Monthly Archives: August 2011


For this year’s epic Burning Man event, the Misses and I created a set of Absinthe Spoons based on an idea from Tamara at Redux and her fantastic boyfriend/long-time-burner Darren. Wendi designed them and I worked with Ponoko to have them laser cut out of a black guitar-pick-like material. They’re small enough to fit on top of a shot glass, and when a sugar cube is placed on top of the spoons the sugar will be dissolved with water to sweeten the absinthe. Furthermore, the spoons are also capable of being worn as pendants, and we’ll be giving them away with a silk or leather cord.

From left to right – Victorian, Peacock, Fire, and Andante.

There are two parts to the process of making these. The first step is all about the design, and the second step is preparing the designs for manufacturing with Ponoko. It seemed pretty straightforward until I realized Wendi’s elaborate, organic curved drawings are not easy to recreate in Illustrator, due to the curved tapering her designs emply. I had hoped I could use the variable line width tool on simple lines to create the flows correctly, but it just didn’t look smooth enough, especially at some of the more extreme angles. Next I tried manually drawing all the shapes, but, again, it just wasn’t quite right due to me not being able to taper a curved shape properly. I ended up using the blob brush to create the initial shapes, then tweaked the shapes by hand, and made liberal use of the pathfinder to smooth out the corners.

After the vectors looked the way we wanted, submitting to Ponoko was an effortless process, and I received the 80 spoons within a couple of weeks.

More pictures on flickr: