Sometimes the Manufacturing Manager on the workshop floor sends you a seemingly casual photo and you’re caught back by its simple beauty. That happened just recently with the cover photo you’re seeing above. #nofilter

I’ll keep this week’s making section short and seemingly complex, but actually simple. It involves critical components for a 40’x20’ artwork made from an aluminum framed substructure bolted and welded together from a series of I-beams. Attached to the face of the I-beams’s flanges are CNC routed, ⅝” aluminum mirrored plates and (93) unique, illuminated model buildings that extend up to ten feet tall and hang from a ceiling!

After the installation of this project and Speaking Willow, it may be fair to say we’ll have gained awesome experience building custom chandeliers.

There are almost (50) aluminum panels (+250lbs each mind you) that cover the breadth of this 40’ long chandelier. Each is bolted within a 1/32” tolerance adjacent to its neighbor. So when we had to use dummy plywood panels to meet our deadline while the actual aluminum panels finish fabrication, then the engineer required some new welding for installation so the frame had to be temporarily disassembled, there were precise tolerances we had to battle.

The I-beam flanges that the panels attach require a minimum clearance from the flange’s edge to meet engineering requirements. Meaning the bolts that go through the panels and aluminum I-beam need enough meat and contact for the forces to support them from falling off. Some were getting too close to the edge when the minor shift of one panel created a domino effect along the sculpture’s overall length.

The cover image above was an initial idea to weld piecemeal segments as a way to capture individual bolts that needed reinforcement. The drawing below shows that we went with full length flange extensions. Asymmetrical custom I-beams have been fully fabricated as a result and better yet, you’ll never see ‘em behind the mirror panels!

Fabrication continues while installation has already begun, to give you an idea of how much pressure that’s on this job. The pressure and the excitement remain hand in hand, flange by flange.


I learned this week in a cover story that Biden and Trump are both teetotalers. Meaning neither have had a drink in their lives that they can remember.

The main takeaway from the article can be summarized in this quote:
“More than anything, it is testament to the nature of two fiercely ambitious men, and their calculation that alcohol would put them at a disadvantage, be it in the world of politics or New York City development, or running a casino.”

These men have more in common than we like to think, but don’t be mistaken on their vastly different character and ambitions.

October also marked my one year of not drinking. I have to admit, I had an incredibly hard time giving up alcohol. I never thought it’s something I would do. That isn’t because I love the taste or felt an addiction. If anything the addiction I have is around feeling part of a crew, a need to feel a sense of belonging. Giving up alcohol felt like a ticket straight off the team; off the work hard play hard team, off the wildly fun gay team, off the cool work team, off the ambitious entrepreneur team, off the cool cousin or nephew team, and the list goes on.

I can say that’s (mostly) proven not to be the case. I say mostly because there are some teams I don’t feel a sense of belonging, but now that feels like my choice instead of a judgement put on me from others. To say it succinctly, the last twelve months have been an emotional test to my ego and also a test to me reinforcing a commitment to my goals.

My ex-boyfriend especially frothed these emotions to the glass’ brim by drawing a stark contrast between our social lives that in the end, were not a match. That relationship brought up a lot of things I’m grateful to have had to confront, including self esteem. While it came and passed, I was left with friendships, social gatherings, family get togethers and work events overflowing with drinks just the same.

I originally gave up drinking for health reasons, but over time the reasons have now grown beyond that. Not drinking has truly made me feel autonomous and is giving me the competitive edge. I’m talking about professional goals, physical goals, and goals of just doing insane fun things with people I Love.

I can’t now promise that I will never drink a glass of alcohol again, but it seems unlikely from where I’m standing. I didn’t realize my story was having much of an impact until a good friend came up to me at a small rooftop party. They shared their own story and said I had been an inspiration. It felt reaffirming. It was what I needed to hear and coincidentally at my one year anniversary of not drinking.

If you’re considering cutting out alcohol entirely, also occasionally google famous people you admire who don’t drink, including or not including presidential candidates, or have other thoughts streaming through your untenable mind, I’m here and would Love to connect.

With care,

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