This Blog

This blog is about ingenious solutions, making do with the available. Levi-Strauss's used the term "Bricoleur." His reference of often confused with "Jack of All Trades," but it meant a more complete kind of what we refer to today, I think, as a "Maker." He wrote that the rules of the game for the Bricoleur are always to make do with tools and materials that are at hand.

Terry Frohm, principle technician at the CRRF Chuuk marine laboratory, used the term "Making Do" to refer to appurtenances and contrivances he innovated for the laboratory, without expensive and specialized equipment or hardware.

I recognized Levi-Strauss's meaning in Micronesian fishermen's use of the available to solve their own problems: Marshallese fishermen used a piece of broken glass or a sharp piece of Aluminum beer can to clean a catch of fish on the beach; their spears were fashioned of discarded water tank bands, and their slings from airplane inner tubes. Goggles were carved from available wood---using possibly a kitchen knife sharpened on a piece of pumice that had drifted onto the beach, their glass from a
relict World War II airplane.

This Blog cannot adequately honor the resourcefulness of those men, but I have borrowed the words of Terry Frohm, to describe the purpose of this proposed collection of solutions and innovations. But I hope it can serve as more than a collection. Rather, by example, a reminder that solutions are often at arm's reach, and not in catalogs.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Scientific Glassblowing

3D Printing, oldstyle.  This is not necessarily Making Do, in the sense that this is a complex, expensive, and technically demanding process; but it points the way to Making Do by cobbling together one's own equipment.

In an accidental google find, was a newsletter of some years back that contained a reference to the San Francisco Scientific Glassblowing Association.  Who'd have thought?  A new Google search led to several interesting hits, including a tutorial.

The American Scientific Glassblowers Society page links to an account of the History of Glass and of Scientific Glassblowing

Wikipedia has a page.

The Scientific Glassblowing Learning Center is a good starting point, including an information page and links to some Scientific Glassblowing Societies.

Right here in Berkeley is Adams and Chittendon Scientific Glass.  Their web site is an information resource on the art of Scientific Glassblowing, including this video of the making of a large glass flange on a lathe.