So the month of December crept up on me without much notice or time to prepare for my residency at the Koz collective house in Brooklyn. I flew to the east coast a few days early to have Thanksgiving with my family then jumped on a bus to NYC.
The residency is in a collective house of folks who actively engage in, and support creative lifestyles. The image you see above is the cozy loft they build in their house to accommodate the residents that they invite.
My hosts seem to be well connected in the local, DIY community and have pointed me in several interesting and exciting directions. I suspect that we will get the ball rolling in the next couple days.
In the meantime, I am enjoying exploring the city.
The Exploratorium has a large bell that is rung each day at the opening and closing of the museum. The bell has two large metal arms that pivot above it. The swinging action brings the arms down to strike the bell.
The bell is hung high overhead and out of reach. The museum commissioned me to make the hook you see above to grab the arms so that they can be pulled down into the bell.
I love small jobs like this. They usually give me me carte blanche with design, they rarely take too much time to complete, and they often pay cash.
Ever since I found my brother’s shot put from his track & field days in our parents garage, I knew that someday I would have great need for it. I have carried it with me now for over ten years, through three states and several work-spaces, and that time of need has finally come.
When I moved into the Lost & Foundry, I bought a platen-style fabrication table. While its weight of a couple thousand lbs is something of a burden, its other features are wonderful to have. Of these are the grid of square holes across its surface. These allow me to drop tooling and jigs just about anywhere on the table, maximizing my work efficiency and comfort.
The table also acts as a steady base for the various metal-forming tools that I have made over the years. Previously these would have been held (improperly) in a vice. Now I can begin to standardize my tooling, which should streamline some of the processes in my metalwork.
I forged out a large shank to fit in the sq holes and formed it to hold the shot put at a desired height. Then I welded the shot put to the shank and bam! I have a new, sexy forming stake for working volumetric forms in sheet metal.
Thanks for not throwing the shot put away Mom!
So, this happened.
Don’t forget to periodically change the filters on your respirators kids.
Yesterday, a student came into the shop needing to tap a 1/2″ hole in a PVC pipe for an engineering project. Tapping is not a common practice in the CED shop, and so our collection of taps and dies are not complete.
In this case we had the tap, but no tap holder. Being an industrious engineering student however, he quickly fashioned this rig to get the job done and made me very proud in the process.
Biological transformation is wildly fascinating to me and has played a large influential role in my work. So, when I recently found this critter munching the kale in my garden, I decided to take the opportunity to observe its molting process in a jar.
First, it devoured the leaves I gave it, covering the bottom of the jar in caterpillar shit. I had no idea it could produce so much in such a short time. Then, after a couple weeks, it made this little cocoon. I could see it moving around inside for a while before it settled. It then lied seemingly inactive for another couple of weeks. I removed the lid so that it could fly away when it hatched. That happened yesterday.
A small furniture job for a local restaurant fell in my lap recently. I am neck deep in two other projects at the moment, but couldn’t resist this one. I love restaurant work. Owners know that the environment of their place is important and are usually willing to pay for more visually interesting work.
This guy already had a design and parts that were already cut. So, while I didn’t get to throw much of my own creativity into the project, I only had to weld the parts together. Piece. Of. Cake.
Finished images to come.
A wise person once told me, “Some days you get the monkey, and some days the monkey gets you”. The latter sums up the experience I had recently with an overly ambitions project that I began for a client.
I was commissioned to build a zeppelin chandelier. I chose (courageously, but unwisely) to make it with a certain set of techniques that, while work wonderfully in a smaller scale, turned out to have disastrous consequences for this project.
Above are images of my progress. While it may look cool, it was a long, difficult and expensive endeavor to make it that far, which btw, is less than half way.
Some things simply do not work if they are pushed to a scale that is too large. This is why we do not have giant, man eating spiders on this planet, or why whales die if they get beached. You know…physics.
The good news is that the client has been very understanding. My friend and shop mate Alan from Hero Design also helped me re-work the design in SolidWorks. I now have a working model and the train is back on track.
A while back I posted about a Little Giant power hammer that was given to me. I had held on to it for a while but realized that it was too much of a burden for me to keep. I passed it on to a nice retired man named Pete who has spent the last few months putting his soul into the old machine.
Here are some images of the work he has done. Isn’t she pretty?
I am so glad to see life breathed into the hammer. I am sure that she will have many years of life in front of her.