9th annual drawing jam

This event was actually a couple of weeks ago, right after I got out of school for the winter break. It was my third year attending and was SO MUCH FUN! Rachel's mom has made the trip up here two years in a row now to go to the drawing jam with me. The art school opens up the doors to its studios to the public for twelve hours of creativity. There are free art supplies, snacks, beer and wine and some very incredible models and each studio has live local musicians playing. One of my favorite studios has local Seattle celebrities doing hour long poses. This year I spent some time in there sketching Father Christmas, his costume was very fuzzy and difficult to draw but interesting nonetheless. Last year Joanne was so excited to spend some time in the sculpture studio, so she convinced me this year to give it a try. We spent four hours working the clay and I really had a blast doing it. The model was in the middle of a circle of ten of us. She was sitting on a tall turntable and they rotated her every five minutes so we could try to capture her from every angle. It was great and I think it will be the first studio I hit every year now...here is a picture that they just sent to me of my little creation:


The snow piles up

This is the walkway I just cleared not even fifteen minutes ago, look at all that white stuff!!

Another holiday post

I'm feeling extra holiday spirit this year for whatever reason, maybe its all the snow, maybe its the extra lights, who knows. We've been taking snow walks at night because its so damn beautiful, I snapped a shot of our lights in the snow the other night, cuz they just look so much better surrounded with the white stuff...

The snow continues...

An update on our radar for you other weather junkies out there. We just got back from dinner at Talarico's and I swept the walk, by the time I finished the walk was already covered in snow again... it is so great!! Favre, the snow king, welcome to Seattle, we rolled out the white carpet for ya. We are braving the storm to make our way down to qwest field tomorrow for Mike Holmgren's final home game, he better put on his snowshoes for his victory lap! Yippee!

A storm approaches...

Seattle is in for it today, this storm is coming in fast and heavy! I have been watching the radar obsessively for an hour now, the leading edge of the storm is only 15-20 miles away and I can't believe how quick this thing is coming. I think the wind is going to be tremendous! It is surely in anticipation of the snow-king Brett Favre's arrival for the football game tomorrow.


Snow dance

Even though I am on winter break right now and off school already, I still feel the snow day excitement. Rach woke me up this morning and said "Joey, LOOK outside!" Yep, you guessed it, more SNOW!  We have been really lucky this week with all the snowfall, that is, lucky if you're like me and LOVE the snow. We spent the day looking for excuses to go out and drive the Jeep around. First we went to the hardware store and bought nothing, then we went to target to buy some pepsi for Brett, then we made a home delivery of the pepsi for brett, then we went to blockbuster to rent movies. Then we went back home to clean the walk and let the dog loose in the snow for a little bit. 


Ultimate Holiday Smackdown 2008

Otherwise known as... our holiday party... There wasn't really any smacking down of anything, or anybody, I just like to give extreme names to things that are not otherwise extreme. Our party was so much fun! We had over thirty people make their way through our house on saturday night it was LOUD and MERRY and so much damn fun!  Highlights of the evening included a late night pacman tournament on the big screen, christmas mai thais, Husky Deli catering (mmmm), Brett's holiday cranberry concoction served from a large fish bowl, 3 inches of snow and, later on, eight man team bobsledding down Andover street. Everybody got so excited when I told them I had an eight person sled, so we all bundled up and headed to the closest hill. Little did they know that by eight person sled I actually meant a long piece of trash plastic that had blown into my yard during a windstorm a few weeks ago. I couldn't bring myself to throw away such a large sheet of plastic, just knowing a use for it would become apparent soon, and it surely did! We had a ton of fun sliding down the hill like a bunch of crazy kids.


xmas tree

Alright, things have finally slowed down enough around here for me to put up a few catch-up posts. We put up our tree a few nights ago, it is wonderful. It smells like a forest in our house! The tree came wrapped up in a big red and white mesh bag... I've never seen one like it. We are off to see the Nutcracker performed by the Pacific Northwest Ballet in just a couple of hours but I thought I'd post a few pictures before leaving.


President Obama (projected)

CNN just announced that Obama is now projected to be the next president of the United States, moments after the west coast polls closed...  I am completely tingling with excitement about the possibilities ahead for our country with this great man at the helm. A great day I will never forget for the rest of my life....here's to CHANGE!!

CNN's election coverage

Rachel and I cast our votes, together, this morning. Some of the issues, particularly our state's public transit initiative, we continued to debate even at the polls, talking back and forth between our secret voting booths... Now, ten minutes until the polls close here in washington, Obama seems to have a commanding lead and I feel the whole world breathing a sigh of relief. I am watching the coverage of the election on CNN. Have you seen the CRAZY graphics and effects they are using?! They are talking to people using "holograms," had a virtual projection of the US capitol building sitting next to some lady on a desk, and have touch screens they can manipulate in real time to sift through enormous amounts of demographic data and voter breakdowns. It is actually a pretty nice setup. The hologram effect is a little cheesy, but interesting nonetheless. If I hadn't promised to watch the Stephen Colbert and John Stewart coverage with Rachel later the shenanigans CNN is pulling might have been able to pull me away from them anyway. 


The Junior ID Studio

I don't know if I mentioned yet how excited I am that we have our very own studio in the art building this year. It is such a great workspace and has been well broken in already. Many of my classmates have pulled all-nighters in here, most recently for our final drawing project. Next week we begin the model building portion of the class which means we get to spend a lot of time in the wood shop! Is school really supposed to be this much fun?!?!?


MY 200th post!!!

This is the 200th post on A bad case of wanderlust (I just mistyped it as wanderslut.. heh heh), seems like a lot. I still look through the book that Joanne made for me last year and am considering making volume II. I already have so many great memories recorded here and am looking forward to many more....

In one of my classes this quarter we get to take weekly field trips to various manufacturers to familiarize ourselves with various manufacturing techniques. It has so far proven to be a very effective way to learn. The trips remind me a lot of the show "How it's made" on the Discovery Channel, especially last week's trip. We visited the Fluke injection molding facility where some of the plastic parts used to make Fluke multimeters are manufactured. My favorite machine was the one that makes the red and black test leads you see on all Fluke multimeters. It has 14 stations and is entirely automated, manned by only one employee. It was designed and built in house and is really, really cool.... kind of like a giant Rube Goldberg device. This video is of the station that wraps the test leads and drops them on the conveyor...


What is Industrial Design?

Inevitably when I meet new people they ask "What do you do?" I respond and inevitably they ask "What is industrial design?" as they have images of me wearing a hard hat, onsite at some industrial complex with a rolled up set of blue prints tucked under my arm. Then I have to make sure to say "Not industrial engineering" Because I know that is what they are thinking. I have not yet thought of a short, thorough answer to this question but found a few long, complicated answers I like:

  • Industrial design (ID) is the professional service of creating and developing concepts and specifications that optimize the function, value and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer.  (FROM IDSA)
  • Industrial Design is concerned with all the human aspects of machine-made products and their relationship to people and the environment. The designer is responsible for these products and their impact on society and nature. The designer accounts for the product's human factors engineering, safety, form, color, maintenance and cost. Industrial design deals with consumer products as well as industrial products. In order to achieve these ends, designers must be involved in four major design and research activities: human behavior, the human-machine interface, the environment, and the product itself. Areas of design investigation include furniture, housewares, appliances, transportation, tools, farm equipment, medical/electronic instruments, human interface, and recreational support equipment.
  • Industrial design is an applied art whereby the aesthetics and usability of mass-produced products may be improved for marketability and production. The role of an Industrial Designer is to create and execute design solutions towards problems of form, usability, user ergonomics, engineering, marketing, brand development and sales.



I've been so busy since the Rome trip. I have been to two weddings, Rebecca and Eric got married at the Olympic Sculpture Park here in Seattle on October 4th. Chris and Lara's wedding was in Omaha, Nebraska on October 10th. Both were very beautiful and fun and just packed with people I love. The wedding in Omaha, aside from being a beautiful celebration of Chris and Lara's love, was like a really great high school reunion, except it was only the people I really liked and the booze was free (thanks Chris and Lara!). I saw some faces there that I haven't seen in years. This is the year of the wedding among my friends, EVERYBODY'S DOING IT!

Keep in mind....none of my friends have really gotten married since high school, check out our upcoming year:

Jeff and Halli Roberts -- September 13th, 2008
Jim and Kelly Heavican -- September 20th, 2008
Rebecca Staffel and Eric -- October 4th, 2008
Chris and Lara Hanlon -- October 10th, 2008
Katie Peterson and Aaron -- November 7th, 2008
Brian Glowen and Andy -- January 2009
Sean Person and Darcy -- March 2009
Sam Snyder and Melissa -- May 22nd, 2009
Me and my saucy wench(Arrgh) -- July 18th, 2009
Sara Leapaldt and J Holby -- September 18th, 2009
Katie Kassebaum and Kyle G -- September 19th, 2009

Wow, can you believe it?!? It's gonna be a busy year.

Click on the pictures below to go to my photo albums of the weddings...that is, if you're into that kinda thing......or if you're stalking me.......or Rachel....



One last thought.....

Day Thirty-One (Final day)

Well, the time has come. My final day in Rome, I leave for the airport in just four hours. Tonight was a very special time. We toured one last church and then we listened to Tojo give a presentation about Roman aqueducts and fountains. With everybody's work finally complete, Chris and Susan had a surprise arranged for us, a final spectacular group dinner at a really great place. The food, of course, was unforgettable, but the highlight of the evening was getting to spend time together as one large family, reminiscing on our time in Roma. We ate, laughed and drank for a good few hours and then Chris took us all out for one last cone of gelato. Our final event as a group was to all simultaneously throw three coins over our left shoulder into Trevi fountain guaranteeing us love, luck and an eventual return to the eternal city. 

Now, I must leave Roma behind and step into the next phase of my life. At my age, I have already experienced several important turning points. They come few and far between. My time in Roma has definitely qualified as a life changing event and I leave her behind reluctantly. So I depart with heavy bags and a heavy heart but really can't wait to see my Rachel and the dog-child again and as I said the other day....Rome is slow to change and I look forward to my next visit here....

Thanks for following my blog throughout the trip!

Grazie e arrivederci!



Day Thirty

I finished up my book project this afternoon and am now going to have a celebratory Peroni in the Campo....


Day Twenty-Nine

Although it is technically Day Thirty now, I am still up late in the studio working on the final project. We had a fun day today. Yoon gave his presentation of St. Peter's Basilica, of course he did very well. I don't think anyone had a question that could stump him. We got to do something this time around that didn't do last time I came here. We climbed the dome to take in the view from the cupola. And what a view it was! It would have been worth it just to see into the fantastic vatican gardens, let alone the entire city of Rome.

Also, here is what has been keeping me up so late. This is the first book I've ever made so it has definitely been a learning experience but also very enjoyable. It is satisfying work and has gone smoothly for the most part until now. I have to figure out how to get all the paged bound into the cover so that they will stay put, but also still be able to be turned nicely.....hmmmm....sounds like a design problem. Anyway, I am too tired to attempt any radical procedures on this thing tonight so I am headed back to the apartment for some rest.


Day Twenty-Eight

I am entering the final days of my stay in Rome. I must admit, I do not feel quite ready to leave yet... Now that this place is really starting to make sense to me. I feel comfortable and at home in most any area of the city. I recognize a lot of faces in my neighborhood that I see daily and some even recognize me and wave or say hi. The days here are all very similar, everything runs like clockwork. It is comforting to know that the Roma I have fallen in love with on this trip will likely be the same Roma that I can return to a year from now, ten years from now, a hundred years from now, Roma...the eternal city. a constant.

Today we visited Villa Borghese as a group and went inside to see some fantastic artwork by the likes of Bernini, Caravaggio and Raphael. Terry was our guide for the day and did a really awesome job, he seemed to know a little something about every painting in the massive collection and a whole lot about Bernini's sculptures.

Afterward Chris took all of us for Pizza. I ordered a pizza with Pumpkin flowers on it. It was really damn good, though I am not sure if the flowers had much of a flavor to them....

I also fear Alitalia

Inspired by Dana's post, or maybe more worried by it, I began checking in on Alitalia this week. They are supposed to be flying me to Amsterdam on Thursday, but it looks like it could be hit or miss as the company is in complete chaos. Crossing my fingers.....

Alitalia May Have to Ground Flights for Lack of Fuel


Day Twenty-Seven

Yep, that's right, my self-portrait shooting is officially out of control. I actually took a photo of myself while riding a bike today. A previous UW student left a bike here with a note on the bulletin board detailing its location and the combo for the lock. I have really been missing my bike lately and have been intending to go track down this one for a couple weeks now. It was in pretty rough shape, flat tires, no brake pads, every bolt on the thing was loose or rusted out. So, I spent the morning fixing the bike up and got it back to (just barely) rideable condition. It goes pretty well, but lacks the stopping function. So, I chose a pretty flat spot to ride where I hopefully wouldn't need brakes. I rode about 6 miles down the Tiber River, stopped at a grocery store to pick up lunch (Fontina, pomegranate and olives) and then headed north again. My whole intention for fixing this thing up was so I could ride on the Circus Maximus. So I did just that, I took about eight laps around the old track. The whole time the chain was rubbing up against the chain guard making a noise just like a roaring crowd. I pictured myself at the reins of the fastest racing chariot in ancient Rome. IT WAS SO GREAT! I won the race of course....I was the only chariot out there today. Then I sat down in a shady spot and ate my lunch. Now I have napped and showered and am heading out on the town to celebrate Notte Biancha. I don't really know what that entails but I intend to find out.


Not for the profanity squeamish....

OK, I just had to include this because it made me laugh out loud. I'm working on my final project tonight and have decided that I am interested in possibly using poetry to get my point across. I figure since my book is about the people in Italy I've met and their strong sense of tradition that I should continue my own family tradition of great writers like my mother and grandma. So, I am going to write the book using verse and dedicate it to Grandma Warren. It should make up for me not sending here a postcard yet. Anyway, I typed "Haiku type layout" into google and for whatever reason, this image came up. What can only be described as positive product review, the guy is obviously very impressed with this mouse, it stands in stark contrast to the elegant writing I saw today describing the work of Jean Prouve. I wonder if I could use this style to present my own product designs some day?

Day Twenty-Six

We met as a group at one of my favorite coffee bars in all of Rome, San Eustachio. After the morning caffe, we walked up to Piazza del Popolo. This is one of my favorite piazzas so far, it was wide open and modeled after the piazza at St. Peter's. We sat on the steps of the giant Egyptian obelisk in the center and listened to a couple presentations by Erin and Lauren. Notice the sky, this is the first overcast day we've had since we got to Rome, the clouds are a welcome sight, they kept it relatively cool today, though it's still very muggy...

Then we visited the Ara Pacis, an altar to Augustan peace. Joey gave a really great presentation about Augustus and about the monument itself. Nice work Joey. Nice name too. In the basement of the building housing the Ara Pacis is an exhibit about a designer named Jean Prouve. It was a really great exhibit to see. He built many pieces of furniture and came up with some pretty innovative ways of using sheet steel. Also, he designed many houses and buildings, many having a modular construction and all exhibiting light, airy qualities. This exhibit really got me excited about the upcoming year at school. I liked his style, and some of his quotes were inspiring to me as I get ready to begin my first year of education in Industrial design....

"I am haunted by a passion to build."

"...man must not allow himself to plagiarize. He is on this earth to create."

"Architecture must come from industrial design, which will bring it into harmony with the achievements of science."

We were not allowed to take photos, but I found an image of my favorite piece of furniture that I saw today. I like this desk because even though it is constructed of heavy steel and wood, look how light it seems, as if it is floating above the ground.....

Perspective in Bologna

While we were traveling last week I did a little project of my own. I found some old paintings in what use to be the main building for the University of Bologna. They were done in the seventeenth century or so and showed various scenes from around the city and inside the buildings. I took pictures of the paintings and then set out to find the exact spots in the city that the artist had viewed these scenes from to take pictures from there. Only one turned out relatively decent, or close, but it was still a fun way to explore the city.....

Piazza Galvani satellite map

Piazza Galvani Painting

Piazza Galvani Photo


Day Twenty-Five

I got to go inside the walls of Vatican city today! We went to see the Vatican mosaic studio where they restore the many mosaics of St. Peters and also create new mosaics. The security was pretty tight getting into the place, including getting clearance from the infamous Swiss guard and their snazzy outfits. Unfortunately, no cameras today so I snagged an image off the web for those of you who have not seen their awesome uniforms.

I marked the path we took to the studio on the map below. The staff at the mosaic studio demonstrated a few things for us including how to melt down the glass they use and combine colors. They used a very powerful torch and mixed the glass together, then the guy stretched it bit by bit, kind of like taffy. They have a huge indexing system that organizes over 27,000 colors of glass. Some of it is the original ancient glass used in the mosaics, they also have new colors which they use to replicate famous paintings in glass.


Day Twenty-Four

The vice president is still following us around Rome. He just won't take a hint...I did manage to get a picture of his limo as the motorcade passed though....
Today we had two more student presentations. Nicole gave a fantastic account of Mussolini and his impact on Italy. She included some very interesting facts about Mussolini's masterful use of propaganda, particularly film. I was also intrigued by the architectural style Mussolini preferred, exemplified in what is described as the square colosseum. This building style is very cold, dramatic and imposing. 

Then Emily led us to two Jesuit churches, Il Gesu and Sant' Ignazio. The most remarkable thing about these churches to me are the fantastic frescos inside. They are painted using what is called a quadratura technique which was very popular during the Baroque period. (I've always wanted to work the word Baroque into a blog post, it makes me sound like a fancy pants) This technique makes strong use of painted architectural elements to give the sense of perspective and really leads to a three dimensional illusion. This scene is one of judgment day, with some souls ascending to heaven and, not shown here, some descending to hell. Look at how the painting spills off of the ceiling onto the surrounding architectural features. Also, notice the masterful use of foreshortening to create the illusion of depth. Wowie! 
Our final stop was at a very old library where our friendly guide allowed us to see some rare illuminated manuscripts and books. There were also two fantastic huge globes on display. It was neat to see what parts of the world were still undiscovered at the time these were made. The name of this library is Biblioteca Casanatense. It is actually a public library and if you are ever in Rome, I highly recommend checking it out. They will allow you to study some very old, rare items that you probably would never be able to actually hold anywhere else. We even got to look at some of the first edition etchings done by Giovanni Battista Piranesi....


Day Twenty-Three

I did a lot of work in the studio today. For our final project in Rome we are going to be creating a book with some of our own images in it. I am having trouble picking a sort of general theme. Initially I wanted to compare and contrast ancient Rome to Modern Rome, then I was thinking of documenting the sites of all my favorite forum stories. Finally I have decided that I want the book to be much more personal, not so much of a history lesson. So I think I will try to choose images that represent particularly powerful or emotional moments for me during the trip and use those, the theme revolving around what really stands out to me as an individual. We headed to the art store by the spanish steps in search of supplies. It was actually a very nice evening stroll and we ended up on the Via del Corso, a new part of the city for me.