If we can't work together on a project directly, perhaps you'll find some of the items in the Online Website Store helpful with a project you're working on.
Hand-made decorative items, small home furnishings, and the occasional odd object are reasonably priced and can be shipped right to your doorstep or place of employment.
Working with artwork and a concept from Bethany Bauman and Katrina from Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture, I was brought in to make this artwork installation a reality for the lobby at the new Highline 2100 apartments.
10 different wood panels created at various depths, which then had beautiful canvas artwork prints mounted to them. Hung on the wall piece-by-piece, and wrapped with a thin frame of hand-oiled walnut.
Final dimensions were just over 6' tall and 12' wide.
I've always wanted to create a giant version of one of these wooden puzzles, but never really wanted to run a jigsaw for that many hours (or days). After adding a CNC router to the workshop, and eliminating the need for any hand-jigging, I knew what I had to do.
A few days to cut while getting the CNC dialed in, a day or two to assemble and seal it, dream fulfilled. It's nearly 6' tall and 16' long!
You know something needs to be done when a bar and music venue has an area with a pool table that is directly visible from the moment you walk in, and is known by staff and patron alike as "Bummer Corner." Inspired by some vintage postcard art, we came up with a great hand-painted mural and elevated the corner tremendously.
After that, we realized something needed to be done about the Bummer Door on the way in. I scratch-built and installed a two-way swinging, porthole door that gives a perfect peep of the mural before you even get inside.
Modern Love is Isa Chandra Moskowitz' swanky vegan comfort food restaurant in Omaha, NE, and the first year of being open had taken a toll on some of its finer surfaces, namely, the walls.
I milled down some beautiful premium pine to create both a chair rail and enclosed sides for the banquette seating. The seating was also modified to be slightly narrower so that it wouldn't cause further damage to the walls (the seating opens for storage).
For wall art in the white room, I milled down simple construction pine to ¾", made some homosote panels to help with echoes and acoustics in the space, and wrapped them in shimmery upholstery fabrics chosen by Isa to compliment the wall pattern.
This book shop was created for the Urban Outfitters store in Omaha, NE. Four floor fixtures (A table, two shelves, and a storage bench) rest on the floor, while framework versions of each fixture hang directly above, creating a “ghost” version of the bookshop in the ceiling. The upside-down room effect.
The fixtures were built from 3/4” birch plywood with 1/4” oak plywood accents. They each sit on an MDF floor panel. The ceiling pieces were built from dimensional pine, 1/4” oak plywood, wood dowels, and nylon string. They are carefully weighted and balanced so they would sway gently when the heating or air-conditioning would kick on.
Something I had talked about for years, but never actually followed through on, was ripping out my bedroom ceiling. I have vaulted ceilings in my living/dining room space, and I always imagined that open feeling for every room in the house.
One day, I just grabbed a hammer and tore down the drywall ceiling. I had a vague plan on what to do after that, but needed some motivation to finish that plan. A pile of drywall, a missing ceiling, and fiberglass insulation everywhere can be an excellent motivator.
I took a week off of work, and instead of going on vacation, I did this. I spent about $400 for materials (construction grade pine), about 60 hours of my own time, and I drank a lot of water.
Cigarettes are bad for you, but cassette tapes probably aren't. This is the one and only Burger Records Cassigarette Machine, and it's located in Omaha, NE.
Trey from the Brothers Lounge here in town was kind enough to donate an old cigarette machine. After some reverse engineering, cassette dispensing channels were custom fabricated by hand from both 1/2" birch plywood and simple sheet metal. Artwork and cassettes were provided by Burger Records.
It has been said that you should never trust someone who has decorated their house with their own art.
Here is a sampling of the art I have made to decorate my own house.
Repurposed scrap wood, splattered leftover paint over self-stretched canvas, and found photographs that have been blown up, edited, and pasted to plywood panels.
Seriously though, there's plenty of art made by others in there as well.
Originally envisioned by the client as a "Wave Wall" consisting of a single wave mounted on a wall, I took things a few steps further and created two waves that intersected and were actually suspended from the ceiling at the highest point in the store. One section of the wave actually dipped down into the first floor and could be walked beneath.
Simple construction-grade 2x4 lumber was ripped down into 2x2s and then cut to various lengths. One wave twists at a consistent 12 degrees, while the other was created completely free-form as it was installed. This installation was absolutely massive, and somewhat difficult to capture in a single photograph! Some fisheye lens shots seem to give a bit of sense of scope.
This was on display in the Urban Outfitters store in Omaha, NE for the better part of a year.
Being involved in local music and art, I have often been asked to create posters for shows and events, and have more often been required to create them for my own shows and events.
There was a period in 2008-09 where I designed quite a few posters for 1% Productions, a local music promoter. I typically tried to limit myself to a small, repetitive color pallet for intentional same'yness. Because I was designing these for free, I would also limit myself to 15-20 minutes per poster (with occasional exceptions). Many of those are included here, along with a few selections from other eras.
To help illustrate the SecretPenguin branding process, as well as decorate the studio, we decided to build this big, abstract iceberg sculpture.
This was built piece by piece, very organically, and required some really wild miter cuts. Dave (Owner/Director) insisted that every strut be doubled, and I couldn't have had it any other way.
Construction grade dimensional lumber, math, glue, and a nail gun. One of those projects where the extreme challenge of it all is actually the best part.
(Some photos by Dave Nelson)
I can stare at a fire for hours. I don't dream of burning cities or my enemies, I just zone out. It's relaxing. It's warm.
I have a decently large backyard, and in my never-ending quest to never mow it, I've discovered that simply building things over the grass seems to get the job done.
If you combine those two things, you get a geodesic dome backyard fire-pit.
Using the high school geometry skills I assumed I would never use, I threw this together in about a week using inexpensive construction-grade dimensional lumber. I didn't want to use hubs I'd have to buy from someone else, so I didn't. It's all wood and complex miter cuts.
One day, I decided to paint a big mural in my living room.
I also made some cool wall art out of reclaimed wood, refinished a vintage coffee table, and sewed some pillows together.
It got a lot of likes on a corporate Instagram.
I own a small screen printing press and like to print short runs of things by simply hand-cutting paper stencils and sticking them to the bottom of a screen. The stencils generally fall apart within 25 prints or so, and sometimes after as few as 4 or 5.
Long runs with appropriately coated and exposed screens are entirely possibly too, but lack that danger element.
T-shirts, karate belts, mystical cloaks... the possibilities are sort of maybe limitless.
I made a large brontosaurus for my backyard out of cheap plywood. It will act more like a privacy fence than a dinosaur, but will look more like a dinosaur than a privacy fence.
Admittedly, I was a little sad when the neighbors loved it.
I built a weird custom Moog synthesizer once, and then a few years later, I rebuilt it.
I took a Moog Slim Phatty (Why Moog? Why?) and an Alesis Q25 controller and hard-wired them together. I had a few questions, and everyone at Moog was super nice and helpful in my quest to destroy one of their products.
I originally built it out of cheap plywood because I needed it quickly for live shows, but also because I wanted to have a basic template to work from before I attempted building it out of a nice hardwood. It remained cheap plywood painted aqua for several years.
While shopping for wood for another project, I came across some really nice dark walnut boards that I couldn't pass up. I inlaid an Ominoptra (a wood-burned pendant made from the falling limbs of the dying tree in my front yard) in the right cheek of the synth, and hand-oiled the walnut outside on the deck instead of watching TV.
I like to draw and doodle on everything, and I have several of those little hardcover sketchbooks floating around. When I can't think of anything to draw, sometimes I'll just scribble around randomly with a highlighter, or spill a nearby liquid on a page. I'll grab one of those Micron pens, which are my favorite, and try to make the little color blob into something.
It usually turns out pretty weird.