What did you make? (And why?)

Jeff Severns Guntzel
Senior reporter
Public Insight Network

We make things for lots of reasons: for fun, to solve problems or to save money.

We make things because we are creative, entrepreneurial or just pragmatic.

“There is a great emotional reward in physical production,” says the sociologist Richard Sennett. ”It gives you a sense of place in the world and a sense that it matters that you’re here.”

Peg Primak (Waltham, Mass.) made this moon jellyfish costume out of plastic bags, party store door fringe and blue light sticks. (Photo shared by Peg Primak)

Peg Primak made this moon jellyfish costume out of plastic bags, party store door fringe and blue light sticks. (Photo shared by Peg Primak)

We’d like to hear about something you’ve made, and why you made it. If possible, we want to see what you made.

Tell us your story: What did you make (and why)?

We’re seeing some great stuff already.

When Peg Primak of Waltham, Mass., tried to regulate her cats’ diets, she bought one of those automated cat feeders. But then her cats broke into it  – so she gutted the thing and used the motor to build her own.

We’ll feature that project soon enough, but I wanted to show you something else she made. It’s a moon jellyfish costume. Primak lists the materials:

  • Large clear umbrella
  • Partially inflated plastic bags (to give it the living protoplasmic look) covered by shimmery white fabric
  • Plastic party store doorway fringe around the edges
  • Four blue light-sticks in the shape of the stomachs of an actual moon jellyfish

Sculptor Jonathan Schork’s tribute to his wife of 25 years, who he lost to suicide. (Photo shared by Jonathan Schork)

As a tribute to his wife of 25 years, who he lost to suicide, sculptor Jonathan Schork of Big Torch Key, Fla., created a sculpture inspired by a dream he had.

“I was pursuing my wife around the deck of a ship at night, frustrated because she was always just out of reach, barely discernable on the other side of the sails. It was a haunting dream, and upon waking I promptly sketched out the sails as I remembered them,” he says. “The finished piece is almost identical to the first sketch.”

He stitched the sails on a vintage Singer sewing machine. He says the spiral form “was a means to invite visitors into the grove of masts.”

He displayed it locally at first, then brought an iteration of the sculpture to the 2007 Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.

Greg Francke of Seattle makes what he calls “3-D interactive electronic artwork.” He sent a video to illustrate. Check out his portable synth lab below.

Francke says he always saw the world of electronics as the domain “of engineers and wizards” but eventually came to the conclusion that “there wasn’t much they could do that I couldn’t learn.”

So he started finding “old electronic gizmos” and taking them apart. The clunkier the better, he says, and with “lots of lights, gauges, sounds, etc.”

 

There’s more. We’re getting lots of responses to our query. Time to show us what you’ve made!

>> What did you make (and why)?