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  • Writer's pictureHistoric Ithaca

Work Preserve Looks Back on Summer Program

As we wrap up the Work Preserve summer program, participants and staff

reflect on what all has been accomplished. On top of their regular Work Preserve participants, the summer program brought four students into the studio to learn practical building and job readiness skills.

Rain, a student of the program, said her favorite lessons were learning out to paint furniture, and spoke on the specific methodology that differentiated it from painting walls. She also learned the retail skill of pricing and being able to recognize the value of items. Rain says that she sees herself hopefully using what she learned over the summer for personal projects in her own home one day.

Daniel also spent the summer learning from Robert, Jordan, and Geno. He says his favorite lesson was taking apart doors and can recite the process well. He, like other summer students, was fond of the project where they painted side tables taken from an old dorm building on the Cornell campus.

The project that the student agree was the biggest and that has brought much pride to the students is the restoration of an antique desk chair, shown in the photo essay below.

A New Life for an Old Chair

Before the students began their restoration.

DeQuan and Rain apply paint stripper to bring the chair back to its original wood.

It needed quite a few coats!

The chair was then wrapped in plastic to keep from drying out overnight.

Daniel (pictured) and Dequan sanded off the last of the old paint.

The chair was now sanded and ready for stain.

Here, Daniel applies the mahogany stain.

The finished product! A beautiful, functional piece brought back to life thanks to Work Preserve!

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