10 days ago
– Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 12:11:07 AM
On Friday I’m moving out of the space I’ve been renting in Long Island City, NY.
In an interesting turn of events, Kickstarter has stepped up and offered me space (and maybe a few hands) to help complete the fulfillment process. Kickstarter HQ is just a few blocks from where I live and it’s going to be a HUGE help.
It was good timing because I was able to land the first 410 TODAY clocks in Steel and Glass on Thursday at Kickstarter HQ.
I proprioceptively registered that top one might fall, there are 5 clocks in each box.
As soon as I saw it moving towards the point of no return I started a light jog
Yes - finished steel and glass TODAY clocks are inside those boxes.
Yes - I admit to using an assembly team to speed things along, I had no choice. The time it has taken me to just make the bamboo clocks has been, well, you know, long.
So this summer I spent a week training a small team of obsessives to put each clock together with the same level of focus that I do. By the end of the week, only 2 out of 10 were being spotted and reassembled due to minor cosmetic errors. The point is that I have a lot of confidence in the quality of assembly of Steel and Glass but I’m still going to have to inspect every single one.
Don’t worry, the inspection should not take long. We are meeting at 11am tomorrow to begin the process of inspecting and packaging the clocks. Each one is already assembled beautifully so the hardest part is done. I'm simply taking a look and making sure nothing jumps out.
If there is nothing wrong with the clock, all I have to do is put the booklet and pin in, put the clock in place, do my best to erase my fingerprints, close it up, slide the sleeve on and it’s done… well, then it still needs to be put in a box with thoughtfully placed padding, sealed and labeled with its UPC then stacked in a cargo and driven to the fulfillment agency in Bay Shore, NY… then it’s done.
If there is an issue, e.g. a huge black spec over the white cloud like part of the clockface - it will be set aside for reassembly when I’ve moved through the winners. Like I said, I’m expecting 2 out of every 10 to need some sort of minor cosmetic fixing. Hopefully, I will be pleasantly surprised with a 1% reassemble rate.
This all means that I'm sure to begin shipping out TODAY clocks very soon.
Another shipment that includes more TODAY clocks and several hundred of the ThePresent in Steel and Glass arrive at the end of the month. The plan is to have the current load at the fulfillment agency before the next one lands.
From Fall of last year to Spring of this year, every decision I made, as you may or may not know, was one that consistently refined quality but increased time.
My decisions from Spring to Summer have all been to diminish wait time for you without jeopardizing the quality already invested (imbued) in the objects.
Every time I make and pack a timepiece, I am astonished that they exist at all. I can't help but be amazed that we were able to make all these in a little over a year. They are going to last a lifetime and for the first time with packaging that gives the gifts the appropriate context.
Including all ThePresent and TODAY clocks, in total
units will have been made and shipped in 2017.
Add that number to the 3000 ThePresent clocks that are already out there across 52 countries and you hit,
7,150 people exposed to ancient and vital perceptions of time that renew our understanding of the natural world.
By years end I can confidently say that thousands of people are beginning to see Time in Color. This is very good news for a variety of reasons I'll spend the next decade going into.
Without your belief and support in the idea itself, it would be nowhere near as far along as it is now.
If something has been shipped to you - you will receive an email with a TRACKING NUMBER from the Fulfillment Agency RUBY HAS in NY.
The 250 people who ordered the PAIR of TODAY & ThePresent in 11” bamboo…
The first stage (125 boxes = 250 clocks) of that order was delivered by me to the fulfillment agency on Friday. I expect those to be in the system by Tuesday and literally shipping out by end of week. I will drop off the last of the PAIRS of TODAY and ThePresent 11” bamboo this coming Friday.
For the 150 expecting the PAIR of TODAY & ThePresent in 5” bamboo…
Those were also delivered to the fulfillment facility yesterday. They will also ship this week.
For the 250 backers who ordered the 11” TODAY only, your clocks will be made while I am at Kickstarter. If there is some way I can continue to work on weekends, I expect to be delivering those to the fulfillment agency first week of October.
If anyone is waiting on a 5" TODAY - they will ship this week as well.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 13th
I am going away from the USA for a long weekend from October 17th- October 22nd. It would mean everything to me, if everything (yes, even the Steel and Glass) was at the fulfillment agency by, October 13th.
Ha! Look at this! Another deadline for someone who thinks we should call deadlines, lifelines.
Will every single clock be shipped by October 13th?
That is the target.
Is that target even possible or are you overselling yourself again?
Technically it is possible to hit a bullseye on your second toss of the dart but the reality is almost always that you'll land somewhere near the target right? I was a fool to think that since I made 3000 steel and glass clocks and 500 bamboo prototypes that the second time around wouldn't be a big deal. I actually believed that.
Total nonsense. I blame my own enthusiasm, which covered an ignorance dipped in a tincture of arrogance. I might as well have openly dared Murphy's Law to a duel.
This project clearly has a pace of its own and my optimism (trying to please everyone) has clashed with practicality (it takes you forever to make and pack these things at the bar of excellence they deserve).
That is all to say, yes, the target is Friday, October 13th but life is a controlled accident.
I think I'm honestly frightened to imagine what will happen if I don't have it all at the fulfillment agency by Friday, the 13th of October so the date seems appropriate.
Time in Color Inc.
All of the time I'm spending making clocks has been a vital exercise in the creative evolution of Time in Color. I'm happy to announce that the phrase is in the process of being trademarked. I'm so excited about it but will refrain as much as I can from delving too deeply into it here until I have shipped everything.
Looking forward to moving forward with this story.
Your patience is a gift that is greatly appreciated.
Back to the time shop.
This update took 6 hours to create from start to publish.
I intended it to be "simple and short, with maybe only one picture."
Time in Color
about 1 month ago
– Wed, Aug 09, 2017 at 12:43:55 AM
The edge detail of the print on the bamboo version is exposed (on purpose) and susceptible to damage. If it is dropped from a few feet onto a hard surface, it may crack the print.
The ink of the print itself is sealed beneath a layer of thin matte film. The strength of the film is that it prevents surface scratches, is easy to clean and dramatically reduces UV damage. The one weakness of the film is the edge, it is simply more fragile than I expected, please be cautious.
Also, it's Not a Big Deal if you drop it, I don't want to scare you, we can always fix the face if your middle name is butterfingers. But really; If you handle it with the most basic level of care and try not to drop it, your clock will last a lifetime.
For further explanation or questions, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org
For anyone expecting a PAIR of ThePresent & TODAY - your clocks ship next week. This includes people who purchased the 4 pack
1 ThePresent 11" Wall Clock
1 TODAY 11" Wall Clock
1 ThePresent 5" Desk Clock
1 TODAY 5" Desk Clock
Your pair of 11" Wall Clocks will ship separately later this month. Please disregard any prior shipping dates. I expect to have bamboo based clocks completed and shipped by the end of this month.
Since I finished the 5" version completely (which was a wonderful and long overdue relief) I've moved onto the 11" Wall Clocks. They look really good and I have a solid system now. Currently making 254 ThePresent 11" wall clocks, followed by 467 TODAY 11" wall clocks. Can I make and pack 721, 11" Wall Clocks by Thursday, August 31st and deliver it all on Friday, September 1st? I'm going to do my best.
Any New Yorkers out there who want to help out for an hour or two next week?
If you are willing to help, you have to travel to my temporary space in LIC.
Steel and Glass
Shipping will begin in order of backer number in mid-September, that is if nothing else holds us back - I think we are good though, I think..
Time in Black & White
Time in Color
Refining thephilosophical message below, not related to shipping.
Deciphering the simplest way to connect a stranger quickly and resolutely to these ideas is so important to me. So far, Time in Color is the best way to briefly explain the ambition, value, and potential of these timepieces.
It's saying, clearly, that time-as-we-know-it is, time in black and white and ThePresent and TODAY is Time in Color. These supplemental layers of time are more sympathetic to the human experience and serve to expand our understanding of time.
So I bought timeincolor.com ! (it's empty now, but can you believe that was available!?) I could be wrong here of course (I don't think I am) but soon I'll have to "market" these timepieces. I want to stay true to them but I also want people to buy them - so I'm always looking for a way to simplify the whole thing into a phrase that sparks curiosity.
Still working out the details on this, I'm sharing the idea early but sharing it nonetheless.
Time in Black and White
Type: computer time
Uses: scoring racing events, keeping appointments, turning time into money
Side effects: anxiety, instability, short sightedness, impulsivity, inability to be still, struggling with 'being present', general time confusion.
Time in Color
Type: human time
Uses: catalyst, space to think big, an invitation to stillness and repose.
Side effects: harmony, continuity, long view thinking, patience, calm, being present, general time awareness.
Einstien said a bunch of smart things - one of them was something to the effect that, you cannot solve problems with the same thinking that created them. I don't think we can face the challenges of our time, personally and civically without cultivating a healthier, more holistic and broader relationship with the whole of time.
We already know what the world is like with a society that sees time in black and white.
This. is. it. The world as it is now. Take a picture.
What we don't know is what the world will be like with a society that sees time in color.
The Dreaming Moon
about 2 months ago
– Sun, Jul 23, 2017 at 10:08:28 PM
Everyone who ordered a single TODAY 5"
They are all in this picture.
I dropped them off at the fulfillment center on Friday, July 14th.
They've taken the past week to "ingest" each box and put the UPC into their system. I expected this to happen a lot faster and for shipments to start this past week. Looks like they will begin this week so hang in there.
A tower of time.
THEPRESENT 5" DESK CLOCK
For anyone who got the pair of ThePresent and Today Desk Clocks - I am wrapping up production on the 100 ThePresent clocks to match those orders this week, so...
International packages for ThePresent and TODAY Desk Clock will ship as one package.
Domestic packages of ThePresent and TODAY pairs will likely ship separately.
STEEL AND GLASS ASSEMBLY
Assembly of the Steel and Glass timepieces has, finally, begun.
The aftermath of the first few days of assembly.
Once the assembly team would finish a half a dozen units, I would inspect and mark errors. The main issues have been either fingerprint smudges on the inside of the glass or distracting specs of dust trapped behind the glass.
The beauty of that statement above is that we are not having issues with things lining up. All of the mechanical issues have been remedied (beaten into submission).
To make sure that every clock is aligned, I went through 2000 prints for two days and marked the high noon & winter solstice marks. This way the assembly team lines it all up without guesswork.
All the movements are tested while they wait for inspection.
These all checked out.
We had the steel factory make 250 production level parts to be assembled for my review. Better to make a smaller batch than to make 2000 and then find an issue.
And I'm glad we did that because we found an issue, that we had not prepared for - the laser etching is causing trouble with the lacquer.
It cracks the lacquer in a small way that can easily become a big flaky deal if you pick at it. The picture below is after picking away for a few minutes, The laser etching at the bottom under the movement is what casues the issue.
Without the etching there is no chance of breaking up the matte lacquer - unless you really make an effort by cutting into the lacquer with a razor blade, which I can't imagine anyone trying - I hope.
This means that I will not be etching anything on the backs.
I am developing a solution for anyone who expected an etching. I'm thinking of a personalized card that sits behind the timepiece and above the instruction booklet. Please stand by as I figure out the best solution for this. I love being able to offer some sort of custom messaging but the laser etching is too risky.
There isn't enough space on the bamboo for etching either without making things crowded, so the solution I come up with to replace customized etching will be the same steel and bamboo.
So, I removed the etching and it's never looked better.
The back looks so good now for a number of reasons.
The quality of steel is what I always wanted. We also stopped using Pim Nuts on the back beause the application of the pim nut was occasionally warping and or scratching the backplate surface. So we designed and produced a custom matte finish hex screw for the backplate. Those three custom screws connect the inner cup (that holds the movement) to the backplate wihtout warping the metal or introducing scratches.
The creative evolution of this whole process is astounding. Every step we've taken has made the quality higher and more consistent than ever before.
These timepieces are going to last a very, very long time.
The assembly team is used to making clocks, it's a small clock making factory. However, they won't refer to these as clocks, they call them works of art. I hope that when you finally get your hands on it you'll agree.
I've been so deep into the mechanical and logistical elements of the project that I haven't been sharing what's next for ThePresent and TODAY.
Here is a hint.
For everyone who is still hanging in there, thank you.
Good grief! We've been through a lot. The time has been used wisely and none of it has been wasted. In fact, the extra time has allowed me to produce at a level of consistent quality that I didn't trust was possible.
As I said at the beginning, making something timeless is more important to me than making something timely.
Beyond making this first new batch stellar, I'm also building out a long term system of production here so that I never run out of clocks again. Murphy's Law has been ripe on this one to be sure, but we're closing in on the home stretch and Murph is winded.
Now, every time I say a time when I think, "that will be the time!" I'm proven wrong and my foot returns to my mouth.
ALL bamboo timepieces are slated to be finished and shipped out bythe end of August.
ALL steel and glass timepieces should, by all means, begin shipping in late September.
I believe the shipping facility will be sending everyone emails with tracking numbers but I haven't confirmed this yet - one would assume that would be the standard, right? I'll let you know for sure and send another update when ALL the 5" timepieces have shipped out.
That will take roughly 2 weeks so hold. me. to. it.
The Dreaming Moon is just a nice song I was listening to while I was making this update.
if you need clarity on anything, really, anything.
thank you for reading, supporting and helping me make this happen.
A Decongestant for the Mind
3 months ago
– Sun, Jun 18, 2017 at 09:08:32 PM
On June 21st, I will begin shipping all of the bamboo clocks in stages. You can see the schedule taking shape towards the bottom of this update.
Also on June 21st, we will receive 5 of the newest editions of ThePresent and 5 of the First Editions of TODAY in steel and glass for final approval - yes - final - final - final approval. We believe and sincerely hope that we can approve these samples for production. It's like we're all being hiked up the slow side of a roller coaster, wondering together "This has to be the top right? We made it right?".
It's all this pesky "measure seven times before you cut" that requires the most time. The actual production of the components will only take a few days. Assembling the units will only take a couple of weeks.
I'm confident that we made it this time around, because, at this point, honestly, if anything is still a flaw, I'll have to accept it and just let go. Which means that the samples that are arriving this Wednesday truly are the final versions, whether they know it or not. So yes, I hope they are the best possible versions so far.
Now I'd like to introduce a new feature of the latest edition of ThePresent.
The newest edition of ThePresent includes an indicator lamp. During normal operation, the green LED on the back of the clock, lights up once every 64 seconds. Use it if you like, to confirm that ThePresent is in fact, on.
It's kind of amazing how long one minute can feel with those extra 4 seconds. I made this video so you can see what I mean. Feels like some sort of unintentional mindfulness excercise. I'm not sure why the German engineers made it that way (64seconds) but I feel like it must have something to do with the 8-16-32-64-128 bit language.
So the running time of this video is 00:01:25.
You will see two blinks in this time.
The first blink is seven seconds into the video.
The LED will blink again within 64 seconds.
The music slowly gets louder as the blink approaches.
Shaping up the Shipping Schedule
As it stands now,
every bamboo-based desk and wall clock will be shipped by August 2nd.
All of the desk clock versions of TODAY.
Shipping................June 21st to July 5th
Followed by all of the desk clock versions of ThePresent.
Shipping................July 5th to July 12th
Followed by all of the Open Faced Wall Clock of ThePresent.
Shipping................July 20th to July 26th
followed by the Open Faced Wall Clock of TODAY.
Shipping................July 26th to August 2nd
Steel and Glass clocks are scheduled to begin shipping shortly thereafter.
A Decongestant for the Mind.
I found this sticker on the thinning 1969 plastic from the Environments album sleeve below. Now that I'm able to see a time coming soon when I'll have everything shipped, I'm looking forward to finding the voice of these timepieces - "A Decongestant for the Mind" isn't a bad start.
I know that the Desk Clock version of TODAY is getting a lot of coverage here. I really like it but it's also the only one that 100% photo-ready. I'll be featuring each piece as it comes together, all in due time.
I do hope you are well.
Yes, I used the same song from the video above, below.
I'll check back in on Wednesday evening EST, June 21st. No really, I will - I'll do a quick update of the production ready samples and have some photos of shipping out some boxes!
One clock at a time.
4 months ago
– Sun, May 21, 2017 at 07:48:06 PM
I've been making clocks non-stop since the last update.
I started with the desk clocks because I had so many to make.
I have a few hundred of the 5" desk clocks left to make, before moving on to the 11" bamboo wall clocks. On Friday, May 19th I did my last pick up of all the remaining bamboo parts in upstate New York. This coming Friday I will finally have all of the 11" prints completed by Duggal.
There were hundreds of prints with minor errors that I could not accept and had to have redone, so it has taken longer than expected.
On April 25th all of the packaging arrived and is now in my office so no waiting anymore on that. I'm thrilled with the level of quality and hope you will be too.
Russell from RUX filmed this as the container of packaging arrived. It is a silly and slightly boring video but hopefully it gives you a sense of the scale of the project.
TIMING (cool, so, when do we get our rewards?)
The bamboo clocks will be completed before the steel and glass is done. My broad estimate is that I will begin shipping the desk clocks by mid to late June but again, I will no longer stand by any exact dates. You will receive an address request from me and when you do, that guarantees that shipping will begin a week or two later.
Yes, I do have finished packaged clocks but I won't begin shipping until I can deliver all the bamboo inventory to my fulfillment partner at once. Otherwise I am setting myself up for intense confusion that may cause further delays.
I've tried to hire people to move the process along faster but so far, each time it has put me back a few days. So, to date, I've made every clock myself and intend on doing the same going forward. What I lose in time I gain in quality. I am taking my time to make time, so from my point of view it's all working out.
I am forever grateful for your patience and I'm highly aware every single day that the things you pledged for are long, long overdue. The only thing I can think of that would be worse than more waiting, would be to deliver something I'm not happy with.
The most important thing to me is not that you receive the clocks rapidly but that you receive the clock that you entrusted me to create. Every time I make and pack a clock I am deeply satisfied with what will be delivered.
STEEL AND GLASS
The thing that has held us up so much is that I was unable to work with the steel vendor I used in the past. Knowing I was going to use the same vendors when I launched the project gave me the confidence to set such an early delivery time.
There are many reasons why I could not move forward with the original vendor, most of which I would not be comfortable listing in an open forum like this - but the most basic reason is that they were unable to manufacture with Stainless Steel without recreating all new tooling.
The new manufacturer that we landed on thought it would be a simple job and we believed them, but they unfortunately underestimated both the complexity of the job and our dedication to quality. There is zero tolerance in these pieces as they are designed. That means there is no "play" in the way each part lines up. It's four pieces of steel that have to line up to within 0.25 mm and cannot be scratched in any way during the manufacturing process.
What you are about to see is a review of the samples from late April. They got a lot right, which I do not point out in the following images (e.g. the glass is perfect, the radial brushing is wonderful).
My job here was to show them what they were doing wrong. It's almost entirely cosmetic at this point which is a great sign (Even though it seems like a mess)
WARNING: This is not easy to look at but it gives you some insight into why the steel and glass is taking so long.
That said, this was sent over to the factory on May 4th and we had someone from RUX (the firm that is managing the steel and glass production) stay with the factory for a week to explain in person how to correct the mistakes. At the end of all these photos you can see the latest version.
Their excuse was that it was a "Sample" so they did not do the proper etching. The "Sample" we were expecting was a "Finished" version that we could approve at every level.
Here is the good news.
Last week we got this from the factory.
So here is the other thing that has taken forever.
There was a shortage in the grade of stainless steel I wanted. All of the prior samples were made with a form of stainless that had enough iron in it to rust without a significant amount of protection.
The reason the photo above looks so good is that it's using the grade of stainless I wanted. Most important perhaps is that the higher grade of stainless comes with a protective blue film layer that allows the manufacturer to work with the steel without a much more reduced risk for scratching. Furthermore, this grade of stainless is many more times resistant to oxidation than the sample version we were seeing.
In so many ways the delays we've experienced, while deeply frustrating (squeezing water from a stone, pulling teeth etc), the reality is that each delay has made a better timepiece.
I'm forming a relationship with this team and process and need to be able to count on them for many years to come to deliver the highest quality possible. What is happening now is setting the standard.
Tomorrow during a conference call with factory, I will find out when they expect to complete production. My fingers are crossed that it won't be too much longer.
If you don't hear from me, it's because I'm making clocks and I don't have anything new to say. I even went back and forth on revealing all this stuff as I don't want you to form a relationship with the clock where every time you see it you think - wow, that was tough to make - I would rather it have the intended effect of revealing a new perspective on time and now and life.
If you ever have any questions at all or want a personal update - email me
p.s. if this is all too much and you want to request a refund, I understand. You can always email me directly for that and I will issue a refund, no questions asked.