Here are progress shots of a leather helm I just finished up. Another post with photos of it finished will follow.

I did the designing in Rhino, which is a 3D modeling program I’ve been using ever since architecture school. It was unexpectedly frustrating to find a 3D scan of a head, but I finally found one on Thingiverse with a creative commons license, which I am grateful for. I really wanted to get the geometry for a head right, that was the whole point.

To be honest, this particular design I was thinking of mostly as a test or proof of concept. I’m planning on making more in a similar manner, and I figure I’ll work on more compelling shaping and detailing for those, but I wanted to just make a smooth one first to make sure it worked. I didn’t want it to be completely plain, though, so once I’d gotten it cut I punched holes for purposes of putting spikes through.

Then I had the question of what color to do. I figured I could just do a plain black, and with all the spikes it would be extravagant but not out of genre for punk/goth/industrial or something. But I wasn’t super excited about that, and I realized that there were 6 sections, and after some agreeing suggestions from a friend, I decided to go for a huge rainbow. Which means it’s completely ridiculous, and a good contender for the most outlandish piece I’ve made to date.

For future versions, I think I’ll try with thicker leather. I also figure I’ll do some toying with making the pieces fold/bend like spiky scales or something, which would give me something more in keeping with many other of my designs. And maybe also some different patterns of breaking up the surface into panels. And definitely riveting the pieces together, that would be much faster.

Anyway, next up will be photos of the final piece. But not now, tomorrow. It’s time for bed.

Chandelier Saga Part 1: Conception

A bit over two months ago, I was contacted by someone with whom I used to work, who now works with The Possible Project, a non-profit youth entrepreneurship outreach program thing. They were having a huge fundraiser gala at the beginning of October, and wanted to commission a big hanging chandelier as a focal point for the banquet. They’re getting ready to build themselves a maker space, complete with a laser cutter and other tools, so they wanted the piece to show off rapid fabrication in some way, probably by having the piece made largely of laser-cut wood.

I was given pretty free range, with the understanding that I would come in every week or two and show the kids in the program what I was doing, giving them a view at how one might go about making a big project, and getting input from them about the design. The goal was to be able to have them also help with assembly, if possible.

Since I don’t especially want to take up too much vertical space on people’s feeds, jump the break for the early stages of my design process:

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This project is the reason I kind of dropped off the internet for a couple months there. But isn’t it beautiful?
It’s a chandelier I was commissioned to design and build for a big fancy fundraising gala. It’s being installed in two days.
I’ll make a longer more in-depth post with in-progress shots and explanations later, but for now:
laser cut
1/16” thick okoume plywood
bolted together
1/8” birch plywood internal frame
14 light bulbs inside
about 50 lbs
about 50 inches in diameter
currently taking up most of my living room
f***ing awesome.

This project is the reason I kind of dropped off the internet for a couple months there. But isn’t it beautiful?

It’s a chandelier I was commissioned to design and build for a big fancy fundraising gala. It’s being installed in two days.

I’ll make a longer more in-depth post with in-progress shots and explanations later, but for now:

  • laser cut
  • 1/16” thick okoume plywood
  • bolted together
  • 1/8” birch plywood internal frame
  • 14 light bulbs inside
  • about 50 lbs
  • about 50 inches in diameter
  • currently taking up most of my living room
  • f***ing awesome.

just-anotherkin asked:

Is there a way you could make a core to the dragon tails so you could move it the way you want? Like if you didn't want it swinging around so much or if you're being still but still want the tail to move.

In theory yes, but not yet.

Years ago I had a basic idea for a way that I could make my tails move on their own, involving some motors and some stiff cables that ran the length of the tail. But motors and things like that are not things I have any experience with, and life is busy, and I never worked actively on it.

But sometime last year I saw a kickstarter for some people making animatronic tails, and they seemed to be doing it in basically the same way I had figured would work. I was excited. They were offering them with fur coverings like cats and dogs or what have you, but I got one that was just the mechanism and control box so I could at some point build a tail of my own around it.

But life has been busy, and I haven’t gotten around to making it yet. Eventually I will, and once it’s worked out I’ll surely make it available for commissioners.

If people are curious, here’s the website for the people who made the animatronic tails: http://thetail.co/

This dragon tail is made of white painted aluminum, a material I hadn’t had much chance to experiment with before. It claims to be a sturdy automotive paint, and it definitely has a storm trooper sort of feel to it. Personally, I’d been a bit hesitant to make much with it, because I don’t really trust paint on metal, but it seems durable enough, and I sent some sample scales to the commissioner and she was cool with them.

The tail is a pretty short one, at only 24 inches long. It’s also got a line of spikes down the spine.

If you’re curious about these tails I make, check out this page with information about them: http://armoreddragon.tumblr.com/tails

This dragon tail is made of standard aluminum scales, with a blue anodized aluminum underbelly. It’s my standard length of 35 inches long, and that’s mostly it. Classic and simple. But at the request of the commissioner, it does have an engraving on the scales on the underside, right below the belt loops where it’s attached. (The tail was commissioned as a gift.)

And I guess as an added bonus, the photo with the engraving gives a good shot of the belt loop attachments. There are two straps (made of stainless steel in a European 6-in-1 pattern) that your belt threads through, and if you want to make sure the tail stays well in place when you’re wearing it, in between the two loops on the tail you can also thread the belt through the belt loop in the center of the back of your pants.

If you like these tails I make, how about checking out this page with information about them? http://armoreddragon.tumblr.com/tails (My commission queue is currently kind of deep, though. I’m working as fast as I can.)

Wow, this month.

Sorry for the radio silence this month, Internet. Between a huge pile of stuff to do at work plus a family wedding plus obligations to friends plus two craft fairs, I had basically no brainpower left to deal with commissions or updates.

To help me deal with the stress, though, I did make a large thing just for myself. (Well, it was also related to the big friends obligation.) I made an aluminum and rubber ring shirt in European 4-in-1. It’s been at least a year or two since I made something large like that just for myself, and I’m really happy that I made it. Photos will be uploaded once I have a chance to take them.

Anyway, my obligations are back down to a manageable level now, so I’ll be picking things up again and starting back up on commissions, and on the backlog of correspondence that’s piled up.

This is definitely the shortest dragon tail I’ve made. The commissioner requested that it be only 16 inches long, so it wouldn’t quite reach down to knee height. They asked for a mix of purple and blue, and I put together a pattern for them, which they liked.

Photographing the purple scales is always troublesome. The fact that it’s approaching twilight and the light is very blue doesn’t help.

As usual, it’s made of anodized aluminum scales linked together with stainless steel rings. I included the pattern, in case people were curious. (Though I ended up slightly expanding the top after finishing it according to the pattern and finding that I had mis-calculated the length a bit.)

This dragon tail has a fading amber color pattern. It’s composed of actual bronze down the center, blending into brown and orange anodized aluminum. The underbelly is standard uncolored aluminum. Also featured in the design is a full like of spikes down the spine.

The bronze when it’s new is a shiny-penny copper color, and over time it oxidizes to a more matte and muted brown. I like the material a good amount, and I’m glad the commissioner for this was also excited about it. I don’t get much chance to use the material.

I’m including the pattern I drew up for this coloration, in case people are curious. I’ll also see about getting someone to model it before I ship it out, because I really liked the blend of colors on this tail and I’d like to get more photos.