Every year I try to make at least 50% of the gifts I give and usually it consists of all jewelry for the ladies in my family. This year (for many reasons) I decided to make 100% of the gifts I gave; everyone was given laser cut ornaments. I designed 3 ornament patterns in Rhino, spray coated clear acrylic, engraved the patterns on the painted side, cut them out, and hung them from a red cord. Every package came with 3 inside; one customized to the family or couple, and two patterned.
The funny part about this was that the idea came from a huge (at the time) disappointment in the studio earlier in the fall semester... This was during a week where I was sleeping about 3 hours a night, staying late in the studio and then waking up at 4AM to go back to the studio to make sure I was able to use the equipment I needed to use. I was working on CNC milling a piece of aluminum for the iAm project and I had spent about 3 hours on the piece when I accidentally ran a drill mill straight through my perfectly milled but now destroyed part... The first thought was "If I would have slept an extra three hours, would this have happened?" (I know the mistake was bound to happen sooner or later, but I couldn't help but wish I was still sleeping.) I didn't let it shake me, I just loaded up another piece of aluminum and started over. I later texted a picture to Tom with a sad face and he said "I'll give you $100 if you carve in "Christmas 2015" and put a string on it." It made me laugh. It wasn't a half bad idea ;) ... and it reminded me to make space for the creative mind even in moments that test your strength and endurance.