Dear Diary, It’s already March!!
I’m finally caught up at the studio, and for those following on Facebook you know my Father was unwell earlier. He’s recovering well and is home out in the beautiful Macedon Ranges in Victoria. I beautiful place to visit if you’re ever in the region.
I had a GREAT trip in India. Whilst I was there to be with my Father and help him come home it was a great chance to see family, many of whom I hadn’t seen for 15 plus years. I’ve been to India many times over the years and each time I feel completely different, like I’m home. It’s a strange feeling and associated with identity issues we don’t need to deal with here.
With things calming down at the studio, orders processed and send there are a host of things to tackle ahead, it’s time to get stuck back into things. Updating the articles, sending out newsletters, making videos and most of all the renovations.
All sorts of things are underway led of course by the renovation and reconfiguration of the studio. It’s a BIG space and full of stuff, sometimes it feels like a giant game of Tetris. It’s also been incredibly slow. Working alone, everything takes a long time and with everything that has been happening the last few years my motivations are at an all time low. But it’s exciting to keep seeing small improvements.
It often takes a good ‘jolt’ to pull me out of depressive funks, previously me good friend Edward Jones fired me up and just weeks after feeling miserable for ages, I helped organise and host a 24 hour charity live stream that raised over $11,000 for Beyond Blue. This time, I have that same enthusiasm brought on by a random and surprise visit by Trent from the YouTube channel, Miscast.
His visit couldn’t have come at a better time. His immense amount of enthusiasm, passion and spontaneity is infectious. I’ll write up an article about Arc40k 2023 shortly, but after meeting him there he stayed first at my house and then several nights AT the studio … we folded out the folding couch and he bunked in for several days getting all geeky and creative, it was fantastic!
After many late nights and quite creative work we ending up creating several different projects from nothing, including sculpting, printing, molding and casting in metal, some cool, freaky … odd, little characters Trent had worked on.
Firing up the spin casting machine and letting some metal flow was another unexpected boost to my system. It was great to be in the casting room and pouring metal into a new mold. Creating the mold too, spending that time with Trent showing him how things worked was wonderful. It’s such a thrill for me to share with others and learn things together, teaching others has always been a wonderful positive boost for me. It’s why I really enjoy making videos.
Of course something had to be broken! Well I knew the vulcanizer (which is need to great a mold for spin casting) was leaking oil from the jack that lifts up the platen but hadn’t done anything about. After a day running around looking for the right fittings Trent and I had it back up and running ready to make some molds!
The renovations are progressing slowly. Obviously I’d love them to be done but with the extra time has come a good amount of time to think and contemplate what I want from the studio in the years ahead. The industry; MDF model terrain, changed dramatically over COVID.
3D printing has been around for a while now and we all new that to keep up a transition to digital work was required. Scott and I had been discussing it for years, it even came up in conversation that other night during a hobby session at the studio! Over the last few years, driven, in my opinion by the pandemic, the accessibility of high quality machines, the relentless march of digital miniatures on Patreon and the global impact on supply chains and freedoms brought things to a head.
We’ve seen 4Ground close, Antenocities Workshop, Lazer Shark and many many others suffering and closing their doors. And it’s coming for Knights of Dice too! Unless I do something, which is what the renovations are for!
I don’t think I’ve spoken much about ‘why’ I’m doing the renovations and in some ways it was to do with the changing industry, but its more so about missing something I’ve really enjoyed in the past.
We have some GREAT talent in Australia and specifically here in Melbourne where Knights of Dice is based. I have a lovely big space with lots of cool machines and infrastructure. I have a declining customer base (that’s all good, we can work on that!), and a passion to share.
The renovations allow me to create new spaces, maximise efficiencies in others and generally create a much more efficient and pleasant place to work. Over the last eight years the studio has organically grown with space changing and adapting as new pieces of equipment were bought or new spaces required.
It’s exciting. As always I have lots of ideas and thinking about the possibilities is amazing but sometimes leads to paralysis.
The overall goal is to create several private studios. These really aren’t anything more than a small office, but its a personal lockable space and associated with that is access to facilities at Knights of Dice. Metal casting, laser cutting, 3d printing etc. It’s a wonderful opportunity for other creators looking for shared access to production facilities.
Several media rooms are also on the table as these allow me to create content FAR more easily. A dedicated studio space reduces the issues with filming considerably! It’s also an excellent feature for other creatives who are sharing the space.
Anyway, this has been a long update with lots more to write about including Arc40k 2023, the completion of some outstanding projects and of course more talk about the renovations and new spaces! So I’ll leave it there for the moment but just like my 30 in 30 Days challenge, small continuous activity leads to big changes.
I’ll chat with you again soon.