Glassblowing Final Project

My class finished our final glassblowing projects last week, putting together a bunch of skills we’d learned to try something really elaborate. Nigel made a huge bowl, Jason (the other Jason) spun a plate, and I tried to nail down my control over vase shapes. This is my latest (greatest!) creation! It’s quite big, for me – I tend to be timid with the amount of glass I work with, so spinning this monster on the end of a pipe was pretty exciting.

I stopped by the other day to pick it up and was told it’d caught a lot of people’s eyes in it’s little cubby it was waiting in, so that was flattering. ๐Ÿ™‚ I gave it to Natasha (the gold and green are her favourite colours) and she thought it looked suspiciously like a bong. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s really meant for flowers!

Anyhow – I feel pretty confident that I can make most reasonable things I’d put my mind to, and from this point on just need practice. I have some clever creative ideas I want to explore, and some gifts for people that I want to crank out in the studio, so the next little bit should be pretty productive. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bill Nye the Science Guy

Along with a packed house of 4400 other science enthusiasts, I paid a visit to the Conference Center last night to see Bill Nye give a presentation! It was quite the event, with a lineup going outside, around the block, up the stairs, and along the bridge over the canal. The crowd was mostly university-aged students (90’s kids), but they were demographically interesting – superficially anyhow, it seems like all the effort to promote the university STEM track to young women is paying off. Just quickly counting heads around me I observed a pretty even audience split by gender. That’s amazing.

His talk was personal, stirring, poignant, and funny – and even talking to an older audience, he couldn’t help but pepper the presentation with motivational catch-phrases from the show. Super fun.

Towards the end he stuck around to answer questions, and though this one microphone seemed almost cursed for embarrassingly bad questions, for the most part he played ball and seemed to be having a good time. Here he is demonstrating his bow-tie tying technique…. FOR SCIENCE. ๐Ÿ˜‰

A New First!

This is going to sound absurd, but I think I completed my very first crossword puzzle, ever, the other night! Between over-thinking it and just having better things to do, I usually get frustrated and abandon these things a few words in. Admittedly, this was no brainbender – it was just from the back of one of our free daily commuter papers. But it felt like an accomplishment just to stick it out to the end. ๐Ÿ™‚

I was joking earlier that I expect a congratulatory letter from Obama to come in the mail any day now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe the Vatican will hear about it and be so impressed they’ll offer me the papacy.


I was at the Modlab the other night to take a look around the space and saw that the gang had finished putting together the new large-scale Ultimaker 3D Printer, which is very exciting. But strewn all around it were abandoned test shells of those escargot-style whistles that make me crazy.

Printing people seem to use the free whistle model as a “baseline” reference to compare the quality of their printers, but it’s such a wasted opportunity. I don’t have a better suggestion off the top of my head, but when you have a machine that can print anything, printing whistles (which are a trillion times cheaper and easier to make using a mold or a tin stamp) just seems like an abuse of the tool’s potential. Surely there are people in need of some custom little widget that’s otherwise difficult to produce. Some kind of twisty connector or valve or even a spindly little one-use tool that would be annoying to mill or machine. Nobody needs a stupid whistle!

Watch everyone start printing Pez dispensers and fake vampire teeth next.

Lady in a Dress

I put a splash of colour on this sketch of a lady from a Donna Karan ad in a fashion magazine. I flubbed proportionsย  in a couple of spots, and didn’t quite leave enough room for her feet, which was just me not anticipating how incredibly long model’s legs are. Otherwise… I’m pretty happy with it. Pretty girl, pretty dress.

Like Strapping Gold Bars To Your Feet

So I get that at the highest levels of performance, you start needing specialized equipment. Cyclists with their carbon fibre bikes, swimmers with their shark-texture body suits, and all that stuff comes at a premium because it’s hard to manufacture to exacting specifications, and someone’s got to pay for the R&D that goes into that fraction of a millisecond that means the difference between first and second place.

But when I saw the price tag on these bad-boys, my jaw literally dropped. Holy gold-plated skates, batman! I’ve owned cheaper automobiles!

How can you affordย not to wear these? I mean look – HEXAGONS! ๐Ÿ™‚ I bet they’re so light you can skate upside down.

So glad I’m not a hockey parent – it must cost a fortune just trying to equip your kid with middle-of-the-pack gear.