Guest Post: Cleverness Powers The Frugality Train by Iridius Izzarne

Dear Reader,

As promised, here is the guest post from my housemate Iridius about how he made that microphone stand, among other things.

It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention. It’s my belief that many other forces drive invention beyond necessity. One of them is profit. But another is lack of and/or saving money. If you’ve ever perused  the Instructables website, you know that people have spent hours building countless items to avoid paying full price. Why pay for something when you have parts that, with a little time and ingenuity, you can turn into items you need and use?

I’ve become accustomed to finding alternative solutions. In over 15 years of web design and computer work, one of my biggest strengths was finding simple solutions, often short term workarounds, that let work continue. After I decided to move away from computers and explore my creative side with metalsmithing and jewelry fabrication, I found that this ability extended into the physical realm.

My housemate needed a mic stand. As a temporary solution, I took my knife out, cut a hole in one side of an oatmeal container, then cut a long thin rectangle down the opposite side for the cord. Worked like a charm, but honestly, not pretty and not a good long term solution. I immediately began looking for a better solution. The process I use is a bit like designing new jewelry. It takes a lot of imagination and working out the 3-dimensional outline in my head. For this, I simply look around at various items for inspiration. I decided a chunk of 2×4 on a flat piece of wood would work. I was prepared to drill and saw when I came across part of an old IKEA lamp. It was a metal tube coming up from a partial circle stand, the tube at a great angle for a microphone. This would be way easier than cutting the wood. I thought about what could hold the microphone and decided to use an old coat hanger bent into a coil, with the other end going down the hollow tube of the base. To stabilize it, I used some styrofoam stuffed into the metal tube. I used zip ties just before the coil to give the wire some bulk. Stability! To decrease movement, I used some hot glue to fill up the metal tube at the top. And there it was. A mic stand.

homemade mic standAs a creator of jewelry and sculpture, it’s important to me to keep my mind open and to use it to create things on a daily basis. I’ve created many different types of jewelry and recently branched out into sculpture. Most recently, I started a project called Bits of My Life. The project distributes pieces of my life, such as postcards, old keys, paper, letters, throughout Seattle and the surrounding suburbs in small plastic baggies with a note attached. The person finding it is asked to create something with the objects in the bag, then post pictures of the item or items on Facebook. The project is just getting off the ground, but thus far I’ve been receiving some great responses! If you’re interested, you can check it out here.

Thanks again to Iridius for writing this post, making the stand, and just being a really cool housemate and friend. 

To check out more of his work, you can visit his Instagram account here. 

Sincerely,

Charlie

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