Jillian Northrup's blog

Resin inlay for Zoo's table tops

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One of our recent exciting resin pours was for these table tops for our Hattiesburg Zoo project.

We wanted to do some inlay into the designs we created for these table tops. So, we began by taking our designs and carving them into the wood on Frank, our trusty CNC machine. Then filling the carved pockets with pigmented resin.

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While those were being created, we finished making the bases we'd designed for these unique, one of a kind table tops.
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After sanding the cured resin down to the wood, we finished the tops with a clear coat.

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Once dry, these reversible table centers were placed in their final home.

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Each of the 6 tables has a different pattern, and go with the interior of the space we designed.

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These are just one small part of a larger project we are doing for the Hattiesburg Zoo in MS.

The final design for the interior room will look like this!

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Gears and more gears!

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We have been working steadily on the design and fabrication for the interior & exterior building of the Tortoise exhibit area for the Hattiesbug Zoo in MS. The latest completed pieces are the interactive gears going all around the complex.

This larger interactive gear piece goes on the outside wall of the main tortoise house, for kids and adults to play with.

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See a video of this piece in action...

Made of polypro, exterior grade woods and stainless steel hardware, this piece is made to survive the Mississippi weather and children alike.
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Smaller gears are in a cluster next to it, as a sign hangs above, as shown in this early drawing.

L:\BWC Bucket\projects\Miss Zoo\Photos\Hattiesburg\Zoo Education Center_V3_Jillian.pdf

The 'gear cluster' final designs look like this:

C:\Users\Jillian Desktop\Documents\ExteriorGears_Install.pdf

Below is a photo of a 'gear cluster' completed, made of polypro, exterior grade woods and stainless steel.
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See a video of the gears in action...

The interior of the main presentation room will look like this, with another interactive gear wall under the flat screens in the back.

L:\BWC Bucket\projects\Miss Zoo\Designs\Interior Finishes\Zoo Education Center_V3_Jillian.pdf

Here is the final design for the interior interactive gear wall
C:\Users\Jillian Desktop\Documents\Gears Under Flatscreens_Install.pdf

And here is the final fabrication of that piece getting its last bits put in place at our shop
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Steering wheels in three sections of the interactive wall allow for the spinning of the gears
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See a video of this interactive gear wall...

Next up we are working on this small building pictured below, which will be the holding pen and watering hole for the Tortoises.
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Very soon, that building will look like this!
C:\Users\Jillian Desktop\Documents\Zoo Education Center_V3_Jillian.pdf

In production for the Hattiesburg Zoo

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We are in full production right now for a project that finished design phase last fall. Our design of the Galapagos Tortoise enclosure and adjoining "Discovery" Area for the Hattiesburg Zoo in Mississippi is coming to life!

Here Joel, from the BWC fabrication shop, puts together the final pieces for the exterior interactive gear wall.
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For scale, BWC Designer Be stands next to the main attraction of the exterior interactive gear wall. The whole thing will be painted and then final assembly and rotation testing will take place before it is shipped out.
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More gears for an interior interactive wall that will be in the main even space.
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This rendering of the exterior hallways of the zoo building shows the design for the window frames and arches that span the walkway.
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Here is the design for the window frames and spanning arches for the inside of the main events room.
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The final exterior arch. Each arch has a center medallion that is specific to that arch.
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The medallions are all different animals set on a gear scene.
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The final assembly will happen onsite, with stainless hardware and slotting made for the various widths of the walkway.
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The window and door frames are also made of durable exterior materials. The stainless hardware of the arches matches the stainless details and hardware on the window and door frames. Pictured here is the smallest window frame, fully assembled.
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The decorative carving details added to the brackets once again define our company, which I guess we could have named 'Why not', but settled instead on 'Because We Can'.
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Ships, more ships and a Kraken

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We recently had the opportunity to work with the wonderful independent game company, 1st Playable, in Troy NY.

They needed some solutions for their large modular space, to define walkways and give the place a cohesive look that was fun and in their company culture. We created these free standing screens to delineate walkways

There are screens of different styles and sizes to accommodate how they move their desks and teams around

And of course there is a Kraken!

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We gave each ship screen stats, in case it ever needed to go into battle....

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Little boats were made with tall adjustable sails to shade the desks and computer screens from the powerful sun coming into the office

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And graphics were applied to the all glass meeting room to help with its privacy issues.

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See more on this project on our full project page here!

Flat Pack Lanterns

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Before it gets too much later, we really need to show off these lanterns and camp decorations we made for Burning Man 2013! Our camp for The Serpent Twins project has grown, and with it, our camp facade.

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The winged benches, axes and medallions we made for last years camp. This year we went much larger with the light up camp sign and flanking solar lanterns.

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The solar lights inside the lanterns were able get a good charge all day, and then shine all night showing off their lattice patterns.

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Because of the overlapping panels, the lattice carvings threw really neat designs onto the ground.

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During the day the lanterns acted as a tall perimeter marker to the entrance of our camp.

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Dust collecting on the cut outs created a nice softening effect.

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Before the dust was able to get them, the lanterns looked like this in our shop.

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With fun designs, the lanterns are a pleasure to look at from afar or close up.

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Standing over 10ft tall, they give a grand presence!

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And, of course, we designed these to be flat pack for easy transport & assembly!

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Kid friendly additions

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Making a home that is a perfect fit for it's owners is what we do. And children are no exception!

We outfitted a home renovation we recently completed with some fun and attractive kid friendly additions.

First off, the back yard sandbox desperately needed a cover in this Bay Area weather prone to daily fog and drizzles.

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These durable and weather resistant covers allow the sand beneath to ventilate, and can more easily store toys with their domed tops, that keeps water from pooling.

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In the basement we've added a screen to cover the exposed pipes and knobs necessary for a modern house.
Now the basement is more usable for storage, prettier to look at and safer for the kids.

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Already a part of the project were these acrylic window guards we did around the house.

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With fun designs carved into the acrylic, they added some non-overpowering whimsy to the utilitarian acrylic guards.

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And, of course, everyone needs a chalk board of house rules.
This one cleverly hides a utility panel near the kitchen.

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Tinker Stations and Shelving for an Oakland School

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For a small private school in Oakland, we recently completed the first phase of a revamp of their front hallway area.
Now to be used for displaying the students art pieces and holding "Maker" classes.

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The shelving is a shadow box design with cork backers for hanging the students art, and runs the length of one side of the hallway.

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On the other side of the hallway, the tinker stations line up in a row. We took design references from the original Julia Morgan building & furniture, integrating them into the stations.

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The stations have a full cabinet of storage in their interior, and peg boards and white boards inside either door.

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The work surface has a grid pattern carved into a sturdy maple top.

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And small drawers for supplies line the top.

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Happy Making, kids!

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We're hiring!

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Hear ye, Hear ye!
We are hiring to fill two positions asap.... A Fabricator position and a Jr. Designer position.

If you have a passion for great architecture, interior design, furniture and digital fabrication, please check out our new BWC careers page to see the postings. And come make things with us and with a robot!

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West Oakland in the news

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We are so proud that our local area of West Oakland has received some great press this last month.
Celebrating the custom fabricator and "Maker" scene that has been growing here for years. It is nice to see some thoughtful pieces being written about this area and it's future!

Metropolis Magazine wrote a cool piece on our local area, focusing on two large community based fabricator establishments, The Crucible and American Steel.

Make Magazine and Tech Hive wrote a pieces on what the future holds for the area, and how it has changed into a thriving custom fabricator mecca, with plenty of room to grow.

We are, and have been, excited to be part of this exciting and growing area!

Vintage Modern home renovation, San Francisco

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This home renovation we completed recently in San Francisco freshened up a historic home from the 1900's, while keeping and celebrating it's vintage details.

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The woodwork now pops into view with its white paint job and the dark floors in the entryway, and all over the home.

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The kitchen and bathrooms were heavy and dark from their last renovation in the 1970's. We lightened and brightened and opened up walls were we could. Even taking out some load bearing walls and replacing them with steal overhead to create a better living space.

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Raising the ceiling in the main living space, and taking out those walls made such a difference!

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And, or course we could not resist a little BWC fun.... with this porthole window in the kids room.
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See more photos and descriptions on our project page here.

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