From January into the end of May I filmed 6 bloomery smelts at The Crucible in Oakland, California. Iron oxide is extracted from sand and then put into a charcoal burning furnace which has a reduction atmosphere. Here the iron get separated from the oxygen and combines into a bloom – a blob of iron ready for further processing by the blacksmiths. The iron was used in an art piece which will be featured in the next video.
This is the indexable clutch that I built for the Marble Machine X. The stacked washers are just temporary until Martin replaces them with gears in his installation/testing video.
I’ve joined the Engineering Team for the Marble Machine X! Part of the reason I haven’t posted any videos on my channel lately is I’m spending much of my free time in the shop working on this part for Martin. I’m almost done and will be shipping it off to him soon. He’ll post a video installing it and at the same time I’ll post my detailed video of making it.
While I can’t say I can necessarily get interested in what some of these fellows are up to, it does speak to core ideas which I try to convey in my work – appreciation and gratitude. So many of the technological wonders we encounter every day, even something as simple as flushing a toilet or endless glasses of clean water on tap, are truly amazing even though they are incredibly ordinary. And that they are ordinary, dull if you will, is a wonderful thing itself.
First of many very high-resolution beautiful photos I”ve found and edited/cleaned up. Click on the title of this post to see them full size.
After learning about Thomas Telford nearly 15 years ago it was a dream of mine to take a narrowboat over his canal. This summer I finally did it.
This video traces the path from Copernicus through Galileo to Foucault in one of the paths of possibly the greatest revolution that’s ever happened – the Scientific Revolution.
In this video I visit Paris’ Musée des Arts et Métiers – The Museum of Arts and Crafts. It’s really much more about Science and History with a fantastic collection of early scientific instruments, machine tools and so much more.
Behind the objects are amazing stories and I go into some of my favorites in this first of two episodes.
Usually barbed wire (aka the Devil’s Rope) is decried as what divided up the West and brought an end to the vast open prairies. In at least one case, we can see how it brought people together.
Early telephone companies found connecting rural homesteads too expensive so the farmers took matters into their own hands and used barbed wire to connect telephone services into their houses. This resulted in Party Line style connection where everyone could hear whoever was on the line. This was bad when you needed to have a private conversation, but useful to spread news, weather reports or the price of crops. Sometimes it just helped people be less lonely.
The details are in this fascinating article.