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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Coffee House: Brewed Bike Appeal


The Coffee House is a fairly new shop to the Philadelphia coffee scene. It's located at 113 W. Girard ave. right at Front and Girard. I stumbled upon it one day, because it was close to my studio and I was out getting lunch. What's better after lunch then a cup of coffee?

After weeks of going in there I was hooked. Derrick, the owner, is a rad dude and his employees are all really nice people. If you like coffee and enjoy a good place to drink it...go check out The Coffee House! Not only that, It's now bike friendly too.

Derrick, approached me one day about making a bike rack. There was nowhere to park your bike. You would have to either walk a block or risk locking to a very small tree. So... I got started sketching.

Here is the design I came up with, that I like to call "Drop Top Down". It maximizes space well, offers a double duty purpose (bike rack and community bulletin board) and parks the most bikes in the smallest amount of space. It does so by utilizing angled bike parking. It works really well on tight sidewalks too. Why don't you go get a cup of coffee and ride a bike there. It might just become your new favorite Java spot.

Derrick also wanted to bookend the bulletin board with plants, so I fabricated planter trays on each end.

Beyond what it was designed for...apparently it can accommodate scooter parking as well. Hmmm.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Little Reassurance.

My friend Bob came to me one day with a problem. He, as many Philadelphians can relate to, wanted a secure place to lock his bikes at home. With no room inside, he needed to resort to locking his two bikes outside. Oh, what luxury space can be.

I suggested the obvious...bike racks of course. Bob, however did not want to lock them on the street in front of his house. Rather, he wanted to lock them in the somewhat wide breezeway leading to his back yard. This way they could be safe, AND out of the elements. Good idea.

With little room to spare, I came up with a hitching post style bike rack for each bike. I wanted to keep them simple and to the point, while giving them a bit of style. Take a look.

These racks turned out well. They are simple and to the point, yet kind of elegant. I like 'em! What do you think?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Eye Candy Anyone?

I've had another request for eye appealing security windows. Eye Candy's Tim Sagges gave me a call with the question: "Can you do window bars that don't look like window bars?". I love a good challenge. "Of course I can."

See, Tim just expanded his small business from one store, to two. He recently opened a store in Liberties Walk, An ever growing entity in Northern Liberties, and he wants to protect his investment with class. He needs security bars across his six window storefront.

Tim, had shown me some examples of what he had seen and what he liked, colors, etc., then we went from there. With a little thought, some design time and a little artistic license, I came up with a set of drawings.

I went with a Mondrian style grid pattern. It's has a light feel, a flowing pattern and some style. This way the store has security with a sense of design, that overshadows the actual "window bars". They will also appear less static due to the hierarchy in grid pattern, giving an air of movement.

Tim liked the design... Yee-haw! That's cowboy for: Awesome! Now I just needed to figure out how to make it. Sometimes it's hard to translate a drawing into actual procedure. That definitely was the hardest part of this project. But, I figured it out and came up with a plan of action.

I wound up using 1 1/4" x 1/8" flat steel as the main material. Then, I laid out each window design with a grid pattern on my welding table. With the pattern set, I cut each piece to length, then actually slotted all the intersections. It was a little time consuming (maybe a little more than I would have liked), but the outcome was exactly what I wanted. Check it out.

After many, many hours and once again, lots of coffee... the process was dialed and the fabrication was complete. I slapped on a couple coats of color-matched paint and called it a day. I'm proud to say this one is a success. Take a look at the finished work.

Hey look, there's Tim.

The store looks great. The windows look great. Tim's Happy. I'm Happy. Another great project completed. So, if you want a closer look, go to the store and see for yourself.
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Rays of Sunshine in the City

My Friend Ben needed some much needed protection for his basement windows. However, he didn't want it to look that way. So, I needed to make it functional, all while keeping it feeling positive.

After some thought and using an old railing that he had salvaged, we came up with a design that will do just that. It's nice to make something that hopefully will add some cheer and a feeling of security.
"What is it?" you ask.

A sunrise for a new day.

Those wavy pieces came from a railing that was about 80 yrs. old and destined for the scrap heap. It was satisfying to reuse them and I feel the final form is pleasing to the eye.

p.s.- some pics of the painted(most likely a much brighter color) and installed window's will be posted soon.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blacksmithery...Why the Hell not?

My friend Beth, who is a wood worker, asked me if I could make a specific wood turning tool for her. See she needed a tool for turning out wooden bowls, cups, etc. After showing me a picture of what she needed, I agreed to think about it.

Having never really attempted this before, I was a little apprehensive about the whole process. See, Blacksmithery, is the process of forging iron or steel into objects. This is done by using tools to hammer, bend or cut the metal while extremely hot. This seemed to be a daunting task, but what the hell, I'll give it a shot.

First, I needed a proper hammer, to figure out my heat and to dust off the old anvil. Then I began my learning experience. After a couple test runs, and a lot of hammering... this is what I came up with. Check it out. You might just say it "turned" out well. Ha ha, sorry for the bad pun... I couldn't resist.

Thanks for taking a look. For more info on Blacksmithery, check out www.anvilfire.com