I haven't really mentioned it on Extreme Craft yet, but one of the reasons for the sparsity of posts is that I've been focusing on writing some longer features and papers. I've been writing for CRAFT online for a few months now, and it's given me an opportunity to revisit some of my favorite Extreme Crafters. One of the people on the top of my list to interview was Michael Rea, who I have written about in the past, and who is always included in the Extreme Craft Roadshow.
Michael is getting some well-deserved attention right now. His robotic time-travel suit for Stephen Hawking was included in the Power of Making show at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which just closed a few days ago. I wound up chatting with Michael for about an hour. He's got a really interesting way of viewing the world--mainly, he's got an eerie ability to channel his inner twelve year old self, which I can only see as a good thing. I
n the Extreme Craft lecture, I always talk about my guiding artistic principal, which is THE WHIM OF IRON--dreaming up something that is so outlandish that you can't help but devote a bazillion hours into making it a reality. Michael is incredible at producing pieces that are intricate and raw at the same time. They are labors of love, but they are made out of low-tech materials using low-tech tools. Seeing the seams and construction methods is part of what makes his work so engaging.
SO I encourage you to pop over to CRAFT and check out the entire piece. You'll get much more of Rea's philosophy, working methods and geeky details about his day job and studio.