Mold making and casting has been a huge part of my life for years. It started in the SFX industry, making molds and cleaning up parts for robotic snakes on Snakes on a Plane (really), and has become an even more significant factor with the recent soft robotics project. However, one thing has plagued me this whole time: buckets.Continue reading
A few months ago, something magical happened. Over the years, I have been building, bit by bit, a way to twist the world into a shape more to my liking. With little pokes here and there, I’ve managed to eek out a life that has me selling the things I build, make, design, and hack for a living. Sleek and Destroy is now the source of my entire income and I even have employees. This is absurd. I feel like the police should be on to me and haul me off for impersonating a successful adult who knows what they’re doing any second.Continue reading
As a followup to my previous post, I’m going to try and elaborate more on the individual techniques I use for tricking my brain into acting like the focused productivity machine that it certainly isn’t. Here are a selection of tools and tricks I’ve used to good effect when trying to keep my productivity up and my wasted time down. Some of them work incredibly well with me. Some of them are tricks of last resort I use when I can’t seem to get focused any other way. Your mileage may vary.Continue reading
Recently I was interviewed by Make Magazine for their series Meet the Makers. You can listen to the podcast here. What follows is some extra links, photos, and resources that help illustrate the projects I mentioned in the interview.
I was incredibly flattered when Mark Frauenfelder asked me if I wanted to be one of the makers interviewed for the MAKE Podcast. I jumped at the chance. Now, having concluded the interview just a few minutes ago I wanted to share some links to the projects I mentioned, offer up a little further reading, and provide downloads for the open source designs I alluded to during my chat with Mark.Continue reading
So, guilt is a powerful motivating force in my life. I’m pretty adept at performing complex mental ninjutsu on myself to weasel my way out of things I should be doing, that are good for me, but I’ve got no burning desire to do. Take flossing, for example. It’s a trivial task that has a pretty substantial benefit in terms of reducing the guilt I feel about generally boycotting my teeth after losing my retainer some time towards the end of high school, and reducing the number of days per week brushing a bit too hard yields slasher fiction levels of upsetting sink imagery. Yet, there’s a routine I’ve developed to work myself around and out of the desire to floss. It’s like taking a mental detour around my sense of duty and pragmatism which usually arrives at the junction of dorking around on the internet and checking my email.
This is why I create structures outside of myself for enforcing the things I want to nail down, and shunning the stuff I want to get rid of. The way I see it, the distance between an action you want to perform and the final result is a kind of switchboard. Some of the terminals are in your brain, some are in the outside world. Your own willpower is one of many factors influencing what can actually get done, and it’s a fragile, fallible, and prone to fatigue, as one famously counter intuitive study proved. Relying on it alone is a mug’s game.Continue reading
Urban spelunking, urban exploration, or building hacking (whatever you prefer) is absurdly fun, intensely rewarding, and just a shade dangerous. It’s simply finding isolated, unexplored, or abandoned places, and taking a look. I don’t think the adventure is complete without taking photos to share what you’ve discovered, but it isn’t essential to the process. I’d like to take a moment to try and convince you of the incredible potential of actually stepping inside that abandoned insane asylum you pass on the highway every day going to work. I’m also going to give you a primer on how to get in to these spots, what to do once you’re there, how to keep yourself safe, and the kind of tech you’ll want to bring along if you’re intent on gathering some fantastic photos.Continue reading
Early on in my days as a maker, I really struggled with documenting and publishing projects. Almost everything I make starts life as something I wanted to build, something I wanted the experience of playing with. Most often I build because building things is gratifying in and of itself, and the other aspects (recognition, money, internet fame) are ancillary. However, only ever being beholden to myself made for some pretty shoddy documentation. I have few if any photographs of my projects from college and my record of things before that is more or less nonexistent. Over time I’ve discovered that a huge motivating factor for me getting things well documented, taking time out to photograph a project in progress, and updating my records, is having other eyes on me. Having other people witness my work validates it, gives it context, and creates a network of fascinating relationships and interactions that help fuel the next piece.
I don’t think I need to emphasize how important documentation is. Objects have a nasty habit of being pretty solid and aren’t often seen hurtling through cables at the speed of information. I know, Thingiverse is neat, but if you truly want to convey the awesomeness of something to another human, it’s infinitely more likely that they’ll extrapolate the fact from a picture than take the time to print and assemble your design. So, if you want the world to feel the impact of your handmade steam powered arduino based self balancing stainless steel unicycle junkbot, you’re going to have to show them… by force if necessary.Continue reading
Ceramic 3d printing exists. Every so often I’m reminded that I live in the future and that it is AWESOME. It needs some work, but egads is it great. As an experiment I printed a recent design, the foundation for some organ themed knuckle dusters, in Shapeways’ ceramic. It was remarkably light and very pretty but a bit on the flimsy side. My dad took a shine to them when I was showing them off around the workshop and he, meaning to look like a fifties gangser, donned them and then brought his knuckles into his palm. Cue crunchy noises and falling bits. Alas.Continue reading
I sit here, one of three folks all crammed on a futon, laptops steadily warming our laps, headphones plugged in, all persistently writing. To my right is designer, business owner, and furiously talented metal fabricator Danielle Hills. To my left is arch art director and wig stylist supreme Numidas Prasarn. The three of us collaborated to bring you these photos from Danielle’s most recent show, in which she exposed her brand new fashion line (The Executioner) to the world for the very first time.
You may recognize Danielle’s work from her previous collection, The Surgeon. She brings a unique, organic texture to her objects, while maintaining fairly simple geometries. The closest comparison I can think of offhand is Nervous System, but seen from a handcrafting perspective. You can view the whole series of shots I took of the event over on Flickr. There’s also some more coverage of the night here and here.Continue reading