Stay Thirsty, My Friends!

08.22.14

Filed In:

Hey Burlington and beyond,

We need your help with a project! What do you have to do? It’s simple.

Come see all of the fab lights we’re cooking up, and enjoy a free Orangina (while they last).

Is there a catch? of course!

Leave the empty bottles with us and come back next month to see why. That’s all there is to it! Easy, right?!

FREE ORANGINA

Incandescent Banned?!

08.08.14

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ImageYup, you read that correctly. Incandescent are on the out (except the vintage looking ones like the above), but no fear – Technology has crafted some incredible options that will make you forget you ever used those hot, inefficient filament bulbs in the first place. This article will tell you what you need to know and point you in the right direction, so don’t skim through it -take notes!

The Next Great Light Bulb

SOUTH END ART HOP 2014

08.07.14

Filed In: Community,

ART HOP 2014!!

Hey guys,

September is right around the corner (wow, right?!) and you know what that means (but I’ll tell you anyway) – ART HOP 2014! This year is definitely going to be the greatest, with so many amaaaazing participants, so much to see, experience, eat and drink..what’s not to love?

 

Here’s some info from SEABA’s website,

The South End Art Hop is a three day event occurring on the weekend following the Labor Day holiday. It attracts over 30,000 visitors, the majority from outside Burlington. Visitors are attracted to the South End artist’s studios, and local businesses that are refit as art galleries and exhibition sites for the more than 500 participating artists. The event celebrates the unique characteristics of the Pine Street corridor, in particular the development of concentrated creative and artistic activity that has been established in numerous re-purposed factories and warehouses within the District. This corridor has been designated, and recognized, as the South End Arts District.”

 

You’ve GOT to check out Conant while you’re out and about the Art Hop, September 5-7th – we’ll be showcasing multiple artists works, as well as some big “interactive” surprises that I cant spoil by telling you all now!

I’ll be reminding you throughout the month, but mark your calandars – you’re not going to want to miss this one!

Sculpture In Motion

Filed In: Custom Design,

Ben Wiring

Today’s inspiration comes from some truly phenomenal artists I stumbled upon whilst perusing metal sculpture online. Sculpture often is considered beautiful because of the movement it captures within it. Some say that the ancient Greco-roman and renaissance sculptures look as if they could get up and walk away. Contemporary metalwork often features shapes and twists that seem as if the metal is actually alive. However, taking it one step further, there is a form of sculpture out there that features metal components which are complimented by a complex and stunning arrangement of mechanical parts. It is now that I present the work of some truly incredible geniuses whose artwork reflects a command of the visual and the mechanical.

Bob Potts

Arthur Ganson

Anthony Howe

Everybody’s Gotta Start Somewhere

07.25.14

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Ben WiringWhen I first decided that I wanted to make things for a living, I could barely operate a can opener.  Sure, I used a Phillips head screw driver to put batteries in electronics, and I managed to crush my thumb with a claw hammer a few times as well. However, with no real experience, and not even knowing what each tool was named, let alone what it was for, the initial curve seemed intangible. I know how difficult it can be to determine where to even begin, and I was lucky enough to have some guidance from the technicians here at Conant. To all those who crave to be more skilled with tools and just don’t know where to begin, this post is for you.

First of all, it is necessary to consider all factors in your project before you commence fabrication and assembly. Some of the guys here can blow through projects so quickly, that it seems like they don’t even plan. The truth is, they have had much experience, and they move so quickly because they know where issues will arise and can avoid them before they occur. Beginners, on the other hand, must try and analyze their steps to avoid careless mistakes, and inevitably they must also make many mistakes. It is helpful to consider the end goal: what is your design? It may help to draw a picture, or do a computer rendition, or even a mock-up of the prototype. However, it is important to have as nearly a complete an image of your design as possible somewhere, even if it is just clearly in your mind.

Now that you have the image, you can consider the materials and processes which you will utilize in order to make the idea a reality. And it is at this point where most inexperienced craftspeople will seem most daunted because there are a million ways to do so many things. This is essentially the meat of what I was getting at in this post. I have been searching for great beginner material to read and use to develop one’s skills. Some people find it helpful to fully engage and understand underlying concepts of fabrication before they even start. In my opinion, an easier way to learn is to pick small projects in the beginning with simpler steps and learn from a project to project basis. Nevertheless, you must apply what you learn, and learn to accept and understand your failures.

Here, listed, I have some resources for beginners who are looking to pour their passion into productivity. Don’t be afraid to bounce around and embrace the sea of the unknown. With diligence, these things will be absorbed, and you will surprise yourself with what you know in very little time.

Resource List for Makers:

1)      Making Things Move by Dustyn Roberts, a free pdf online which translates mechanics for the non-mathematically minded. Google it, and enjoy.

2)      www.efunda.com, a great resource that gives you an overview of engineering basics, machine shop processes, designs and much, much more.

3)      www.instructables.com, a site packed with projects to explore by amateurs and experts, alike.

4)       http://abana.org/resources/index.shtml, the American blacksmithing association website which contains great beginner information in an organized approach, allowing one to guide themselves and improve incrementally.

5)      http://www.mcmaster.com/, a huge industrial supplier which has enough parts to keep you looking. Just knowing what’s out there is a great way to become a better maker.

6)      Youtube, yeah I bet you knew that one.