I am in the architecture studio at FTCC right now listening to a more advanced class in a group discussion during their portfolio class. As a relative newbie to this program it seems as if I have a long way to go to reach the level that my predecessors have achieved in such a short time. I enjoy the time that I have to drop in on the classes that I’ll be taking in the future, it gives me a peek into what I’ll be doing next year. While I am in the moment it seems as though I am not really learning so much or making much progress, but as I look back I see that I have come a long way in a relatively short period of time. It helps to put things in perspective from time to time.4

Progress on my chopper seems slow as well, and the project as a whole definitely is progressing slower than I would like, but right now I am thinking about how good it feels to savor a moment. I worked on the handlebars for my chopper again this weekend for a few hours. In looking at what I accomplished it doesn’t look as though I made much progress, but I did enjoy the process of imagining what the finished product will be as I planned each step along the way. This weekend I welded the risers on the handlebar, cut them down to finished size, drilled the holes for the attachments and wires, and threaded the wiring through the bars.

The new handlebar feels good in my hands and I like the way they look in relation to the form of the bike. I enjoy the simplicity of the design. One necessary part of that simplistic look is to hide the wiring. This simple step took about two hours as I had to carefully drill holes in the correct locations, file the burrs off of them inside and out, and thread the wires through with barely enough room in there to get them through. One thing I like to do on most creative projects is to work a while then let it sit while I lament on the next step and what the finished product will be. I’m excited that I am only a few more steps from finishing this project, but I am enjoying thinking about the next step. That mirrors my current situation at school. It’s a good place for me to be.

StyleHouse Color Bar

A good friend of mine, an extremely talented hair designer, is getting geared up to open a new shop in the local arts district. She and I are developing the decor. She is sifting through all of the great ideas she has for how the place will be outfitted, and I am giving inspiration, encouragement, and feedback. I am also building Sketch-up models of the store in order to get some spacial references and some visual representations of some of her ideas.

New year, new handlebars.

Late in 2012 I decided it was time for a make over for my little chopper. I wanted to add a second seat so I could take a special passenger for a ride (look in my portfolio for Marie Leveaux). As it turns out 2013 was an exceptionally busy year; I started design school as a full-time student, and I still had to work to make ends meet. Whew! With my tiny garage full of projects and remnants of projects tossed in at the end of many busy days, there was no room to take my chopper apart when the battery suddenly exploded in the spring of 2013, and no money to buy parts if I had taken it apart. So it sat there collecting dust until the holiday break of 2013. I finally made time and threw down the credit card to buy a new battery. Now that Marie is running again, and I have some time to work on her I decided to make a new set of handlebars.

The last set was a compromise as I kept screwing up on the set I was going to build when I did the first transformation, but with the new body modifications the old handlebars looked out of place. I first started to make a set of “clip-on” style bars. I started by cutting down a two sections of 2″ pipe and filing the inside out to slide snugly over the fork tubes. The next step would be to weld two separate bars, one on each fork tube to accommodate the handlebar grips. After removing the existing bars I came up with another plan. I would make a set of low-rise drag bars with a downward slant. This seemed to be he best feel to me as a rider and had what I feel like is the best overall look for Marie.

Check out these pictures of the process, and I’ll keep updating as they are finished (hopefully by the end of January 2014).