Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cleaning Up

The other day I came into the shop and found an angry Pete. He and I had a little talk about keeping the shop in order. He asked me to pass on a few words about that. "My biggest pet peeve is tools," he said. "I'm tired of coming in here in the morning and finding all my tools missing." This is number one. If you use a tool in the shop, put it back where it came from. If you just found it laying around, and you don't know where it belongs, just put it back where you found it. Don't weld tools together, and don't weld pieces of scrap metal to them. Finally, If you use up a grinder, weld spool, compressed air tank, etc., tell someone so you can learn to replace it.

If it applies to you, read the rest of this note HERE.

Special Announcement: Jewelry Alert

Hey, it's Tucker again, here with a special announcement: The Trenton Atelier is now making jewelry! Thanks to a little bit of inspiration by Renata, one of the friends of the Atelier, I decided to get back on my horse in that division. And so, now we make necklaces, bracelets, and whatever whimsies come to mind. An incomplete necklace.

A few ideas I have.

Playing with colors.

Some of Renata's beading.

Seizure in

Some of the leather strips I cut.

The muse, Renata, working on some stuff.


Just thought everyone should know what's going on here.


Finished Albert's HeliShuttle modular wheeled frame.  Works great.

Tucker made lunch for the day.

Monroe Brothers are working on the Thiel Foundation "20 Under 20" grant applications.


Last days of 2010 in the Trenton Atelier. 


While embracing the snowstorm with delicious free food, 


we worked with Al doing some artwheelz for a New Year's party in NYC.
[[posterous-content:pid___61]] After four hours that turned into twenty four, the beast is ready to go crazy on Friday night!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Hey, Bryan here posting another entourage of images from my eccentric artsy life. First up. "Raining Bananas" - peels and frame on blue wall.

"A Helping Hand"  - colored pencil on paper

We ordered replacement screens for two of our laptops, and I replaced both, but the MacBook screen came broken, so we are waiting for a response from  The other screen we received worked great and had no dead pixels or any problems.

I've also taken on the fun challenge of developing a flier/ad for the Trenton Cultural Arts Summit to be held late January/early February 2011 at Artworks Trenton. The Summit will be open to artists, activists, creatives, and anyone who is interested in creatively re-inventing the City of Trenton through the Arts and Culture. We've also been putting the whiteboard to good use, filling it up with our plans for various gadgets and gizmos, improvements on technology, and just plain crazy philosophical meanderings.  There's always something new to see on the white-board.  We have been using recycled whiteboard markers so far (ones gathered from college moveout trashpiles), but these will not last forever, so, we should look into eco-conscious dry-erase markers? or switch to recycled paper and pencils? Eli swung by the shop today for a metal-working lesson and firebowl construction lesson.  He chopped, grinded, cut, and welded his way through the day. After many hours of learning and crafting, Eli's FireBowl was complete.  Great work Eli! We've also been working on a modular bicycle-wheel cart (The HeliShuttle) for artist Albert Wilkins.  Made from extended bicycle forks, pieces of a bed frame, old rebar, this custom metal job was created using mostly recycled materials. The cart must break down into several smaller parts, making it a challenging project.  Today we decided to add shear reinforcements to prevent racking and add structural stability to the front wheels, which are stationary.  Tubes and tires will be added tomorrow, and the cart will then make its way on to be fitted with the HeliShuttle fuselage.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve in NYC

Bryan finished up the WTC candle placer - the base is configured in the shape of the WTC foundations.

Bryan ventured into NYC, via Albert's express, spent the night and woke up early to peddle some wire-rope goods on the streets. 

The Starbucks and MoMA Design stores were treated to some christmas gifts from the TA and MMW in the form of a Joy of Life sculpture for Starbucks and a Wire(Rope) Hanger for MoMA Design Store.



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Twas the night before the night before

and all through the shop

brothers Apgar were finishing a firebowl for their folks

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Potato beet pancakes
went well with the liver from double brook farm
grandma would be proud

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Hey everyone. Tucker reporting in once again for another installment of The TA News. In apology for the lack of pictures from last time, we present to you a gratuitous amount of photos today along with a severe lack of words. Today, we had our Princeton friends come over and make us a delicious stew. Graham decided to make a Firebowl for his family as a present. Now, onto the photos! One of the sculptures we're making.

Graham at work.

Bryan drinking a bevarage of a dubious nature.

A mural that we have in the shop.

Coconut milk being poured into the soup for tomorrow's stew.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another Busy Day at the Atelier

Today was focused upon getting things done for the guys at the Atelier. The first thing we did was start working on the truck again. The brakes are shot on it, and we need to replace the whole brake system eventually. However, for now we've decided to do a flush and replace the fluid. Getting the truck fully online will be an important step in keeping our heads above water, for then we will be able to do our own deliveries as well as travel around the East Coast with our wares.

After we paused that project, Pete and I did a photo shoot for the Firebowls. We got a lot of good shots out of it, and will be posting them on our Etsy and site soon. Hopefully, those new shots will boost sales of our products, along with introducing the world to our newest bowl, the Flexi-Bowl. Be on the lookout for them. We did a lot of heavy lifting, chopping, and burning for the shoot, and as I write this, I'm taking a bit of time to rest from all that.

Speaking of resting, lunch was a delectable shop slop consisting of spicy chicken soup and rice, with a little salt to taste. Trust me, it tasted a lot better than it looked.

While we were downstairs doing all the heavy work in the cold, the Twins were upstairs in warm comfort working on PR for us. This includes creating our tri-fold pamphlet, networking with other businesses and organizations to see if we could be mutually beneficial towards each other, and listening to lots of music with violins and congas. Not sure why the last one happened, but hey, I'm not complaining.

Later on, we managed to finish clear-coating a good amount of picture frames. We've been working on them for a while, but with the upcoming Golden Nugget flea market coming up, we needed to finish them so we could sell them. They've been selling like hotcakes at the TerraCycle store in Princeton, and so we figured we could turn a bit of a profit at the market for ourselves.

Meantime, we're getting the shop ready for the Star-Ledger shoot that's happening on Monday. Whew! Lots going on here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another Step Forward

Hello family. Tucker here, reporting for TA News. Today, Marc Linowitz from The Rose and Louis H. Linowitz Charitable Foundation stopped in, as well as our friend and business associate Keturah Monroe. In our meeting, we discussed what the future of the Atelier is going to be in Trenton, along with what OURSEP and the Linowitz Foundation could do to help it along. We discussed starting a after-school program for local students, along with providing a solid nuts-and-bolts plan for putting it all together. At first, Mr. Linowitz was skeptical, claiming that he initially had no intention of even coming here, much less pushing any money our way. However, after a bit of parlance and some good-natured ribbing, he seemed to like the idea. He liked it so much in fact that he decided, in the spirit of the season, to give us $1000 towards creating a proposal to submit to his organization. That proposal will, most likely, get us even more financial assistance. We thank him for his time and consideration, and soon enough, we'll see what happens next.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm Back...

Hey, everyone. It's Tucker, and I'm back in the Atelier. After some time away, I decided that the Atelier was worth enough to me to come back. See, this project was important enough to see past the differences that came between the shop and I. The Atelier is slowly becoming a pillar of this town, and I was here before anyway, so...why not remain a part of it? The environment is a bit rough out here (it gets COLD in the shop, and food, if mismanaged, can be scarce), but all in all...hey, I missed this place.

So, in the end, I guess that all I can say is...BRING ON THE NEW YEAR!

celebrity sighting!!

Bryan and Pete had the pleasure of attending a brown bag luncheon (or as the PC amongst us called it ,a luncheon bag of color)with Van Jones at Princeton University yesterday. Development and Activists coexisted for the entire meal,though at the end it appeared that Jones was trying to oversell himself to the development side .

Brought up some very interesting topics,one of which still haunts me, was that when Barrack first took office a Great Depression was a middle ground scenario.With what we have now as a best possible option,and a US economy sucking down the rest of the world in a vortex of hyper-inflation and general yucky stuff.

who knows?

After that the B Home project convened on the Engineering Quad ,where Wole assembled his geek squad and got them cracking on a presentation for Deans Day.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter hath Cometh!

With the advent of winter, we have been enjoying the company of friends and family alike.  The compost stream from Whole Earth and Dunkin Donuts has been helping to sustain our activities and preparations for spring planting.

The post-compost waste compost pile we have been amassing next to our shop has been steadily growing for the past several months and is steaming with life and activity inside.  For those of you that may not know, compost piles increase biological activity in the decaying matters, helping to speed the breakdown of materials into nutrient-rich soil.  Our pile is looking very nice!

Bryan works to turn the pile over onto some leaves, fresh organic matter, and sustainably sourced cardboard (locally-sourced plant fibers!)  With the help of mother nature and some winter freeze-thaw cycles our soil mound will be ready for the spring planting efforts.

Our friendly city garden waste removal crew conveniently piled organic matter a few yards away from our facility, which we are glad to use for soil-building activities.

We also brought in the rolls of WTC wire rope from out back.  The Wooden rolls they are wrapped around have historical significance to Bethlehem, where steel industry boomed in the second half of the 19th century through the early 20th century. (obligatory Wikipedia link here.)

2 months until February 11th, 2011...

Monday, December 6, 2010


The Lewis School  Tree of Life benefit                   

gets a tree by Pete


Bryan and his local organic research and development team

for the B home modular shelter system

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I bunch of of pictures from the past few days.

Bryan ventured into a certain abandoned building and discovered the B Hom being put to use by a homeless individual.  The protoype B Home is being real world tested!

We also got another large stock of wire rope for the many products and sculptures being created at the Atelier.

Bryan and Erik gutted an "urban carcass" - a damaged inflatable air mattress, which they converted into a large garbage bag to clean up the mess next door.

Bryan dragged in some old couches which were then stripped down.  The metal springs and pieces will be saved for sculpture components, and the frames will be converted into mini-greenhouses which will be used in the early spring.

The Atelier also donated several works of art to the TirNaNog - Trenton's Real Irish Pub, for a raffle fundraiser to keep the Trenton St. Patrick's Day Parade here in Trenton.  Works included several original paintings and wire rope sculptures and products from Modern Metal Work.

"Dog and Pony Show ft. Teddy" - an abstract installation is also on display in "Barb's Office" upstairs at the Atelier.  It features several hundred business cards and an irregular arrangement of items in a room upstairs.

Some Princetonians also ventured into the shop to make a doghouse - Melissa and Andy applied some word-working and crafting skills to create a foundation frame from some found wood - the project should be completed in a few weeks.

Finally, Lia delivered another box of less-than-consumer-grade organic produce to the shop.  Thanks Whole Earth for your support and donations!