CINCINNATI -- Some University of Cincinnati woodworking students took on a new project in October: To go a month without using electricity. For the entire month of October, the class was challenged to go cordless. The only power tools students could use had to be run by solar-charged batteries.
"This month they're doing things that are relying on independence and old ways and news ways working without electricity," UC School of Art, DAAP associate professor Matt Lynch said.
Initially, reactions from students were somewhat mixed.
"All the students were kind of just looking around kind of curious, like, ‘Is he serious?'" graduate sculptor student Jamie Payne said.
Instructors found the limitations did not hinder the students.
"Largely, the students have not disappointed in terms of creativity and dedication," Lynch said.
One group of students made a 14-foot tall banjo without the use of power tools.
"We were donated this 200-year-old piece of white oak, a cross cut out of it, and that just seemed to be the perfect shape and size," Payne said.
The class hollowed out the center of the wood with a bonfire.
"We had s'mores, hot dogs, while we were working on our projects," third-year mixed media student Alyssa Alford said. "So, it was really exciting seeing our community coming together."
Now that October is ending, students said that going powerless wasn't as scary as they'd thought.
"It's really refreshing to kind of focus on something real in front of you," Payne said.
The students plan to end the month Wednesday with a showing of "Night of the Living Dead" at the off-campus woodworking facility. As for the banjo, the students who created it said it will play, and they want it to become a public art piece somewhere in the city.