Grilling season is here. Some of us are just a lot better and more innovative at it than others. Early tool development began with our need to compete for food. I think super primitive means of cooking outside like the one pictured above are some of the most elegant appliances we have. That thing probably does laundry too. Via the Meat Market in Great Barrington. (Heading there right now!!)
A friend brought ISS back to my attention. It’s good to remember that it’s out there. I almost spec’d it for a store once. They sent a rep to my office; nice people. It’s a great aluminum extrusion based shelving system with very elegant joinery. Lots of components. Lots of configurations. Check it out here.
Via the New York Times’ Lively Morgue blog, “In 1955, a 14-year-old with ambitions to go to the moon built a robot he named Gismo, winning the Industrial Arts Competition run by the Ford Motor Company. Gismo walked, talked and waved his arms, and he cost $15 to make. He was one of 72 examples of craftsmanship by teenagers on display at the Waldorf-Astoria.” (via silencematters)
So what’s wrong with us now? Can our kids still do this? Are they less educated? Less mechanically inclined? Are the tools of manufacture too complex and removed from them? Are the skills of manual labor devalued bu their surrounding people and culture?
I think the entire system of early childhood development and education is completely out of alignment with reasonable expectations for the life goals of the majority of American children and teaches them to devalue rudimentary materials and skills that were the grist for the mill of human innovation for millenia. I am percolating and bringing together ideas from a number of directions in which I’ working at the moment and hope to arrive at a cohesive early childhood educational philosophy in the next year or two.
In 2007 I designed and fabricated this apparatus for my friends Erik and Jessica at Phantom Limb Co. to remotely open and close doors on a marionette stage for their performance, Dear Mme at BAM. By connecting the hinge pins to gears, I was able to use a hand cranked bicycle chain mechanism to control the hinges from underneath and behind the stage. I just put up some photos on a project page here, but need to put the video here until I figure some more stuff out with this site.
I just totally stumbled on this. Sometimes you have to randomly click page 9 on a google search to get to the good stuff. Check out Stan the Old Hardware Man. He sells discontinued hardware. These cabinet pulls are pretty sweet– the kind of stuff I only see on enameled kitchen pieces being thrown out on mid-western sidewalks.
I’m really proud of this table I just did for Dolce Vita. I had drawn it as a super simple, single piece welded brass frame. But I went and double checked the freight elevator and stairwell in the Puck building and knew there was no way in hell it was going to get up to its new home. It had to be made in pieces. Oh but where to put the seams?!?!? Hide them in the corners or bury them in plain sight? I came up with this little cube detail for the middle of each side with reveals around it and used it as a coupling that slides into the four corner elements and holds it all together. I was nervous that it would look fussy and silly. I don’t think it does. I’m psyched. Looks good. Check it out.
I was just searching for cabinet pulls for a client (nothing like these, I assure you fair reader) and thought I’d see who’s making a break for it on Etsy when I came across these fake cupcake drawer pulls. Umm… genius and delightful? And totally grotesque? I’m not sure I’d ever be able to open a drawer for fear of messing up the icing. Shimrita says her(?) cupcakes are “handmade from scratch.” Love it. I would like to know what they’re made from to look so real, but I’m sure it’s a recipe best kept a secret. This is the best product Emilie Baltz never designed. Rock on Shimrita…