Saturday, April 28, 2012

And now for something completely different...

The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Sometimes things don't go the way you planned. Above is the scene I found having opened the kiln containing my furnace-glass chunks on Wednesday afternoon. I can't entirely say I didn't see this coming. When closed I latches on the kiln doors two weeks ago, I felt a distinct wave of dread wash over me. It also didn't help that two days later, I got a voicemail on saturday morning letting me know that there was the very real possibility that the kiln may  have been off for 12 hours the previous evening (the three surrounding kilns had all malfunction. I knew, deep in my cockles and sub-cockles, my glass was doomed.

It happens, glass breaks.. You shed a single tear and move on to what next. Hopefully you can maintain some perspective and realize that failure can be a constructive mode of learning. In this case, I was reminded that somethings are simply out of my hands.

But I have to say, this one still smarts.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hitting my stride

"If you're going through hell, keep going."
Winston Churchill
I second weekend in a row that I have been going full-tilt in the studio getting things ready for NYC design week. This is the last two days, i'll be in the making things in Brooklyn. I am making good progress, but I still have miles to go before I sleep. Here are a couple of teaser images of what I am working on.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The waiting is the hardest part.

“Via con Dios”
Johnny Utah, Point Break

On Wednesday night, crossed my fingers and I closed the door on a kiln at RISD containing three large chunks of beautifully fractured glass. The glass came from the glassblowing furnace rebuild two years ago. The glass was left in the furnace and the gas was shut off. Without annealing, as the glass cooled it self-destructed producing hundreds of pounds of amazing glass chunks. I found these chunks by the loading dock at school where waiting to be trashed. Well, not if I had anything to do with it! I grabbed a couple of boxed, picked through the pile to find the choice-chunks and saved as much as I could fit in my trunk (which was already full). The chunks sat on a shelf in my studio for the past two years. Every time someone came to the studio and saw them what followed was some string of ooh’s, ahh’s and general lusting.

Several months ago, I reckoned it was time to do something with these big honking jewels and I always thought that they would somehow make an amazing component for lighting. Instead of building something around them I decided I would build something that went directly into the chunks, which would mean I would have to core drill into the chunks. Below is a mockup of what I am thinking:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Knock, knock...

Who's there?
Orange who?
Orange you glad you children jump on your crappy knock off designer chair?

Here's by little video by Fritz Hanson USA of a little comparison testing for their Series 7 Chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen. This chair has probably been knocked off directly or indirectly more than any other chair I can think of.

This video is proof that all plywood chairs are not created equal.

Via Dwell

Friday, April 6, 2012

Like sands through the hourglass...

This video of my friend Prof. Ken Karmin was recently posted on the MIT News webpage and it describes some of the issues of modeling granular material flow. It's amazing to me that this simple, ubiquitous, essential type of material is still largely misunderstood and handled so poorly. I also can't help but draw the comparison to the intuitive contradictions and seemingly multi-state nature of glass.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


“If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don't bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.”
― R. Buckminster Fuller