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 ( 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.