Category Archives: Arts & Crafts

Fake It Until You Can Make It

By Don Gutzmer

Wood inlay marquetry has been around for a very long time, and I am always looking for different ways to use epoxy. I have learned that it is possible to use a laser jet printer with a clear transparency film to print an image, then transfer that image onto a substrate coated with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy, resulting in the look of marquetry without all the cutting, fitting and craftsmanship. (Ink jet printers do not work with this process because the ink does not transfer to the transparency film.) The image could be a picture of a wood inlay or whatever you can imagine. Here is the process I have found that works the best. Continue reading

Boats as Art

As a career architect-sculptor, Larry Brown created a vocabulary of freeform shapes that bring a sense of naturally flowing, organic dimensionality to his art. Recently, he applied his methods to a municipal scale art project using recycled fiberglass boats. His goal was to make large fine art pieces and park scale sculptures. Continue reading

Merit Badge

By Tom Dragone, PhD

In Epoxyworks #38, we published an article featuring two projects that met the requirements for the Boy Scout’s Composite Merit Badge. Here, Tom Dragone tells us about two more projects completed by scouts in Troop 7369 from Chantilly, Virginia.

In 2006, the Boy Scouts of America created the Composite Materials merit badge for scouts to earn, to help them learn about the importance of composite materials and encourage them to consider careers in this field. Being an aerospace composites engineer as well as an active scouting advisor, I saw this as a natural opportunity to share my interest and experience in composite materials with the scouts in my troop. I developed a set of projects to help the scouts learn about composite materials and share them in the hope of getting more young men interested in this exciting field. Continue reading

Balance

by Alan Gurski

I have always been fascinated with balanced objects. Buildings, stones, sculpture—the more impossible a balanced item looks, the more intriguing. I have been thinking for a long time about how to bring almost unbelievable centers of gravity into objects that are practical. Continue reading

G/Flex Weds Wood and Glass Crystal

By Tom Pawlak

David Black is a creative boat builder, woodworker and artisan living in San Diego California. He is very familiar with all the WEST SYSTEM Epoxy resin/hardener combinations but recently has become a huge fan of G/flex Epoxy.

I love it when David calls because his projects are always interesting. He pushes the envelope of how epoxy can be used. His clients appreciate him too for his creative abilities. Do you have an idea for a new table for your mega yacht? Call David. Need a unique teak deck for your yacht that no one else will even consider installing? Call David. Need someone to design and build a one-of-a-kind interior for your new motor coach? David is your guy. If it is out of the ordinary and it tests the realm of possibility and good reason, count him in. Continue reading

FIBERwave PAVILION

By Alphonso Peluso and his Spring 2014 IIT Architecture Students Joseph Bertucci, Cecilia Campos, Dijon Dunmore, Xinyun Huang, Jared James, Ryan Kim, Dakotah Lucas, Jeffrey McQuiston, Nick Rienstra, Teresita Pineda, John Seaman & Jeffrey Wigen

The FIBERwave PAVILION was designed and built as part of a student-based design research studio. Carbon fiber was used because when coated with epoxy it can become as hard as steel, and added layers enhance its strength. It offers designers great control over structural properties and is incredibly lightweight. Continue reading

Drumming In Circles

By Tom Pawlak

Epoxyworks 39

Cover Photo: A variety of drums made by Technical Advisor Tom Pawlak.

In 1991, during testimony before the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart stated:

”Typically, people gather to drum in drum ‘circles’ with others from the surrounding community. The drum circle offers equality because there is no head or tail. It includes people of all ages. The main objective is to share rhythm and get in tune with each other and themselves. To form a group consciousness. To entrain and resonate. By entrainment, I mean that a new voice, a collective voice, emerges from the group as they drum together.”

I recently joined a group of mostly old guys who meet a couple of weekends a year to experience nature and the great outdoors. We all come from a diverse cut in society yet we all get along so well. One reason is we Continue reading

When the Cat’s Away

By Julie Van Mullekom

Like a lot of people, when I’m at work I like to keep busy. It makes me feel good about myself and the bonus is that the day just flies on by. Having said that, it’s also nice to escape from the walls of my office now and then and head out into the shop to see what the guys are working on. For some reason this gravitational pull I feel from the shop occurs more when my boss is away. We can just call it an unexplained phenomenon and leave it at that. During some of my excursions to the shop rather than just observing they let me help them with the projects they’re working on, which I absolutely love! Continue reading

Goblet Rx

By Tom Pawlak

Turned wooden goblet. The cracks are filled with G/flex 650 and black pigment.

Turned wooden goblet. The cracks are filled with G/flex 650 and black pigment.

Vern, a good friend of mine, turned the exterior of a wooden goblet made from a nice piece of spalted sycamore. Unfortunately the blank was not as dry as he thought and it cracked along one edge as it sat uncovered on his lathe overnight. He called to see if there was anything available for gluing it back together. I said I had some ideas and asked him to drop it off at work so I could take a stab at the repair. Continue reading

The Modern Bronze Age

By Kirk Williams

In 2010, I was given a commission to do a base relief sculpture for the Pioneer Care Center, a new retirement home in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. The sculpture, called “Creation of Life” was to be mounted on a wall about 14′ off the floor. I knew I had to make it strong and lightweight. The method I used was to sculpt the design in oil based-clay on a large wooden easel. Then I covered the finished clay sculpture with several layers of clear silicone, occasionally adding cheesecloth for build up and strength. When the silicone was thick enough, I built a mold cradle, made of plaster and gauze reinforced Continue reading