I don’t think that there’s a single phase in my life that can’t appropriately be described by a Tom Waits album. A few weeks ago, I was all ‘Orphans : Bawlers’. Lately, the clean sounds of ‘The Heart of Saturday Night’ slide around me like the most comfortable thing in the world.

It’s not easy to do something important every day, and it’s more than a little exhausting. The last week or so was spent completing 56 Star Wars sketch cards in an extremely limited amount of time, and almost all of them came out well. While I feel like I could have done the Ugnaught or the Ishi Tib a little more stylishly, I’m fairly pleased, overall – and I’m hoping that the appeal of these as they are discovered is enormous. Here are a few favorites :

5-HermiOdle13-emperor11-quarren32-gran

After this was done, I put the finishing touches on my Droplet, which I will mail to the UK tomorrow.

droplet
When I was done with that, I threw together two entries to the New Yorker’s Eustace Tilly 2010 contest. I kinda dig the fact that these two entries are so drastically different. While the contest website indicated that pieces would be accepted through the 18th, the submission process seemed to close at the stroke of midnight between the 17th an 18th, leaving the second piece in question. While I sent a ‘please help me’ e-mail to the website, I’m not sure if this submission will be accepted – which is really disappointing.

eustace

EusteamWEB

I anxiously await the arrival of some prototypes from Ponoko in both MDF and black acrylic, and in the meantime, I’m working out the engineering details of some lamps I’d love to make out of laser-cut acrylic. As all of the materials from Ponoko are flat sheets, it’s always a challenge to balance a structure that can only be made of 90 degree angles with some form of visual grace – not unlike LEGO, I suppose. Long curving legs on things that branch out from a well-disguised cubic form seem to be what I’m working on now. Joints are impractical unless you incorporate your own dowels or hinges, though not impossible – I did create a 360 degree joint from a carefully-measured cut circle and a square peg. Each tiny mechanism that I can work out feels like a whole new set of creative doorways opening up.

So, I’ve been sketching out lamps that are inspired by this table :

drippingtable
The idea of a structure that is entirely supported by something that provides an entirely different mental cue is fascinating to me – and if that structure can incorporate light somehow, even better. After discovering that there are sockets that actually turn light sockets into electrical outlets, the potential for hanging lamps also became a reality. Ideally, I’d like to explore the potential for lamps that are both wired, use CFLs, or contain battery powered LEDs and can be cordless, and I’m experimenting with how hot these little 40-watt bulbs can get, and what glues will join acrylic sheets, and what shapes I can accomplish. It’s like solving a hundred little puzzles that all fit into one larger puzzle, and it’s very exciting for me.