Sunday, August 31, 2008

Timbuk2 Blog

Timbuk2 makes great bags and their throw up a mean blog too. Good Reading. Check it out.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Get on Second Life.

You should join Second Life. You get to make your own avatar, create a name for it, and change its looks to whatever you want. (This is what I look like) I just started with it last week and I've basically been exploring different areas within the program. So far I've found a dog that speaks french, a hoverbike shaped like R2-D2, and zombies. I know there are alot of things that Second life can be used for that could be useful for us, one being displaying virtual, objects. If you don't want to get on Second Life for yourself, do it for me, my social skills in my second life aren't that much better than my first life...i need buddies.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Facebook/BlackBoard Sync

Welcome to the fall semester and the 08-09 academic year!
Continuing to use current digital technology as much as possible, here is a new opportunity. You can link the Blackboard sites for your courses to your Face Book site. There are notifications if something has changed on your Blackboard sites, allows you to find your classmates on Face Book and much more. Here is a link for a tutorial:

There is also a Blackboard Sync Self Help Document at the Office of Technology Services web page.
Happy syncing!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

booth design at New York Gift Fair

Sorry for the blurry image, but I wanted to share this booth from the New York Gift Fair as well.

What do you do when you only have one product? Milk it for all its worth. This booth only has one item in its product line - a teapot. But by using repetition, and highlighting the design process, this designers totally makes it work. If you're thinking about applying to a wholesale trade show, this proves that you don't need a huge product line to be successful.

And speaking of trade shows - mark your calenders for the next New York Gift Fair - January 24-29, 2009. If you can plan a trip to New York, this is a must see. Its unlike anything you're used to (even if you've been to ACC - this makes that show look TINY).

And if you want invaluable experience, I'm always looking for help in my booth.

"community based design"

You probably have heard of user generated design. A prominent example is Threadless who came to light 2 or 3 years ago and who recently graced the cover of Inc. magazine. Here is an NPR news story about it which I just heard. One commentator [from MIT] called community based design the most significant paradigm shift since the Industrial Revolution. This is also connected to the idea of crowd sourcing.

How can you embrace this in this semester's projects?


[PS. I have Surowecki's book.]

Crafty Bastard Volunteers

Crafty Bastards DC Needs Volunteers
The 5th annual Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair is headed back to Adams Morgan on Sunday, September 28th, and we need volunteers to make this Crafty Bastards the best yet! We're looking for volunteers to help us by working in 5 hour shifts at the fair. While there is no monetary pay, you will receive a free, limited edition Crafty Bastards T-shirt, tote bag, and an invite to our exclusive Volunteer/Vendor party. We promise lots of fun while working at Crafty Bastards with a great group of like-minded crafty folks. If interested or if you have any questions, please email Kimberly at

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Here’s a Heads up for Textbooks for the Fall Semester

Some of you have started to ask for the textbooks for this semester’s courses. This is a start but not final. Faculty have been asked to be cognizant of the books we ask students to buy for classes. See below.

Go on, get a headstart. I dare you.

[If you are reading this but are not in our program but have suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Please email me: (4 r’s, no i) Thank you!]

All Upper Level Students-Required
Kelly, Tom. The Art of Innovation, Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm. New York: Doubleday, 2001.
This is a great essential book. I will make some chapters available on Blackboard but you all should really buy the book if you haven’t already.

Smith, Keri. Wreck This Journal. New York: Penguin Group, 2007.

ART 218, Intro to Metals + Jewelry- Required
McCreight, Tim. The Complete Metalsmith, The Professional Edition. Portland, Maine: Brynmorgen Press, 2005.
Terra Firma Enterprises in a supplier in Pikesville, Maryland and they regularly stock this book at an excellent price, like all of their supplies. Google them and call for hours and directions.

All Upper Level Students-Recommended
Olver, Elizabeth. The Art of Jewelry Design From Idea to Reality. Cincinnati, Ohio: North Light Books, 2002.
This is a great model for what your sketchbooks could look like. This book is out of print. If you can find a copy for a reasonable price, buy it. I have posted a number of pages from it on this blog in an August 2007 post.
Olver was educated at both St. Martin's College in London and The Royal College of Art in London.

Faimon, Peg and John Weigand. The Nature of Design, How The principles of Design Shape Our World From Graphics and Architecture to Interiors and Products. Cincinnati, Ohio: HOW Design Books, 2006.
This is a very good, and broad design book. If you don’t have one, buy this one.
Peg Faimon has worked as a corporate graphic designer and is currently professor of graphic design at Miami University in Ohio. John Weigand is professor of architecture and interior design at Miami University of Ohio. I picked up my copy at a local Borders.

ART 419 Metals + Jewelry III- Recommended, not required
LeVan, Martha. The Penland Book of Jewelry. Sterling Publishers, 2005.
I wrote a chapter for this book, which I will make available to you electronically via Blackboard. Each chapter is written by a different practitioner who is regarded as an expert in a particular technique. Very worthwhile buy and not for my chapter.

Kingsley, Susan. Hydraulic Forming for Jewelers and Metalsmiths. Carmel, California: 20 Ton Press, 1993.
Susan Kingsley is working on a new book on this subject, I don’t know when it is due out. The 1993 edition is a very good book on the subject. If you can’t find this in main venues, try Rio Grande.

McCreight, Tim. The Metalsmith’s Book of Boxes and Lockets. Madison, Wisconsin: Hand Books Press, 1999.
Students like this book b/c it features lots of hollow forms from current practitioners in the field. It covers a variety of techniques but is not a how-to book.

Lewton-Brain, Charles. Hinges and Hinge-Based Catches for Jewelers and Goldsmiths. Alberta Calgary:Brain Press Ltd, 1997.
This is a great book. If it appeals to you buy it. Check out my copy first.

ART 370 Design + Production-Required
Slack, Laura. What Is Product Design? Switzerland: Rotovision, 2006.
Buy it. Start reading it. Today. I picked up my copy at my local Border’s. If you find additional books that look great, buy them! Bring them to class.

Pipes, Alan. Drawing For Designers. London: Laurence King Publishing, 2007.

ART 370 Design + Production- Of Interest
Ilasco, Meg Matero. Craft Inc. San Francisco: Chronicle Books: 2007.

Krupenia, Deborah. The Art of Jewelry Design, Production Jewelry by 20 Top Designers. Rockport, Massachusetts: Rockport Publishers Inc., 1997
This book is out of print but a good one if you can fund a copy that isn’t too expensive. Don’t buy before you see mine to be sure you agree.

Codrescu, Andrei and Lloyd Herman. Thomas Mann, Metal Artist. Madison, Wisconsin: Guild Publishing, 2001.

ART 370 Design and Social Entrepreneurship
McDonough, William and Michael Braungart. Cradle to Cradle, Remaking the Way We make Things. New York: North Point Press, 2002.
Buy it today. Devour it!

The New York Times
This is delivered to the campus M-F and is free to the campus community. To prepare for the course…pick it up now and start reading. The Sunday edition is the most important although each day of the week has a specific focus.

Lupton, Ellen, editor. Design It Yourself. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006.
This is a great book. Not required but very valuable. You can check mine out first. This will be on the shelf in most bookstores.

I will pull readings from these:
Mau, Bruce with Jennifer Leonard and the Institute Without Borders. Massive Change. London: Phaidon Press, Ltd, 2004.
This is a fantastic book. It truly illustrates how the boundaries between disciplines are blurring. The title says it all. Very exciting and visionary book.

Steffen, Alex. Worldchanging, A User's Guide to the 21st Century. New York: Harry N. Abrams Inc., 2006.

ART 438- Metalsmithing II
Fineggold and Seitz. Silversmithing.
Awesome book. Awesome.

design lessons from the apple store

Check out this great article from adaptive path about the design strategies Apple uses in their retail stores.

Things to think about for those entering the world of wholesale or retail shows.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Best Thing I Heard This Week

Someone said this to me this week:
"Are you from earth because you make sense."
Thanks for making my week or maybe my summer.

Design Challenges Everywhere

So Megan arrives at NY Gift Fair unloads her stuff to discover that the exhibitor right next to her has the exact same both curtains that Megan has.....what's a girl to do? Megan calls a friend for a quick down and dirty brainstorming session, checks the GPS function n her iphone and solves the problem. Violá! Aren't you glad you can think? Kick some ass, Megan.