After the Fire

Posted in: Client Work- Apr 03, 2014

As some of you already know, we suffered a serious fire in December. The studio was a total loss, and we have been running at limited capacity while we got all of the insurance details sorted out. Thanks to good insurance, the help of wonderful friends and colleagues and no small amount of plain good luck, we are still here and in full recovery mode.

Two new lasers will be in at the end of the month, and we are in the process of building out an absolutely amazing new space just a few blocks from our old location. We will eventually post a full writeup here, but in the mean time if you are interested in following our recovery milestones as we hit them, we are sharing pictures fairly regularly on our facebook page.

Also, as we get settled in and back up to speed we’ll have several exciting new surprises to share, including some major new capabilities, so stay tuned.

Thank you for your patience and support.

Michael, Shane and Donna

60 Second Fold of the Week

Posted in: Client Work, Design, Marketing, News- Jul 18, 2013

It’s been an exciting year for us, and unfortunately, the blog has been a bit neglected as a result.  However, we’ve finally got some extra help in to manage the volume, and we’re making a concerted effort to make more frequent posts to the blog and portfolio.  We have some great finished projects we haven’t gotten to post yet , and even more in the pipeline. This first post, however, is about an unexpected media mention.

One of the pieces we did with the Marketing Arm got picked up on “The 60 Second Fold of the Week” over at a great weekly video series for paper/print nerds and design enthusiasts of all stripes. It’s run by Trish Witkowski, one of the major forces behind Sappi’s outstanding “The Standard #4″ dedicated to folding and scoring.

You can check out the video below, and if you are unfamiliar with The Standard, I urge you to go check out all 5 editions. They are all great reference guides as well as incredible works of art in their own right.


Artifacture Eiffel Towers modeled in Vienna jewelry show

Posted in: News- Jun 23, 2012

On June 12th, 2012, high-end Jewellery Designer KORNMESSER presented their new collection at the French Embassy in Vienna. As an homage to France, Fashion Stylist Thomas Reinberger selected our 12″ laser cut paper Eiffel Towers to use as headpieces. The models were wearing Diamonds with a total value of 1 million Euro.


Bay Area Maker Faire 2012

Posted in: Client Work- May 31, 2012

A full week after the Maker Faire, and we are finally getting back to normal. For those who are unfamiliar, the Maker Faire is pure Nerdvana. It’s a DIY festival that is something like a family friendly cross between Burning Man and an adult Science Fair. It covers everything from SteamPunk to Amigurumi, from crocheted C’thulu ski mask to ultra high precision 3D printed metal components. From “grow your own mushrooms” to building your own solid state singing Tesla coils… and we can’t forget the other fun stuff like a 65 foot long fire breathing metal dragon that carries passengers. We didn’t get many pictures, but check out the flickr feed for thousands of photos

Thousands of makers showing off their jobs, their hobbies, or their pet projects – and all of them eager to teach you how they did it is more than a bit overwhelming.  I simply can’t describe what happens when you put that many happy geeks in one place, but I can tell you that it is a truly amazing experience.  We have been to several previous events, but this was our first year as a presenter. With over 100,000 visitors on Saturday alone, it was an exhausting, and very very different experience, but we still had a blast and we will be doing it again.  Author Dale Wheat described it this way. “It may be the only place in the world that, if someone yelled ‘FIRE’, everyone within earshot would run TOWARDS them.”

It was in that spirit that we decided to actually participate this year.  Several years ago, we redid our kitchen countertop in resin cast pennies, and poured a secondary bartop for a local Absinthe lounge. The project how to has been very popular on Make Projects, so we decided to show some additional resin work, and do a public demonstration of how to do it. If you are interested in trying it for yourself, you can see the handout from the demonstration here, or check out the project page.

Because the Maker Faire is all about encouraging people to tinker and actually do new things, James also created a small “make and take” demo project that people could make for themselves. He engraved and painted the front of a small piece of wood with the maker faire mascot, and then routed a small well that would hold a single penny. People were able to select or provide their own pennies, and set them into the well. Then, using a quick setting two part epoxy, we taught them how to mix and apply the resin so they were able to create their own resin cast souvenir. It was quick and simple, but it proved to be rather popular, and we ended up running through each day’s supply of blocks by shortly after lunch.

We brought 3 people along to help out and we thought that with 5 of us, it should be easy for 2-3 people to hold down the booth and get the rest out and explore the faire. We were very wrong. I have to issue a public “Thank You”, and “I’m Sorry” to Donna, James & Ellie. We were on a very prominent corner, and we were busy from the moment the gates opened until they started turning off the lights to force people to leave. We all talked until we started to lose our voices, and kept talking anyway. They finally got to see a little bit of the faire late on Sunday, but not nearly enough of it. Thank you all for making it such a huge success, and my apologies for not doing a better job of getting you out there to enjoy yourself ( We’ll do better next year ). We could not have done it without you.


Posted in: News- Feb 27, 2012

Holy crap, we made BoingBoing! It’s not a total surprise – we got a request for high res images this afternoon – but … we made BoingBoing!

Just look at it – isn’t it beautiful?

Michael and I are both Makers and former programmers. BoingBoing has been a serious cultural touchstone for me, and it was definitely a factor in the character of the studio we founded. I’ve been an avid reader for close to 10 years, and it was there that I was first introduced to, among other things, the maker movement. Making BoingBoing is a very real, and very exciting milestone for us. Put another way, I’m a huge fanboy, and this is RLY RLY COOL!.

Thank you Cory!

Full disclosure: A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure of meeting Cory at a reception when he was in town to speak at UT Arlington and persuaded him that he really needed one to review. We only got to speak to him for a few minutes before the talk, but he is very much the charming, and genuinely nice guy that he appears to be. As a speaker, he’s good enough to make material and view points that I was mostly already familiar with into a talk that was interesting and extremely engaging – and I swear I said all of the same things before he did the write up!!

QR Code Hacking

Posted in: How To- Jan 06, 2012

While there is considerable debate whether or not QR Codes will “catch on”, they are beginning to show up in more and more places. Although a code can store as many as 4,096 characters of text in any format, QR codes are most commonly used to provide easy access to a web address. It makes sense, anything beyond a basic domain name is a pain for people to enter themselves, and while many services exist to alias URLs into shorter paths, the result is hardly user friendly.

Still, to many designers at least, QR codes are generic and ugly. Someone realized that QR codes implement error correction and that means that a certain amount of the data can be corrupted without losing effectiveness. For a long time, it was largely a trial and error process of deleting sections and seeing if it was still readable. Odds could be increased by padding the code out with additional data. But there is another way to better your odds. The secret was explained to me in this great blog post.

Here is the process I followed to create one for Artifacture. First, I created a QR code using one of the many websites devoted to offering that service. I used


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