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  • Michael Krakovskiy 8:23 am on March 20, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , day fetish maker, , I don't, , Macy's, , Metalworking, , Rivet, sometimes even artistic plumber, , , , Web develpment   

    SuperCraftsmen I: Abrasha 

    I decided to do a little series about amazing craftsmen I’ve learned about on the Internet.

    I think of myself as a of a tradesman. I work right next to the jewelry district, but my work is less refined. I’m more of a plumber. A very neat and sometimes even artistic plumber, but a plumber nevetheless. Web develpment is like that. Web developers sometimes fancy themselves architects and artists, but almost never are. We are all engineers and craftsmen though, and as such can appreciate work of other craftsmen.

    Once, looking for a titanium menorah, of all things, I found a website of Abrasha. Even though he does not list his prices, I clearly can’t afford his work. I’ll have to fashion my own titanium menorah, out of titanium tubing, like a jedi knight building his(or her) lightsabre.

    While I was browsing about, I watched an amazing video that he has on the website. In it, he says:

    “People call me a jeweler, I don’t. I call myself a goldsmith. To me a jeweler is a merchant, a person who buys and sells jewelry. I don’t. I design and make jewelry as it was done hundreds of years ago. I feel myself almost like a modern day fetish maker or a shaman, people come to me personally and get my work for other reasons than they get work at Tiffany’s or Macy’s or through a catalog. There’s a quality of my work that speaks to people.”

    Boy, is he right. His work speaks, and it speaks directly to me. There are just so many things that are resonating with me: he is working on a series of 100 pins, just like I work on my 100 Views of the Empire State Building. He uses titanium and other unobtanium, which is a minor obsession of mine. He is inspired by Japanese art. He pays attention to the parts of his work that nobody will ever see, just like I always try to.

    I highly suggest that you watch the video and look through the slideshow of Abrasha showing the process of making jewelry. This is pure engineering erotica. In particular, the slideshow for making the Pachinko Ball Bracelet is amazingly clever. I especially liked the part closer to the end where he makes the gold rivets line up. The gold rivets are my favorite feature of his work – I love elements of construction that are both structural and decorative at the same time.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 10:29 am on June 27, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: food stalls, , , , , , , , Metalworking, , rubber boots, , , ,   

    Deadprogrammer Visits Japan Part IVc : Day of the Tentacle 

    Of course, seafood is not the only thing that’s sold in this gigantic market.

    You can buy just about everything seafood related around there, rubber boots, for instance.

    There are a lot of knife merchants around that sell mostly Japanese-style knives. I already have a decent set of Japanese Deba Hocho knives, but I just had to buy a souvenir gaff, a miniature version of a hook that everybody in the market used to grab boxes and fish (they are on the right of this display box.

    Here’s a merchant sharpening a knife on a waterstone. I have one of those too. Because of their single-sided concave edge, Japanese-style knives are significantly sharper and easier to sharpen than Western knives. Still, getting a really sharp edge is a bit of an art.

    There are numerous food stalls around the market. Here’s one of the cooler ones, with a giant steaming pot of something and a dude with a yakuza-like pompadour haircut. This was one of those few places in Japan that refused to serve us, gaijin.

    Instead, we went to a sushi place with slightly disturbing decoration: a doomed fish in an aquarium that watches you as you eat. The sushi was very fresh and reasonably priced, but not significantly better than what I am used to in New York.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 1:05 am on May 31, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Die, element jeweler, Fisher, Keychain, , , Metalworking, , Space Pen, ,   

    What’s On Yer Keychain 

    Stuff that I carry on my keychain, left to right:
    1) Bottle opener. I don’t drink much beer, but a lot of tasty diet drinks sold in NYC bodegas come in non-snap-off cup glass bottles.
    2) Red Photon Light 3 from Thinkgeek. It came really handy during the NYC Blackout of 2003. (See my photos here and here. If you know somebody who can use those for a newspaper or a magazine article, please let me know.)
    3) A 20x 5 element jeweler’s loupe that I bought in a store on 47th street. I don’t get that much use out of it, but it’s petty cool.
    4) A Husky brand 4 way pocket screwdriver.
    5) A Levenger single sheet cutter. This is one of the most useful little gadgets eve. A tiny ceramic shard on the end of the plastic holder cuts through a single sheet of newspaper. Awesome for clipping newspaper articles, taking out chunks of notes and trimming paper. With a bit more pressure it works on slightly thicker paper, like that in Moleskine notebooks. Also good for taking off cellophane from CDs and trimming gift paper. It’s next to impossible to cut yourself with one. The only gripe is had to notch up the case to make it easy to take the cutter out of it.
    6) A Fisher Space Pen epoxied to a little ring. This way I always have a pen to take down notes.

    Single sheet cutter in action from Levenger’s website:

     
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