My brick building has been languishing for a while now, mostly because I moved my studio a year ago and still haven’t finished the new space yet. I still intend to build, but finishing the space may be delayed while I see to other things. Stay tuned for more updates.


Things have been quiet

Unfortunately, as is so often the case, life has intervened in building. While that means I haven’t been producing new work, it does not mean I have not been thinking about things to build, and if my schedule should clear, I have some strong new ideas about how to progress with my building projects.

Also on the table is a complete redesign of this site. 

Stay tuned. More will follow.


Excuses, excuses…

Brick building as story telling

nanosfree bank barn
LDD build of the bank barn on my farm

One of the things that brought me back to brick building as an adult was the amazing way in which building is also a chance for storytelling. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the juxtaposition of building and storytelling forms a kind of dimensional art that is both very ancient and very modern at the same time.

For me, many of my builds start as stories that find some part of their expression in the form of a build. As an aspiring writer and artist, I have lots of ideas that simply elude being expressed in those forms, yet somehow find their expression in bricks. And, it’s not an infrequent occurrence that those stories eventually find their way back into writing or art.

That’s one of the amazing things about that pile of bricks. It’s a kids toy and a learning toy to be sure, but it’s far more a medium of expression for all sorts of things. That makes those little pieces of plastic beautiful to me.

Let’s go tell a story…


First Fleet Patrol Ship

Here’s a screen shot of my LDD patrol ship design. A couple of notes about this design: 1. LDD won’t let you sideways build horizontally, so the ship is vertical. 2. LDD won’t let me stick connectors in the angle bricks, so there should be two on the top and bottom of the hull. 3. LDD won’t let me stick the engine nacelles on the connectors, so one is next to the ship for representation.

first fleet patrol ship


Lego Digital Designer and a Nanosfree on the Nanowater model

For those of you interested in designing Lego models who want the freedom of not tying up all your bricks while you design, I highly recommend Lego Digital Designer. It’s a great, free program from Lego that contains its entire virtual catalog of parts. It lets you save images and generate building instructions. With additional, also freely available extensions, you can also generate parts lists. You can export LDD files to other Lego building software programs including LDRAW. The only downside is that Lego discontinued CREATOR, which allowed you to upload your designs to Lego.com and to purchase custom sets based on those designs.

Using LDD, I am prototyping many of by builds before I construct them for a variety of reasons. I like the CAD feel of the design process, and I have already discovered my designs are improving by developing them electronically first. Below is screenshot of a nano model of the bank barn on my farm rendered in LDD: nanosfree bank barnDLH

[Update: now with links to LDD and LDRAW!]