Thursday, July 4, 2013

Make8760: Ribbon etching of pint glasses

For the last few years I've been making custom etched pint glasses as thank you gifts for friends, family and shipmates. I've designed and etched about 200 glasses. Most of these have been etched on one side. Today I started playing around with a ribbon design that wraps the entire glass.

Previously this approach would have been difficult due to using a type of sand blasting technique tool called an air eraser. An air eraser is similar to an airbrush. Large area etching took lots of time because of the need to constantly refill the air eraser "media pot". I'm now using a light sandblasting gun that feeds directly from the bottom of my blasting cabinet -- no refilling.

I really like how these look on the shelf, look from the top, and feel in the hand.

This design is a door prize for a 4th of July party thrown by a high school friend.

More to come soon...


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Make8760: Let's try that again

Back in September I worked with my friends over at Cedar Mill Community Library to design a set of counter decals (original post).
First attempt
The first try: The library has a new RFID based materials management system. If patrons place materials over the RFID sensor pads located under the counter the materials checkout process is interrupted. I designed a decal set in Illustrator based on testing the active scan area of each RFID sensor pad. The yellow vinyl had the best contrast with the counter material. The line design has rounded corners on each element to prevent catching on materials as they are moved across the counter.
The initial decals helped a bit but didn't solve the problem. Patrons continued to place materials over the RFID sensor pad.

We are trying a new approach, adding a clearer set of icons and indicating to patrons where to place their materials:

New graphic indicators
Early evidence is that this approach helps but people still place materials in the area enclosed by the red outline. Any ideas?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Photography: Getting close

An early lesson of being a yearbook photographer in high school was the need to get close to our subjects. I spent far too many hours trying to salvage a close crop from a photo I'd taken from too far away. In the days of B&W film photography there was only so much latitude if you wanted the whole book to have the same look photo to photo. This weekend I had the opportunity to do some photography while underway for the Flotilla 73 Crew/Coxswain academy and tried to focus on the close shot. 


There is one big advantage I have when framing these shots... we have our organization name emblazoned across the back of our life jackets, exposure coveralls, and SAR vests.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Applying vinyl decals



It has been two years since I created my original vinyl application video (http://bit.ly/div7vinyl) and it is time for an update. Hope you find this useful.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Make 8760 (2013:2239): A decal for my MacBook


A few weeks ago Nilofer Merchant [@nilofer] posted a photo of Mitch Joel's [@mitchjoel] "Talk to me about" TED button. Mitch listed "you", "your art", "how I can help" in the provided spaces. It really captures a great spirt of generosity and collaboration. I replicated the thought on my laptop.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Long form video

I usually try to keep my videos down to under two minutes. Long videos loose viewer attention quickly. I do find it useful to video longer form presentations for self critique and to for use of participants as a reference. Here is one example from our District Meeting in late February. This was my first time out with a new presentation and new messaging. Room for improvement but overall it went well.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Make 8760: A poster promoting safer river bar crossings

In the new year these posters should be showing up on the coast and on the I-5 corridor. The design brief was fairly simple -- we wanted to feature a QR code which links to a National Weather Service site with the current conditions of the Oregon and Washington river bars.

These river bars are incredibly dangerous. The Coast Guard regularly closes the bars to recreational vessel traffic. At times the Columbia Bar is so rough ocean going ships don't cross. The challenge is assuring recreational boaters are aware of the current conditions and comply with any restrictions. If someone drives two hours to go fishing and spends an hour getting underway they may be tempted to attempt a bar crossing even if they know the bar is closed. It is also possible for inexperienced boaters to be unaware of bar closures. In either case this puts the boater in extreme danger and puts the Coast Guardsmen called upon to make the rescue in peril as well.



These will be 20" x 30" posters. This is another collaboration with Dan Shipman, the Recreational Boating Safety Coordinator for USCG District 13.

If you are a boater please check the conditions before you cross the bar, carry proper safety equipment, and WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Make8760: A visit to Flotilla 53 & STA Depoe Bay

I took a day off and visited my shipmates in Depoe Bay, Oregon. It is a beautiful town. One of the cool things FL53 does is maintain the Survival Vests for STA Depoe Bay. Larry Cox, the Flotilla Commander of 53, gave me an overview of how a Survival Vest should be prepared.


D13 News: Survival Vest Set-Up from Daren Lewis on Vimeo.
Flotilla 53 Commander Larry Cox demonstrates how an Auxiliary survival vest can be set-up to the Active Duty standard. Flotilla 53 maintains the SAR vests for Station Depoe Bay under the supervision of their Station shipmates.

Note: For higher quality "HD" in the Vimeo player should be selected. For lower bandwidth connections deselect "HD".

Monday, October 8, 2012

Make 8760: Back to Aux videos

I've done over 70 leadership videos as a Coast Guard Auxiliarist. These have been very well received and, I think, effective. These have been few and far between since April but I've gotten my "studio" rebuilt and have started to work on new topics for the balance of 2012 and into 2013.

I've also started to document the methodology behind these videos on my business site: LeadingVisually.com 

The introduction post can be found here: http://www.leadingvisually.com/2012/10/project-presence-introduction.html



D13 Member News: Recertification Check Ride/QE Session Resources from Daren Lewis on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Make8760: LeadingVisually.com Website

The big project for the last few days has been establishing the website for my new venture. The darenlewis.com site is actually the model I built as the template demo so I knew I'd be ready to go when the time came.

I'm fairly happy with how the site and the associated twitter customization turned out at this point. It is still very bare-bones but I can see where the meat will go.

Check it out: http://www.leadingvisually.com


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Make8760: An introduction

A few weeks ago I was thinking about all the things I design, edit, write, build, rebuild, print, cut, solder, photograph, video, edit, fasten, measure, paint...

All the things I make.

I make tangible things, digital creations, processes and methods.

I've been captivated by people who undertake projects over 365 days. A 365 day project does not work for me; my productivity isn't evenly spaced. Many of the things I make are made in the context of work and cannot be shared publicly. 365 seems like a big number in aggregate, but hopefully my average is well more than one "making" a day.

There are 8,760 hours in a year, except for our leap years when we are lucky to get a few more.

I've started to track some of my significant makings based on the concept of these 8,760 hours. I'll share some of my projects, big and small, here.

This post is 6605:2012.

Here is 6038 - The third of three vinyl decal sets I designed and installed as a gift to my local library, Cedar Mill Community Library.


The library has a new RFID based materials management system. If patrons place materials over the RFID sensor pads located under the counter the materials checkout process is interrupted. I designed a decal set in Illustrator based on testing the active scan area of each RFID sensor pad. The yellow vinyl had the best contrast with the counter material. The line design has rounded corners on each element to prevent catching on materials as they are moved across the counter. I cut the vinyl, including alignment features on my vinyl cutter and installed the decals using standard vinyl installation techniques.