An homage to my beloved home state, the California Ukulele is made entirely from native materials: river-salvaged old growth redwood, claro walnut, windfall monterey cypress, and apricot from my grandfather's pre-Silicon Valley orchard.
Every piece was slowly and painstakingly hand crafted, from hand planing the billets to carving the Big Sur jade and red abalone inlays.
An instrument with a profound sense of place, it has been a travel companion bringing a sense of home during musical interludes in travels the world over.
The full build is documented on the Project Guitar Forums. Nitrocellulose lacquer finishing by Addam Stark.
100% custom frames built in association with master builders in Jiangsu, China. These bikes are truly the product of the Pacific Rim.
Designed in California, where innovation leads. Consider: a double-singlespeed with hydraulic brakes routed internally from the hoods – the cleanest, most internal brake lines in the world.
Engineered in Taiwan, home of the world's bicycle industry. You know where the world's bikes come from? Not Italy...
Made in China, mitered and welded to spec. You think an IPA-swilling Portland hipster is a real craftsman if he blogs about the 5 bikes he makes a year? The ladies in Jiangsu who weld 20 bikes by lunch can teach that guy how to stack dimes.
Crafted in USA, fine tuned & hand detailed. Naked frames are sent home so I can braze in final touches at PDX beardo levels. Locally powdercoated & carefully faced, chased, and assembled.
The results are beautiful, cost-effective, utilitarian rides that draw long stares at coffee shops and extended conversations with connoisseurs.
Pac*Rim, pedal the global village.
An experimental guitar design reducing every component in the body to the essential: single dots for each pickup, string saddle, and control.
This guitar was built for my son's second birthday, giving me the freedom to play fast and loose. The design was hand sketched, hand routed, and hand formed with a die-grinder. Materials were scrap mahogany + black walnut, parts pulled from a random box-o-stuff.
The body is char-burst by carefully scorching the edges with a propane torch, sanding off any pure carbon, and finishing the carbonized wood.
Chimey single coils with extended poles push through the surface. Action is adjusted with set screws under each press-fit saddle piece.
The ultra-smooth body is comfortable and imminently playable. Tone is a bit rolled off with the deep-set pickups, but it also mellows the quack. Does it make sense to build this for a toddler? No, but it was a fun prototype and I get to play it too. Maybe I'll make one for myself...
As a dad these I am excited to share my passions with my kids. And as a husband to a profoundly busy surgery resident I basically *had* to, because it was just me and the little dude on the weekends.
After outgrowing his front-mount kiddie seat, it was time to build a rig that could let my co-pilot really experience riding the trails by sharing the bars, standing on pedals, and sitting on a seat.
Cro-mo steel is custom-lugged into a highly adjustable, quick-mountable mini frame. Pedals are mounted onto extenders fillet-brazed into modified dirt fork lugs.
The end results are just the best. Whipping around loamy singletrack in the redwoods with a giggling 3 year old is basically my favorite weekend activity. We practice weight position and steering dynamics, plus my navigator mans the passing bell while I manage the rock gardens.
Plus it makes everybody we see on trail super happy too. Truly, everybody loves a happy little grom rocking full goggles, dinging his bell, and yelling “Wheeeee! Thank you!” when passing in the corners. One time we passed group of bros on a climb out of Skeggs and it shocked one guy so much he fell over. “Daddy, why he fall down?”
It really is the best.
A guitar needs to be paired with an amp of comparable quality. With 22 watts of tube driven power, this Dumble-inspired build sounds as lush as it looks on stage – and it's designed to do so.
The quilted redwood cabinet and the sculpted aluminum hex-perf grille are both intended to visually evoke the funky, twisted, and flowing sounds that are integral to the acid jazz and fluid melodies I love to play.
The warm sound of the handwired, point-to-point tube amp in its hardwood cabinet is perfectly matched to the visual depth of the enclosure itself.
The tube amp was handwired from a build kit supplied by Brown Note.
A guitar designed for my style of acid jazz with rock influences, with every detail from wood to electronics considered for both tone and aesthetics.
This guitar was built over 3 months of nights and weekends, between business trips to Asia for Apple. Hand crafted with exacting care in details ranging from hollowing structures to pearl inlays.
The hollow mahogany sound is thick and warm, the koa top adding bell-like fundamentals. It is the only guitar I gig with, a perfect fit for my hands, eyes, and ears.
In association with the Stanford d.school and its flagship program, Design for Extreme Affordability, I spent a year working with an Ethiopian business to launch an appropriate technology project, the Mighty Mitad, which:
Costs < $1 to produce & sells for $2 retail
Saves $30 a year , about 15% of average rural family incomes
Several thousand units were sold in the first year of production, with many families using the savings to send their kids to school for the first time.
Why are chocolate-chip cookies in a design portfolio? Because cooking is a creative endeavor that rewards attention to detail, iterative prototyping, technical prowess, and passion... Cookie science is an important facet of design.
Two recipes have gone through over 50 tracked iterations, measured to the gram, degree, and second. Textbooks have been read, experiments performed, roommates satisfied.
I am blessed with global work and a partner for co-exploring. Every journey overflows with the mundane and numinous.