Afternoons Away From The Web

I love the internet a lot. A whole lot, really. But sometimes it starts to feel like I spent a bit too much time surrounded by stuff that only exist on screens. So, I’ve been blocking off the occasional afternoon to sneak away from web design work and try something new. To try my hand at making more physical things where there is no undo and plenty of room for the unexpected.

I spent some quality time with the laser cutter at HackPittsburgh one afternoon and cut some pendants and earrings. They’re made of wood and up close they smell like campfire which is oddly pleasing. They turned out great for a first try! My head is already spinning with new designs to cut next time.

Laser cut pendants

Laser cut earrings

Melissa has been helping me find my way around the metalsmithing studio. It’s a complicated place for the uninitiated. The first thing I made there was an adjustable ring from a piece of old printing plate. Annealing and hammering metal is increadibly addictive. I was hooked.

Last time around I learned how to solder rings. Delicate metal work is definitely a skill I don’t possess yet, but I’m proudly wearing my slightly lopsided rings right now. They’re far from perfect, but hey – I made them myself!

Three adjustable rings

My two soldered wire rings

Both these projects were just tiny steps in to new territory but I’ve learned so much from them. The funny thing about making physical objects is that they never turn out exactly as you saw them in your head. Never. That’s both freeing and frustrating.

It’s amazing how refreshing a few hours away from the screen can be. Look for little opportunities to try something new whenever you can. You won’t regret it! It’s hard to embrace the uncertainty of doing something you’re not very good at yet, but it’s worth it.