Alaska Robotics

Archive for the ‘Local’ Category

The Gallery is Open!

Monday, May 7th 2012 by Pat

Phew! We made it. The doors are open!

Thanks to everyone who came to the gallery opening on Friday night, what a kick! It was great to see so many friendly faces and to have such an excellent excuse to eat fancy cheese and bacon wrapped almonds. We had to duck out a little early because of the robots but that’s life. You make plans, robots destroy them.

Putting the new space together was a long process of slow improvement, a bit like trying to lasso a high speed train, we finally got it done and now I guess we’ll see where it takes us. No doubt, it will be an adventure, and that’s what it’s all about. Adventure.

Now I need to thank about one million people. I should start with Aaron and Lou.. but I won’t.

The delicious cookies & snacks were provided by B’s Bakery and Bistro, The Rookery, Laurel & Big Mike, Alicia Jones, Loretta Mosley, and, most importantly, our dear Mothers.

Thanks to Bob & Chris at Alaska Electric for getting our lights installed on schedule and thanks to Tony Talbot who did so much work on the walls and carpentry. Thanks also to our benevolent landlords at Gross-Alaska Incorporated for opening their doors to us.

Thanks to Bridget Kuhar, Stephanie De Roo, Will Race, Jon Warrenchuck, Jamie Karnik, Katie White, Andy Kline and to Poppa Suring for all the painting and hefting.

Thanks to Sarah Asper-Smith for color and grace.

Finally, thanks to Aaron Suring and Lou Logan. You guys are the best dudes ever. Thanks for doing this crazy thing with me.

.. Whew… I think that concludes our lengthy and possibly incomplete thanks.. oh god… I almost forgot.. THE BIGGEST THANKS EVER TO CHRISTINE for reclaiming the bathroom from the monstrous toilet Cthulhu. Songs will be sung about your deeds.

LEGO Robotics Challenge!

Monday, May 7th 2012 by Pat

The big gallery opening wasn’t the only event we had going last Friday. We also participated in the Lego Robotics Corporate Challenge, a fundraiser for the youth robotics teams in town.

This year we were cramped for time so at the last minute we gave up on all of our careful plans and built a chaotic smash-bot to destroy, rather than solve, the puzzles on the board. It was glorious. The theme was food safety and our little Monsantron got good and dirty out there crushing cattle and smashing rats with the Chop-tor 0′ Doom.

A big shout out to our team members in the Lego Robotics Division – Ty & Brevin Keltner, Ben Sapp, Jamie & Jen Karnik, and Tara Greenwood.

Thanks also to Susan Keltner for putting up with the strange noises coming from her basement at 3am.

Tara gave the newspaper what must have been a solid, full-page quote, the best unending line of pure unadulterated bullshit I’ve ever heard.

“It’s a non-deterministic universe and we are sort of moving out of the classical ideas of, you know, you have these inputs and you have a known output and in these chaotic times we wanted to tap into the interconnectedness of all things and to see what happens if we go back to the elementary and primeval … our algorithms are in some ways primitive or even shamanistic … it’s not just about destruction.”

– Tara Greenwood

You can read the rest of the article at the Juneau Empire.

Alaska Robotics Gallery Opening

Tuesday, May 1st 2012 by Pat

I’m excited to announce that the Alaska Robotics Gallery will be opening this Friday, May 4th.

The Alaska Robotics Gallery is located in the heart of downtown Juneau at 220 Front Street and it’s a beautiful space where we’re selling our prints, cards, shirts, and a huge selection of graphic novels.

I hope you’ll join us this Friday for some fancy cheese and help us warm the house.

Alaska Robotics Gallery

The Whale has Landed

Sunday, February 5th 2012 by Pat

So this is exciting… Take a few steps past the security exit in the departure lounge at the Juneau International Airport and there’s a hidden alcove with a giant whale plane hanging on the wall.

I’m really pleased with the results and had a great time creating and installing the piece.

Here’s a better picture of the alcove with an early version of the whale Photoshopped onto the wall.

We couldn’t print on a single aluminum panel at that size so Jeannie (she’s really great) came up with the idea to do overlapping panels.

The design went through a lot of variations.

We struck on a design we all liked and I started inking and coloring the eleven foot image.

I tried for detailed simplicity, something that could be appreciated from a distance but wasn’t going to turn into fat pixels or hard vector lines up close.

We purchased the panels without any backing and had to figure out how to mount it on the wall. It was printed on aluminum by Bay Photo, they did a great job and at a reasonable price.

The aluminum prints don’t take adhesive very well but they’re light weight and look great. We tested out JB Weld and it adhered fairly well with some coarse sanding but in the end we decided to go with straight silicon.

Once we got the mounting boards into the wall studs we thought we should just leave the wall like this, it looks more like art than my art.

The panels overlap a bit so we had to mount them at different depths.

Who let this guy near the power tools?

This is me and Greg after we got the panels all squared up. Greg is the retired maintenance man who they keep around because he knows everything about the building. He was great to work with, easy going and very capable. I think he could have done this installation all himself but he was polite enough to let me feel like I was helping.

This is Jeannie, she came up with the paneling idea and kept pushing me to make the illustration better. We were both thrilled to see it up on the wall.

Well, that’s that. Go check it out next time you fly though Juneau and I’ll have some prints available in a month or so if anyone is interested.

Gingerbread Hoth

Wednesday, December 14th 2011 by Pat

I made some gingerbread last night with Marian and our friend Tara.

Marian wanted to do a Hoth scene which I thought was great.. so I stole the idea and got to work.

My AT-AT fell over and my landscaping sucked but I think the mini-figures pulled it all together.

Here’s the micro AT-AT. It’s the best little imperial stomper thing ever. Stomp stomp stomp.

Tara made Baba Yaga’s chicken hut, note the chicken feet and trails of candy to lure in plump Russian children.

Marian made the best Trogdor cookie ever, complete with consummate v’s.

We’re supposed to light the village on fire tonight, maybe I’ll get another picture.

Tickets on Sale!!

Friday, November 4th 2011 by Pat

Online ticket sales for the DVD release screening are now available. If you have any problems or just like doing business in person, please come by the shop or call 586-3440.

Here are the options for now, regular DVD sales will begin after the 12th and we’ll have the same options (without the tickets) in our online store.


$10 – You get admission to the show and with the ticket some discounts and fun at the KXLL after party. Tickets are also available at the door.

Ticket & DVD Combo

$25 – You get admission to the show and one of our new DVDs. That’s a $5 savings on the new DVD.

Super Pack!!!

$50 – Includes one ticket, one limited edition print (secret work in progress of a giant bear attacking the moon), a super strong robot magnet, and both of our DVDs – Alaska Robotics Vol 1 & 2 which include more than fifty films and tons of bonus goodies. Kaboom!

Alaska Robotics Vol. 2

Thursday, November 3rd 2011 by Pat

We made a new DVD to collect the last five years of our short films along with a bunch of other goodies.

Please join us in celebrating the DVD release, we’re doing a big screening of at the JDHS Auditorium on November 12th at 7pm and after the screening we’re going to Mandy’s at the Breakwater for an after party sponsored by KXLL and featuring the music of Playboy Spaceman.

Tickets are available for ten bucks at Lucid Reverie (open 2-6 weekdays) and online ticket sales will be available right here… in a day or two.

This will be the first time we’ve put together a feature length collection of our films outside the JUMP Society Festivals so we’ll be showing all kinds of dusty local classics like “Downtown vs. The Valley” and “Buy Back Alaska” alongside our favorite mini-documentaries, sketch comedy, animation, and political satire.

Something Fierce – Marian Call

Friday, September 30th 2011 by Pat

Marian Call - Something Fierce

Marian’s new album comes out tomorrow. You should probably buy it.

If you aren’t familiar with her work, Marian Call is an Alaskan singer/songwriter and entrepreneur who creates lovely music about avocados and space ships.

I’m in no state to be conjuring the deserved praise, I didn’t get nearly enough sleep last night.

Just go get the album.

Trust me.

It’s amaaaaaaaaaaaazing.

.. and here are some variations on the above illustration.

The Bride

Thursday, September 1st 2011 by Pat

Sarah Asper-Smith

Sarah Asper-Smith, our dear friend and longtime partner in crime has been hitched. Alaskan men from Ketchikan to Barrow are crying in their beers.

All hail Mitch Watley. Long live the union.

If you’d like to do something nice for the blushing bride, I would recommend jumping over to Sarah’s Etsy store and peppering her with orders or picking up a copy of her darling children’s book full of collective nouns… five stars as of this posting!!

I cried again today.

Thursday, June 9th 2011 by Pat

I think I may be emotionally unstable.. maybe it’s more accurate to say that I’ve been receptive to emotion because unstable has negative connotations. Whatever is happening to me, it sure involves a lot of crying.

Today a woman stopped by our office with a giant box of comics to donate. Her son, Daniel, was in my high school class and they both attended several of our film workshops and festivals over the years. Recently Daniel passed away, he had been carrying around a giant tumor in his gut.

I wasn’t a close friend but I liked Daniel an awful lot, he was one of those kids that just didn’t fit in and everyone loved him or hated him for it. I remember one of the guys on the basketball team constantly antagonized him, they drove each other batty but watching them over time you could see that it was a curmudgeonly sort of grumpy love. They got a lot out of humor and contact out of the sometimes gruff teasing and annoyance.

I thought about Daniel for a bit as I was tearing into the box of comics but at this point I was honestly getting swept up in the discovery of new treasure. What was in the box? Did it have value? Oh boy oh boy oh boy.. new comics!

When I opened the lid, a Superman comic was on the top of the pile and it broke my heart in all the right places.

To all my friends and family, I love you. I know we have a limited time together but it’s just been the best!