U of A Alumni Association, Green and Glow winterfest 2015

laser cut lanterns, green and gold for the University of Alberta Alumni Assn's 100th anniversary
one hundred lanterns for one hundred years

Jan, 2015.  The University of Alberta’s Alumni Association turns 100 this year, one hundred years after the first class graduated.  I got a call to imagine something special for their Winter Event.  This became one of the best University events I’ve been to, and we produced a genuinely magical moment.

Had some deeper learning moments about high speed production of large numbers of objects… 100 lanterns is quite a lot of lanterns. Even when you have a cnc machine to laser cut your parts. The opposite side of that learning is that 100 lanterns is a good number of lanterns to have a parade with. Especially when they each put out 2 watts worth of coloured LED light. At the last minute I decided to walk in the parade with the prototype lanterns, and it induced a pleasantly expansive feeling

The Association produced a great video, and an image gallery follows below.


Flying Canoe Volant 2015

coat of arms- canoe with crossed paddles and wings, moon over with crown of stars, snowflakes beneath
new design for the flying canoe volant

The Mill Creek Adventure this year was a major stretch for me.  Scheduled for a week after my other biggest winter festival commission, I had to juggle 5 workshops, up to 10 workers, a whole class of artists,  dozens of projects, and hundreds of details.  Sometimes I felt like I was driving between sites for a month.  But in the end, it worked out.  and the last two days of installation were surprisingly easy.  Delegation to competent staff pays off… except in the visceral sense of feeling like I’m focused on making art.  I suppose that’s what large scale art management is about.

In the chaos, I managed to bring 3 new major lanterns to the event, and a much deeper colour palette to my older lantern work.  New LED colours… as fun as christmas for me!

This gallery is from Paula Kirman; you can find her edmonton events photography on flicker


Winter Light 2012: Mill Creek Adventure Walk

People passing thru the Gate of Winter Light
January 27 and 28, 2012, myself and the rest of the Winter Light team launched an ambitious project; to do more with less at our now hopefully annual Mill Creek Adventure Walk. The story this year was seeded by Carol and Bill, and told the tale of an Eager Beaver’s attempt to build a Lodge big enough to Block Out the Stars.

The cast of this adventure took their places thru the ravine: Beavers Built (when not on coffee break), Skunks Investigated disturbances in the light, Magpies Reported for the local weekly, Crows Appreciated shiny things, and Aurora and the Light People let everyone know it was all going to be okay.


Mill Creek Adventure Walk Flys Again

20130204-110454.jpg

Adventure Walk Flys Again

February 1st and 2nd marks the 3rd Mill Creek Adventure Walk, and the first time this walk has been produced by La Cité Francophone. As you may or may not know, Winter Light, the previous producer has ceased operations in September, so myself and vast numbers of the public are grateful and excited that La Cité has picked up this amazing event.

This year’s event featured the legend of The Flying Canoe and The City of Light, an old French and native story about some Voyageurs who make a deal with the devil to fly their canoe home to visit loved ones. And they had to be back by midnight or they all turn into pumpkins. Or something like that, I never have much time to follow the story, to busy setting up lanterns.

Installation-wise, we had a limited new-work budget to play with, so the focus was on revising and re-arraigning. Fortunately I have a lot I material that has never shown in the creek before, so that plus some subtle upgrades and the new, shorter walking path made for fresh lighting experience.

The other big change was a fancy new home base at La Cité. Great venue for performance and gathering. Also an amazing workshop setup to develop and stage from.

I’m going to take this opportunity to
thank and recognize some people:
Robin, Brett, and Scott for throwing down without much notice, yet with enough understanding of my scene to deal with the work efficiently.
Memi for the use of her fabric lanterns.
MiHu, for his can-punching work for Crystal Cradle of last year that finally made it into something public.
Winter Light for putting all that material into the hands of artists and event producers.
La Cité (Daniel, Mirielle, Shannon, and the rest) for picking this event up.
Matt for being the full time winter guy that makes it all stick.
Marissa for keeping track of batteries an all the rest.
Hydrosion, for supporting my design with the robot-assisted cutting you all saw.
Rose, my boss, for all the time off to make this happen.
The weather for being awesome.
And my wife Janelle and baby for coming out to enjoy the walk with me, and patience thru the way too busy develop and install phase of the work.
And you know, everybody …

You can see more at the city of lights.

Send an email to someone ( La Cité, City Councillor, Edmonton arts council) if you want to see this event again next year!


RotoGoboScope : Light + Motion Sculpture

we took some pictures of the rotogoboscope motion light sculpture at the gallery it will be displayed at until april 2012
a motion light sculpture captured with still photography

What is this RotoGoboScope?

The lantern that won the People’s Choice Award at the IllumiNite event in Edmonton!

The RotoGoboScope is an innovative lantern that combines colorful LED lights with rotating mechanisms to produce a fantastic moving light-scape of patterned dots. It features custom electronics that are built into refurbished coffee cans, which are mounted onto a tower made of re-used metal scrap.

 

What does the name mean?

Well, “Roto” is for rotating. “Gobo”  is short for “Go-Between”, and refers to an object that is placed in front of a light source to control the shape of the light emitted.  And “Scope” like in kaleidoscope, a device that creates moving color patterns.

 

This lantern is a creative extension of  my Can-O-Lantern series of decorative LED lamps, currently sold by Crystal Cradle. I have been handcrafting LED lamps using upgraded coffee cans for about 3 years.

RotoGoboScope was originally built for IllumiNite – and outdoor light design competition organized by Edmonton on the Edge.  It was installed outside for a night, in the park behind Sobey’s on Jasper Ave. The nook it got tucked into was awkward, but the reception was excellent – the RotoGoboScope captured the delight of its viewers, and won the People’s Choice award!

 

Good news – this amazing lantern is currently on display at the Cool Stuff Exhibit! You can find it at the University of Alberta Museum in Enterprise Square (10230 Jasper Ave) from March 22nd – March31st.

 

What is it made of?

Composed of  approximately 95%  upgraded metal scrap, plus some custom-built electronics.

The upgraded scrap components include :

  • 6 bicycle wheel rims – from the local Bike Repair Collective
  • steel EMT pipe – from an outfitter tent repair job
  • a laundry machine drum – scrap yard special
  • a clothing display stand – someone must have donated this to our pile without asking
  • 3 coffee cans – readily available
  • hard-drive platters – from old computers

The rest of the parts are :

  • 9 1-Watt LED’s —  red, white, yellow, and green
  • 3 rotating gear-motors
  • various electrical components – drivers, transformers, connectors and wires
  • 1m steel tube and shaft

It runs on regular household electrical current (110V AC) via transformers, or directly on a 12V DC battery.

 

Sweet. What does this light look like in motion?

I thought you’d never ask.

Can I Get One?

Soon. There aren’t any ready made, but you can commission one.   This one is rent-able for special events. The Can-O-Lantern series of lamps are available at Crystal Cradle.

Winter Light Gala and 2012 season launch

winter light logo, waterjet cut from plywood and lit upI’m involved in a festival project in my home town of Edmonton, AB, that takes on the colder half of our year.  It’s called Winter Light, cause we light up the long dark days of winter.  At our latitude, we can have as little as 4 hours of daylight in December.  Which is crazy.  Especially if you are stuck in school or work for those 4 hours.  You can see all about Winter Light at our styley website here:  www.winterlight.ca (website no longer maintained)

Last weekend we launched our new Season and our newly founded Non-Profit Society.  Up till now we have been a City of Edmonton created and funded project, that startup situation is now over and we are free to find our own fate as a non profit.  Comes with perks and challenges ;)

I get to be the Lantern Co-Ordinator and Artistic Director of one of our events, which is about the  most interesting job title I’ve ever had.  And it means I get to build really fun things.  For our launch, I worked on some more vector design + waterjet cut wood construction, and built a really fancy stage.

Best Part was everyone loved everything.   Food, Music, Art, Fires.  Other best part was we got the whole thing installed with time to spare.  Must be practice or something.

so, Pictures! thats what you and me are here for right?  Here’s the pictures:

Thanks to Robin George for taking the pictures.  I think I had the time to take two?  Must have been busy doing art or something.   I’ll be adding descriptions to the gallery as time goes by.

Astral Harvest Lantern Installation

the top of a Lantern Tower at Astral Harvest
Lantern Tower

A big part of my art is site specific lighting installations. I created a new set of cad + waterjet woodcut Lanterns and Light Towers for Astral Harvest. Fun times.

Extending my scope of action is always a fun thing to do, even the painful learning curves (of Adobe Illustrator for example) become satisfying and even enjoyable after the fact. even if it is often takes months.

I had a lot of help from people: Scott Davis did pretty much all of the metal drilling cutting and welding. I’m borrowing a flamethrower from Dancing Wolf. Christy Boulter reminded me of the giant lenses from warehouse HID lighing, available at several re-used building supplies stores. And Austen at Hydrosion has been amazing at turning my vector pictures into finely sliced wood.


a collection of Winter Light pictures

Lighting up an architectural feature at Jackie Parker Park, forBig Winter

 

I have been a lantern co-ordinator for Edmonton’s Winter Light celebrations for the last two years.  It has given me the opportunity to do some fairly large scale work, and get outside and do fun stuff in the winter.

here are some pictures of that process.

for more information on the festival go to Winterlight