Friday, May 27, 2011

TED and Nancy

A couple of weeks ago, wrote about the death (invulnerability) of craft. The crux of the issue was the communication of tacit knowledge from one person to another in a contemporary context. I used glassblowing as an example of a craft that is prospering against the odds. Serendipitously, a week later glassblower Nancy Callan gave a TED Talk describing her work and her journey into the craft of glassblowing. In many ways, Nancy is the embodiment of the modern craftsperson and is a perfect example of what I was talking about.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Who says you need to buy a guitar?

I had to post a couple of videos from my friend Zeke Leonard.  In addition to being a very talented maker and musician, Zeke has recently developed a penchant for stringing up inanimate objects and turning them into instruments. Too good!

There also a "canjo" and Jack White after the jump!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Time and Materiality

Last summer, I was invited by Deborah Clemons at the RISD Museum to do an audio recording for one of the glass pieces they have in their collection. The museum wanted contemporary artists to respond to ancient pieces in their collection. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity, if not just to get a closer look at some of the ancient glass they have in their collection. By the way, they have an absolutely spectacular glass collection! The piece that I was to speak about was a beautiful and simple roman glass amphora.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Products!

Today is the last day of Model Citizens NYC (single tear). This year's show was better than ever! The work, the people, the space, the shop, the marketing, the everything: all amazing!
This year I decided to sell some goods in the shop and over the last weeks I did some small production runs of some small items: BB Rattles, Stampo Cups, and Acorn Pods.

I'm very excited about all of these new pieces and so far the response has been overwhelmingly positive. I'm planning having them available for sale in an online store very soon!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Model Citizens NYC 2011

It's that time of year again!

NY Design Week(end) and ICFF are just around the corner May 13-16th. Once again I will be participating in Model Citizens NYC, a dynamic offsite show founded/organized by the amazing Mika Braakman.
I wont have a booth this year, but will be selling three different items in the Pop-up Shop: Acorn Pods, Stampo Cups, and BB Rattles.
I'll updating my website and posting some process photos by the end of week so stay tuned! 

If you are in the NYC area or will be coming through for the design circus, Model Citizens NYC is a show not to be missed. Also, There will be cocktails Saturday night May 14 4-8PM so stop by, grab some booze, and say "Hi".

Model Citizens NYC
2011 Exhibition
The Chelsea Art Museum
556 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10011
(212) 255-0719

Friday May 13: 10AM – 7PM,
Press Event 4 – 7PM
Saturday May 14: 10AM – 8PM,
Cocktails 4 – 8PM
Sunday May 15:10AM – 6PM

Event flyer and more info after the jump.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Flesh is Material Too

The image above is a picture of my right hand taken several days ago (Note: I apologize for the graphic grizzle sports fans, but I am trying to make a point! There's a little more after the jump, so you've been warned.) Looking at this image makes me think about Conan's "Riddle of Steel". In the epic John Milius movie, Conan the Barbarian, Thusla Doom told Conan that the answer to the riddle was "that flesh was stronger that steel". Thulsa was right (sort of), but to see the picture of my cut hand you would think he was wrong, and not because correct because it was glass that actually cut my hand, but hold that thought!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Internet and The Death of Craft


Last month I took a trip up to Saratoga Springs NY for the Northeastern Woodworkers Association Annual meeting. It was the first woodworking event and it was very interesting in many ways reasons. 
Firstly, I was clearly in the minority age-wise. I wouldn’t venture to guess what the average age of the attendees but the predominant hair color was grey. Secondly, I saw with mine own two eyes a handful of woodworking personalities that had previously only existed as photonic apparitions of pixels or merely in printed matter. Yes, Peter Follansbee does exist and his beard is glorious!
Thirdly, I got to hear a firsthand account of the state of craft and the gospel according to Chris Schwarz (who, I was also pleased to confirm actually exists). Chris’s talk on “The Anarchist Toolchest” was certainly the highlight the weekend (Follansbee’s beard being a close second). Chris touched on a wide range of subjects, many of which resonated very strongly with me and that I that I have been mulling over in the past weeks.  In addition to the practical aspects of designing and building a toolchest, Chris delved into the philosophical and subversive aspects of tool storage (I love that sentence!). More specifically what tools do you really need, what you will make with these tools, and what these tools will mean to future generations. Anybody who has responsibly enjoyed beverages with me in the last year knows that one of my favorite topics of discussion is “toolchests and the apocalypse” (fyi: that’s one topic not two) Sufficed to say, this talk (and his upcoming book on the subject) was right up my alley. I’ll get into the apocalypse in the near future, but for the subject of this blog post want to speak to some of Chris’s points about tools for future generations and the state of learning craft.