Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Making 3 ColorWing Morphos

This is a time-lapse that shows the incredibly lengthy process of painting and building these kites. Included is the complete paint and sewing job of one of the three. There is a total of 13 hours per kite of painting, and roughly that of cutting and building as well. The paint when dry adds about 14 grams to the total weight of the kite. The actual process of painting takes many days however, because there are 4 layers per panel and each layer has to dry completely before the next is added. There are a few things this does not show like the initial cutting of the panels and the complete framing processes. The kites are Morpho Gliders designed by Tim Elverston. Graphics and related technologies are by Ruth Whiting. The wing span is 14 feet each, or 4.25 meters. Weight of each finished kite is around 285 grams, or around 10 ounces. Thanks and enjoy!

If you are enjoying the video, it is VERY worth setting playback to 720p HD and clicking full screen.

Music is by Floex and is used with permission from the artist.


Also, some backstory:
Pictured briefly at the end of this video are deltas made at Jordan Air kites. I designed these deltas at jordan air after being exposed to George Peters kites via Kitelines Magazine back in 1993 and also a small 2 foot plastic delta [giant by Charlie's standards] made by Charlie Sotich in 1995 which kind of started my entire obsession with glider-deltas. I never made any more like them. But after finding an old one in a friend's garage, dean recently revisited the design and has made a few - check out his site for the story. Kinda cool to have it all come full circle.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Leather case for iPhone 4

So this is an iphone 4. Since I can't bring myself to buy a case for my phones, I have figured out a few ways to make them. This one is from leather. I got this phone because of the materials really -- they had me at glass and stainless. That and the camera. The images it takes are really amazing actually. Apparently there is supposed to be a signal attenuation problem with the new iphone when it's touched in a certain place. I can't seem to really make mine do it, but with this case it becomes a non issue anyway.

This is a detail of the well-protected corner.

Here you can clearly see the way each stitch hangs off the edge. There is a tension line that is trapped there and used as a draw string.

There are actually two tension lines. One for the front, and one for the back. As I was working with the leather, it was clear that it was going to need some kind of non-stretch solution for the main dimensional elements of the case. I used two super-thin dyneema lines.

Here you can see the 3 dashes along the side where the two lines get woven into the leather. This is so they can be losened when the case needs to come off which is not very often.

The scrap shows the corners that had to be cut. 8 tiny pieces of leather each had to have a bevel to sit flat against the face of the phone.

As far as the sewing went, it was pretty fiddly. I used a darning foot which is a tiny round foot for the machine. It's normally used with those clampy wooden rings that we used to see in people's houses back when they made stuff -- sniff. Anyway, this foot works well for the leather because it's tiny, and doesn't actually make contact with the base plate of the machine. There is a gap that it leaves that is just about the right height for the thickness of the leather, so you don't have it pressing down super hard. I have an industrial machine, but i didn't even have a chance to use the motor. I just turned the hand wheel with my hand. Each stitch is hand-placed.