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Don't be fooled by all the tiny stuff I've been posting. This one was really big! (Minotaur 2011, Dimensions: 97

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Huge thanks to Rex Grignon ( @rgrignon ) for spending the day providing me with some much need tutelage. I have a nasty habit of getting into materials and processes that I don't know anything about. If it weren't for this kind of professional generosity I'd never get anywhere.

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Taking the animation project another level deeper thanks to an awesome assortment of gears from @yetiman01. They are just sort of scattered on the table here, but their potential as a set is pretty clear.

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I've been playing forklift Tetris in the shop for several days now. I'm getting pretty sick of the chaos, but looking forward to a higher functioning studio when it's all over.

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Oops..... I got another lathe. Decadent yes, but look how cute it is! I hope to set it up for detail work, bushings and the like. The real challenge will be resisting the urge to repaint and restore it.

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I was gifted an awesome set of old lathe gears today. Seeing them all laid out like this has me thinking of using them for a miniature film set.

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I didn't want to commit to polishing this whole thing, but I don't see much choice now. Removing the paint is a real adventure, not to mention removing the dents, and I've only tackled about a third of it. In the end I think it will be worth it to make it shine!

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Had to make some difficult curved cuts to the edges of the tail sections to allow for movement.

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I just took this fun time lapse video of the early stages of cutting down a F-94 aircraft tank for my latest project.  If only these things went as fast as it looks in the video!

 

I finally have a few more short screen tests of the tiny animation armatures I’ve been working on.  These little guys have been incredibly challenging for a number of reasons, but its worth it to see them come alive on screen.  Despite all the hours invested so far, I’ve still only spent a few of them actually behind the camera so there is still much to be learned about the actual art of animation.  Up to this point I’ve been focusing on miniaturizing my process and learning how to produce reliable linkages between the parts that will allow for a nice range of motion.  Up next is further study of the pacing and strategy required with the camera work to produce smooth, lifelike motion.  As you can see in these clips, things are still pretty choppy.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been in love with stop motion animation.  I would say it was early exposure to films made this way that helped convince me to pursue a life in the arts.  I’ve made a number of half hearted attempts to try the technique myself over the years, but have always met with some level of disappointment or failure.  Well, I recently mustered the nerve to give it another go:

In the span of just seven seconds I think I managed to cram about a million rookie mistakes, but its a good start none the less.

Not visible in the clip above is the rigging that had to be made in order to position the character:

mosquito1This rigging was photoshopped out of each frame after the sequence was filmed.  Now that I have a serviceable character, and a way to position and pose it, I have a lot to learn about the actual art of animation as well as pesky details such as narrative, sets, sound etc.

I mentioned before that I have usually met with some kind of misfortune at this stage.  This time my camera broke during my first day of shooting!  I’m shipping it off for repairs today, and won’t let this setback stop me this time!

mosquito2

 

Thought I’d share a few images from this years Maker Faire.  Word has it there were an estimated 130,000 attendees from over 42 countries and 49 states!  I don’t doubt it, the place was packed.  Many thanks to everyone who came by and said hi.

 

I just added a new little piece to my portfolio titled “Hang on, it gets better“:

HangOn_web2

“The discovery of an image of boys climbing the rope in gym class brought back some early trauma for me.  This piece takes a look at the sort of world in which such an activity could be considered relevant in preparation for adult life.”

Materials:

Equipment case, radio tuning dial cover, doorbell button, magazine clippings, voltage meters, LEDs.

makerflyer2Well, its that time of year again, Maker Faire is this weekend!

I’ll be bringing my large scale piece “Armed and Dangerous” as well as some new miniatures (image above) that I have been working on for a stop motion animation experiment.

Also showing in our booth will be: Mark GaltBen Cowden, Justin Kohn (Sunday only), Ben Carpenter, Colleen Paz, CTP, and Tal Avitzur.

You can find us at booth #111 in the South/East corner of Expo Hall at the San Mateo Event Center.  Saturday May 17 from 10AM to 8PM, Sunday May 18 from 10AM to 6PM.

LandFopenhouse19Above: Armed and Dangerous at Lost & Foundry’s recent open house.

 

 

HonigStudio01Last week I had the pleasure of visiting artist Al Honig in his San Francisco studio.  He’s definitely a sculptor after my own heart, a lifelong hoarder of wonderful things.  He is on the verge of some structural changes to his studio, and a shift in his creative process that led him to invite me to help myself to his awesome supply of treasures!  It was a huge treat to peruse such a carefully curated trove of found objects.  Below is a collection of images from the visit, and the resulting pile of stuff that made it back to my studio.  Countless creative possibilities here.

Thanks for your tremendous generosity Al!

Here are a few examples of Al’s work from his website:

HangingOutWithArt

Hanging Out with Art 1999
64″ x 20″ x 15″

IBentOverBackwards

I Bent Over Backwards For You
And This Is What I Got 1998
13″ x 6″ x 5″Money

Money Piece 1998
3″ x 6″ x 1″ US-Product-angle

US Products 2006
14″ x 8″ x 12″

 

 

Yesterday the New York Times ran an article by Trevor Tondro about the fabulous home of Jonathan and Wendy Segal in San Diego.  The impeccable taste of its owners was demonstrated by the placement of two of my smaller pieces: “Psychos-O-matic” and “A Head for Numbers” (Works by Dan Jones were also shown but not credited).  Its always a joy for me to see where these pieces wind up, especially when its in homes as lovely as this.

20140320-LOCATION-slide-MXRX-superJumboPhoto: Trevor Tondro

PsychosOmatic20092“Pyschos-O-Matic” 2009 Photo: Cameron Platt

 

Numbers“A Head for Numbers” 2009 Photo: Nemo Gould

 

Our technological age brings us closer to people we don’t actually know.  Many of whom, we’d rather not.  This fellow uses his limited processing power to fill the internet with thoughtless commentary.  You’re welcome.

15″ x 15″ x 8″

Materials:

Typewriter, stenotype machine, calculator, film camera, coffee pot handle, binoculars, relay, wall paper, book binding paper, light bulbs, LEDs

Troll

 

openstudio2I’m pleased to announce that my studio collective Lost & Foundry will be having another open house and exhibit!

Join us at the event on Saturday, March 15 from 4-8 PM at 305 Center Street, Oakland, CA.

We are literally bursting at the seams with talented people these days.  Join us to view the work and studios of:

Nemo Gould
Sean Orlando
Christopher Palmer
David Shulman
Peter Kropf
Ari Derfel
Tom Sepe
Alan Rorie
Jeff Hantman
Ben Carpenter
Daniel Yasmin
Matt Feeney

If you can’t find anything here that interests you, you should probably see a doctor.

LandFopenhouse201301

You can see photos from our last event in February 2013 here.

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