Contraptor, problem-solver, sculptor's assistant, mutant vehicle design and repair, startup genuis's Man Friday.


Specializing in accomplishing the impossible, with limited resources, in extreme environments.

Alloy Motors

THE CLIENT: Alloy Motors Oakland

THE PROBLEM: Startup genius needs Man Friday

THE SOLUTION: Two-time successful entrepreneur Geoff Gates was starting his third company, a hot rod shop in West Oakland. During the first year of a company's existence, work can be a dynamic experience. I joined Alloy Motors as employee #1. This required me to be all things at once: Bookkeeper, process designer, hot rod mechanic, shop manager, and personal assistant.

THE RESULT: Now in its second successful year

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Mutant Vehicle Repair

THE CLIENT: Playa Bike Repair

THE PROBLEM: One-of-a-kind human-powered mutant vehicle needs repair and modification

THE SOLUTION: I was contacted by this client because they had taken this vehicle to several fabrication shops and nobody wanted to touch it. People often come to me because they don't know who to whom to turn. The vehicle was elegantly made but lacked a certain ergonomic element that only my extensive human-power experience could provide. I fabricated a steering system, a shade structure, and added a differential to the axle while improving the driveline. The vehicle was also given a once-over for safety, eliminating places where fingers could get pinched or clothing snagged. The client also asked for a giant, 10-ft shadow sculpture of a bicycle which I provided.

THE RESULT: Success

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Coachella's Robot T-Rex

THE CLIENT: Coachella Music Festival

THE PROBLEM: Life-sized can-eating robotic T-Rex is behind schedule

Johnny Amerika was in trouble. He was building a life-sized, hydraulic T-Rex to eat and crush the cans at the 2012 Coachella Festival. But he was behind schedule.

THE SOLUTION: I grabbed my safety gear and drove to the southern California desert where we forwent sleep to finish the colossus before the weekend opening. The T-Rex was a hit, encouraging participants to toss their recycling into its jagged metal maw.

RESULT: Giant Metal-Mashing Success

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Blank and Cables

THE CLIENT: Blank and Cables, Oakland

THE PROBLEM: LA's second-largest mansion had metalworking that needed to be perfect.

THE SOLUTION: For an 86-million-dollar home, you don't just go to any metal shop. You go to the best. The work has to be immaculate. It has to be even better if your name is on a major architectural award.

Working at Blank and Cables was a true honor. They produce only the highest-quality metal accents. The product is so well cared-for that none of the employees are allowed to actually physically touch it.

THE RESULT: Metal finishing of accents in a mall-sized house with over 300 bannisters.

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National Geographic's Mad Scientists: The Clockwork Motorcycle

THE PROBLEM: Design, source, and build a clockwork motorcycle in 48 hours for the National Geographic TV show Mad Scientists

THE SOLUTION: Enlisting my associate "Mudd", we sourced custom springs from a garage-door dealer, dug into my pile of gears and cogs, and built the world's first wind-up motorcycle and rode it 48 hours from the issue of the challenge. You can find details on the bike at Clockworkmotorcycle.org.

THE RESULT: Successful creation of the sport of clockwork motorcycle racing.

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Art By The Ton

THE CLIENT: Big Art Studios, Oakland

THE PROBLEM: Big art is big.

THE SOLUTION: Working with colossal or monumental sculpture is a paradox: Your pieces are so big they must be moved with heavy machinery, yet, the usual care must be observed. While working as a fabricator and wrangler on these sculptures, I also served as interim warehouse manager of a six-acre, 154-client artist's warehouse. This required me to do everything from streetsweeper repair to interacting with the City of Oakland.


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Allpower Labs

THE PROBLEM: Alternative-energy startup company has great idea, low sales.

THE SOLUTION: This was a complicated, technical product with a $25k price. Therefore customers had questions. I streamlined fabrication and shipping processes, and opened up lines of communication both online and off. This required an intensive technical understanding of the product, and a voice for the company that was knowledgeable and trustworthy. In typical startup fashion I played the role of the production, shipping, tech support, sales, & marketing departments.

THE RESULT: First-quarter 2011 sales equaled sales of entire 2009 fiscal year. For two years company was guided through the Valley of Death when many startups fail. Resounding success, startup saved.

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Dan Das Mann's Sand By The Ton

THE PROBLEM: Party promoter needs 200 tons of sand to make a beach in his warehouse

THE SOLUTION: Modified and operated heavy machinery to load sand (sometimes amid throngs of partygoers). Wrangled 50-ft woman. Installed indoor pools. Ensured compliance with fire code. Repaired forklifts. Swept.

THE RESULT: Success two years in a row




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Life-Sized Mousetrap

THE SCULPTURE: Fifty-thousand-pound life-sized copy of a popular board game.

THE TASK: Assemble, operate, and disassemble... repeatedly

Life Size Mousetrap





See a video of the Mousetrap here:

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Corinbank Artist In Residency

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THE CLIENT: Corinbank festival, Canberra, Australia

THE PROBLEM: Design a pedal-powered amusement and fire sculptures for a festival.

THE SOLUTION: For two summers, I acted as Artist in Resident at the Corinbank Festival. The first year I designed and operated the world's first pedal-powered bumper cars. For the second year, I wanted to express aspects of Australian culture in my work. I acquired various pieces of metal that are important to Australians, such as a bowls mower, a lawnmower leaf catcher, a "barbie", a tea kettle, and various farm equipment. I added to this the legend of the infamous bushranger Ned Kelly and created NED 3000, a robot chopper outlaw burn barrel.

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Pedal-powered Crane



THE CLIENT: Redmoon Theatre, Chicago

THE PROBLEM: Design and build a pedal-powered crane for the Summer 2006 Spectacle Twilight Orchard

THE SOLUTION: A simple rule for a crane is that the weight on the end times the ratio of the boom to the counterweight's length equals the weight of the counterweight. The original design called for an 800 lb. counterweight which would support 50 lbs at the end of a 16 foot boom. Consequently this vehicle was extremely overbuilt, with ATV wheels, a differential, and a gear ratio that would allow a single person to move that kind of weight.


I had to fabricate my own axle stub brackets.


The vehicle was dressed by other designers and audio techs, and Laura Annis built the boom. The crane was equipped with a speaker on the end for a private party and then used to hang a disco ball for Twilight Orchard- in typical Redmoon style this allows the techs to be seen by the audience and perform their job with whimsical gadgetry. Here's a picture of it loading a mouse into a giant mouse wheel during Looptopia 2007:


This project represents a particular combination of form and function that I always strive for and am quite proud of in this creation.

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