Thursday, August 25, 2016


I went to an auction the other day.  It was kind of intense.  They were selling everything!  The company manufactured lockets.  They were apparently the largest manufacturer of lockets in the world. From the size of the place and the number of machines they had I am not surprised.  

It was fascinating to see the kick-press stations set up to make an object. The first, presses the metal. The second punches the metal.  The third bends the metal and so on.  

I was also kind of sad.  They are seriously downsizing.  It was almost like going to the pound and seeing all the animals in their cages.  There was a guy who bought probably 100 kick-presses just to dismantle them for the legs.  Apparently in NYC people pay top dollar for a side boy with cast iron legs.  The top just gets scraped.  

If I had a larger studio I probably would have tried to bid on the bridgeports, southbend lathes or screwpresses they had.  Also I would have needed a truck and a forklift. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

The end of summer

Liz and I have been trying to give ourselves a break before school starts by just not doing anything. I don't know who we were trying to kid.  It is like asking someone not to breathe.  After about ten minutes of sitting around we get bored and then start finding things to do. For example, re-arranging the furniture in the house or baking bread.

I have been trying to go up to school to provide input/suggestions to Brian who is re-working parts of the metals studio. We ordered some very nice cabinets and we are installing them in the 3D print room, the sophomore room and the grad room. 

While I was at school I was invited to try out the new HTC VIVE.  It is a new VR head set.  If you have not had a chance to try it or if you find yourself in a position to try it, YOU SHOULD. It is amazing. It is not like the cheapo, slide in your cell phone in the side model. It is full emerson. You can interact with your environment and the handhelds provide some feedback through vibration. I would highly recommend the drawing in 3D space app. It is very intuitive. They trying out some CAD software, which is very similar to sculptris.  So far so good. The unit costs around $800 but you will need a computer with a serious processor and video card to make it work without lag. All of this together and you are looking more at $3,000.00! I was told that it one of the best models on the market.  It compensates for motion-sickness by using 360 degree tracking and chaperone guidance software to keep you from running into a wall. After having the headset on for a few minutes you will quickly understand how amazing this thing is. 

On a completely unrelated note, taco had to have five teeth pulled. Poor little mush mouth. He is already back to his normal self. I will say that his breath has improved immensely. 

 I have been working on some handouts for this upcoming semester. One of my classes focuses on CAD for jewelry. Its has been nice to be able to teach this class on just jewelry for once. It narrows the focus just enough to make real strides in designing curriculum. A lot of the class has to do with designing and visualizing in the software. Basically rendering. I found some books in special collections at the RISD library that are blowing my mind.  One book in particular had hand rendered jewelry from Vienna. 

A couple of days ago Liz and I went to a Portuguese street festival in New Bedford.  It was amazing.  They had an open BBQ pit where you can grill your own food.  You rent these giant skewers and can buy meat or bring your own.  They only sold meat so all of the vegetables and pork and chicken you see in the photo was brought in by each individual BBQ'er.  Liz and I are already strategizing for next year! 

Monday, August 1, 2016

back to work

Liz and I just got back from a quick jaunt to Richmond. It was sort of a chaotic trip. Our car broke down and we were car-less for a while, stranded at my parents house. We did get a chance to visit the quirk hotel and see their new rooftop bar. If you have not been I would highly recommend it. You can see almost all of Richmond! 

We spent almost the entire trip cleaning out my parents garage.  We found so many little memories. It was a little overwhelming.  After a while you realize that if you went through every little thing you would never get rid of anything.  We basically threw out anything that was trash and took a ton of stuff to goodwill.  Unfortunately, we barely made a dent.

I am getting back into work mode and looking for diagrams for my small metals classes here at RISD.  I bought a swiss goldmsithing training manual a while back.  It has proved to be a great resource for small sketches and step by step tutorials.  Of course none of it is in english.

While were in Richmond we hit up the Fine Arts Museum.  They were showing a Kehinde Wiley exhibition. It was incredible to see it.

I have been working on creating a workflow to reduce the poly-count of detailed models in order to send the to our printers. Its kind of a great problem to have considering the level of detail these things print in. 

I am looking forward to having the new TIG welder set up in Metals.  We are going to set it up to weld copper and steel.  We are just waiting on the electrician to put a plug on it.  

The last set of photos are of a carving knife I found in my parents garage.  It is engraved sterling silver.  I cannot find a makers mark or stamp anywhere on it.  I am going to throw it under the scope and check it out.