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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Learning Experience

The Solar-powered bike rack project for Honey's took some doing. Once all the details were worked out and the project was rolling along...I definitely hit some bumps along the way. Little things that you don't realize are gonna take forever...do. Mistakes are inevitable and progress is key. I learned a lot about procedure and technique. The right way of doing things and the infinite amount of possibilities that the proper tools offer.

I made sculpture for art sake in college and it was fun. But making form to suit function in a creative way is awesome! Designing work on paper and then making it real is quite a rewarding feeling for me. I love making things.

After countless hours, coffee breaks and lots of hard work...Here is the final outcome. please take a look.

First, the "Spiral".

Notice the details at each end of the spiral.

Next is the "Grid". Also notice that they have been powder coated clear to keep that raw metal feel and so they can patina.

I really like this piece. It turned out exactly how I envisioned it.

Here's the face...
and the display base.

Then the "Cactus". I like the proportions on this one. It's simple and tall and it's all in the details.
Finally, all three in a row. They look nice all lined up, especially when they are loaded with bikes. Soon I'll post some pics of them lit up at night, so you can see them in full effect. Please go check em' out next time you're up that way. If you like, leave a comment and let me know what you think . Thanks.
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Flying or Falling?

Now that I had declared independence...What do I do with myself? The hardest thing to adjust to, was being constructive on my own time. At first I thought "This is AWESOME! I can do whatever I want!". That's the nice thing about being your own boss. Yup it's awesome alright, until you realize you have no work. That's the weird thing. I've never had to depend on myself to find work before. Don't get me wrong, I've been doing freelance for years, but never without a "day job". It's always been extra cash. Now it's paying the bills.

Since I didn't have any work, and no real direction other that a skill set...I wasn't really making the most of this venture. To bide my time and figure some things out while trying to find creative work, I took on a few odd jobs. They varied from working on friend's houses, bike work, to a day or two here and there working for my Pop as an electrician. Luckily, my Dad has taught me a lot in my lifetime so far, I find myself very capable of finding work. Especially when it comes to house repair and restoration. See I was my Dad's helper(whether I wanted to or not) as a kid. I'm glad this was the case, because I learned plenty working on my parent's house.

About a month had gone by, doing odd jobs and sorting out my situation, and then BAM! Around mid-March 2008 I found my first job. While talking to my friends over at Honey's, the topic of bike racks, or lack there of, came up. They needed bike racks desperately. I'm a bike rider, and going there on the weekends, sometimes I would have to park two blocks away. After some discussion and some sketches, this project was set in motion.

Honey's Sit n' Eat is at 800 N.th 4th street in Philadelphia. It's a tasty place to eat, in a changing neighborhood called "Northern Liberties". Which once was an Industrial fallout zone, now is a bustling hood full of energy. A long time Philadelphian once described it to me "It was like an abandoned movie set. Because after 4pm, once the few workers left for the day...nothing but silence. Just scenery.". Honey's is on the corner of 4th and Brown. 4th street has a bus stop on it, so Brown street was the best location for these new racks.

First the number of racks were chosen, "3" and then the actual form. We had talked about different concepts and design aspects of this project. Deciding on an Industrial feel with some organic properties. This best matched the "feel" of the neighborhood and the "style" of the restaurant. The three concepts decided upon were a Spiral, with the properties of Pi built in. A Cactus, and a Grid of sorts. The "Grid" is the centerpiece with organic placement and flow. Book-ended by the "Cactus" and "Spiral".

To top off these racks, no pun intended, is a brand spanking new idea. Solar- powered, lit menu displays mounted on top of each rack. The two outside racks have an 8 1/2" x 11" viewing area, while the center rack has a larger 11" x 17" viewing area. These not only will be used for menu viewing, but also for advertising, artist awareness and community bulletins. They are linked to a solar panel on the roof of Honey's, which was installed just for this project. Honey's Sit N' Eat, strives as a business to be sustainable and as earth friendly as possible. With This project they are moving one step closer.

I was really excited about this project. I had a lot of free reign when it came to concept and design. I was totally excited when the owners decided to go with my solar-powered lit menu display idea, as well as the designs themselves. This was a worthwhile project that took some time doing. It allowed me to combine design and technology into one earth friendly social purpose. I was very happy with the outcome. Final pics of the installed pieces are to come soon.