November Already

Hi gang, by now it’s possible that no one is reading these posts any more, but recently I had a bit of a ‘what the fuck am I doing’ moment and it was actually quite helpful to revisit this blog as somewhat of a diary for the last 4 years and see exactly what I / we did… and that helped with the feelings over being overwhelmed now that we’re almost 4 years into the big 5 year plan.

As you may know, Dani and I have recently moved to Sydney, so now it seems the Dead & Buried team / concept / soul is spread over two cities with the actual studio space still humming along in Melbourne and us two in a new city, making new friends, doing new things and making new challenges. There is a possibility that Dead & Buried II will start up here in 2014, but we need to be sure it’s worth the time and effort as part of our new outlook and set of priorities.

In a nuthshell we’re up here mostly due to me taking on a job as a User Experience Designer – which admittedly was pretty out-of-left-field when I took it on, but it seems its a position that suits me perfectly, designing things that make life easier for people which is essentially what I’ve done my whole life when given the chance – but we are also hoping to capitilise on some of the drive, business savviness and dollars that Sydney is all about.

We love Melbourne for it’s DIY attitude, but it started to seem like we were trapped in a cycle of ‘earn a little, spend it all again’ and it didn’t seem likely that it would be a path that would take us and our products to the world. The move to NYC is still my #1 driving goal that gets me out of bed each morning, so taking the opportunity to move cities was too good to pass up.

So, at the moment Dani is busting ass making 10 times more work than she has ever made to hopefully sell out of at the Big Design Market in Melbourne early December. I’ve officially shelved my fashion/shoe stuff for ANOTHER few months, as we cant realistically launch a label, work full time and make market stock all at once … so like a big chess game, we’ve made a strategic plan to smash through 2013 and get on with things in 2014.

Dani also has a PR agency now, so we are currently making a lookbook for her latest collection, I’ll put some images up here next week when it’s released. VERY EXCITING.

I could rattle on all day, and there are lots of projects that have happened over the last 6 months that haven’t had much love, but for now here’s a quick summary :

- The visors I made for Christina Exie are currently travelling the world with her, recently getting a showing at Vancouver Fashion Week and MSFW, as well as appearing in a magazine editorial here in Australia.

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- I did some top secret work for Dion Lee earlier in the year for his NYFW show. I helped out with some 3D generated terrains that made it in to this line of clothing. There might be more showing up in the future depending on if he / we are able to take it as far as we want to for next collection (the ideas he has are pretty amazing)

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- My 3D printer moved up here with us and I printed out this mammoth piece for my pal Soren. He is going to get it cast from magnesium to replace a part on a vintage race car that he is restoring… pretty awesome being able to use modern tech to make things that would be otherwise impossible to source.

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- Dani has over run our new house with jewellery. Here’s some shots of it all… we strive for a minimalist lifestyle, but there’s always something creative going on that fills up the empty tables (and we love it that way)

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- As I mentioned, I’ve been helping Dani with her lookbook. She managed to arrange a beautiful looking photoshoot with a week’s notice and now I’m back at home doing retouching on a dozen images. Here’s a teaser, more to come soon…

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I’m sure there’s more, but for now that’ll have to do.

Oh, and I just watched these 3 videos – which reminded me how much I loved our old studio and made me happy to know that there are other people out there like us who are 100% committed to doing whatever it takes and making whatever they need to get the job done.

GIZMODO – The Wildly Functional Studio of Video Wizard Casey Neistat, Part 1 from Gizmodo on Vimeo.

I found it comforting to be watching a video about someone’s resourceful studio space, whilst in a space that I’ve managed to squeeze in to a wasted corner of our house, where everything has it’s place and everything makes sense.

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Thanks for reading, who knows where this journey will go, but at a bare minimum it has to make for an interesting book one day when allllll these twists and turns are put back to back as “The story of Dead & Buried, New York’s most beloved retail space”… ha!

 

 

April = Ups and F*cking Downs

Hey there loyal readers (blog stats tell me it is still a few more people than our parents and Madeline and Hili that read this blog so I’ll keep talking as if it’s a captivated audience of 1000s)… April has certainly turned out to be the biggest rollercoaster of a month for me/us in hmmm… 7 years? Strangely enough EXACTLY 7 years ago, almost to the day from this year’s ups and downs, Dani and I got married and my previous business dissolved in a flash of rage and we found ourselves in one hell of a happy/sad headtrip. Seems April is cursed for us, we’d better watch out in April 2020… that sounds ominous.

I wont ramble on too much about the goings on of the month, but I do believe in open-book honesty, as that’s what this blog has always been about, so I dont want anyone out there who is / has / will go through tough times as an artist or creative person to think that it’s all smooth sailing here and we’re just posting up photos and exclamation marks when things go well, that’s what Instagram is for.

To start on a good note – WE WENT TO MERCEDES BENZ FASHION WEEK AND IT WAS COOL. Dani and I made the accessories for Christina Exie’s debut runway show, and it rocked the house. We spent the week soaking up some Sydney sun and helping Christina with the million and one tasks she had to do leading up to the show, we ate gelato and sushi, we arrived backstage 3 hours before the show and got to see the madness that goes on when trying to get 10 models styled, dressed and ready to walk a runway.

It was in no way without drama, there were some serious last minute hiccups to work around and I hope to do a post on all of the details of that adventure soon, but for now, here’s a quick preview of what we made and how it looked on the runway.


my 3D printed visors…

 
dani’s resin cast bangles…


the collection.

all images from zimbio.com

I was planning on doing a classic making of sort of post on these, but as I’m now thinking of going in to production with the visors asap I might wait a bit before I swing open the doors and give away all my trade secrets and intellectual property. Our friends at DI$COUNT have been ripped off royally recently by some dipshits in Sydney, so you cant really trust anyone these days it seems.

This was definitely one of the “ups” for April, and it was a great way to further our working relationship with Christina, meet a bunch of new people and get something seen outside of Melbourne.

That said, it lead me, and to a much lesser extent Dani, to crash out completely with post-event adrenalin and motivation loss. I’ve been trying to distract myself from the reality that I have somewhat ‘run out of steam’ since early January, and now that the outlook is on another year of hard work and determination all I want to do is pop into bed for a 6 month sleep.


this is what my plans for 2013 look like in my head at the moment.

All of our plans are so damned lofty that every now and then the weather changes or something sad happens and it’s hard not to just say “fuck it, I’m done with this shit”… but that’s the key to success. Knowing that those times will come and getting your ass off the couch and back in the saddle.

The sad event that came within 3 days of us arriving home from Sydney was the news that our friend and fellow creative hotshot-in-the-making Maya died of cancer at age 27. It’s making me choke up a little typing this so I’ll move on, but we are devastated to have lost her so early and hope that the good we can take from it is the motivation for us – and anyone reading this – to SEIZE THE DAY. Get out there and live your dreams as you have no idea when your time will be up.

Maya, you were awesome, and will never be forgotten.

So… ups and downs huh? How about having a new niece born 3 days after Maya passed? Is that up and down enough for you? Faaaaark.

We welcomed our new heartbreaker Olivia to the world on Monday and she is tiny and beautiful and quiet and possibly a redhead. I am in love already of course.

So… it’s now a public holiday, I’m in the studio typing away trying to get my mojo back, and hopefully…. hopefully, I’ll be blog posting this year with a new stream of stories about shoes and studios and manufacturing.

It seems the most financially sensible path for me (and Dani too) to take is for us to look at getting help with our brands so that we can break this exhausting cycle of trying to design, make and market everything all by hand. It works on a tiny turnover scale, but if we want to make these businesses actual “businesses” then that means working with a team, PR, marketing, bookkeeping, manufacture etc etc.

We just need to work out how to incorporate that into our Dead & Buried dream of integrated retail and manufacture, and how, when and where it will make sense for us to head in the next year or two – with the long term goal still being a home and life in ol’ Manhattan. Woo.

The other “up” for the month was getting to film a quick fashion film for Dani’s brand to launch her new resin jewellery range. We managed to get the brain-meltingly hot and cool Maximus Po to turn up at a photographic studio and dance her assssss off for an hour or two, whilst I directed and our friends Christian and Kik documented the whole thing. Below is a quick edit teaser film that I put together before Sydney… there’ll be a bigger and better and sexier one coming soon, once Christian and I get a chance to get back together and do some editing magic.

Dani M vs Maximus Po | Teaser Film from danimdesigns on Vimeo.

Oh, and one last thing, I made some postcards to give away whilst in Sydney and was lucky enough to have Jeannine Tan allow me to use one of her photos. She has a killer eye for photography and colour ranges that I am super envious of, so I am verrrry excited about working with her in the future to get the “look” for my brand just right. Go have a look at her site > www.jeanninetan.com

So that’s a wrap.
Here’s hoping May doesn’t suck as much as April.

 

3D print time

hey gang, I have (literally) 10 mins until the last tram leaves so i’ll be brief.

The 3D printer is WORKING LIKE A DREAM. I’ve been able to print out various trinkets, test objects, bits of junk… and now finally some real objects.

Below are some images that I’ve been taking as I print various things out. I haven’t been documenting this stuff as thoroughly as the shoemaking as 50% of the things I print are shit, or I stop them half way etc. These are some of the more successful attempts.

First prints of 1:1 heels


I have modelled up a last in 3D studio MAX (and also another better version in Rhino) and this is one of the many heel shapes that I have been working on. This shows my plans for an interlocking cantilever / wedge component that allows me to have more severe angles on the front edge of the heel and retain strength.

As I have the shoe last modelled, it’s easy to print out mini 1:2 scale shoes!

the rough textured ‘cage’ on this model is the support structure that the printer creates to hold up thin or overhanging components. It snaps off easily as it’s not actually attached to the object, just sitting 1mm away from it all over.


This is one of my ideas for a heel / wedge with a cavity. Much easier to test this way than making one from cork.

I’ve also printed out some even smaller 1:4 scale shoes. These will probably evolve into keyrings to come free with the shoes when they’re for sale.


A collection of bits and pieces on my shelf…


This pic shows a little of how the software saves materials. It prints a ‘shell’ of the object, then fills it with a set percentage of volume, in this case 10%, so the final object is more like a honeycomb filled easter egg than a solid plastic chunk. You can set it to do 100% infill, but in most cases other than a structural part that’s just a waste of time and resources.

Today I printed out a 1:1 insole shape from my 3D model to test for fit.

It looks like I need to adjust some curves across the bottom plane of the last so the insole isnt touching on the high spot at the ball of the foot, but the scale is correct. woooo. Next up is a snug fitting insole, then from there it’s pretty easy to make up a snug fitting platform… and that’s where the crazy stuff starts happening.

 


Nerdstation.


another shot of the 10% infill idea + this one has a ‘raft’ at the bottom that makes the model stick to the base more evenly.

…and lastly, some actual prototypes for a local design firm, printed out for client presentations.
I’ll be selling print time soon, at something like $50 an object, unless its massive, then that’ll be $100. The price DOESN’T include me doing any 3D modelling, it just involves me receiving your print-ready STL file, setting it up to print at the most efficient settings, and then tidying it up at the end + plastic used.

If’ you’re interested, let me know.

Next non-shoe project up is making / printing some accessories for Christina Exie’s fashion show in Sydney! We’ll be up there for fashion week, swanning around, being scenesters.

ROCK ON.

Ho-leee shiiit…

A month? Already? In fact a month + a week? God damn, sorry followers!
October has been STUPID busy for Dani and I, so we have neglected our blog, our plants and our friends all in the quest for the big dream. What’s been going on you say?

- Dani has been making goodlyGOLD items in bulk with her new assistant/pal Alicia and there are a bunch of new stockists coming soon.

- She has produced a limited edition range of jewellery exclusively for LIFEwithBIRD which is pretty exciting as she loves their clothing.

- There have also been a bunch of fuck-ups with her suppliers sending the wrong thing, plating necklaces in the wrong stuff… that sort of thing… the stuff that makes everything just a little bit more painful than it needs to be.

- I have taken on the challenge of making 10 PAIRS of crazy high heels for a high profile runway show that is coming in 2 weeks. I’m not allowed to say any more than that, but when it’s done and shown dont you worry, I’ll be talking about it as much as possible.

- This has also involved me getting the most awesome Emma Greenwood on board to sew the 20 uppers I need. The decision was made that my nerves are a bit shaky and my stress levels a bit high for me to pull of 2 days of sewing and expect good results. Emma knocked them up in an afternoon and they’re perfect. She rulez.

- I am now knee deep in resin molds, leather uppers and nails trying to get them all made. Looks achievable, so lets keep our fingers crossed.

* if you want to see update pics of the shoe stuff as I do it, follow us on Instagram DEADANDBURIED – that would also explain the crap photos this month, no time for good cameras.
or just spy on us here if you (understandably) don’t use instagram > http://web.stagram.com/n/deadandburied/

- I am also working 3 days a week AND doing extra 3d stuff at night to pay for…..

….wait for it…..

…yep…

MY NEW 3D PRINTER THAT I HAVE BOUGHT THAT ARRIVES NEXT WEEK!!!!

A top of the line Replicator2 is coming my way (as seen on the cover of Wired magazine this month) which will mean I can finally print out crrrrraaazzzzyyyyy 3d parts and get my ideas realised. I have had to sell some musical gear but hell, who cares when you have a black bad assed printer on the desk?

This is part of a bigger push to restructure my shoe brand idea from ‘hobby’ to a Jimmy Choo level business, so 2013 is shaping up to be fucking busy.

Oh, and extra thanks goes to my dad who, as you do, just finished the restoration of my vw and got it registered for me last week (mainly so I get it the hell out of his driveway). So, when I get a free hour one day I’ll go pick it up and be crusing the streets in this rocket.

Apologies to anyone we’ve forgotten to call back / have dinner with / answer your emails. We’re busy, it sucks, but it’s what it takes to make it alllll happen.

We are having another Quick and the Dead pop up shop too this year, so keep an eye out for info on that in the next week or so. If you make things and want to sell stuff that is in the gift-buying price bracket ($50 – $100) then get in touch with us!

ps. if you’re reading this Madeline, that’s why I haven’t been in touch again, oops, I’ll email you soon!

Steve

REPOST #2 : Janina Alleyne

These aren’t my work, but got damn they’re nice…



With my 3D printer currently on a holiday at my cousin’s house (who I should mention STUDIED ROBOTICS at university, why I didnt consult him earlier I’ll never know) hopefully to return in actual working order once he irons out a few issues – I’m looking forward to later this year when instead of reading about cutting edge stuff like this whilst at my office job, I can actually be making it.

I do realise that the ‘entirely printed shoe’ thing is a bit unrealistic and fanciful, the idea of printing and replicating most of the parts of a shoe will mean cost effective outrageous stuff like this will be possible within a few years. Exciting!

Check out this link for more info here :

http://www.core77.com/blog/flotspotting/and_now_3d-printed_stilettos_exoskeleton_collection_by_janina_alleyne_22854.asp#more

and here :

http://www.coroflot.com/janinaalleyne/Exoskeleton-3D-printed-shoes

Rhino Time-o

(you know, sometimes I wish this website DIDN’T have a “title” box, so I’d feel less inclined to make a pun about pretty much every post I make. Sigh.)

Anyhoot, the future is (sort of) here! I’ve just modelled up my first object in Rhino 4.0, which means I’m one step closer to being able to make brain-meltingly complicated heels, platforms and fittings for my shoes! Combined with my 3D printer and some resin casting skillz, there will be no end to the craziness that I can hang under a nicely sewn and lasted upper. All those hours of nerding really do come in handy at times.

So, here’s a screengrab of a ring design Dani has been tinkering with that she is going to try getting 3D printed and cast in silver this week. Awesome.

This post will probably also interest our studio crew (we need to come up with a name for our gang that isn’t naff, something like the DBC, or DBK if we use Krew? I will have to raise it at the next AGM) as both Katia and Amber were recently discussing 3D printing as a path they would like to take, so look out for more studio R & D over the next few months, especially once I get the RepRap in the room.

For a more traditional spin on replicating, I also made my first Urethane castings of a FAT 5″ heel this week so that I can start making prototypes that all look the same!

Lots more to do in terms of stregth and weight saving (they’re heavyyyyy) but it was pretty exciting to start to see custom made components appear each hour with the magic of Chemistry.

What else is there to talk about? We’re working a mega business plan and budget in the hope of getting some grants or funding for Stage 2 of the plan this year… so much typing!

Oh, and we heard today that the super cool and funky pants’ed studio buddy we were holding our breath for is moving in in March! Wooooop! So we’ll have a full house, jeweller gals all over the place, robots and fashion mags stacked to the ceiling. It’ll be like a little slice of heaven (note to self – book Dave Dobbin for the opening party to perform Slice of Heaven)

After a bit of a lull this weekend just gone, I’m feeling inspired again… and god help up us when I get my new Volkswagen next weekend, I’ll be like a kid in a big rusty candy shop!

Listening to : Die Antwoord’s new one TEN$ION. Its fuckin’ awesome.

Oh, and on top of our regular Tumblr account > http://deadburied.tumblr.com/ < I have started another personal one, but I’ll reveal all when it’s filled with funny.

TwentyEleven – week Three

Not much text today… it’s late and i’m exhausted.
But for anyone wondering how the last week has gone, here’s a quick summary:

1. Designs > workshop.
2. Tape + Designs on lasts.
3. Batch production of insoles + modified lasts.
4. Tape patterns > cardboard patterns with sewing/lasting allowances.
5. Home Vat dyeing experiments (medium success, but some major letdowns, more on this later)
6. Vat/Saucepan dyed suede.
7. LASER CUTTING of prototype heel shapes = awesome. Like living in the future.
8. Assembled heel, pre-sanding.
9. Mockup of new heel + 20mm platform allowance = cool.

That’s all for today, more talking and more photos when I get a chance. Deadline is looming and I still have 2 or 3 pairs of shoes to construct yet…
Not bad for a week’s work that included 3 days at my real job!

RepRap Build – Part 2

Well, another month has FLOWN by and it seems I’m not nearly as far a long with this printer buildup as I thought I would be… but fear not, there has been some progress.
I think having to wait a month or two for it to arrive took some of the motivation away from me as I kind of forgot about it until it turned up on the doorstep… and now it has become a hot summer buildup, not a wintery this-will-fill-in-a-few-evenings job like I planned.

Anyhoot, on with the pictures! Enough with the words!

When I last posted I had no idea what to do to begin building my Mendel (aka robot, aka printer) so I started on the print head.
That gave me a sense of fulfillment, but being a plastic part it didn’t really give me much insight into how the rest of the assembly would go.

So, I (finally) found the Laser Cut build images on the RepRap wiki and started from the top….

* note : the images on the wiki are kind of handy, as they show the finished product, but they’re in no way “instructions”.
I have been taking shots every 5 mins or so, with the intention of making a “how to” guide that is much more thorough when I’m done building mine.
If you’ve found your way here to learn how to build a Mendel, these images won’t be that helpful, they’re just me showing some eye-candy… check back here in a week or so and I will have uploaded all of my images to a proper Buildup page for you to scroll through and have a look at every bit in detail.


this is the general assembly of each of the bearing sections, using skateboard bearings to run on smooth steel rails.


This one of the the X-Axis (left to right movement) assemblies…


Some of the bolts and nuts on this thing required impossible angles… here’s me doing a level-47 Advanced Engineering double-nut-shifter move (which sounds like a delicious ice cream no?)


The X-Axis family = one evening’s work.

more bearings, this time with a stepper motor nearby… again, I apologise if you are reading this and going “so, what the hell, he isn’t describing a damn thing helpful!”… this is more for curious readers, the full How-To guide should be much more useful.


This is how it all moves, a belt running around gears and bearings in little washer-bound tracks. Nice and easy.


The Frog…aka print bed chassis.

… and before you know it, it’s standing up!
Well, after 2 or 3 more hours tightening and loosening nuts.


Some of these bits aren’t worth explaining out of context, but they make for nice photos…
(and yes, it is December 2010, not 1995 – I don’t have an iPhone, my ol’ Nokia does me just fine.)


Complicated as all #$%^ assembly of the lower part / print bed. This is what I did all day Sunday.


… but here she is!
The nuts are all loose, the wires aren’t connected and there is still a lot to do, but it looks like a Mendel!

So.. that’s where the printer is at as of today (Sunday) … Lets hope it can be up and running before christmas!

I have also been toying around with the David 3D LaserScanner software, and it seems I just need to get my hands on a laser pointer (i’m not that geeky, so I have never owned one) and BAM, I’ll be able to do low-resolution 3D scanning at home too!!!! Scanning + 3D software skills > Printer = replicating whatever I want…..

>>> 3D mesh >>>
[ Click the shoe image to see the detail you can get from a webcam and a laserbeam!]

On a more traditional note, I have also started another pair of shoes.

These will be the prototypes for Lauren’s raffle winning shoes (I know, I know, that was 6 weeks ago… really, I know)

And in my never-ending quest for more tricks of the trade, I hacksawed a shoe in half to get a better idea of thicknesses and where the innersole components start and finish….


Nothing tricky in there… well, there is a a shank and screws in the very middle, but I cut around them to save on 20 mins of sawing through spring steel.

And finally we, well Dani, has also had another major task on the go (there’s always one or two on the go around here) which has used up a few of our evenings.
She has just installed her first, proper, real artworks in the Bundoora Homestead Gallery as part of their High Tea exhibition!
I’ll let her explain it all  in a post this week… but here’s a sneaky preview of one of the pieces.

nice huh?

Listening to : Ragga Twins – Ragga Twins Step Out

Cutting (well, printing) Edge Technology

Just so everyone else knows about it (and so I dont get 45 emails asking me ‘have you seen this?’) check out the link below if you’re here and are interested in both shoemaking AND 3D nerdery.

http://www.ecouterre.com/3d-printed-rapidprototyped-shoes-revolutionizing-the-industry/

“…Marloes ten Bhömer, an experimental shoemaker who is using three-dimensional printing to reinvent the shoe—and the time it takes to make one. With the help of a mechanical engineer, the Dutch designer (and shoe-industry veteran) built her “Rapidprototypedshoe” by using a hot laser to sinter layers of polymer into the shape of a foot.”

images from www.ecouterre.com

This isn’t really where I’m intending to go with my printer, but somewhere between embracing new technology and respecting the traditional methods of the masters is where I hope to land.

I’ll have a new robot building update tomorrow night – hopefully after a long (indoors escaping the 30+ degree heat) day of construction.