Archive for the ‘Notable’ Category.

DNA Pizza Lounge Cafe Sign – Check

This took quite a bit more time and effort than originally anticipated. But I’m pretty pleased with it.
Originally mentioned on my blog and on the DNA Lounge blog.

Go visit it this week at DNA Pizza, before nature claims it’s shiny buff job in place of a dark, sinister rusty patina.

Now the sign needs to get lit from behind (not my job), a bird shield added (my job), a little painting (not me), a little natural rust patina (nature’s job), some clearcoating, and total victory is ours.

Thanks go to Michael Kearney (pictured above) and Lou!

Flame Effects Workshop in Los Angeles, November 5 & 6

Update: this class has sold out! If you want to be alerted to future flame effects classes, please drop me an email at Lee at Lee dat org!

I’ll be teaching an intensive Flame Effects workshop on the weekend of November 5 and 6 2011 in association with Machine Project in LA. Wanna go? Sign up on the Machine Project website!


Flame Effects Workshop

Saturday, November 5th & Sunday, November 6th
10am – 6pm

This workshop is NOT taking place at Machine Project.
This workshop is instead at Keystone Art Space, address below.

Taught by Lee Sonko

Photo Credit: David Nichols
Members – $275 (all materials included, with take-home final project)

Non-members – $300 (all materials included, with take-home final project)

Become a Machine Project Member and receive a discounted rate on all classes!

In this hands-on weekend-long intensive class you will learn how to make safe, effective and beautiful propane flame effects art. You will learn many different ways of manipulating fire in sculpture including accumulator “poofer” effects, plumbing, ignitors, fuels, colorants, and actuators including electronic controls. We will design and build flame effects sculptures in class and get hands-on, flame-on experience with the sculptures created. Possible projects include a bucolic sand fire pit, a hand-operated fire torch, a giant “poofer”, and other creations. At the end of this weekend, you will know how to use fire in entirely new ways.

All of the parts needed to build your flame effects devices are provided. At the end of class, you will take home something awesome to show wide-eyed friends and family.

Requirements: Participants must wear natural fiber clothing and not be squeamish about loud noises. Participants must be 16 or older unless special permission is given.

Instructor Lee Sonko is the Head of the Kinetics and Electronics Department at The Crucible in Oakland, CA where he teaches classes including Mechanical Sculpture, Arduino Microcontrollers, and Flame Effects. Lee is a founding member of OrbSWARM, a San Francisco based mechatronic art robot group. He is a member of the Flaming Lotus Girls, a large scale Bay Area fire art collaborative. He is also a teacher, student, hacker, baker, and geek.


Keystone Art Studios, 1755 Glendale Blvd, 90026 (though the entrance is around the corner at approximately 2225 Aaron St. Enter through the black gate. You can either park on the street or in the lot uphill from the aforementioned gate).

Refund policy:
Please note, all class fees include a non-refundable enrollment deposit of $25 that will be deducted from your refund if you sign up for, then drop, a class. So, for example, if you sign up for Machine Sewing 101 and pay the $155 class fee, but then remember that you have trapeze school final exams that conflict with the Sewing class and shouldn’t have signed up after all, we will refund you $130 of your tuition payment.

Gift certificate purchase:
If you have a Machine Project gift certificate you’d like to redeem for a class, please email us at and let us know.


It’s Going to be a Great Year

I’ve decided that this is going to be a great year.

I got a -lot- of birthday greetings this year. Sure, a part of it is that Facebook makes it really easy to send birthday greetings. But darn it feels good to know you have friends.

In August I started taking classes as prerequisites to get into a 2 year Radiation Therapy Technology program. It feels really good to be in school. It has a beginning, middle and end, and a lot of people say they are very happy with the career afterward. I had found myself floundering a bit careerwise; it feels great to point myself in a direction I know will yield results and go. It really bugs me that my career wasn’t going well. It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying! But the future is looking up. And there’s a host of little good things associated with school. I’m taking an American History class and I’m just astounded at how cool it is to see the United States coming together before my eyes. It’s great going to a good and inexpensive gym on campus.

Just Signed Up For Classes

On your marks, get set, go:

DMI 49 Intro To Radiologic Technology 3.0
HLTH 14 Adv First Aid & Basic Life Sup 2.0
HIST 1 The U.S. Since 1900 3.0

Going to School for Radiation Therapy Technology

Big news.

I’ll be registering for classes on Monday to start a 4 year journey to become a Radiation Therapy Technologist. First, I’ll be taking several prerequisite classes part-time, then hopefully in March 2013 I’ll be entering a 2 year degree program at CCSF.

Real Bread in 10 Minutes – Makerfaire Followup

The classes at Maker Faire went splendidly. The 30 minute format required me to tighten everything up dramatically to get the message across. The students didn’t get all the info I wanted to give them but they certainly got the spirit, and some laughs! Afterward, I received email comments like this:

I was lucky enough to catch your talk at the Maker Faire this afternoon… I really enjoyed your “organic” way of approaching baking… Your teaching style was also excellent, a little humor goes a long way in education.

– James Peters

Thanks for teaching us how to make bread at makersfaire! It came out delicious the first time and we shared it with our neighbors. It was a fun way to bring the whole apartment building together!
Sarah and Evan