posts tagged with the keyword ‘making’

2016.11.26

ART

“Sometimes we don’t understand the significance of something until we create it.”

2015.11.04

Blogging: 2015


It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a “bloggers your should follow” post, so it’s time. I mean, I’m sure you’re content with just reading the insane ramblings at RasterWeb!, but there are some people I know who are doing some amazing sharing, or are new at the game and could use a few more eyeballs, so here’s the list… and yes, they are all maker-focused.

handverkerfrankieflood.blogspot.com – Frankie Flood is responsible for the DCRL at UWM and a prolific maker and crafts-person. He shares many of his own projects (which often involve motorcycles or vehicle rebuilds) and he also shares the work of his students, and things that inspire him.

Bryan Cerabryancera.blogspot.com – Bryan is a former student of Frankie’s and leans a lot more towards physical computing projects involving computers and electronics. He also shares project with lots of photos and great detail. Like Frankie, some of Bryan’s posts involve things he’s working on for his students. (Instructors take note: blogging is a great way to document your curriculum!)

BridgeMakerchadbridgewater.blogspot.com – Chad is another former student of Frankie’s (sheesh!) and he’s a lot more focused on machines and machining and has a love of old tools. Like Frankie and Bryan, Chad also shares projects he works on for his students. Chad tends to do multiple posts for projects so you get to follow along with the progress. It’s better than TV!

MAINSPRINGjohnmcgeen.blogspot.com – John McGeen is a co-worker, friend, and also a former student of Frankie’s (see a trend here?) John is an obsessive maker, in a good way! I somehow convinced him to start blogging many months ago, and since then I’ve been greeted with documentation of his projects and skills on a weekly basis. There’s even been a bit of cross-over where we’ve worked on projects together, which is totally awesome, in my book. John’s also a motorcycle and vehicle guy (like Frankie) but he’s always trying something new, which is very inspiring.

Digital Fabrication and Designdigitalfabricationanddesign.blogspot.com – Caitlin Driver is a current student of Frankie’s and spends her days (and nights) in the DCRL at UWM merging art and technology through digital fabrication. Caitlin is documenting most of her work in grad school — from exploration to process to finished piece — which is going to be extremely valuable in the future. (Bonus! Caitlin has another blog at caitlindriver.com/blog)

VRvishalrana.net – Vishal is a member of Milwaukee Makerspace and one of the main organizers of Maker Faire Milwaukee, and he’s finally starting to document his projects. If you want to keep an eye on some projects you might see at the next Maker Faire, keep an eye on Vishal’s posts.

Kathy’s Worldkathy.lt – Kathy is also a member of Milwaukee Makerspace and one of the main organizers of Maker Faire Milwaukee. She’s just recently started blogging but I’m hoping if we keep bugging her she’ll keep going, because she works on a lot of awesome things, and the sharing them with the world would be a good thing.

Well that was fun! All of these people are friends of mine, and they do cool things, so check them out, and hopefully you’ll be inspired to make something.

2015.03.27

Sketch

Graduate reviews are done, and I got feedback from faculty on my current work. I was a great opportunity to gain insight into how others view the work I do. Typically these sort of things help reveal ideas that you don’t think about while making the work, or bring up new questions in regards to why you make specific choices.

One of the interesting takeaways from today was when a few of my pieces were called “sketches”. If you think about a sketch, it’s defined as “a rough or unfinished drawing or painting, often made to assist in making a more finished picture.” Many of the pieces I created are experiments, or explorations of ideas. They’re often not highly crafted pieces. I appreciate craft and people who are skilled at creating beautiful objects, but I often think I don’t have it in me to do that sort of thing.

I thought more about sketches, and the fact that in the Processing and Arduino worlds, the programs are called “sketches”. As I understand it, this was done specifically to appeal to artists and creative people who didn’t have a background in computers. Tell an artist they are going to write a computer program, and that’s a frightening proposition, but tell the same artist they are going to create a sketch and that’s an achievable goal.

I sketch with physical things…

That’s today’s revelation. Many of the things I make are real-world sketches. The physical manifestation of an idea. Often there’s an immediacy to the creating of the thing, but not always. I tend to work in two ways. The first is a reactionary mode, where I have an idea and act on it immediately. I start building without too much thought, and see what the process and the piece reveal. The second method involves thinking, designing, and prototyping as an iterative process. The pieces created from the second method are often more polished, but both methods produce valid work, and the reaction to each kind of work may be equal (meaning, people don’t always gravitate to the work that had more initial thought or took more time.)

Oh, I also want to drop the other definition of sketch here, “a short humorous play or performance, consisting typically of one scene in a comedy program.” This also relates to some of my work, but I’m going to leave that exploration to a future post.

2014.12.29

The Floyd Leg

You may have seen The Floyd Leg somewhere online, maybe from the Kickstarter campaign that pulled in over $250,000, or perhaps Instagram or Pinterest?

It’s an interesting take on table legs, and well executed. From a marketing standpoint, I like the story they’re telling. (And I’m a jaded marketing expatriate!)

The thing I like about The Floyd Leg is not that it’s the greatest idea ever, but that it’s an idea that became a product that became an ecosystem of inspirational way to use the product.

I mean, take a look at these c-clamp legs I spotted at ReStore a few days ago:

C-Clamp Legs

Chances are good that some guy in his workshop said “Dang! I need some tables legs… well, here’s a few c-clamps, and metal pipe, and I’ve got a welder…” and then, bam! C-Clamp Legs!

The “C-Clamp Legs” didn’t become a product, or have a campaign where you could pre-order them, or a web site with lovely photos and videos, or any social media accounts. The C-Clamp Legs just solved a problem someone had.

Sometimes making is about solving your own problems, and sometimes making can be about solving problems that others have as well. If you can make money doing the latter, good for you!

2014.04.27

Two Cardinals

I’ve got a confession to make; lately I’ve been busy doing work that’s keeping me stuck behind a computer (or a camera) and while you may be concerned that all those lovely tools in the basement are sitting idle, they aren’t… in fact, Dana’s been putting them to good use.

She’s started documenting some of her most recent projects at twocardinals.com. Yes, my wife is now making and blogging. Pretty sweet! Since I haven’t made anything cool lately, you might as well check out what she’s been up to. :)

In the past few weeks she’s refinished a sewing table, made a bird-tracking chalkboard, showed off some personalized switch plates, and protected her plants.

Working!

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