It’s been a busy week in the Studio. I’ve had many prototype ideas going through my head for ages, and I finally had some time to experiment. It’s always a bit tough for me to try out prototypes as I hate to waste the materials if it isn’t going to work out, and if they aren’t perfect, what to do with it?
First up was a production run of toy cameras. Made from Walnut for the body, and maple for the lens, these were a copy of a prototype I made (and gave away to my daughter). I love the simplicity of these, just the basics of a real camera, viewfinder-lens-shutter button. They are finished with a light coat of mineral oil, and are for sale in my Etsy Store, as well as in Patisserie La Toque in Wakefield, Quebec.
Next up, a mid-century modern inspired chair. Made from Baltic Birch plywood with padauk wedges in the through tenons. I curved the back using bent lamination and the seat is covered with an upholstery grade corduroy. I’d like to make these adult size, but for the prototype I decided to build it for a child so as to not use as much materials. It’s now my daughters favourite chair! After seeing me taking pictures of it, she yelled at me, “You’re not going to sell my chair are you???!!!”. She’s hard to please, but I clearly won her over on this one. These chairs will be custom order only as I don’t have the space to store finished chairs, and this will allow people to choose their upholstery colours.
Last up was a pyramid shaped macaron tower. Requested by Patisserie La Toque, how hard could a pyramid be to make? Turns out this was the hardest project of the week. Lots of angles made this very tricky, but with some glue, and a ton of brad nails and filler, it got completed on time and made the customer very happy. Might think twice before making another pyramid though…
Next week I’ve got some canoe paddles on the go as well as a few more prototypes to try out, stay tuned!
Last Sunday was Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. In the past I’ve made a camera for the occasion but due to time constraints and laziness I opted for a pinhole body cap on my digital camera. I love how the light flares in the picture, and it also shows how dirty my sensor is!
More info on World Pinhole day and photos from around the world HERE Click on Gallery at the top of the page for photos.
52 Create, my weekly creative outlet for 2011… As this past weekend was World Pinhole Photography Day, I decided to make a little pinhole camera just for the occasion. Last year I made the Pin-Cube, but this year I decided I’d like to test out some of my new Ilford Direct Positive Paper, so I went with the “Granny Cam”. Far simpler than last year, I simply took a tin of sweets, drilled a big hole in it, then took a throw-away pie plate and cut a square out of it, drilled a pinhole in it, and taped it to the can. The photographic paper is taped to the inside curve of the can, giving a curved focal plane, and hopefully some interesting distortions. The camera was f231, with a pinhole of .016 (drilled with a micro drill). I also spray painted the inside of the tin with flat black paint to minimize reflections.
So why the Granny Cam? Well the sweets were a type my Granny always had around the house when I was a kid. My brother brought this particular tin back for me on one of his vacations, so proud he had found “Granny’s candy”, I didn’t have the heart to tell him I never thought much of the candy myself…
No pictures yet as I’ve been busy with commissions, but one will be used for this week’s photo of the week.
52 Create, my weekly creative outburst for 2011. Hot on the heels of my first Etsy sale, I realized that I couldn’t simply wrap the camera in newspapers and send it away, I needed to give it some class. While I realize this week’s craft isn’t exactly epic, I do feel there is some importance to the first impression when the buyer opens the box, and as well you can never work hard enough to establish some great branding.
The box is made out of card stock, stapled together to form two boxes that fit inside each other. The red tissue paper was left over and my wife designed the logo (which was printed by inkjet onto the paper before I folded it). As you can see above, I gave in to the customer’s request and burnt “M9” onto the camera.
Well, after a long day of home renos, I opened up my email to find that I had made my first Etsy sale. The wooden Leica toy camera that I made for 52 Create is heading to a buyer in New York! I even accomodated their request to add “M9” on the camera. I was a bit torn as it’s supposed to be modelled after a film Leica, and the M9 actually has a slightly different shape, but the customer is always right!
I have this habit of selling old cameras and then regretting it. Usually I finish the roll off, sell the camera, then get the prints back and realize it was a great camera and I had lots of great shots from it. Then comes the regret…. What does this have to do with this week’s photo? Well it’s taken with my Yashica 124G, and it’s the second straight roll I’ve scanned and realized I wasn’t excited about any of the pictures. I mean there are a few good ones, but nowhere near as many keepers as from my other cameras. Of course it’s not the cameras fault, it works flawlessly, it just doesn’t work with my style I guess.
Anyways, that was a long intro… Photo taken in Paris on Fuji Reala with my soon to be former Yashica 124G TLR.
Toys toys and more toys…. This week, a fleet of helicopters. Is it a fleet or a flock? Perhaps a squadron, who knows…. 52 Create is my year long project of creating something myself each week for the entire year. The majority of the items are out of wood, however last week we branched out into film. Check out the projects so far.
As I said above, this week I made 3 toy helicopters. Once you make one, you might as well make a few, and I’m hoping this one will be a big seller on my Etsy shop. The helicopter is made of Douglas Fir (dark wood) and the rest is maple dowels except for the baltic birch plywood rotor. They haven’t been finished yet as the weather is too cold but they will be getting a coat of polyurethane to help keep them in pristine shape.
I’ve also at long last put the two toy rangefinder cameras up for sale on my Etsy Shop. I finished them in shellac which is a food safe finish that is even used on some candies (sweets), so it’s a very safe finish for kids who may be keen to take a bite out of them…