Exocubic Studio

Fire tool handle glamour shot. Lots of deburring and tons of grip.

#functionalart #metalshaping #metalart #metalartwork #tig #handmade #metalfabrication #metalworking #sheetmetal #maker #weldporn #ckworldwide #tigandchill

Got some time in on the fire tools and their storage garage. . . . .


sculpture #functionalart #metalshaping #metalart #metalartwork #tig #handmade #metalfabrication #metalworking #sheetmetal #maker #weldporn #ckworldwide #tigandchill #hexagonal

Not sure if this will show up correctly or not, since Facebook is pulling more shenanigans. CinderCone!

CinderCone: How.

Once I decided I wanted to make a chimenea, it was time to address the “How?” I’ve spent 25 years slowly incorporating computer-aided design elements into my work, including patterns that are warped and deformed algorithmically. I had a vague idea of how I wanted the perforated pattern to look, but utilized the "mess with it 'til it looks good" method to arrive at a layout of hexagons, warped along a curving path. Not to get too far into the weeds, but that curving path acts as an attractor, deforming the hexes more strongly relative to their distance from it.

Chimenea attractor curve


Since the humble hexagon was the seed for the pattern, I thought it appropriate to use it as the driving motif for the chimenea’s main form, too. Given that there are some immutable constraints at play - scale, containing the fire, supporting the wood, channeling the smoke, etc. - much of the remaining design choices were just a matter of adjusting the form to allow for said constraints. I worked up the basic shape, then stuck an average-sized human into the scene to check the scale. The initial 40 inch height just felt too small when viewed in this context, so I added a foot. Ta Da!


Original, too-small design Revised, taller size


Once I have the design finalized, I lay out all the parts as flat patterns for the laser cutter, then send them off to be cut.

laser cutting layout

(Laying out the tong handles, and getting them tacked together.)

Quick mock-up for where I'm heading with storage for the CinderCone fire tools.

Aaaaaand the ash shovel. A$$ shove all? Now for the rack to hang 'em on…

Ha! I'm digging this wacky design for fire tongs. Part of a set of tools I'm working on in #rhino3d to complement the CinderCone #chimenea.

CinderCone: A chimenea?

So, I designed a chimenea. I’m calling it the “CinderCone.”

Chimenea render with figure for scale

Why a chimenea?

(If your first question is, rather, "WHAT is a chimenea?" - Wikipedia is your friend!)

Have you seen 'em? Talk about homely! Their design is primarily driven by utility tempered by manufacturing cost - and even when some aesthetics are brought into play, like in the last example below, the result is awkward, clumsy, and, well - what the hell is that shiny brass cap doing on there? Yeesh.

clay chimenea la hacienda leon chimenea medium p2305 27823 image contemporary steel chimenea 6484

I often look around at the objects we fill our lives with, and wonder if there isn't something better, something more designed and pleasing to the eye to be had. Given that our blind fealty to the baser tenets of capitalism has brought us to the brink of destroying the climate, it seems that finding not just prettier but more considered, hand-crafted items just might be a better way forward. I also really like the aesthetic and cultural experience of the small fire, it's power to enthrall us, bring us together, and transport us through time to a primal place of comfort and camaraderie as we huddle around its warmth. Add some computer-aided design and laser cutting to the mix, and you have a redolent, fiery nexus of the ancient and modern to help stave off the darkness with your friends and loved ones.

Plus, given that the corona virus torpedoed that screen project I spoke of in my last post, I was looking for something other than craft beer and mountain biking to keep me occupied.

Messing around with designs for fire tools to compliment the CinderCone.

My last post caught Lee @zfabcustomwelding's eye - he was needing some #3D #CAD work done on this sweet table leg design. A real head-scratcher, but we got there. If you find yourself in need of a CAD monkey, hit me up!

(Bike racks I did for the City of Loveland, CO)


Backpedal: Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To move the pedals of a bicycle or similar vehicle backward, especially to apply a brake.

  • intransitive verb To move backward by taking short quick steps, as in boxing or football.

  • intransitive verb To retreat or withdraw from a position or attitude.

 Well, that didn’t work out.

I’m referring to my previous post, wherein I formally “end” my career as a sculptor. I gave it a year, and it was crystal clear that my new endeavors were not going to pan out financially. I was scrambling to figure out what to do and why, when that stupid little notification sound emerged from my phone. It was a text from a client I’d worked with back in 2015, designing and fabricating a privacy screen for his house here in Fort Collins.

Fawzy privacy screen

Turns out, he has a need for another screen at his new place in Denver. When opportunity knocks, you answer – sore shoulder notwithstanding. I felt somewhat defeated at first, but, as I started digging into a new design, I realized just how much I missed the process of building artful things—actual, physical objects made to fill space and look cool doing it. There is something deeply satisfying about working out how to reach an artistic goal while also striving to make it fulfill a clear purpose. Speaking of purpose, it seems I’ve relocated mine. Exocubic Studio is back, baby!

Dr. Strangesculpture, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the metal. The client who commissioned me to make this screen messaged me out of the blue, wanting another privacy screen for his new house in Denver. Great clients make all the difference. That, and precious bodily fluids. #sculpture #metalart #stainlesssteel

Making Terralogue Totems: Fleshing it Out

Once we decided on a design direction, I fleshed out the design and added the motifs to other formal elements; bike racks and bollards in this case. Materials were also pinned down: Weathering Steel (Corten) and Stainless.

BIke rack renderbollards

Making some bench legs for friends. Eat your leftovers.

All 18 bike racks are done and palletized. Ready for delivery.

Hah hah haaaa! Six! Six bike racks! #thecount #fabrication #publicart #sculpture #corten

One done. 17 more to go.

 #fabrication #publicart #sculpture #bikerack #stainlesssteel #corten