Archive
Tag "Craftsmanship"

Once upon a time (about twenty years ago) I worked at Fedex loading planes. It was the most fun, dangerous (nice scar by my eye) and physically exhausting job I ever had: driving tugs and forklifts around multi-million dollar jets. Good gear was essential, in fact your life depended on it. Slipping off an icy platform was potential for great harm. It’s when I first started wearing steel-toed Red Wing boots. If you’ve ever worn Red Wings, you swear by them…might be the main reason I still have eleven toes.
 
Video shot in London, featuring Gabor, James and a few Londoners speak about their Red Wing Shoes.

 

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I spend far too much time sifting through endless sites looking for builders and bikes. I was taking in a German motorcycle show when I came across this Kawasaki and I immediately knew I had to track down this builder. Tomotors Race Machines is a one-man company from East Germany owned by a secretive builder aptly named Tom. (He didn’t offer his last name and I didn’t ask). Tom is a Kawasaki dealer, and has been building motocross racing machines for 25 years. Photos by Kyle Reim Photography
 
Update: Tom really does have a last name: Große.
 

1999 Kawasaki W650 :: Kawa East / Tomotors

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Inspired by his client’s IWC Ocean timepiece, this BMW R80 was completely restored by Franco “Frank” Augello of SuMisura, Milan Italy. In this post, Frank gives some background on this build, and why he started SuMisura.

1986 BMW R80 - "GULP IWC" :: By SuMisura

“A BMW will leave from my workshop where it has been transformed and personalized with much love and dedication, as if it were mine – pampered and revitalized.”
– frank augello

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For the past few months we’ve been experimenting with rubber stamps to make our own t-shirts. But like Edison and the lightbulb, we had a few dozen spectacular failures. (Do not worry, only distant relatives were harmed in the process). Using traditional rubber material (that we laser-cut to get exceptional detail) and an in-house secret fabric ink formula – we’ve nailed down the process of making a unique t-shirt.
 
The cool thing: each time you ink up the rubber stamp, the tee comes out a little bit different. No two of these t-shirts will ever be the same, and we like it that way: perfect imperfection.
 

Megadeluxe Rubber Stamped T-Shirt: Perfect Imperfection"

Get yourself one of these rubber stamped tees at our online store ▸
 

Megadeluxe Rubber Stamped T-Shirt: Perfect Imperfection
Megadeluxe Rubber Stamped T-Shirt: Perfect Imperfection

+ Source: Megadeluxe Rubber Stamped T-Shirt

 
 

What can you say about Richard Pollock of Mule Motorcycles that hasn’t been said before? His bikes are a reflection of his personality: meticulous, detailed, hard-working, reliable, and with a no-bull attitude. So, it’s one of the perks of the job when someone like Richard gives you an inside look at some of his latest builds.

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“Seems the Triumphs have become very popular. And for all the good reasons. Inexpensive to purchase stock, easy to make lighter faster, better handling and more powerful. Add to that you can make them look lots better than stock and you have a customizer’s dream bike.”
– richard pollock

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Last night I received this mysterious email from renowned motorcycle builder/artist Chicara Nagata.
 
Subject line: “Security camera!?!?”  Just that subject line and an attachment. Uh, okay. So I opened it…low and behold I see it’s a Sony/Honda hybrid of a HD security camera and vintage motorcycle…I had to pick up my jaw off the floor.
 
In my line of work, it’s best to never question the motive of a true artist – I just let the art flow over me.

1966 Little Honda P25 :: CA6 By Chicara Nagata

“Every project, I encounter many, many problems. I can’t count how many times I give up to make motorcycle. But I noticed that, ‘If we don’t give up, we can make it.’ In another words, we can make the impossible…possible. This is what I learn from making motorcycles, but still on the way.”
– chicara

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When I get an email from Richard Pollock of Mule Motorcycles, I always get a bit excited – it’s like getting the ultimate care package. Once again, Richard did not disappoint: a makeover for a Steve McQueen Limited-Edition Triumph. The other bonus about receiving a build story from Richard: being a natural storyteller, he knows how to spin a yarn. So, I give you the story of this build as told by Richard himself.

 
Steve McQueen Limited-Edition Triumph

“Steve McQueen liked bikes and cars, not because it enhanced his celebrity, but because he was a gearhead first. He bankrolled ‘On Any Sunday’ not for himself, but rather to promote the fun and camaraderie of motorcycle racing and riding, and also to showcase the guys that were his true heroes.”
– richard pollock

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Why companies (and specifically startups) need to put their customers first, and stop torturing themselves by emulating Steve Jobs. Here’s an excerpt of a post I wrote last week for Medium.

Steve Jobs

“Steve Jobs is an impossible act to follow — this type of human comet only comes around every 100 years or so.”

Full disclosure, I worked at Apple for four years. I now run my own UI/UX design firm that works primarily with startups and Fortune 50 companies.

Since leaving Apple, I’ve worked with many startups. I’ve found that people who run and work for startups are generally bright and hard-working. Passionate about their companies. You can’t help but admire these folks, and I absolutely love working with most of them. But, ever since Walter Isaacson’s biography on Steve Jobs came out a trend has reared its somewhat ugly head. This trend deserves a Jesus-inspired hashtag: #WhatWouldSteveDo. My thinking is not new — some of my colleagues in the design industry are on record about how the Isaacson book has made our job both easier and more difficult at the same time. Easy, in that “design first” has become a practice that many startups now follow in earnest. Difficult in that “customer first” has fallen to benchwarmer status. On the team but no longer a starter.

Building A Faster Horse
I was witness to the beginnings of #WhatWouldSteveDo. At an Apple town hall meeting, Steve, in answering an employee’s question about involving customers, uttered the following Henry Ford saying,

“If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.”

A poster-worthy saying if nothing else. Nonetheless, that quote vibrated out to the design and business world immediately. Many companies (and especially startups) took this quote literally: see, Steve Jobs doesn’t follow his customers, so we’re going to go with our guts as well, and MVP the hell out of our products. However, if I were ever asked by a startup founder what I thought about the “Faster Horse” quote, I would lead with a slight jab,

But didn’t Ford also manufacture the Edsel — the worst car failure ever?

To read the full article, go here…

 

Based out of Northeast Washington, D.C., Modern 50 is run by former illustrator, Dino Paxenos. Enter this site with caution – unless you have a couple of hours to spare.

Modern 50

“I didn’t hate my corporate job, but I didn’t want to do it forever. I love the independent nature of the work. I kept going with it.”
– dino paxenos

 

View more items from Modern 50 after the jump below…

 

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Samurai means, “Those who serve in close attendance to the nobility.” Recently Bonhams held an auction, Arts of the Samurai. The sale consisted of clothing and military gear – some artifacts dating back to the 11th century. An Edo period helmet in the shape of a conch shell (shown below), sold for $377,000. It had been expected to sell for around $60,000. An orange and purple-laced haramaki armor sold for $341,000.

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From Bonhams:
Edo period (18th century). The russet iron helmet hammered up from a single sheet of iron and worked on the surface to resemble a large conch shell, the mabizashi formed by the lip of the shell and lacquered red, fitted with a five-lame solid shikoro lacquered gold and laced in red and applied with gilt-copper chrysanthemum rivets.

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samurai_0006

“As servants of the daimyos, or great lords, the samurai backed up the authority of the shogun and gave him power over the mikado (emperor). They would dominate Japanese government and society until the Meiji Restoration of 1868 led to the abolition of the feudal system.”
– history.com

View more helmets after the jump below…

 

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Brilliant documentary about Kustom Kulture from photographer Dirk “The Pixeleye” Behlau and acclaimed pinstriper and artist, Jesper Bram.

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“The main idea is to show the world the massive influence of Kustom Kulture in nearly every kind of modern popculture like music, art, cars, bikes, style etc. – to show the immense creativity and variety of the people doing what they love.”
– dirk behlau

 

Read the entire story & interview with Dirk about Flake & Flames after the jump below…

 

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Hailing from Copenhagen, the Wrenchmonkees are one of the most influential custom motorcycle builders around. I caught up with co-founder Nicholas Bech to discuss their design philosophy, and to find out what drives these Danes to create some of the most ruggedly-handsome bikes on the planet. (Yes, I used handsome and bikes in the same sentence).

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“We don’t want to do the same bike twice. And that’s mainly just because we want to keep ourselves active with the design and aspects of doing these bikes, and trying to figure out what kinds of bikes people are riding in different styles.”
– nicholas bech

 

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