Saturday, October 14, 2017
I wanna talk about art.
I wanna talk about it because I know a lot of people that plopped down in front of their laptop with their morning coffee, checking the blog to see what we made and read about me bitching and complaining of some wacky life situation, are scratching their head saying "what the fuck is this creepy shit?"
It's art. It's my art.
If you didn't think "what the fuck?" for at least a split second, then my "art" had failed.
I'm a realist. I'm not one to be blinded by my own greatness (tongue in cheek statement folks), and I'll bet dime to dollars that a pie chart of public opinion on my "art" would read something like this...
90% think it's creepy and weird and want nothing to do with it.
5% think it's creepy and weird, but are like "it's creepy and weird but it's kinda cool".
5% are like "yo....are those for sale?"
So high 5's to the lower 5's, and everyone else...allow me to explain...
There is something deep inside us. All of us. Even the most non creative mother fuckers out there...it's inside of you too. That 'something" is an urge to create.
Some people are dialed in to that urge and chase it to the ends of the earth. Some people don't know that their urge exists. Then there is the category that I place myself in, which houses people who are driven to always create, but not necessarily within the borders of what art can be defined as.
So right now people are like "what the fuck does that 3rd category mean?"
IT MEANS...some folks are always creating, it's just not always tangible. We create moments for our kids, we create a peaceful living environment for our family, we create a positive work space for our craft, we create relationships, and sometimes an urge tells us to create something that you can see and touch.
My "see and touch" happens to be some creepy fuckin babydoll head sculptures.
Those of you following might be thinking "ok, i get it, but why?"
I'm gonna tell you why.
1. Because the baby heads were there
2. Because I can.
Those who know me are able to look at these pieces and make fairly accurate assumptions. Those who don't know me can develop their own assumptions based solely on what they see.
Either way, my pieces have succeeded because someone is looking and thinking.
You might be looking at it thinking "what a weird piece of shit." but at least ya thought, at least it triggered a emotion, and maybe now you have clarity in knowing more about what you do and don't like.
That to me is the beauty of art...even if it's creepy.
Even shitty art can move you.
I remember being in this massive white room in the Phoenix Art Museum. The only painting in this room was a massive 30'X30' stark white canvas with a yellow dot in the middle.
I paced back and forth in that room, inspected this massive painting, scratching my head, looking utterly confused, and although I thought I was just thinking these words, I most certainly blurted out "what the fuck is this bullshit?".
Listen...it was bullshit. It was skill-less bullshit art, a total fucking scam of a piece of art...but was it?
I spent more time in front of that stupid fucking painting, it evoked more thinking and emotion than any other painting in that entire museum, I actually felt like I got scammed into liking this stupid ass painting, but it clicked in my head that it wasn't about liking or not liking, it was about understanding art.
I was able to get more out of a piece of art that I visually didn't enjoy, than most work that I do visually enjoy.
What a fuckin scammer, but brilliant.
Each one of these creepy baby heads has a story and meaning to me of which I will never divulge.
They were created for you to come to all of your own conclusions. You either choose to come up with your own, or you disregard, but I have never created a piece of art whilst giving a fuck what someone thinks of it.
We were put here to do more than pay bills and die...go create some shit.
Monday, October 9, 2017
The first 2 photos are a concrete and steel coffee table that we made for a great couple in Highwood Illinois.
There were some unusual details to be taken into consideration on this one...First, it needed to accommodate a pig underneath the table.
Not like a pig sculpture, or a pig shape pillow...a real pig.
The second consideration was making the top look like marble.
The pig accommodation, no problem, just a height adjustment, the marble effect...well, we had to wing it.
Here's the thing...you're never gonna know until you try, and the worse case scenario is that you have to make another top.
The last thing we wanted to do is make another top, so you start out real slow and build your way up to the effect you want. If you go all Jackson Pollock on that mother fucker, you're sure to be making another top.
It was a heavy son of a bitch to deliver to one of the most beautiful neighborhoods that I have ever stepped foot in, but the couple was thrilled and on our journey back to the shop, they had already sent us these beautiful photos.
The next piece is a retail display table for Jaunt.
Walnut slab, bent ear steel top.
Zach made a great point that the table was the perfect height for someones kid to lose a eyeball when they're playing tag in the store while mom shops, so he proceeded to weld 3/8" round stock around the entire top.
Do you ever just feel really good about the work you do?
It's a strange feeling sometimes.
Sometimes you're just broke as fuck, but you're churning out some really cool shit, and you just don't even care that you're broke as fuck, because you're making these bad ass pieces that you don't even know HOW you made such bad ass pieces.
That's called passion.
Either ya have it, or ya don't.
If ya don't...then you're in the wrong fuckin place.
If ya do...that passion has the ability to carry you way farther than you thought possible. .
If you follow Breclaimed on Instagram, you will see that I choose passion over product in and outside of my work.
There are many small business's that I support because of their passion, not because of their price.
Bweiss Leather, J10 customs, Zace denim, Nobrandedon, Witness Company, Bravestar Selvedge, Freenote Cloth, Stock MFG, Mister Freedom, Agenda Trading Company are just a few.
These people live their craft. They eat, sleep, shit, fuck their craft everyday.
Not one of those company's started doing what they do because they thought they were gonna get rich.
For me personally, I like to have a connection to the things I own. I like a little bit of back story. I like to know the things I buy are either one offs or made in small batches.
I look at that coffee table from the customers perspective and think "how fucking cool is that?", dudes designed it, built it, and then set it on my rug in front of my couch. Beats the hell out of loading boxes in your car, dragging those boxes in your house, trying to follow directions with little tiny drawings of things that are supposed to fit together, and once you do figure out the Swedish hieroglyphs, that piece has to stay exactly where you assembled it because if you move it, it falls apart. And all for what? You saved a few bucks on something that will end up in a dumpster in the not so distant future.
Look, buy what the fuck ya want, I base my purchases on not only what I want or need, but on it's quality, where it came from, and the fact that my single purchase could possibly change someones life.
When I order a custom leather wallet...that person can now pay their cell phone bill that month...yeah, it's THAT personal, I'd rather help that mother fucker out than add zeros to Amazons future earnings projections.
Most people don't give a shit...as long as it's cheap...that thinking makes zero sense to me."Check out my shoes...they were $12, yeah my toes are bleeding, but they'll stretch out...$12...can't beat it", no I can't beat it cause I have no desire to beat it.
My mom buys my kid the most flammable pajamas on earth cause they're cheap. If it's over 75 degrees he'll burst into flames, but she got 6 pair for $5, I mean fuck...can't beat it.
Save the whales, adopt a puppy, sponsor a child in Africa for .69 cents a day, and shop small to save the working class.
Monday, October 2, 2017
Their customer was looking for a unique bar height table for their theater room.
3.5" top, steel X base, and hand bent railroad spike purse hooks underneath. You won't find that shit at Pottery Barn.
Check out Jaunt for funky stuff or custom pieces for your home or business.
The next piece is a prototype.
We have partnered up with a very talented and interesting woman...my mom.
Since my father passed away a little over a month ago, one of my main concerns was my mom staying busy and active.
Loneliness is a silent killer.
After spending damn near 50 years with someone, and then suddenly, they're gone, and you're left alone...well...we all know someone who has rapidly declined in that situation, and I'll be damned if I sit back and watch that happen.
My brother and sister have been instrumental in hanging out with mom. They live very close, while if I make the journey on a Friday after work...it's a 2 hour drive.
My mom has always knit and crocheted.
There was never a shortage of sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves, afghans, and even a couple of Halloween costumes thrown in the mix (she knit me a Batman costume as a kid...my therapist says I'll be ok) around our house.
She even made any child molesters dream come true when she knit each of us an army green sweater with our names knitted in huge white letters on the front, so when that windowless van pulled up to the park, and the creepy guy poked his head out the window and said "Hey, uh...BRIAN...you're uh...mom wanted me to uh...pick you up and take you to uh...Toys-R-Us...yeah, yeah Toys-R-Us"...I'm like "well fuck, dude knows my name, and I like Toys-R-Us, so fuck it, lets roll out"...and just like that, my face is on a milk carton thanks to that damn sweater.
Regardless of her failed attempt at getting us kids abducted, she's extremely talented.
I asked her to knit me some tiny hanging bags for this wall mount coat rack.
She had a million questions to which I answered "there's no real plan, just do as you see fit".
Ya see, THAT'S the hard part.
When someone gives you all the information you need to make something, well, at that point, you're just applying the proper steps. When you need to create the information, THAT is what gets the gears spinning.
Get this womans gears spinning.
Even if it's these simple little bags, it keeps her eyes off of "Dancing With The Stars", at least for a little bit, and maybe get a little creative, a little distracted, maybe get a little sense of pride and purpose, cause lets face it...when you lose your partner of damn near 50 years, depression is just waiting to pounce, and if it gets a hold of you, it will cripple you, and proceed to kill you.
We're Irish...we're a tough brood, but are we really tough, or are we just really proficient and jamming our feelings and emotions down into the deepest, darkest, depths of our soul? Fuck, I dunno. This is all coming from a guy that operates off of 2 emotions...pissed off and not pissed off.
So, in terms of these little handmade bags, they're versatile in the sense that you can hang em on our coat rack, a door knob, pack toiletries in them and chuck em' in your luggage, put in on your head like a chin strap beanie, fuckin' whatever. At the end of the day, they have a purpose, and to me that purpose is bigger than holding stuff.
Hopefully I can get to the point where I stand over my mom with a stick in some creepy warehouse and spend my day yelling "KNIT FASTER! KNIT FASTTTTER!!!!!" Nah, I just want her to feel good.
If you can keep your mind and body in motion, you can live a long productive life, but once you slam on the brakes, your chances for survival dwindle.
Let's keep it movin' folks.
Monday, September 25, 2017
It's Sunday, and there's school tomorrow, so I send my boy upstairs to get ready to take a shower. He scurry's up the stairs with no protest, and as I'm walking to the stairs, I hear 6 gun shots in quick succession.
I turn and yell for everyone to get in the house and sprint to the front, where I see a tan,older, mini van speeding down our street. I see the car in front of our house, back window blown out, bullet holes in the driver side door, and the man in the driver seat with one hand on the wheel and the other on his neck.
Laura is screaming at me to "get in the fucking house", but I'm oddly calm and say "but it's already over, they're gone".
I call 911, she runs up to our house to find my boy standing in our living room with his hands over his ears, saying "I don't wanna die-I don't wanna die".
She takes my boy upstairs to his cousins house, and we're all in front of the house as swarms of police pull up. All the neighbors have made their way outside now, and everyone has a sort of glazed over look on their face.
This is Chicago.
We see it on the news everyday here, but that summer Sunday, we were the news,
Too close. Way too fucking close.
After talking to various police this week, we are smack dab in the middle of an all out gang war.
Spanish Disciples vs. Saints (who apparently are far from saintly).
The drive by...I can handle. Shit heads killing shit heads....no tears rolling down my cheeks for that shit.
It's how we have to live now, it's how I have to make my son feel safe, it's how this entire block that I live on, is on pins and needles.
The kids? They've changed.
That's what has me all kinds of fucked up. Their whole world changed that Sunday evening, and there is no going back. You don't un-see what they saw. They feel our tension.
My grim hope is that the Disciples and Saints kill everyone that they need to kill...quickly.
How do you rebuild a sense of safety in a child? I don't know, but I'd like to take a crack at it sooner than later.
It'd be great if gangs settled their differences in more of a West Side Story manner, just dance those differences away. If that was the case, I'd totally be looking forward to gang wars...walking down 24th street, snapping and strutting, then BAM! Dance fight!
Shit, maybe I'd join a gang. I'd lose every dance fight, but always live to dance another day.
Life goes on, and while we keep pushing forward, a live edge man cave rolling bar table was created for Jaunt of Action Heights.
Lot's of details in that slab. Bow tie"s to keep the cracks from cracking, hand painted epoxy filler added in all the other cracks and voids.
The next one is a upholstered giant ottoman/table with a drop in steel tray for holding Kool-Aid and Cheetos (I'm just assuming that's gonna be their snack choices).
This has been the summer where me and Zach have pushed the envelope in our work.
Always evolving. A sense that there isn't anything outside of our range.
Mid-Century, French Country, Industrial, Modern, Rustic....bring it on. A one trick pony is only good for one trick, and eventually, that trick gets old.
Stay safe. Hug yer kids. Kick some ass this week.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Andy picked up a new condo in Logan Square and chose us to make a couple statement pieces.
This is why I love my job.
Andy comes to the shop, gives us some insight on what he likes, and then is basically like "make me cool shit for my home"...Done and Done bro.
Sometimes you meet people, you see their space, and you just can not, for the life of you, read their style. With Andy, it was real easy.
The best part of it all is when you lug it in and put it in place, and their face is saying "fuck yeah, my space is becoming a home".
How much easier can it get?
No driving from store to store trying to find something that fits your space. You search and search, and eventually you just settle for some bullshit, then end up hating that bullshit a month later.
None of that.
Come by the shop, we'll swing by your place and make you what you want, and the kicker is....10000 people aren't going to have the same thing as you.
Doesn't it suck when someone comes to your house and is like "oh yeah, we have that dining table....we got it on sale." and in the back of your mind, you now wanna launch that dining table out of your window and tell those people to get the fuck out of your house.
We're here to prevent that.
We'll make you cool stuff, and you get to keep your friends and not smash the dog shitting in your front yard with the dining table you just hurled off of your balcony.
That's my sales pitch...enjoy.
Alright, so Saturday night we had a barbecue for my son's grandmothers birthday.
After the festivities, my son asked if he could spend the night at his cousins house.
This is most parents wet dream, but for me...not so much.
His mom was working, and I, for the first time in 7.5 years, was alone.
I'm used to my lil dude by my side, and found myself pacing the house for about 10 minutes before I started desperately searching NETFLIX for something not animated, or about superheros or talking dogs. I started and stopped about 4 different movies before I decided to stare out the window.
Is this what life would be without my son?
I guess If I had more notice I could've gone to Riot Fest, but I hate big crowds and I hate big festivals, so that wouldn't be an option. I don't drink, so I wouldn't be bar hopping.
What would I do on a Saturday night?
Go to the shop and work?
Really? Is that my option? Work.
I don't know man, but after 7.5 years of fixing Legos, getting kids a variety of juices, riding go karts, playing video games, reading scary stories, watching animated movies about fucking feelings and shit...THAT is the life for me.
That little son of a bitch was gone for a total of one hour and twenty minutes before I realized just how much I need that shit that I bitch about in my life.
So I'm staring out the window on a Saturday night having a fucking panic attack about what I'm gonna do when this boy becomes a man and bounces?
THAT is what I did on my Saturday night. Shit....Riot Fest wasn't sounding so bad after all.
I ended up eating an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's in the dark, while listening to my dog snore...Brian McQuaid you are a party fucking animal.
Without my son, I'm about as fun as an adult circumcision procedure.
Even now, Sunday at 8:14am, I desperately await his arrival.
I've already done dishes, done laundry, went to the gym, cleaned a pair of boots and wrote a fucking blog, all while trying to just fill the time between consciousness and my lil dudes return home.
Don't take shit for granted, and don't eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's in the dark, cause both of those things will make you feel lousy.
Monday, September 11, 2017
I rarely check voicemails, but for some reason, I actually listened to it.
It was from the Chicago Police.
I called the number back, and the officer asked if I knew a certain person.
I did, and I asked the officer if everything was ok, to which he responded "he's dead", to which I responded "dead isn't in the neighborhood of ok...self inflicted?" The officer asked why I would imply that (which is brilliant work Columbo), I said "well, he's fairly young, in decent health to the best of my knowledge, and since you're calling me...I'm ruling out car accident and shark attack. The officer chuckled on the other end, and I believe accidentally mumbled "self inflicted..." as if almost a question to himself.
He was looking for family contacts, to which I had none, and it all kinda ended there.
I knew the deceased was troubled. To the extent that would cause a man with a new business and a 4 year old son to off himself...I had no idea.
Suicide...we hear that shit way too often these days.
There are depressed people. There are people that are chemically fucked up. There are people that off themselves due to the side effects of medication.
My theory on the leading cause of suicide is...LIFE.
Sometimes life becomes too much.
Sometimes we dig ourselves into such a deep hole that we can't even see a pinhole of light from the entry point of our proverbial hole.
There's no cure for LIFE.
I don't always mean to be the insensitive fuck that I usually am, but all the people that I know that were killed by LIFE, they made a metric shit ton of bad decisions.
Sometimes we all need a hand. Sometimes we lend a hand to friends in need. When these people just continue to make bad decision after bad decision...well, we start to not really give a fuck.
All of my friends and acquaintances are adults. I have on many occasions gave that helping hand, and I have turned my back on equally as many.
Cause I'm a fucking dick head?
No, because when I've gone above and beyond in 99% of those situations, my help was shat upon and I became a crutch.
The same life that is killing you, is trying to fuckin kill me too. So, while the axe wielding life is chasing us through the woods, and you're wildly running and flailing and screaming, I'm navigating the woods with the precision of some world champion Parkour kid.
To my friends that are clinically depressed, emotionally imbalanced, or the ones that will actually value my advice or appreciate my helping hand...I'm here for you 1000%.
To the ones that do the same dumb shit over and over...go fuck yourself, I'm not buying a new black suit for your outro party.
Everyday LIFE kicks me in the balls. I've learned to take it like a champ and move forward.
In moving forward we managed to knock out this cool little industrial light fixture for my buddy Dr. Andrew Carr (who has a fucking brain tumor and fights to live everyday and doesn't talk about painting the walls with his brains because some chick dumped him, or he's 2 car payments behind, or he blew his life savings on blow).
The other forward mention via photography, is a entry bench with a bunch of bullet casings mortised in.
I call shit like I see it. Always have, always will.
I know suicide is a real touchy subject, and I fully understand the medical side of depression and chemical imbalances. There's no treatment for a dumb mother fucker that can't help themselves from constantly doing dumb shit.
One of the many gifts I received from becoming a father was learning a very valuable lesson. The lesson I learned is that life isn't all about me.
Many people depend on me every day, and I simply can't afford to do dumb shit and make horrible decisions.
Yeah, it'd be a blast to blow all my money on cocaine and strippers and then possibly gamble away whatever money I can scam or steal, but that's really not conducive to what I've struggled to build.
Ok, that's nice and depressing for a Monday morning.
Try to make it through the day without killing yourself...somebody probably needs you around.
Monday, August 28, 2017
My kid went back to school, which signals the death of summer, and my father passed away.
My fathers passing wasn't unexpected. His health had been taking a nose dive since February, and while we all knew it was only a matter of time, his actual death still felt like a liver punch.
My family is a resilient bunch.
My father was tough as nails, and that trait was handed down to all of us.
While waiting for his body to be picked up, my sister went and got beer and sandwich's, and we raised our cups to our old man, and proceeded to comfort ourselves with laughter.
It felt good to all be together like that in my mothers living room. There will most likely be a lot more of those moments now, because It hit me that for the first time in 49 years, my mother is truly...alone.
Loneliness is a cancer, and right now, my mothers children are chemo.
I'd mostly only see my sister on holidays, my brother and mom, a little more frequently, but I think that is about to change. It's like in hockey, when a player gets sent to the penalty box, the team tightens it the fuck up.
Work continued. Work has always been comfort for me. Whenever the world has kicked me in the balls, work has been therapy.
The productive distraction.
New live edge rolling bar for Jaunt in Arlington Heights, and a butcher block breakfast table for a nice couple who are building their dream home.
My blog posts have always been their best when I'm pissed off about something.
I'm not pissed off about anything (for a change), I'm just...foggy.
Bear with me, the fog will clear, it always does.
Until I'm able to make you all chuckle a bit before your Monday morning commute, or give you something to ponder at your desk...I'm gonna take a little hiatus.
Until then...Hug your loved ones, piss in your enemy's coffee, make art, speak your mind, and embrace life.
Monday, August 21, 2017
We found out that our vendor application was accepted only 5 days before the event and these 2 lamps were the product of a time crunch in order to have some shit to actually sell at the fair.
We had a few things laying around, but you have to fill up a 10X10 tent in order to capture peoples attention.
These things are tough for guys like us because no one goes to these things expecting to drop $500 on a coffee table. They come there for shitty food and cheap sun glasses.
The first lamp is made from a gas pump that I found in the parking lot of our shop.
I have a new respect for the gas pump, because I had no idea how complicated the inner workings were. You would think you just wash out the fuel and feed your lamp cord through and VOILA...lamp. Yeah...there was no VOILA'.
I hoped in my heart of hearts that the lamp wouldn't sell because I really wanted to keep it.
It sold, and now every time I put $10 on pump 1, I think about chopping that handle off and making a run for another lamp.
The next lamp stemmed from an idea I had for a steel lamp shade, but the shade is where my idea ended. I made the shade, and then I was like "now what?".
That's when you just stare at a piece of steel and pace and stare some more, and you mock up all these sucky contraptions until you simplify your thoughts.
Simple can save a idea real quick.
It's so easy to over think. It's easy to get caught up in your own creative nuttiness and not be able to see the forest through the trees.
So for 30 hours over 2 days, me and Zach sat in our 10X10 tent shucking our wares.
If we were to play the "cool stuff" drinking game, in which we would have to take a shot every time someone walked in our tent and said "cool stuff man" then promptly walked the fuck out, both of our livers would have exploded in the first 20 minutes.
The general interest was overwhelmingly positive, but goddamn if you don't encounter some of the rudest most ignorant people that ever fell out of a vagina.
"So uh....what do you guys do?"....um...we're not selling corn dogs, so let's work on those process of elimination skills, or "are those railroad spikes?"...I assume you were born in captivity, so yes, those are indeed railroad spikes.
The absolute best is the jackass that says "yeah...I do this kind of stuff"...oh really fuck wad? Where's your booth, cause I'd love to check out your stuff, oh...you don't have a booth, ok, do you have any pictures on your phone? No? Oh, so you haven't actually MADE anything, but you got a Ryobi tool kit last Christmas, that's cute, but standing in a garage doesn't make you a car.
Then we get the jerkoff who just discovered the internet and proceeds to show you pictures of other peoples shit. Well hey man, feel free to snap some photos of our stuff so if you ever meet that guy from Portland who makes wine bottle holders from gas pipe, you can offend the shit outta him too by showing him pictures of OUR stuff.
Then, as day turns to night...you get the drunks.
There was this dude swaying in front of our bar cart for a good 45minutes. I told Zach that this guy is either gonna try to fuck it, or puke on it, but either way he's buying it.
What I did learn from this outing is that i t's always the people who you least expect to buy something, that buy the biggest ticket items.
There were several sales where someone would be like "I want that, I'll be back", and me and Zach would roll our eyes, and 20 minutes later, some young couple is carrying a table 3 blocks through a street fair to load up their new table on the roof of their Honda.
For a socially awkward guy like myself, these things are painful, but it forces me to engage strangers.
I had to talk to a lot of people that I would feel more comfortable choking out, but I also talked to a lot of really interesting people, one couple in particular told me their love story which almost brought me to tears, another couple reminded me of the people I hung out with growing up, so you just never know who you're gonna meet.
While sales and self promotion were the goal, I also learned to be a little more open and accepting of people. I'm a overly guarded, incredibly proud and protective individual who learned how to open up a little to people that weekend.
While taking home a pocket full of cash was nice, chipping away at my social awkwardness is something a little more permanent.
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Why in the fuck are the news outlets throwing out the phrase "NUCLEAR WAR" like they're talking about a new APP that makes you look like a chicken or some other barnyard animal?
I don't know how any of you grew up, but "NUCLEAR WAR" wasn't a phrase that was thrown around lightly.
Here's the thing...I have a 7 year old boy. This 7 year old child of mine is convinced we're going to die from a tornado every time it fucking drizzles, so when he's flipping through channels and these news stations are spitting out "NUCLEAR WAR" left and fuckin' right, I get the pleasure of explaining what exactly nuclear war is.
"Well Max, you see, a lot of countries have these bombs. When these bombs fall from the sky and hit the earth...they vaporize, and by "vaporize", I mean they fucking kill every living thing within a 7 to 21 mile radius per bomb, fuckin' crazy shit, right?...Let's go get yogurt."
There are 2 subjects that a population should not be desensitized to.
1. NUCLEAR FUCKING WAR
I was at the gym this morning. They have Televisions everywhere (why? I don't know), 17 times on 17 different televisions I saw the phrase "nuclear war"...that number is only when I actually started to count.
Local or global annihilation isn't something that you just throw around.
Yes...Our president is getting his ass handed to him in the polls, and we all know that nothing brings those numbers up like a good ol' fucking war.
Mr. President, I don't know if anyone has informed you, but, you have job security for the next 3 plus years, unless you do something even more ridiculously fucked up then all the other ridiculously fucked up shit you do on a daily basis, you Twitter Critter.
So, don't mind the poll numbers, you're a one and done president anyway.
"Make America Great"....waiting....still waiting.
Americans...there are a lot of Americans that are great. You Mr. President...ya need some work.
Is Kim Jong a fucking cuckoo bird? You are goddamn right he is. Crazy people speak of nuclear war, not civilized rational political leaders.
"FIRE AND FURY"....Brilliant war slogan. I'm in "SHOCK AND AWE" over how great that slogan is.
I'm not Trump bashing cause people get so fucking sensitive. I'm nuclear war propaganda bashing.
Put me in a room with both of these assholes so I can break down nuclear war for them. I don't even need to do any fact checking, I'm just going to revert back to my 6th grade enlightenment.
"Mr.Preident...Fat weird Korean guy...In the event of nuclear war everything dies. Everything. See that fruit fly...dead. Babies...dead. Birds...dead. Anything that can be classified as "alive"...dead. Everything. Your momma...dead. The lady that fixes your wig...dead. Dead, dead, fucking dead.
So, you two mother fuckers might wanna figure some shit out.
Kim...you go on starving your people and pretending that you're globally relevant, and Mr. President, you go on making your rich friends richer, and we the people will go on navigating your bullshit and being content with teeny tiny bits of pleasure being sprinkled on us every now and then."
Watching this shit unfold is the equivalent of watching two drunk assholes arguing in a bar, except these 2 drunk assholes have nuclear weapons in their trunks out in the parking lot.
Ok, I'm done.
French Country...not out style, but it was damn sure fun building outside of our comfort zone.
When you become so accustomed to building the foundations of your pieces with steel, and then revert back to wood, it felt really weird.
Everything has it's place and position. When a piece calls for a particular style, you have to be able to answer the call.
The last piece, which called us back to our roots is a 9' long bar table.
I really hope we don't slip into a nuclear winter, because there are so many new and interesting projects coming in, and it's hard to hit deadlines when you've been vaporized.
Monday, July 31, 2017
First one is a stereo cabinet with speaker stands.
There was a very unique process used for the side panels. There is a deep texture to the wood created by sanding down the light grain to create a valley in the wood.
When I say sanding, I mean 3 to 4 hours per panel of sanding and shaping.
Did the customer request that??? No they did not. You do what the piece dictates sometimes, even if it's at an expense to us. In this case the expense was time, and time is more valuable than money.
The next piece is a bar cabinet for a really cool programmer who lives in the Wicker Park/Bucktown area in Chicago.
Sometimes you meet customers that make you want to blow their fuckin' minds. We walked away from our field measure saying "yeah, we're gonna kill it for this motherfucker".
That's the fun part of our job.
Giving people more than they expect.
Take our leash off, watch us run, you won't be disappointed.
Even though things have been hectic and stressful, you embrace the chaos and let the chaos lead you.
That's the trick.
It's like being caught in a rip current. If you fight it and try to swim straight in, you're gonna fuckin' die, but if you swim with it, and cheat your way towards shore, you're gonna have a kick ass story about how you almost fuckin died at sea.
It's never the piece or the work involved that creates the stress, it's peoples time frame.
Everyone is in a big fuckin hurry for a inanimate object.
Bars, Restaurants...I get it. The doors gotta open, ya gotta recoup that money, The schedules are break neck, for every trade involved.
We're adapting to the pace, we're learning to navigate the clock.
I blame Amazon for our society's "need it now" mentality.
I remember ordering something on Amazon, and if I ordered in the next 4 hours and 52 minutes...I could get it TODAY. What?
That's great and all, but it is grooming our society for instant gratification, and people are having a harder time coping with having to wait for something.
If you were searching for a "mate", do you really want to fuck on the first date, or do you wanna hold hands, revel in that first kiss goodnight, wait a couple days before you see them again, maybe spend a little more time making out, palm the booty, send em off anticipating 2nd. base....finally working up to that moment ya'll get it on.
Maybe it doesn't even work that way anymore, because now there are websites you can join where people can just fuck each other.
I'm a caveman. My mind is still blown that I can "track a package". I don't even track my packages anymore cause I get high off of the anticipation.
I recently had a killer wallet made from BWEISS LEATHER (check him out on etsy and instagram).
We communicated back and forth about my custom wallet. Once I got a feel for where his head and his heart was at, I chucked all my design ideas out the window and was like "bro, do your thang, have fun with it."
I didn't want to know anything about it, or the process, or how long it would take. I wanted the artist to take his time and create something HE was proud of.
An artist is most critical of their own work, so in my mind, if this motherfucker is happy with what he created, then I will not be disappointed...and I damn sure wasn't.
The moral of the story is...be patient.
Life moves fast enough as it is.
There's very little gratification in instant gratification.
No Amazon...I do NOT want it today.
Monday, July 17, 2017
I'm not a sports guy, but oddly enough, I'm a math guy.
While Tavern 57 isn't necessarily a sports bar, the owner explained to us that the 57 came from two of Chicago's greatest sports figures...Walter Payton and Michael Jordan, number 34 and 23...34+23=57.
That was explained to us after loading in a 300lb. solid steel DJ booth. That little tidbit of mathematical information helped take the edge off the fact that I was pretty sure I left my spinal cord on Wrightwood ave after squeezing that beast through the door.
The owners aesthetic, the location, the theme of the establishment, and our aesthetic, all formed a type of mathematical equation that equated into a very warm, slick tavern with just enough edge to lure in a diverse clientele.
It was some of the most brutally paced work that we have done to date, but a lot of fun in the fury of the build.
Walk into a custom shop to get a table made...your lead time is always 6 to 8 weeks, in high season you can jack that lead time to 12 to 14 weeks. In this case...32 line items in 45 days.
If you're in Chicago, check out Tavern 57.
To celebrate the completion of that project, I took Friday off and that evening took my 7 year old to see KISS.
He's loved KISS since he was about 2. I have fond memories of him performing "Back in the New York groove" in nothing but a diaper, and a little guitar, in the kitchen.
He's been to hardcore/punk shows before, but this was the first big budget rock show for him.
When we got to the venue, Megadeath had just started and he got as big of a yawn outta that as I did.
We headed to the food area and got some second rate dinner just as Mashuggah was going on.
We scarffed down our food, headed to stage, I threw him up on my shoulderes so he could see the band. While he was up on my shoulders, he's tiny hands were dangling at my face where I could see he was trying to adjust his fingers into a proper metal devil horns position. With a little guidance, the proper devil horns were positioned and that was the last I saw of those tiny hands.
All while this child was on my shoulders, sweaty metal heads where "high 5ing" my boy and giving me nods of metal approval.
As the sun went down, we made our way back to the main stage where Rob Zombie prepared my son for what was to come.
The lights, the rock cliche' banter, a giant robot on stage...I looked over at my boy and could literally see his little brain processing the performance.
After Zombie, we had some time to kill before KISS, so decided to walk around and hunt for snacks.
My son had a new swagger.
He wanted to walk ahead of me, and from behind he looked like a miniature Kirk Hammet from Metallica. As we navigated the crowd, he received more high 5ing, and devil horn exchanges.
Within this sea of misfits, my boy felt welcomed and accepted.
When we first walked in the gates, he clenched my hand like he was hanging off of a cliff, but with 55000 poorly tattoo'd, stinky metal fans embracing his attendance... that grip loosened, then became non-existent.
We made our way back to our seats and a massive KISS banner blocked the view of the entire stage.
The stadium lights went out. The announcement was about to come..."you wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest band in the world...KISS!
BOOM! Banner drops, lights blind the crowd, explosions, devil horns up in the air...fuckin' KISS.
This 7 year old boy sitting next to me was no longer a 7 year old boy. He changed.
As Kiss played on, a chill blew in, and this young man burrowed into me for warmth.
For a few hours we were 2 dudes at a rock show.
As it grew cold and late, he became my 7 year old son who relied on me for comfort...until KISS burst into Rock-n-roll all night, and he stood up in his seat to sing along with his 55000 new friends.
These little moments, they're woven together to create a thing called life.
Sunday, July 9, 2017
Signs, bar tops, sinks, stair treads, concrete pads, tables, shelving, sign backers, FRP panels, and a slew of other pieces that I can't even remember.
No staff, just 2 guys furiously building.
Do I enjoy the pace? Fuck no I do not...I'm old. I'm feeling my years over these last 6 weeks.
We're in round 5 of a UFC title fight, battered and bloody, but we're ahead on the judges score cards.
Just when we're at that brink of collapse, we deliver more pieces and the owners are happy, and THAT is what fuels us for the next round.
The next blog post will include the final product, but at this point, we haven't even had time to snap photos.
A lot of things have happened over the last 6 weeks personally...my fathers failing health and my friends brain tumor took the front row, causing me to question my own mortality.
We are at the whim of the universe. What that bitch says...goes.
Instead of pondering life and death, I chose to just live.
By choosing to live, I mean really enjoying the moments that I have.
Reading in a hammock, night swims with the family, water balloon fights, ice cream on the stoop. Those little moments are the living part of life, you just have to see them for that.
It's so fuckin' easy to get caught up in your own bullshit, that you don't see these moments as significant, but here's a news flash...when they're gone...they're gone, and if you missed them because your head was elsewhere, the only one that loses, is you.
I don't need a lot to make me happy. I'm a really simple man.
I catch a lot of shit because people assume that I don't give a fuck about anything, when the reality is that I do give a fuck, I just don't give a fuck about YOUR bullshit.
Your boss is stupid...I don't give a fuck...you feel fat...I don't give a fuck...you're tired...I don't give a fuck.
If you don't give a fuck about all your shitty situations enough to do something about them, then how can you remotely expect me to join your pity party.
I'm 110% behind anyone trying to change something that they're not happy about. I'm 0% interested in anyone looking to just vent.
Get a fuckin kitten, tell that pussy about all your problems.
The other day I was in the backyard and somebody decided to go on a rant for an hour plus about their work situation. I was sitting on a bench and literally fell asleep sitting up. Everyone noticed me sleeping except the person rambling on about their job. I didn't need to be part of that conversation, no one did.
They'll go back to work Monday and guess what...it's still gonna suck. Nobody privy to all the information vomited out during that conversation is able to do anything about it.
Am I an asshole?
No...I'm a realist.
I believe that everyone is in control of their own lives and situations. I'm not capable of feigning interest. It's all empty.
Someone backed into your car? That sucks, get it fixed...conversation over. We could spend the next hour talking about how you've been horribly wronged in such a situation, but l just don't care to.
There's a very powerful photo I saw of a missionary pouring water into a starving African childs mouth...I want to print that photo, laminate it, and carry it with me, so when someone starts to tell me about their dining experience where the chicken was so fuckin' dry, I can pull it out and hold it to their face and say "real problems".
You can very easily say "Brian...all you ever do is bitch on your blog"...yeah, yeah I do, but I don't make the 53,400 people read it every Monday, feel free to jump over to youtube and watch videos of monkeys jagging off.
The real asshole isn't me. It's the ones that entertain the conversation and egg it on, but most likely give less of a fuck than I do. They're just waiting for their chance to chime in about their misery, and I personally don't care to exchange useless information about shitty situations.
I've given enough advice that goes completely ignored to know better than to make suggestions.
In removing myself from these situations, I've discovered that it's much easier to deal with my problems and enjoy more of my life.
If that makes me an asshole....Then I'm an asshole.
Sunday, July 2, 2017
Our bullshit threshold is very small and the ability to weed out those who are true and those who are not becomes very sharp.
Dr. Andrew Carr is my friend.
He's a father, a husband, and a Chiropractor who despite the "herd" requirements of insurance companies and insurance networks who want you to spend 5 minutes with a patient, Andrew will spend as long as it takes to actually help a patient.
What does that say about a man? It says a lot.
Andrew was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Not a slipped disc, or some old knee injury...a fucking brain tumor.
Andrew, like myself and so many others, does not have health insurance.
Andrew, like myself, would rather sell his own fucking kidney on the black market, than ask for a dime from anyone.
That is why one of his friends set up a GO FUND ME page.
You don't know Andrew. You don't have to know him. All you have to do is be a part of the human race. We HAVE to look out for each other. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY in politics remotely gives a flying fuck if you live or you die.
You know what Obama care would've cost me for my family? $1460 per month. I can't imagine what Trumps will cost, and in all honesty, I can't possibly afford it. I do have life insurance for $500k for $53 a month, so it's cheaper for me to fucking die.
Because Andrew won't beg, I'm going to beg for him because he needs to live. He needs to raise his kids, he needs to help those people in pain that he treats, he is essential to the human race.
There's a lot of human pieces of shit out there that I couldn't care less if they live or die, but there are those that bring something to the plate of humanity, and Andrew is bringing the fucking salad and we all want some fucking salad with our meal!
$1 $5 $10...it's nothing to you. I just paid $7 for a fucking milkshake. It's not going to end your lavish lifestyle, but it's gonna help a good man stay on this fucking rock that we all inhabit.
You pay tax on everything you buy, in fact, you pay tax on shit you don't buy, and you don't even think about it. You bitch about it now and then, but you go along with the hustle.
Throw a couple bucks at something that can help save a mans life.
I can't even come up with words to talk about the stuff we made this week.
It's stuff...we made it...in the grand scheme of life it doesn't fucking matter.
I'm really sorry. My friends situation, as horrible as it is, does deliver some perspective.
Love those around you as hard as you fucking can.
It can all be snatched away in the blink of an eye.
It sucks a bag of dicks and it's not fair, but that's what life does, or at least what it tries to do.
It threatens to steal hope.
It sneaks up on you and smashes you in the balls when you least expect it.
Life is the equivalent of Bam Margera, that guy from Jackass that used to light fire crackers and throw em' on his dad while he was sleeping and shit.
Hug your kids, disregard your enemies, and help those that you can along your journey through life.
If you blow all your fingers off this fourth of July, and you start a "GOFUNDME"...go fuck yourself dummy.
Monday, June 26, 2017
It's a motorcycle show with bands, booze, bikes and everything that you would imagine a motorcycle show to be.
Our presence there was par for the course in terms of who we are and what we represent.
Among vendors carrying t-shirts that say shit like "if you can read this, then the bitch fell off", and patches that say "certified asshole", along with the ones carrying made in China bolt on parts for your 30% made in America motorcycles...we definitely stuck out.
"Cool shit man" was the phrase of the day, which was good for the ol' ego, but another common phrase was "so....what do you guys DO?"
So, let me get this straight...you're standing in our booth, surrounded by all this cool handmade shit, and you're asking me what it is that we do?
"We sell insurance fucko...the stupid phrase t-shirt vendor is across the street"
As much as I would stare blankly at these people while thinking "how are you so fucking dumb?", I also realized that maybe it wasn't such a dumb question.
We're a Walmart society.
We're conditioned to accept the nicely packaged products that some blonde bitch on TV is telling us to buy.
We're taught to go buy disposable shit that we don't need.
We're bred to not remotely give a fuck about quality, but be concerned with price.
We're programmed to not acknowledge the hand that built the house.
So, you walk into our booth which smashes every one of those talking points, and you're left scratching your mullet, thinking to yourself "what the fuck is this", until it's actually vomited out of your mouth, to which I then have to come up with a smart ass response.
It made me realize that the deck is stacked against us, which is fine because I don't play cards anyway.
All in All, the response was great and the people enjoyed something different.
All right...picture explanation time...
Chain lamp...I've posted many before, but this is the first one made using a jig.
We made a jig to keep the chain straight which made the product to be cleaner and much faster to make.
Devils tail wall hanger....because I felt like making one.
Concrete top sink...This is for our bar build out at what will be called "Tavern 57" in Chicago.
It's one of 3 sinks and one giant bar top all made from concrete.
Concrete is a really cool medium to work with, and we don't work with it as much as I'd like to because it's stupid heavy and I'm old. Truth.
New website, more retail work, doing outdoor street fests...we're finding our way.
We're trying new things to see what works, to see where we fit in and it's all essential in order to grow.
Somewhere there's a dude playing guitar in his moms basement, and he is the best guitar player in the world, but until he get's out of his moms basement and plays for an audience...no one will ever know and his talent dies with him and everyone misses out.
Get yer dick (or vagina) wet. Go outside your comfort zone. Try new things. Take the plunge, otherwise you'll never know.
Could have or should have, just doesn't cut it.
This show was exhausting. Me and Zach both missed out on time with our family this weekend, but it's those sacrifices that dictate our future and the future of our families.
This is real life. You pay to play.
There is no such thing as luck. Either you put in the work or you didn't.
Anyway...now that the weekend is over, it's back to building. I swear to god that my face hurts from 30 hours of fake salesman smiling.
Have a good Monday my friends.
Monday, June 12, 2017
The bowling alley top bar is a custom order.
We were given "inspiration" photos, and tried to comply with all the little details as well as added a few of our own.
The coffee table is just us fucking around with color.
I mean...why not?
Shit is just bland-blah-boring sometimes, so why not fucking blue? Add blue...see what happens.
2 of the 3 lamps are for Jaunt. The 3rd lamp is for Motoblot.
As much as we'd like to sell as much stuff as possible at Motoblot, it's also a way to showcase and network.
It's a motorcycle show. Maybe someone will wanna walk around with a fucking lamp all day, and maybe not, but what they will know, is where to get it if they like it.
We've made enough cash and carry items so that we don't totally eat shit, but we want to showcase some bigger items as well.
We're also going to have t shirts and shop rags for sale and once the show is over, those items will be available at www.makerschicago.com , in case you live in fucking Idaho and don't wanna make a 23 hour drive to look at motorcycles and buy a couple of dirtbags t-shirts.
I've been thinking lately (you all know what that means) about "moments".
If you dissect an average day, you realize that most of that time is filler bullshit, and the things that define what will soon be your past, are "moments".
How do you have more moments and less filler time?
I don't fucking know, but if I did, I'd be able to make Tim Robbins bank account look like my daily deposit.
One thing I do know is that we need to spend less time focusing on what we need to do later and be present in what is happening right now.
Here's an example...Saturday night, my son wanted to ride his bike. He just grasped the whole bike riding thing the day before and he wants to get better at it. Although it was already 9pm and the house was a disaster from a sleep over the night before, I am in no way going to hinder his progress in the fine art of bicycle riding.
We went to a school across the street that has a big empty parking lot. Off he goes exploring every inch of that parking lot on 2 wheels, and I'm sitting on the curb freaking the fuck out over everything I need to do when we get home.
I caught myself.
Here I sit, a gorgeous night, cool breeze, clear sky, bright moon, and I'm sitting on a curb consumed by dishes and putting shoes away?
It took me a minute, but I was able to clear my mind and put myself in the moment.
The result was staggering.
Not only did I enjoy the moment more, but I can tell that my son was happier because I was really present in what was going on.
Yeah, we went to bed hella late, and no, I didn't finish all the stuff that I wanted to finish, but so the fuck what?
What I gained from being present in a moment, totally trumped all the bullshit that I didn't finish in my self allotted time frame.
Did anyone die because I didn't put his flip flops away, or because I only did half of the dishes? I don't think so, but I do think that both he and I will remember that moment for quite possibly a lifetime.
Don't let shit slip past you because you're busy creating laundry lists in your head.
Immerse yourself in the real, the present.
Time fucking sucks. There's never enough of it, so the ticks of the clock that you get...ya gotta make that shit count.
As a parent, we love to pat ourselves on the back for all the wonderful shit we teach our kids, when in reality, it's them teaching us.
Play with me...read to me...watch a movie with me...this is their way of saying "hey asshole...forget about laundry, and be present with me because I'm only going to be young for a little while and when you're the one shitting in a diaper again, and I'm off doing adult shit, you're going to beg god to have all of those moments that you missed...back, and you don't get them back, you just sit there being sad in a shit filled diaper."
I'm not gonna be the sad old man in a shitty diaper.
If I do end up shitting in a diaper, that'll be sad enough as is, so by no means do I wanna add to it.
We convince ourselves that all the tasks that we do, are for them.
They don't give a fuck.
They want you.
They want you to be present in all their new found experiences.
You owe it to them.
And ya know what?
The world would probably be a much better place if you did.
If you gave them the time they needed, then they wouldn't spend the rest of their lives seeking outside approval.
What the fuck do I know?
I'm a glorified carpenter.
I have no psychology degree. In fact the only degree I have is deodorant.
I am aware, and I am damn good at reading my kid.
When I'm over occupied with distractions, his demeanor changes. My goal is too at the very least be aware when that shift takes place, and adjust accordingly.
It's not just about children, it can easily be applied to every other life situation.
I'm at a stop light, and to my right is a outdoor cafe. Every mother fucker there is staring at their phone. Why bother? Why go out? Is it that painful to engage each other now?
It's Monday. It's gonna be a long, hot and dirty week for us.
Enjoy your moments.
Monday, June 5, 2017
That is extremely rare because most questions I get asked are different renditions of the same questions, but this time...I had to do some head scratching.
The question was an honest inquiry, and nothing offensive, just momentarily perplexing.
"What's with all the skulls?"
Fuck. I don't know. I've never given it a whole lot of thought until that particular moment.
Was is my punk/hardcore/metal roots? nah.
Am I obsessed with death or dying? nah.
I had to dig deep.
Deeper than I thought I would, and I had to sort through some baggage and personality traits.
Then...the light bulb went on.
You know how rat poison or other shit that can kill you, usually have a skull and crossbones on the label?
Well, it's sort of the same warning.
I'm not concerned with being ingested, but I believe my affinity for skulls is basically a warning label.
You want to know me? You want to get close to me? Proceed with caution then.
It's my way of saying "I'm not looking for friends, or business ventures, nor am I willing to accept anyones bullshit or baggage. Tread lightly...you've been warned."
Why am I so guarded and introverted?
None of your fucking business...that's why.
Those who know my demons have gone through a screening process. They have EARNED a spot in the ranks.
These people have paid their dues, gone to battle with and for me. They've seen me rise and fall and been there every step of the way.
You don't just walk into my soul like you own the fuckin place.
Knock first mother fucker, and I decide if and when I'm opening the door.
So the answer to the "what's up with all the skulls" question, is exactly that.
I'm actually more of an ocean than I am a skull.
I'm vast and beautiful, intriguing and interesting, but also dangerous and violent, and if not respected, I will swallow your ass up in an instant and you'll never be found again.
But ocean rings, or patches, or t shirts would be pretty fuckin gay, and not nearly as spooky and cool as skull stuff.
So there ya have it.
Stuff we built...
Another coffee table and side table set going to the fine gentleman who just got a coffee table and side table set..his name is Mike, but I'm gonna call him Noah cause the fuckin guy is getting stuff in deuces!
Rolling table just slammed out for those wacky marketing genius's at Limitless Creative.
They needed a rolling table for a NIKE event in 24 hours and we delivered that shit in 4 hours.
Go above and beyond for your customers, crush their deadlines, make it a pleasure to work with you.
These people are our bread and butter. They deserve our best and they get our best.
We have so much stuff coming, and I actually just looked around the shop the other day and had to catch my breath. It's a creative hurricane, and me and Zach are finding a sweet spot in our working cohesiveness.
We've always been able to feed off each other, hence being in business together, but we're reaching a new level of that.
It's fluidity...like water...like the ocean (HAH!)
Fuck the ocean. I'm actually terrified of it.
Had a run in with a Bull Shark, well, almost a run in, had the shark been paying attention, and I've never stuck a toe in salty waters again.
Maybe that's where my occasional "God complex" comes from?
While Jesus may have walked on water...I ran on water like a Nigerian during the last 100 yards of a fuckin' marathon.
All righty...lot's of cool shit built this week and apparently, lot's of new self discoveries to boot.
Head on over to www.makerschicago.com where you can buy our goods and while you're doing some good ol' healthy internet shopping, shoot over to www.witnesscompany.com and get some skull rings, so that people will stay away from you...works like a charm.
Monday, May 29, 2017
I was going to skip a blog this week.
I do that that sometimes just to let my thoughts back up like Friday traffic in Chicago.
Since I'm up at this ungodly hour, I figured "fuck it", it's Memorial Day, and from my observations of society lately, at some point today, everyone will have their faces jammed in a phone while life is passing by, so maybe I'll contribute and give folks something to read.
All this stuff here is going to our retailer Jaunt in Arlington Heights.
1. console table made from old bowling alley lanes
2. live edge bar cart
3.cafe chair with swivel table top
4. stitched steel desk lamp
The way a retailer usually works is...you make and piece and they consign it, and once it sells, you get some money in 30 days, or the have specific requests and you wholesale it to them.
They gave us a bunch of money and said "make us cool stuff".
Trust and belief.
The two ingredients in any successful relationship.
By Jaunt doing that, they were saying "I trust that you won't blow this money at a shady titty bar, and I believe that you guys will make us items that we will be able to sell".
It's the equivalent of letting a chick leave her tooth brush at your house.
I'm loyal to a fault.
"Do me good and I'll do you better"..."do me wrong, and I'll super glue the locks on your house and set that bitch on fire while you're sleeping"-That's basically my life mantra.
When someone goes out of their way for me and especially my son....there's nothing I won't do for that person.
That's more so on a personal level. In business, the extremes are toned down a little.
We've been pretty lucky to have good customers and we've built some really solid relationships.
We've also had our share of shit birds.
There are people who look at me and see the tattoo's, the dirt and sawdust ridden clothes, and take me for one who is easily manipulated.
Bitch, I read "The Art of War" when I was 15, so trust me...I see right through the tactics.
Here's a couple tell tale signs of when a customer is going to be a piece of shit...
1. the promise of a lifetime of future work before you've even started on their current project.
This is done in order to get you to make this customer a priority above all else, and as leverage to slip in a bunch of free shit, because they have soooooo much FUTURE work for you.
It's the dangling carrot tactic and believe me when I say I will snatch that fucking carrot and beat you with the stick it was tied to.
2. Promise of payment.
This is when a customer goes above and beyond to express how money isn't an issue and how they have no problem paying. This is usually done before you've even given them a price on anything.
When I hear that speak, I automatically shut down.
I shut down because what they're really saying is "I don't really have any money at the moment and I'm desperately hoping to string you along until I can either get some money of flat out ditch your ass".
Good customers go about things in a very sensible, cut and dry manner.
Shitty customers have a tendency to whip their dick out before even buying me a drink.
It's business though. There's gonna be good and bad.
If you get a bad vibe and you proceed because you're hungry, well...be prepared to eat shit.
The good eggs...give em' your best and never take them for granted because they are your foundation.
I'm off to the gym, then to the shop to hopefully knock out what I need to so I can get home and get some yard time with the fam.
Now, put your phone away and engage those around you.
Monday, May 22, 2017
It's a motorcycle/hot rod street fair with bands, bikes, beer, a pin up contest, film festival and a slew of other shit. (www.motoblot.com )
We don't do the street fair scene.
A lot of folks that kinda do what we do, happen to love them. In fact, they make their money for the year by doing them.
I really want to spend 12 hours a day for 3 days, sitting behind a table, in the blaring sun, with thousands of people working their way into a drunken stupor, about as much as I want the inside of my asshole tattoo'd.
I don't like crowds of people. I get real squirrely at those types of things.
The reason we chose motoblot to display our goods is because the moto / hot rod culture is one that is near and dear to us. The other reason, is that it's put on by the same people who do Riot Fest, and I know from first hand experience how they run things.
If you look at their website, you'll understand why we decided to represent ourselves there.
As much as those street fairs weird me the fuck out, it's probably going to be a lot of fun.
I want to meet the people that buy our stuff, or at least just like our stuff and our down with what we're trying to do. I want that connection, that interaction.
You see, social media has made it real easy to make friends all over the world, and not have to spend any time with any one. I don't wanna knock it, because I have made some really close connections with some really great people via social media, but goddamn if I don't want some human interaction.
I wanna hear your story over a coffee, I wanna meet the dude that "LIKES" every photo we post and tells us how bad he wants to quit his sucky ass job and make knives, because he was inspired by us.
One day I took my kid to The Bean and Maggie Daley park last summer.
My son is playing in the playground, and there's this dude lookin' at me, and I'm thinking to myself "man, I think I know this guy from somewhere", and the dude is thinking the same thing, cause he makes his way over to me and says "Breclaimed?"
Turns out to be Christopherrabbit from Instagram, and we chat it up for a few minutes, but both of us had out kids, and it's a big crowded tourist haven, so in lieu of what was a really nice conversation, we had to ensure our respective children didn't get abducted.
But THAT is what I'm fuckin' talking about.
I'm a slow starter, but once you get me talkin'....I don't shut the fuck up (Zack will confirm that).
So, if you can...come visit us at motoblot.
Allrighty then....on to the photos
Cool ass lamp, big ol' LED edison bulb, I didn't think I'd be into the bulb, but I discovered that...I'm into the bulb. If you're not into the bulb guess what....you can change it. It's a light bulb. Real easy to swap out.
You don't NOT buy a car because you don't like the windshield wipers, right?
Lastly is our helmet/jacket hanger as seen here on display at the Witness Company lair.
The owner of Witness was very involved in the chopper scene, and it's only fitting that his gear is parked properly.
I love seeing our stuff in use. These hangers will be available at Motoblot in many variations.
We try to switch them up as much as possible, so everyone gets something unique.
Thanks for checking in.
Come visit us next month at Motoblot, hell...come visit us at the shop anytime.
There's only 3 rules to visiting the MAKERS shop...
1. be cool
2. don't play with the tools
3. bring coffee
Monday, May 15, 2017
The first question was...
"Are you going to tone your blog down now that it's connected to your website?"
The short answer to that is...Fuck no.
The second question was...
"Do you think you have to appear more professional now that you have a website?"
My answer to that is....I don't "appear" to be anything. We are professional. In fact, we're very fuckin' professional.
I don't even really know what the fuck that means. Am I supposed to dress up like the fuckin' Monopoly Man when I go to the shop?
"Appear professional". This isn't a scam. We're not selling vacuum cleaners door to door or doing an infomercial on some magic cream that makes your dick bigger.
We don't alter our appearance or verbage when we meet clients. Most clients don't give a shit. We're not making talking coffee tables. If a client doesn't like the way I look or speak, they never have to see nor speak to me again once their piece is in their space if they so desire.
That question kind of bothered me because I'm not a fucking idiot.
Yeah, if we have a meeting with Starbucks or a Bar owner, or a home owner, I'm gonna try to not smell like burnt metal, but if we're meeting you at 2pm, chances are we have been building shit since 7:30am, so my apologies if I offend, you'll get over it.
I understand society is all about appearance, and I still don't give a fuck. It's not like we're babysitting your kids, we're making you pieces out of steel and 100 year old wood and leather and bullet casings and barbed wire and a whole slew of other dangerous shit.
I'd buy a motorcycle from a guy in a bunny costume if the price was right. Once the paper work is signed and I go riding off into the sunset, I never see Mr. Bunny Suit again.
Things like that get me a little worked up, and what's worse, is that the question is actually a common occurrence.
Let me get to the photos because we all have shit to do...
Chain lamps..they're happening...you can buy em' now...they're not that expensive...they're really fuckin' cool.
The coffee table was a custom build for an old friend.
It was built from reference photos that he text to me of his existing decor.
It was a perfect match apparently, because he ordered 2 more.
Nothing makes me happier than when our clients are stoked.
When all your work, all your worries disappear after a client receives their piece...THAT is the ultimate gratification and THAT is what we strive for every single time.
Thanks for dropping by and thanks for all the positive feedback and support on the new website.
It's Monday...Lets "appear" to be happy, let's "appear" to be grateful for another day above ground, let's "appear" to treat each other with kindness and respect, let's "appear" to give every moment the best of us.
If we're an appearance based society, lets at least try to appear human.