William Gurstelle’s (Flame Tube) neighbors used to wonder just what was going on in his Minneapolis backyard. It took a while, but they seem to have become acclimated to the occasional catapult firings, potato cannon booms, and smoke from the rocket launches. The flamethrower blasts? Well, still not so much. As one of MAKE’s contributing editors and technical advisory board members, Bill has written scores of articles for this magazine. His newest book, The Practical Pyromaniac, reminds a lot of people of his first book, Backyard Ballistics, and not just because they’re both alliterative titles. thepracticalpyromaniac.com
Liz Llewellyn’s (Simple Art Easel) first sentence was “I’ll do it myself!” As a teenager, she
designed and made a sweater from scratch, even inventing her own crochet stitch. As an
adult, she studied mechanical engineering and decided to “seek out a career that would
be best described by the sentence, ‘I make cool things that work.’ Which is what I do now,
and it's even cooler than I imagined it would be.” She lives in a 100-year-old house in an
old mill town west of Boston with her husband, one teenager, one preschooler, two dogs,
and a cat. What’s her favorite thing to make? “The thing I haven’t made yet.”
Juan Leguizamon (Special Section opening illustration) lives in the TenderNob district
of San Francisco, and has been “tracing” since he was 5. “Now when I see something that
I really like, I mentally trace it in my head and make it into something cool on paper,”
he says. He’s a senior designer at Razorfish, an interactive ad agency, does freelance
illustration, is “tempted to have a cat even though I’ve always been more of a dog person,”
and has always been fascinated with cardboard. “The idea of making something that is
not meant to be final or finished intrigues me. It’s just like when we were little and with
our imagination we could make a simple cardboard box be anything we wanted.”
Linda Nguyen’s (Simple Longboard photography) natural curiosity has led to many photographic adventures in her life. Whether she is out on her own shooting a personal project
or on assignments with advertising and editorial clients such as Nike and Enterprise, she’s
fueled by the inspiration of the given moment. Her current projects include making a music
video and concocting the perfect pho recipe, complete with hand-drawn illustrations and
instructions, to pass down to her friends and family. She is based in Southern California,
where she enjoys the warmth of the sun, sips tea, and listens to jazz records.
Aaron Wolf Baum (Spirulina Superfood Tank), aka Dr. Friendly, came to his expertise
in DI Y algae superfood by way of Harvard, Stanford, Silicon Valley, and Burning Man.
He has “a passion for sustainability, teaching, and science in general.” Not only is he very
friendly, he’s committed to using his talents “to do something good, and right now that
means looking hard at how our energy choices affect the natural world that sustains us.”
Check his website ( drfriendly.tv) and his blogs ( farmeronmars.blogspot.com and
draaronwolfbaum.wordpress.com) to learn more about the doctor’s pursuits.
Brian McNamara (Luna Mod) has been pulling things apart since he was 2 or 3 years old.
Many years later he has not only learned how to put some of them back together, but
is even able to make new things from scratch. After working in a wide range of electronics
workshops, from avionic to scientific, Brian finally decided to set up his own workshop,
designing and building unique electronic devices, mostly electronic musical instruments
that he sells through his online business ( rarebeasts.com, @rarebeasts). Brian loves
making music, gardening, and taking his two kids on hiking adventures.
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