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September 12, 2015

Toys for Girls

You know what they say: We can’t miss you, if you won’t go away. In case you’ve been missing me around Detroit this weekend, know that I am there in spirit, but in body, I am geeking out on the West Coast, playing with lasers for business and pleasure. Where? Ace Monster Toys, a maker space in Oakland, brimming with goodness for yer enterprising half-tech/half-seamstress DIY types. Like me.

Ace Monster Toys is aces.

Ace Monster Toys is aces.

Work from other AMT members, on the 3D printer (left) and the laser cutter.

Work from other AMT members, on the 3D printer (left) and the laser cutter.

Under the patient supervision of AMT organizer and polymath artist/programmer/engineer Costa Mouratidis, I was able to kick out a limited edition of laser-cut leather mats that will be a part of the upcoming Culture Lab Detroit Design show at Nora in October. For those who are around Detroit this weekend, there was just a pair of inaugural events this weekend, which I was sorry to have to miss. But I’m looking forward to the show a lot, because among the other participants are some of my favorite artists and designers.

And I’m pretty geeked about how the mats came out! They’re made of exceptionally fine Horween leather. Costa was incredibly hands on and nice about helping me work out the kinks in my production flow, taking time aside from an incredible wood-relief map he was making in the AMT woodshop studio.

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AMT participants do a lot of map-based work, and I kind of love all of it. Laser cutters and programmable routers are such an interesting way of parlaying specific digital information back into real-world/analog materials that I find hold a lot of favor with other archaic maker types, like myself. AMT is a great first stop if you’re looking to get into making projects of your own, or just looking for an awesome, personalized map of your favorite neighborhood, or your native homeland.

Stay tuned for updates on the Culture Lab show, and maybe I’ll sneak peek you some of the finished mats when I get a chance to take proper pictures! And don’t worry, Detroit. I miss you, too. I’ll be back soon.

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