I'm building a mobile, open source, midi controlled pipe organ. I'm calling it the Anywhere Organ. This site is here to document my progress, acknowledge all the awesome people who are helping make it happen, and spread what I've learned in making this colossal instrument.
Everyone who pledged $50 or more to the Anywhere Organ Kickstarter was sent either an exclusive steampunk story by G.D. Falksen (which I’ll cover in a future post) or a t-shirt screen-printed with the logo of the Anywhere Organ. $150 got you a laser engraved leather cuff with the same snazzy design as the tees.
Because I’ve illustrated a bunch of different logos over the years, I’ve built up a stupidly massive catalogue of design elements. So when it came to make the logo for the Anywhere Organ, I began by sifting through my library/pile, looking over all of the different things I’ve drawn, trying to get a feel for what an Anywhere Organ logo should look like. As a nod to the history of the instrument, I wanted the Anywhere Organ logo to seem a little old-fashioned, so I started putting together deco elements, things with some character and antique charm.
Once I decided on the underlying look of the design, the next step was figuring out how the pieces should fit together. This involved a lot of re-illustrating finicky details (like the angle of the shading on the pipes) and rearranging and replacing elements until everything resonated and it felt correct. Eventually the layout took shape, along with the larger context. This in-progress image shows some of the possibilities I explored while designing the final logo.
(You can also see a bit of the Anywhere Organ Pendant design in the upper left. I tend to try and keep related designs in the same document so I can keep them feeling consistent with one another.)
After the logo was finalized, I sent one of the finished image to be made into t-shirts. They were printed by an indie clothing printing company named Dogwig, the same establishment that screenprints the infamous Anonymous Bandanas for Sleek & Destroy.
The cuffs required a bit more work. I had to make certain the logo would scale well when etched into leather. This involved a little bit of tweaking and adjusting details. I also had to craft a pattern in Illustrator, like a sewing pattern, to determine the shape of the bracelet (not too far off from the techniques I used to make my Steampunk Goggles). The finished digital designs were then uploaded to Ponoko, a digital manufacturing site that prints 3D parts and laser-cuts designs into materials like leather, plastic, and felt. After about a month I recieved a batch of beautiful auburn leather pieces in the mail, all cut and etched, because this is the future and you can just do stuff like that now.
As soon the leather was delivered, I conditioned and oiled the cuffs, stitched them together, added the fastenings, and then mailed them off.
I’m really pleased with how both the t-shirts and the cuffs came out. It’s especially great to see them in the wild. If you’re one of the clever, discerning, and totally hot people with Anywhere Organ gear, I’d love if you’d send me a picture of yourself wearing it! I’d like to make a post showing everyone off.
I also have a few shirts remaining from the printing run. I might be bringing them along to the next spot I show off the Anywhere Organ.
The last time I posted to the tumblr, the Anywhere Organ Kickstarter still had four days to go. I’m thrilled to share, from the other side of November 14, 2011, that it was a wonderful success!
So I wanted to start with a huge thank you, from the top to the bottom of my mechanical heart, to the audience and everyone who donated. Not only did we reach our goal, it went over budget at the very last minute, so extra thanks to the person who tossed in the extra dollar that pushed it up from $3000 to $3001. You’re fantastic. And another massive thank you to everyone (like Kickstarter) who blogged about the project, adding to the momentum like little snowflakes building into an especially bad-ass avalanche.
Since then I’ve been busy making and sending out all of the rewards listed on the Kickstarter page:
These fanciful limited edition laser cut Anywhere Organ pendants from Sleek and Destroy.
An exclusive short story written by G.D. Falksen that I printed out, artificially aged, and then sealed into envelopes with a custom wax seal.
Anywhere Organ t-shirts, mad-scientist certified as A+ awesome.
Sexy laser engraved Anywhere Organ leather cuffs.
Super stylish 3D printed metal Pipe Organ themed bottle openers.
And, finally, a set of epic 3D printed bronze Anywhere Organ themed knuckle dusters!
(Expect a more in-depth post on the fabrication of these items later!)
Donating to the Kickstarter also added your name to the backers list on the blog, like so: THE ANYWHERE ORGAN BRILLIANT BACKERS LIST OF STIMULATING, DELICIOUS PEOPLE.
All the rewards have been sent out, so if you haven’t received yours yet, e-mail me and I’ll make sure that you get it ASAP.
Sending off a cornucopia of fabulous stuff isn’t the only thing I’ve been doing in the intervening months. I’ve also been spending your money! A chunk of change just went to purchasing a proper organ blower (silent, powerful, and easy to transport [almost entirely unlike a wolverine]) and two new sets of pipes. Once the pipes arrive in a short while, they will triple the Anywhere Organ’s prototype size. Plus I’ve been taking the Organ out on adventures with people like Amanda “Fucking” Palmer!
Stay tuned to read more about that, as well as posts about the blower, the new pipes, science, sound, the science of sound, and the what makes an organ pipe work.