A friend once called me ‘bricoleur’. I wasn’t familiar with the word at the time, but once he defined it for me it immediately became a favorite. The definitions I’ve found vary slightly, but are generally the same. “The bricoleur is a ‘jack-of-all-trades’, who uses few, non-specialized tools for a wide variety of purposes.” Basically, a something from nothing, MacGyver type.
I was given this title back when I lived in a basement in college. It was a dull, concrete basement and I was bored. It was there that I made things most often.
I made a coffee table from scrapped plaster formwork, the springs I helped take out of a friend’s car, and my stereo system.
There was a coil of copper wire that I had so I attached it to a touch lamp and ran it around the perimeter of the room. Connecting the wire allowed me to brighten or turn the lamp on and off from almost anywhere in the basement by touch.
I started cooking a lot too. I would make a starter from flour and yeast, then knead, then bake bread. I created my own tomato sauce recipe. I even made cheese. I put all those together to make fresh pizzas.
Friends would come over and I would hang large sheets of paper across the ceiling to watch movies from a projector. Movie nights.
I had a swing I put up with rope and a plank of wood on my pullup bar. A swing. In a basement. It was fun; you just had to be careful not to kick holes in the ceiling.
Okay, not exactly MacGyver-like, but I love making things from nothing (by which I mean anything). I haven’t been as bricoleur lately though, and that needs to change. I need to start making again.