Electric Art, Clear Ice, and... Chicken Houses
Sometimes (well, many many times), Shawn Michael and I have ideas. We have ideas about things we want to make, things we wished existed, and musings on how things could be other than they are.
This is one huge reason why we started making sculptural lighting. Regular lamps were boring. We thought to ourselves, "what if we could add light to a room and have the source of that light also be an attractive addition to the decor?" Gee, what a novel idea. We started looking around to see what was out there, and found some less offensive lighting implements. Most of the lamps that didn't bother us so much were extremely minimalist, modern apple-esque products. I have to hand it to Ikea, they know how to do some fun stuff with lighting, but EVERYONE has one in their apartment. Those from Restoration Hardware looked a little too restored. We can appreciate cool, classy minimalism, but we're also texture lovers, and there was very little out there to satisfy our love of industrial rust and skeletal leaves.
So we made some of our own. Our focus is not primarily function, but primarily art. We aim that each piece of sculpture be a centerpiece, admirable at day or night, whether lit or unlit. Think of it as art that happens to be charged with electricity. By creating art for our space, we also solved the problem of wanting a light source, without having an ugly floor lamp stuck behind the couch.
I've heard it over and over, from Tim Ferris, 37signals, and the guys over at Studio Neat: "scratch your own itch." If there's something you're missing, find it. If it doesn't exist, make it. It is becoming SO EASY to make things.
Here's another example. Shawn Michael and I enjoy craft cocktails. Even though we found these great ice-cube trays that make giant square blocks of ice for our improved whiskey cocktails, they were always cloudy. They weren't beautiful, clear cubes like you find at Tractor Room and Craft & Commerce. We thought to ourselves, "how can we make clear ice at home?" Like many of these questions, it fell between the cracks of working hard and making art and going to school, and we kept on making ice in our square ice-cube trays. Then one day a few weeks ago, we saw this on Kickstarter:
Yep, Studio Neat figured out how to create the tool to make clear ice at home. I also found the documented experiments of Camper English on how to make bulk batches of crystal clear ice. If I ever have enough space in my freezer, the cooler is going to turn into one big ice tray! In the meantime, we backed the Neat Ice Kit on Kickstarter and are looking forward to having that little itch scratched. You can get in on the action too - the project will be fully funded (and closed to new orders) on Friday the 27th at 9PM.
I don't know if we'll always make art with an "on/off" switch, but I think we'll always be making something.
Next on my list is an automatic chicken coop door to let our little urban flock out in the morning. The only thing that should see me that early is my cup of coffee.