Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Gears of War Trophy, Mexico City Tournament

Last month we sent off this big trophy to Mexico City for a Gears of War tournament.  It stands 16" tall & is made of layered 1/2 inch aluminum & steel.   We will be doing trophies for 3 more tournaments this year...and I just got pics from the actual event--very cool! 

The last tourney is in Vegas in June; we are thinking of possibly going to see it in person--would be a fun trip!  We shall see...

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Custom Metal Trophies--a few updates

Some of our smaller projects from November:

This one was a request for a film festival in Germany; it's very similar to one of the very first big sets of trophies we made for a local event.  Steel I-beam base with accents in polished aluminum & colored copper. 

A set of steel cube trophies going across the pond to the UK.

And some cute Idaho state trophies; delivered locally : )  I like the variety of finished on this set, as well as the base detail.

We have 2 sets of awards to finish up & deliver locally this week, plus 2 big tournament trophies that have to ship out next week & quite a few small orders as well; looks to be really busy through December! 


Friday, November 18, 2016

Gears of War Custom Trophy made from Metals

Another large tournament trophy for Gears of War---this one stands 16" tall & has many layers of 1/2 inch aluminum, including the lettering & the silver behind the outside gear design.  It's hard to see in the pic, but the trophy is very dimensional: the bolts that hold the Gears & War letters are over 3" long & just barely connect to the nuts on the back of the piece. 

The back of the piece has 2 triangular pieces that the trophy stands on; kinda like a book stand: from the front, the trophy looks like it floats, but it's really leaning back onto those 2 triangles that support the shield-like design.

The tournament takes place this November 25th-27th & will be live-streamed via Twitch: check out all the details via the link above : )


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WarGaming Tournament Trophy for World of Tanks

Another trophy for our friends at World of Tanks; top teams from NA, APAC and EU are coming to New York to battle it out.

This one has a base of fabricated steel, with the logo on top made from steel with polished aluminum accents.  The letters are made from 1/2 inch thick aluminum for lots of dimension, along with the arrow logo & the border around the whole logo piece.  The base has olive drab military paint that I distressed to make is look worn & beat up; like a tank that's been through the war ; )  This one stands about 18" tall & weighs in at about 12 lbs; not bad for a trophy of this size.

Take a look at the sneak peek for the event:

Hope they like it; the trophy is schedule to arrive in New York tomorrow--just in time for set up for the tournament. 


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Serenity Comes Home

The very first large scale sculpture I ever made years ago is back home at last : )  We went & picked it up from Eagle a few weeks ago & put it up in a nice place where it's visible outside the front window.  I'm actually happy this one never sold--it's been out there for years at lots of different locations, but I think it's home to stay this time. 

This one (Serenity) stands over 7 feet tall, polished stainless steel, with cable, copper, concrete, steel, & crystal on top.  It was vaguely inspired by sailing ships; maybe even space solar sales from science fiction, & also the game Myst IV Revelations. 

The stainless base is 3-dimensional (I'll get some better pics) & I actually have a permanent scar from when I was doing the grind polish on it.  I went to turn the whole piece over--it was summer, so I was sleeveless with leather gloves on--the corner hit my forearm & burnt it pretty good...I think of my scars as tattoos, lol : ) 

Also some fun facts about this one; the concrete base came from Boise Concrete Sawing--they specialize in cutting concrete, stone, etc & this was a core from a project.  The pins that hold the concrete core in place came from the mine that my Dad works at (they were replacing the roller bearings at the time).  The cables are just because I like cable; also the piece has to be designed in a way that it could come apart in pieces small enough for a team of 2 to be able to load in a truck.  (At the time I did not have equipment for lifting heavy loads)  So, the stainless piece basically is held to the concrete & steel by the cable; turnbuckles tighten everything down & can be taken apart for easy transport.

Anyway; I'm sure the chickens will appreciate the new garden art, lol ; )


Book Review: the Book of Salt

OK; so confession time---I thought this was a book about cooking & such, which it is, but not really.  It's really the story of a Vietnamese cook hired by Gertrude Stein &  Alice B. Toklas.  It's 1930s Paris & one of the most popular figures of the day; Gertrude Stein (not Gertrude or Miss Stein, always Gertrude Stein) needs a new personal chef for the household, & outcast Bihn applies for the job.  He is told before entering the household that the ladies of the house are "different."  After being interviewed, he is hired for the position & tells the story of his adventures & observations of the unique & intriguing lives of these two polarizing historical figures.

Overall, I enjoyed the book; if you like historical fiction, you will probably enjoy it.  There are a lot of overlying social issues, but I didn't feel like the author hit your over the head with them; which was nice.  I really enjoyed the quirky/crazy relationship between Gertrude Stein & Toklas--it was quite endearing, really : )  One of my favorite parts of the book was when they were visiting a country estate for the summer & Bihn went out visiting the neighboring farms, where they very graciously fed him many drinks...  He stumbled back to the household afterwards, & passed out in the kitchen where they found him the next morning, hahaha.  They put him to bed & said not a word about it when he resumed work the next morning. 

This book is probably not for everyone: it's about a lesbian couple in the 30s, but that's not really the focus of the story.  Well worth reading & not an overly long novel: I would say 3.75 out of 5 stars : ) 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Custom Metal Awards

Shipped out a set of 10 awards today; steel with custom finishes & aluminum accents. Copper plate, rainbow torch & polished aluminum with flat black contrast.  I really like how these turned out--very unique. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Late Model Tour Custom Trophies

A nice set of fabricated steel trophies we shipped out last week.  The 1st place stands about 15 inches tall, with 2nd-8th in graduating sizes.  Love the graphics on the logo : ) 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Book Review; Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner

This book takes you on a journey through the life of Chanel, from early childhood & boarding school, to her struggles as a young woman & through the rise of her design work & brand.  It's a fascinating look into the world of a very progressive woman who lived in a time when that was not readily accepted by society, but she made it work in her favor. 

This read much more as a story than a biography, but included relevant facts & data on her life & the people close to her.  I was unsure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised--an enjoyable read that I will hold onto for the future.  4 out of 5 stars.


Friday, November 4, 2016

Funny Bone Custom Trophy

Finished up today; a fairly large trophy for the Funny Bone comedy club : )  This one is fabricated steel with various paint finishes & accents of copper & aluminum.  The microphone is made from a Harley Davidson engine part that I cut apart & modified; pretty cool, although a lot of time & grindy-work ; )   

Hope they like it: the sparkle in the blue & the background should come out under stage lights-really can't see it in the pic, but the blue has metal flake, as well as the brick background.  Shipping out tomorrow for the big event next week!


Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell

Finally got to this classic & holy was hard to get through.  Not because it wasn't good; because frankly, it's a bit scary.  Doublethink, Big Brother, the Proles: some things that touch on things we see in society today.  Honestly, I wish this would have been assigned reading in high school, although I'm not sure I would have grasped everything.  It's sure a great lesson in the importance of freedom--in ideas, speech, learning, etc.  And also how those very freedoms can be twisted & used against the masses by the few in power to keep & expand the power they hold.

This is not a long book; if you have not read it--please put it on your TBR list.   You probably won't enjoy all of it, but this book will make you a better & more thoughtful human. I got about 3/4 through & had to put it aside for a bit, but I'm glad I came back & finished it.  This book really makes you think; it's not a summer blockbuster pure entertainment read, but you will be glad you finished it & the themes will stick in your mind for a long time to come...


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Big Shiny Perpetual Trophy with Vortex Design in Metal

Finished this one up today; fabricated steel base with accents of copper & painted aluminum. It stands 24" tall & weighs about 16 lbs.  All four sides of the base are ready for plaques to be added with winner names; the trophy is meant to be passed to the winner to display each year & then passed to the next winner.

It's really shiny in the sunlight--& I love the sparkle on the paint finish. 

I'm really happy with the details on this one; especially the copper accents.  The vortex design was inspired by Ultimate Frisbee.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Book Review; Soda Pop Soldier by Nick Cole

Already a Nick Cole fan, I picked this one up for a fun read.  I'm a gamer, so the premise was appealing & I was hoping for something that was like Ready Player One, but better.   I was not disappointed : )  The story follows professional gamer PerfectQuestion & his team as they battle it out in the online world.  In this not too distant future, WarWorld: the massive online gaming simulation is watched planet-wide & advertising space is sought after by the most powerful corporations on earth.

In addition to the super-bowl style online WarWorld matches, there is a darker online black market that PerfectQuestion turns to when money gets tight.  As our main character gets deeper into the dark online game, he learns of things that relate to real world issues & people, & he must make some hard choices...

I would recommend this one to just about anyone; especially anyone familiar with games like Call of Duty, StarCraft, etc.  It's a fast-paced adventure with believable game play as well as a nicely crafted story of a person trying his best to survive in his world & make some difficult moral decisions.   I enjoyed every page; finished it in one sitting : )


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Wargaming Tournament Trophy

Our second WarGaming trophy as seen at the big event in California.  This one is 24" tall, fabricated steel with a gritty, industrial, military green finish.  The top is modeled after an abrams tank sprocket, the base welded steel, with LED lighting accents.  The LEDs on this one can be programmed to different colors & can change color, blink, etc. 

One of my favorites so far---I really liked playing around with the paint finish & distressing.  Tentatively, we will be building 2 more: on the next one I think even more distressing would be fun. 


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Book Review: Wool by Hugh Howey

The first of a series of 3; this is a post-apocalyptic fantasy that is one of my all time favorite series.  Set in an underground silo (like a bunker, but huge--over 100 stories) the story follows the lives of some of the inhabitants as they survive within the confines of the silo. Without giving too much away; the writing is great, the story is compelling (the type to keep one up way past bedtime) and the world building is imaginative, but realistic.   I was drawn into the world in the first few chapters & happily devoured the next books in the series.  This is a series that has a permanent place on my bookshelf...not something normal for me; I typically resell books on ebay.  But, special books stay, & this is one of them--I made Josh read them too & he loved them as well.  From these books, I have become a Hugh Howey fan; just finished his latest: Soda Pop Soldier & will have a review soon : )