Explore. Create. Discover.
June 26th, 2012 | Mike
It’s been a little while since a blog entry – things have been terribly hectic as we close the month/quarter and finish our preparations for opening Oddyssea.
We’ve had new fixtures and products arrive since the last entry, we’ve had a chance to share the Oddyssea concept with the HMB Rotary Club and with a few HMB Chamber of Commerce members, we’ve made progress on hiring our first team member, and generally have advanced the state of the situation. However, there is still SO MUCH to do.
In the midst of all of this, one of the fixtures I’ve been over the moon excited about and impatiently waiting to arrive are belt-driven ceiling fans. There is a practical reason for this in that the air in the create room gets quite stale if the HVAC system isn’t powered on – thus we decided that fans would be a good idea to keep things circulating. But the main reason is that these fans are drop-dead gorgeous.
As I install the system, I’ll share photos. The photo above depicts the fan motor drive mount (click the image to enlarge.) You can see the pulley that the leather belt wraps around that links it to the fans. It’s on top of the shipping crate (which itself is the single most attractive shipping container we’ve gotten to date.) Our fan artist produces great work. We’re delighted to have the fans at Oddyssea and to be able to represent these fans for sale in the shop. It’s a win/win I think.
Can’t wait to get these things installed, perhaps this week if the schedule will allow….
June 12th, 2012 | Mike
In order to populate Oddyssea with furniture and fixtures, we’ve been working with a local artist, Terra Amico, who creates using reclaimed and salvaged material. Our work table and benches in the Create room came from them and new we have a new fixture, that I call a ‘pod.’ You can see an example of one in the photo to the right.
However, Spouse doesn’t like that moniker so we’re looking for a better term. We’ve tried different names on for size like ‘station’ and ‘exhibit’ – but haven’t quite found the right name. Jokingly, we’re now calling them ‘units’ – if you chuckle at that, we’ll know you’re a Mike Judge fan ;-).
We really like these pieces, kind of like life-sized erector sets. I’ve already been tweaking things around because I can. Coupled with the shelves installed yesterday, the Explore room is starting to come into shape and we’ve taken a big step toward being able to open. The punch list with work to complete is still very, very long but it feels as though progress is being made.
June 11th, 2012 | Mike
It was a big weekend for the Explore room at Oddyssea. The pods we ordered from Terra Amico showed up and were assembled (more on that in a later post) and I was inspired by The Brick House’s pipe shelving and decided to build a unit for the Explore room.
You can see how they turned out. Not bad for 24′ of 1″x12″ doug fir, ~45′ of 1/2″ steel pipe and accessories, a little stain, and some black spray paint. The prep work was really the effort in this project, getting the lumber conditioned and ready to stain, drilling holes in the right place, etc. The pipe was pretty easy even though a number of them needed to be specially sized to make the shelving work (thus I learned how to use a die to thread 1/2″ steel pipe.)
I’m happy with the result and the shelves are very solid. I might do a smaller version on another wall in the same room to keep things consistent – but not conforming. I’ll write another entry on the pods tomorrow as I’m still tweaking them from their natural state at the moment…..stay tuned.
June 5th, 2012 | Mike
Sometimes when things get tough, you need to remind yourself of the joy in what you’re doing. Things aren’t going as smoothly as we’d like at Oddyssea, but it’s going to be OK.
Now, I’ve been accused of being an overgrown kid many times and the great thing is, it’s true. I can still find happiness in very simple things. For example, I invested a little time yesterday between serious jobs (satisfying contracts and doing shop related activities) to build a desktop trebuchet – one of the items we’ll carry at Oddyssea.
If you click the image, you’ll be able to see a video of the test firing of that model. The whole episode made me smile and remember why we’re doing this – to have the freedom to share this sort of experience with others and have them enjoy it, learn from it, and take that spirit back home.
So, if you’re in the market for a trebuchet (or onager, or catapult, or other kinetic model) come visit us when we open our doors later this summer. You’ll have a blast. And we will too!
June 4th, 2012 | Mike
Well, it’s June. And Oddyssea is not yet open.
The front room of Oddyssea is not close to being completed and we’re now executing plan B. Unfortunately, the team we were working with to help get the right fixtures in place suffered a set back in the form of an injury and we’ll likely only see a fraction of the bits we’d hoped to install in the room.
So, I spent the weekend looking at our alternatives and have settled on doing a couple of projects myself, scavenging for other bits at going out of business sales for other stores, and looking around at commercial alternatives. Things are a bit behind schedule and a bit bumpy.
I’m reminded of the old saw “If it was easy, everyone would do it. It’s supposed to be hard.” That’s where we are right now in the Oddyssea odyssey.