This year McKenzie decided we needed to do something different for our holiday card. So we spent a weekend filming ourselves doing what we do best. Enjoy this cheesy gem.

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New Backdrop – Initial Tests

I recently decided I would splurge and buy a new photography backdrop. By “splurge” I mean I spent $15 on a 4×8′ sheet of plastic paneling, but compared to using a couple of pieces of foam core I had lying around– it was a splurge. With my wife and I living in a small apartment, I find I am always converting my living room into whatever kind of space I need that day (and hope I get it all put back together by the time The Mrs. returns).

I clamped the melamine panel to the backs of our bar stools, set up my flash to bounce off the ceiling from the right, and used a piece of foam core to add some fill on the left (yes, that used to be half of my old backdrop…). I think this will be a pretty versatile setup. I could do some smaller pieces of furniture like a chair as is and I can adjust for a bit more height at the expense of some floor depth if needed. I definitely could use at least one more flash, and maybe another set of transceivers, so I don’t have to use the timer when I want to be in the shot and can’t reach the shutter button on the camera or my external flash’s receiver). I mainly can’t wait to have a house with a space for a dedicated photography studio.

New Backdrop 3

Here are a few quick shots I took to test out my setup:

NazForge on Etsy

These bottle openers have a cool material application. The forged steel opener is welded (through a forging technique, not a welder) at the contact point, and then copper wire is then wrapped over the area. 100% honest? no, but 100% cool looking and solid feeling? yes.

8 PERSONALIZED BOTTLE OPENERS Hand Forged by by NazForge on Etsy

8 PERSONALIZED BOTTLE OPENERS Hand Forged by by NazForge on Etsy.

via 8 PERSONALIZED BOTTLE OPENERS Hand Forged by by NazForge on Etsy.

Prism Play

If you haven’t noticed by my last two blog posts, my mind is operating in triangle mode lately. Here are a couple of pictures I took today of an artifact that I made last week. The prism is made of a few pieces of copper wire I bent and soldered together. I love copper– its color, its malleability, its taste (hopefully it’s not poisonous). I’m planning on bringing the material into my senior thesis furniture project, but haven’t found out exactly how yet. For now though, I am using it to represent metal rods and pipes for my small-scale models because I can solder it– unlike the large piles of aluminum wire I also have within arm’s reach. And once I start playing with wire I can’t stop… insto-presto copper wire prism. I also had fun playing with my external camera flash I got for Christmas (thanks Mom and Dad!).

Senior Thesis

It’s been a while since I have posted about a current project of mine. Most of my time on my website has been spent changing to a new theme, reorganizing pages, and revamping projects (nearing the end… whew!). So here’s an update:

My senior thesis is to create a line of craft furniture. There is also a business element to the project, which could turn into my own business someday– if not soon after graduation. I won’t go too in-depth here because you can learn more from my project-specific blog, Michael Kuiken Senior Studio.

Models– Yey!

Ilvy Jacobs

It’s rare to see paper bags in stores anymore– everything is either plastic or some form of reusable bag. I’m not trying to open a debate about which of these three is greenest or why you should choose one over another. It is sad to see them go, because I feel they are more substantial than plastic and in some way seem more human. It’s coarse and varying texture gives each bag a uniqueness. while plastic bags seem so uniform and artificial.

That aside, this new take on the folding of a paper bag by Ilvy Jacobs is interesting. I see them more as art pieces than their commercial (not to mention functional) viability, but can’t help but enjoy the reinvention of a dying breed.

FOLDBAG by Ilvy Jacobs

FOLDBAG by Ilvy Jacobs

Ilvy Jacobs.

Vliegende t-shirts geïnspireerd door Muybridge

Vliegende t-shirts geïnspireerd door Muybridge.

The design technique of using rigid triangles mounted to a flexible material to create a structural yet accommodating bags is all over the web. After seeing it so many times, it’s hard to be impressed, yet I am by these shirts. They elicit motion not normally accomplished when the pieces are laid out flat. They make me want to make something crazy just for the sake of staying crazy.