Letter from the editor

Hey gang, 

This is my first "letter from the editor"! There is so much to write about and a limitless array of Instructables "stuff" that could be mentioned but with the newsletter and Facebook doing such an excellent job of keeping everyone up to date, I wanted to write something slightly more personal. 

During most of college I worked at an art museum. One of my favorite exhibits was a large collection of toys, art and other things made primarily from metal cans. The exhibit featured things from all over Africa and the Caribbean. It has been one of those lingering experiences that just stuck with me, the magic of what people can and will do with what they have. 

This year I was lucky enough to get just such a "toy", it seems like much more than a toy, as an early birthday present! The lovely gal that gave it to me had no idea I was enamored with these things, so it was all the more endearing that she knew I'd like it. 

The piece is made entirely from re-purposed materials and I couldn't find any glue, solder or tape anywhere on it. The frame is bent wire and the body made from tomato cans. There are a handful of things that are held together by strips of inner tube, like the wheels made from the tops of aerosol cans. The whole thing is in general, fantastic! 

I feel like this embodies so much of what and why we do what we do on Instructables and in this way we share a commonality of spirit with people and places many of us have little hope of seeing or truly understanding. The DIY spirit and ingenuity that is common in these places is something that I feel has steadily slipped away from the mainstream of heavy "consumer" nations. 

The thing I like best about this is that even though there are other similar toys, like the one in the last photo, there will really only ever be one just like this. It has a story and exists in a far more real way than any manufactured toy is likely to have, no matter how long it sticks around, unless it's fortunate enough to be transformed by some clever DIY'er. So, if it's possible for an object to show why we do what we do, I feel like this one does. 

I'm thinking we need a contest around this concept at some point! 

Thanks for reading a kind regards,
Jason



Here are a few links from the web that show some more of these. I didn't find much about the objects themselves or the people making them but they are fairly inexpensive to buy and readily available if you go looking. 

http://www.indigoarts.com/store1_recycle_2.html

http://hubpages.com/hub/Make-your-own-recycled-toys

http://growingupgreen.com.au/?p=628









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Erissed17 years ago
At first sight I thought it was a real motorcycle XD

It looks great and is environmentally friendly :D great
Jayefuu7 years ago
"the magic of what people can and will do" - Har har. :D

I liked this post. I like that the newsletter keeps us up to date with all the best ibles. But it has no text, perhaps you could post weekly with some inside gossip on silly things that have happened, screened teasers on what might be happening soon and other inside news. Perhaps?
Culturespy (author)  Jayefuu7 years ago
I think you're right. This was my first letter from the editor for Instructables so there's plenty of room for changing things up!

If you want silly things that happened we've got plenty... Actually, there was this thing a couple days ago with Fungus' Christmas Canon and a clogged drain... ;)
Whoa....so Ed can clear a drain with just his music?!? What's he doing at Instructables, then, when he should be headlining with Yo-yo Ma?
Culturespy (author)  kelseymh7 years ago
Haw haw, make fun of the typo. ;) I've got to stop replying to things with my phone. ...but yes, Ed can do many things with only music or even just the promise of it.
Culturespy (author)  Culturespy7 years ago
Oh, and for the record, if he'd been at HQ when I, not knowing exactly what the Christmas cannon was, rather comically cleared the drain it would have gone much better.
Heh. You're lucky you didn't get....wait for it...canned!

>ba-dum-bump<
Culturespy (author)  kelseymh7 years ago
I can't believe I'm laughing... but I am. :)
Sounds like you've got ammo for next week's letter then :p