From time to time, the aisles of Ace Hardware are stalked by a delightful imp from an otherworld- the Oonacat. She is part of a rare race that see the potential beauty in disparate objects, and actually have the ability to put them together and shift our sometimes dreary mortal perception towards the wild and fantastic.
Oonacat is a fine artist by training, but started making costumes and selling them on etsy to supplement her income while she studied. She had designed a heelless hoof boot when she started coming into Ace, and asking questions like “which saw do you think will do the best job cutting and shaping the heels of a boot?” Now we all flock to help her and find out what she’s working on next.
Speaking of the saw, it was a black and decker cordless jigsaw, which she says works okay, but it’s worth getting the corded version so you don’t have to recharge constantly. The Dremel is her favorite purchase, “I will cry when it breaks.” She also uses the Ace variable heat gun and loves it. And another interesting recommendation was the Ace Rust Stop spray paints. “It stays on Urathane really really well, and if I was careful how I added it, I could create gradation from red to black.” From experience, getting something to stick to a flexible shoe and not flake back off is not an easy thing to do!
“I shop at Ace because the staff are amazing creative problem solvers. Everyone thinks outside the box,” said Oonacat.
Her latest project, pictured above, will be a molded dragon that can be worn around the shoulders, reminiscent of the Game of Thrones creatures. She creates a sculpture and then casts a mold. Then she will fill the mold with rubbery plastic, hand paint all of the details, and insert a mechanism allowing the wearer to move the dragons head.
Most people buy stuff in a hardware store to get a job done in their home or business. There is no magic product for every problem; no neat and tidy solution for everything. Usually it takes ingenuity, making something work for you purpose, to actually solve problems and overcome obstacles. Don’t ever be afraid to explain whatever “out there” thing you are working on to our staff and see if we can’t figure something out that will work for you.
by Heidi Grieser
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