limited production :: hand crafted :: high performance :: rechargeable :: premium flashlights

This is my blog about creating a startup LED flashlight business. I'm a designer, fabricator, and strategist and I'm passionate about making ideas real. I believe that products are about people, that they should be built to last, deliver real value, and that we need to do a better job than we have in the recent past.

Most of my career has been contract or freelance work and I've crafted products and strategies for both big international companies and startups. I also used to work in the "industry" fabricating special effects for film and TV, along with the occasional hot rod. Bottom line, I love making things.

I'm starting this blog so you can follow along, from day one, and see what it's like to start a business, or fail in the process. Only time will tell, but I hope you find this interesting enough to stay tuned, comment, link, like, tweet, and (most importantly) participate in turning this idea into something tangible and valuable.

For a good place to get started with general info about who, what, why, etc., check out the "Stickies" on the left side of the page. Thanks for stopping by and please don't hesitate to ask questions and get involved!

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Copper: building character with use

I made a limited edition run of 10 solid copper Alphas, and people often ask me why I would do such a thing. First, because it's awesome. If you've never held a pound of copper in your hand, it's pretty the first time you lift a gold bar. Okay, that one's still on the bucket list. You might consider a copper Alpha as a baby step.

Stage 1: a nice patina from people handling the light
Seriously though, many collectors like copper lights because they tarnish very easily and develop a patina that is unique to their owner and patterns of use. I think it's strongly related to the Japanese aesthetic of "wabi sabi." Other than being fun to say, the concept revolves around finding beauty in impermanence and imperfection. Objects that show their history are capable of a dialogue that more permanent objects are not.

The nice thing about copper is that you can also clean the slate and start over from new: enter Nevr-Dull!

I used to use this stuff to polish printing plates back when I was guessed it...print making. It's a cotton gauze loaded with some sort of delicious (if you are a mechanic) smelling secret sauce. It's nice because it has no abrasive qualities at all and will polish the pants of anything that is metal.

Stage 2: buffing out the head
It works amazingly quickly and doesn't even require any real pressure. Polishing the head took maybe one minute. If the item is heavily tarnished you'll need to wipe it down with a clean rag to get the layer of residue off, then back to the Nevr-Dull.

Stage 3: viola! That's what I 
Give me another minute, okay two, and we have this Alpha back to looking brilliant and new. The shine isn't quite as perfect as when it was first machined, but you can use some more elbow grease and get an even better polish. Not bad though, right?

1 comment:

  1. You're in CA, so if there are talks of a Steampunk-themed movie in the works, show this to them.