2022 – Presentations and Exhibits Confirmed So Far

As of this month, I have been selected by the following venues to present in upcoming events.

The Other Art Fair by SAATCHI ART – April 21-24

This is a fine arts exhibition featuring selected artists from around the world, that is being held in the Fulton Center in Chicago on April 21-24. See The Other Art Fair for more details. I will be exhibiting a range of lighted architectural objects, as well as a few unlighted works being completed specifically for this show.

Lightfair 2022 – Wednesday June 22 – 5:00-6:00PM

I will be presenting Opportunities for Bespoke Lighting Using 3D Print Technology  exploring where and how 3D printing fits into realizing custom and special lighting product needs, and where it is headed with emerging new technologies.

You can review more details on this presentation on the Lightfair Conference information page under the technologies sub heading. Course number L22T14.

I am preparing and collecting physical samples of various production methods and materials to include in the presentation.

More to Come

I am in the process of securing other opportunities to exhibit and present, as well as pulling together a few videos during the year on methods of using new technologies in the design and final production process.

I am hopeful that 2022 will be a break out year from the restrictions and lock downs that have damped efforts to get out and interact with people live.

Hope to see you soon!

The Village Inspired by Santa Fe and a Drive in the Spanish Countryside

To me, New Mexico architecture is personified by the pueblo and Santa Fe style. I am also attracted to spanish country villages, with their all white exteriors, and collection of forms clustered with minimal formal organization.

Spanish Country Village

On a trip to Spain, we rented a sports car to drive the roads that wind through the hills of the countryside. On this tour, I was stuck by the cleanliness and simplicity of the dozens of small white villages settled into the hill sides and valleys.

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Inspired by a Minneapolis Portico

In Minneapolis, there is what I consider a truly remarkable building. It was once called the Northwestern National Life building, and opened in 1965. The colonnade is striking, and sours. The columns are somewhat reminiscent of Doric structure in there number and flared capitals, but far more slender and exaggerated. Walking through them is interesting, as the light strikes the 4 sides of each to create a mix of perceptions, some in shadow, others lighted directly.

In my interpretation, I created three layers of the columns to create the vertical height, then rotated each layer 90 degrees counter clockwise. When lighted, the presentation of the columns lighted from the front, and in shadow are evident from a single vantage point, similar to what you see walking up to the building itself.

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Change and Roads Untraveled

There is a lot of noise today about folks changing career paths and how it is changing the landscape of employment. I question whether what is happening is actually new. An interesting article on careers from Apollo Technical 17 REMARKABLE CAREER CHANGE STATISTICS TO KNOW indicates that job and career changes are pretty common, and have been going on for some time.

Key takeaway: Change is the norm, it is only the attention of media that cycles in and out of making it a “story.”

The article states that the average number of jobs an individual might have is 12, and infers that most have perhaps just one career change. So, I decided to do a bit of a retro review on my own path. What I came up with was 5 significant career paths (often overlapping), and 11 jobs over a period of 44 years. The following is a run down, counting only adult age jobs.

Foundation

For me, art was going to be a part of what I do. At a very early age, living in campus housing where my dad was studying Electronics Engineering, my daily path to school included the halls of the art department at the UofI Moscow, ID to escape the cold winters. There, I saw paintings, sculptures, and graphics. The imagery and smell of linseed oil were compelling. While others played with their sticks and balls, I chose sketching and doodling in notebooks, and painting murals on walls.

Early notebook sketch 1973
Career One – Graphics and Job 1

Most careers are a mish-mash of financial need, emotion, opportunity, and focus. My early interests in art led to a graphic design path, which led to joining the USAF as a graphics specialist.

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Retrospective 1969-1970: My First Invention

Introduction

The story told here is real. However, I have added a bit of humor to it for entertainment purposes. The actions taken, timeline, and responses to it are real, the description of it is a dramatization of actual events to make it more fun to read. No names have been changed.

Background

As a kid, I glued and painted everything. Making stuff from wood and found objects was the greatest form of entertainment around, next to stinking up the house with unsupervised chemistry set experiments. The reasons are pretty obvious:

  • No computers or video games
  • 3 channels on antenna TV
  • The only thing streaming in 1969 was water, down actual streams
  • No smart phones and all the trappings that go with them

So, I made things. Gokarts from wood and lawn mower take-off wheels, to walking stilts made from scrap 2 x 4’s. Wenatchee was the center of the Wenatchee Youth circus, so you walked on stilts and rode unicycles – including delivering newspapers on them. The place was a bit bizarre, but wonderful to grow up in.

Problem Definition

The glue of choice in those days was Elmer’s Glue-All. The problem was, at the time, the stuff came with one of two caps designs. The separate little press on cap, and the twist cap design.

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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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3D Print 2010 vs. 2021 and Unicycle 2

Unicycle Two was inspired by the first 3D print object I ever made in 2010 – Unicycle One, which was part of the 52 in 52 project. This first full object project and over 1000 subsequent projects since has been a massive learning experience. The following summarizes the progression that has taken place over these 11 years.

Unicycle Two (2021, foreground) vs. Unicycle One (2010, background) reflects the evolution of progress in creating finished art using 3D print technology. This includes surface finishing as well as approach to body fill and construction.

Not knowing the characteristics of the ABS plastic in 2010, I printed the first fixture solid, which consumed 115 cubic inches of material, at a cost of over $600. Ouch! Over the last 11 years, I have learned a lot about how to create objects with 3D printers, which is reflected in the latest iteration of the Unicycle design.

2010: The first 3D print object, using a Stratasys Dimension bst1200es, was printed solid and is unfinished. The design was done in Rhino CAD, and the separation of colors reflected the numerous sections required to build the fixture up. The driver and electronics are in the base. The arm and head were made from machined copper.
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Integrated 3D Printed Handheld Task Light

3D printing can be accomplished using single or multiple materials. The future of the process includes printing integrated circuits, optics, circuit pathways, heat sinks, fixture bodies and enclosures. Robotics, combined with 3D printing stations, can assemble entire products with no fasteners, no seams, and no human interaction, from a bin of raw materials.

The process involves setting up a series of 3D printers that feed into a main printer that is printing a body. At various stages, the printer is paused, and components are installed into cavities, before the printer continues. This can also include potting of cavities, as well as creating wiring vias and paths for conventional wires to pass through. The finished product would have no seams to leak, no intermediate gasketing to fail. It is an integrated assembly that used no glue or seaming of any type, making the final product durable.

This process can be repeated 24/7, with no staff present, other than to keep the material supplies loaded (also done with automation in the local area of the machine.) Customer orders can then move directly from order entry into the production que, with all available selectable options of color, optic, LED power level, CCT, control interface, etc… since the entire fixture is created from software to real world, with none of the conventional inventory of parts, components, etc… through to assembly operations.

A Simple Example to Illustrate the Process

The following is a design and process I created from raw fixture design to printed, in less than 24 hours.

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