Space Exploration

Where we work tells the story of who we are. I enjoy space planning and getting the most out of small environments. I don’t enjoy excessive space filled with… well, space. Also not a fan of architectural spaces that offer volumes of open space. I find the echoes of cloppity-clopping of feet on marble surfaces and reverently hushed voices annoying. This seems an American thing, where scale of space and purpose are out of synch. Visiting Europe, or older sections of large cities anywhere, I find the ratio of space to purpose in better proportion. Less pretence, more utilization and intimacy – and less hallowed shrine to the gods of capitalism, perhaps?

I once expanded operations from a shared purpose three car garage to a facility of over 4,500s.f. – thinking more was better. But, what I found was a sense of inefficiency. A friend once commented that space had a tendency to fill itself. He was right. It’s like a lifeform with an insatiable appetite for “stuff”, leading to a need for more space. It was amazing how much junk became “necessary”.

In 2019, I down-sized everything by eliminating redundant accumulated equipment (donated to a Maker Center), and clearing/recycling “stuff.” The process was liberating.

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An Inspiration from the West

The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco is a familiar icon of the city. Building started in 1969, opening in 1972, it stood ready to take on the worst quakes of the region.

My take on the iconic pyramid

I remember the stories about its design approach and why the shape was chosen.

My take features the pyramid – but also includes expression of the structural base. with an internal pyramid reflector element. I also created lighted features at the base and exaggerated the expressed elevator core wings as lighting features. The open mid section captures the open and lighted feeling one gets when approaching the structure from the ground level. I also opened the peak section, as a nod to the two lighted window sections.

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Exclusivity of Works Offered

The objects created and offered through Lumenique are not production products. Lumenique is the name of my design studio, not a product manufacturing organization.

The following is extracted from my Terms page, describing how I characterize and keep records of completed works.

Provenance Record Keeping

Every product made is identified by a unique serial number code label placed on its base. This serial number is logged into the Lumenque database with a reference image and description, and data indicating the item completion date, and type of work coded (see definitions below.) The unique serial number can also be used to replace a work that has been destroyed – with proof and return of the remains of the destroyed item, on which a quote for replacement will be issued for approval prior to remaking the lost work. For this reason, we recommend keeping a record of the serial number for future reference.

Definitions of Terms Used
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About Plastics Use in Lighted Objects

There is a very real concern that plastics are harming our environments. To some, this means that anything made from the stuff is to be avoided as dangerous. Which is unfortunate. As it is with any raw material, there are pros and cons to be considered – so objectivity is key to understanding.

Since a great deal of what I make uses 3D printed plastic, I am sensitive to how potential customers perceive it. I am also aware of the role plastics play in improving our lives, as well as the damage being done by abuse of the material.

The following is a brief of how I see plastics use as it relates to what I am directly involved in – founded on 12 years of development.

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Paths to Realization of an Art Object

Doing artwork for a living does not require you be crazy to begin with, but it will certainly get you there. Whether it’s illustration work, photography, painting, or making lighted objects, every work has a piece of the author baked into it. That’s what separates art from product design or graphics. So what happens with the resulting product is equally personal.

As a lighting designer, I felt a personal connection with my work, but the intimacy was diluted by the number of people between the creative vision and the end product. The finished design and process was a team-involved collective effort. The myopia and hyper vigilance over details invisible to others softened the self criticism. Few can visualize light in space during the design process – that’s what makes lighting design a true professional art (sorry lighting science nerds, it is not about formulas and compliance, it is art, even when it isn’t.) That means that even when the end product was less than artistically perfect, you still create magic.

The same cannot be said of works created with your own hands, where you own the entire process from inspiration to finished object in hand. Every detail, surface, finish, mistake and success, are 100% on the creator. Imperfect is failure; Just send it to the landfill – I’m going to work at the Home Depot stocking shelves, I suck!

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Commissioning Request

I enjoy the freedom of creating on my own. However, my real passion lies in delighting customers with objects that enhance their environment by enabling and bringing to life their own design vision. I invite anyone with a specific idea they would like to see realized to consider me a resource in realizing that vision. My customers include Lighting Consultants, Interior Designers, Architects, Manufacturers, Lighting Agencies, and Individuals who value art and unique objects built around their specific tastes and wants. I have made and designed products for residential, hospitality, gaming, coprorate, residential, and office environments.

My job is to see your vision realized, or want satisfied.

You can contact me directly through email, or phone call to start the dialog, or take a moment to collect some thoughts as follows:

The Process

The process is simple. We will work together to create a commission brief that includes descriptions and sketches of the object you wish to have. This can be as rough as a general description you’d like me to work from, to as detailed as your giving me a CAD file to base a design on. This brief includes estimated time to complete, deadlines, finishes, costs involved, and any specific terms involved with creating the desired work. Once agreed upon, I begin work and will provide regular updates as the project progresses.

There is no charge or cost involved, until we have agreed on the project, a formal quote has been created, and accepted by you, with the terms and conditions clearly understood.

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Building Scale and Reference Imagery

I realize that it can be difficult to determine the scale of objects from dimensions. It’s also a little difficult to see something in an application setting, in scale to its surroundings.

While I have included images of the objects from several views, with background light on and off, and have videos of them in 360 degree views – until now, I have not had any scale reference images. After mulling this over for some time, I believe I came up with a solution.

In order to assist viewers in seeing the scale of a product, and how it might look in application, I am creating scale reference images that will be added to the web site in the next few days. I thought I’d give everyone a preview of what’s coming here. So here goes.

Scale Reference

I decided to use the familiar 6′ human form for scale reference, using an artist’s mannequin for. Between these images and comparing others side by side, one will be able to see scale more clearly than with numbers alone.

Unicycle 2 Scale Reference
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Lumenique is on Artisan Daily and Exhibiting at Chicago Artisan Markets

We have been accepted into the Chicago Artisan Market and the associated Artisan Daily web site. This includes all of my lighted art objects being presented – see: Artisan Daily.

Pursuant to this, I will be exhibiting all of my current works, a few not so new, and some fresh experimental works, at the Chicago Artisan Market on the following dates:

October 17 at Fulton Market : Event Link

November 27-28 at Ravenswood : Event Link

December 12 at Fulton Market : Event Link

While I originally planned to exhibit at several Art exhibitions this season, the continuation of COVID concerns and restrictions has created a few schedule postponements, and some hesitancy on the part of show attendees.

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men. Gang aft a-gley <trans: goes wrong>.

Robert Burns ‘To a Mouse’

As COVID restrictions ease in the area, I will be exhibiting at a growing number of Art specific Markets, and will announce dates and places as they are confirmed.

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Abstract Invaders from the Age of Modelers

The inspiration for Invaders was the early days of science fiction that involved special effects filmed with models hung from wires, and story lines of saucers from Mars coming here to destroy us for no apparent reason. We watched these films from behind steamed up windshields at drive-in theaters, where the stars shown from the grand abyss over the top of the screen – reminding us we knew little about what there was “out there.”

No matter how bad the acting (and it could be truly horrible), or how silly the effects were, we still felt uneasy and went home looking into the sky and wondering… what if?

Invaders is inspired by the imagery of saucers coming at us, from nowhere, bent on destruction. Like Vikings of the distant future, not bothering to communicate (with some notable exceptions). In this case, a flight of three doing a fly-by through the smoke rising from the destroyed landscape below.

Invaders

While I enjoy the special effects generated by CG today, and the accompanying sound tracks, a part of me will always be in the model makers, physical stop frame animators and the mechanical contrivances of animatronics craftsman. They made things from clay, plaster, fiberglass, wood, metal, and their blood, sweat and tears – making space invaders real. In those days, computers were as big as semi-trucks, and oh so slow. Star Wars (1977) could arguably be pointed to as the apex of this genre of model and puppet based animation. It, along with Star Trek, presented the real shift away from anonymous invaders came from films like ‘West World’ ‘Logan’s Run’, ‘TH-1138’ and ‘Silent Running’, when it all became about first person “we” dealing with our dystopia or invasions – which ended the reign of ‘It Came from Outer Space’ and ‘War of the Worlds’ as the thriller premise of choice.

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