing is sketching nice Kirbys or Pokemon; if you told me to draw a hand, I would most gladly produce a stick figure drawing. However, one of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to treat myself with kindness and patience. In my journey of healing my inner child, I find myself naturally returning to my hobby of arts and crafts. Whether it be signing up for an art course or taking on my own personal projects, here are some ways that I’ve utilized the resources at the 5Cs.

The Makerspace

Hayeon and friend in the makerspaceThe first project that sparked my journey in arts and crafts was making my shoe cabinet. In the beginning of fall semester, I was frustrated with the amount of clutter surrounding the door in my dorm room. When bringing this up to my partner, Kevin Song HMC ’24, rather than buying a shoe cabinet, he suggested that we take up a project to build our own.

In The Makerspace at Harvey Mudd, we found free-to-use scrap wood, leftovers from other projects from other students. Kevin helped me measure out the dimensions of the shoe cabinet, and all that was left was to cut and assemble. The Makerspace has a room, adjacent to the main crafting section, called the Machine Shop which has all of the large, heavy duty cutting tools. After taking a short, 60-question safety quiz, I had access to all of the machines! (Just so you aren’t intimidated, I am a humanities student. I can’t do math to save my life, and I’ve never touched or even seen some of the machines. However, I easily passed the quiz on my first try.)

Kevin taught me how to use the table saw and the band saw. While these machines were intimidating at first glance, it was very satisfying to cut even and symmetrical lines on the wood. (For any newcomers, there are student “shop proctors” who are there to demonstrate and answer any questions that you may have.) Finally, after two hours, our project was complete!

If you have larger projects like this that require drilling or cutting, I highly recommend The Makerspace as an accessible and streamlined resource!

The Hive

buttons on a satchelIn addition to The Hive being one of my favorite study places on Pomona’s campus, it also has a button-making machine where students can make their own buttons. I wanted to make a few buttons as gifts, so I went to The Hive. After creating my designs, I followed the helpful guide next to the button machines to work the simple steps. There was something quite therapeutic about sitting next to the windows on the second floor in the quiet, listening to my color pencils rub against the paper. If you ever need a break or if you just want to study, I would recommend you visit The Hive.

Pomona College Studio Art Hall

This spring semester, I am taking a Pomona College art course, “Self-Publishing for Artists,” taught by Professor Rebecca Lofiche. Through this course, I am learning how to use the Riso printer and different book-binding machines, and I’m also learning all about different methods of publications. In addition, as this is a self-publishing course, I get to make my own publications! So far, I’ve made a publishing manifesto piece, an artists’ book, and I am currently brainstorming my next artists’ book. As a Pomona student, I get to use the different art resources and machines; I also have access to the full Adobe suite in the Studio Art Hall computer labs.

When I’m creating such varied works, these are the moments when I know that I made the right choice in attending a liberal arts college. While I am an English major, I am encouraged to take classes outside of my major and have opportunities to try and learn new things. I am not the most talented artist, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have the right to try new things. There are peers in my art course who are also non-art majors, and I feel as though we are all together on this journey of learning something outside our comfort zone.

To any current students, I highly encourage you to branch out and explore these resource-rich places on The Claremont Colleges’ campuses! I regret not exploring these places earlier on in my college career, and I also wish that I had taken more courses outside of my major prior to my senior year. To those prospective students researching what Pomona College is like, I double down on the facts that you have probably come across in your college research. This is an institution that encourages you to try new things outside of the mental box that you might have placed yourself in (i.e. ‘math person’/‘STEM person’/‘history person,’ etc.), and has the resources to back that statement up!

Now I go back to brainstorming my next art project :).