These are just a few of the incredibly talented members of fat cat FAB LAB's community.
After completing her BFA from Purchase College at the age of 19, Diana Schmertz was accepted into De Ateliers 63 residency program and awarded a two-year grant to live and paint in Amsterdam, Holland. In her early twenties she completed two Masters of Science and became an art educator. Reentering the artworld in her thirties, Schmertz has received many grants from organizations such as the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance. She has exhibited her work in cities such as New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Holland, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. You can view her work at www.DianaSchmertz.com.
Statement of work made at Fat Cat Fab Lab:
E, (“Euler's number"), is a mathematical constant found in nature, which measures a precise and recurring rate of growth and decay. The paper used in the series, E, is cut with a laser machine, transforming each piece of paper into an object that is literally made out of the number sequence E - 2.71828…(etc..). Before cutting each work I created imagery of contact between people with watercolor paint. The number sequence expresses an analysis of growth and decay through scientific method and observation while the paintings express perceptions of growth and decay through physical sensation.
By using two strongly contrasting techniques, (hand and machine made), the physical work echoes the conceptual idea of combining sensory/emotive understanding with rational logic. These two "opposing" ways of perceiving the world are considered opposites in our culture, but in reality cannot be divorce from each other. The final art pieces are objective and intimate, mechanical and intuitive. The viewer can choose to focus on the "rationality" in the numbers, or the "sensuality" in the bodies, or both. Whichever perspective is chosen, each remains equally significant within the physical object.
About fcfl: "Everyone was very kind and helped me figure out how to make the work with the laser machine. I didn't know how to use any of the equipment when I first got there."
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw
Conor is Irish, lives in Brooklyn, and works as an architect at Toshiko Mori in Soho. He studied at the Dublin Institute of Technology for five years for a Bachelor of Architecture Degree, then graduated in 2015 from Harvard Graduate School of Design with a Masters in Architecture. As demonstrated by the Bow Spring Chair shown here, he is very interested in product and furniture design, and is currently developing a line of furniture based around the idea of the bow spring structure.
Conor is fairly familiar with most of the woodworking tools, laser cutter, CNC, 3D printers, and just started getting into electronics and Arduino. For the Bow Spring Chair, he used fcfl's woodshop tools, CNC, and 3D printer. The legs and arms of the chair are made from 1/8” steam bent, glue laminated strips of ash. A CNC milled MDF formwork was required for the glue lamination of the legs and the seat of the chair. Conor also printed out a number of 1/10th scale models of the on the lab’s 3D printers to see how the bows preformed and how the designs looked aesthetically.
You can find out more about Conor's work at:
About fcfl: " The people and facilities at the lab are an invaluable resource to me."
Howard left Wayne University to move to New York, where he worked as a scenic carpenter, building sets and props for photographers and off-broadway productions. In addition, he built furniture for sale. In 1975, he got a contract to write a book for apartment dwellers who wanted to build their own furniture: this was published in 1977 under the title The Apartment Carpenter. After twelve years of professional woodworking, he left the scenic carpenter business and in 1986 became a Computer Operator at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, part of NYU. This was the same year the punch card readers were retired, and personal computer labs were opened. A few years later he was managing the computer labs, and gave weekly tutorials on computer topics to students and staff.
Howard became interested in Astronomy after reading The Golden Book of Stars and Planets. In 1999 he bought a good telescope, a Meade ETX-125 f/15 Maksutov-Cassegrain with go-to and tracking capability. In 2009 the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched. One of the goals of the mission was to gather topographic data accurate to 10 meters for the entire surface of the Moon. He began making molds of the lunar surface using a CNC machine, and duplicating them on a vacuform machine he built, which is currently at fcfl.
You can learn more about Howard's amazing history of making things at:
And see his lunar surface models at:
"yes you CAN!"
Fortune Chalme is an artist and designer residing in N.Y.C. She received a B.F.A. from The School of Visual Arts. Fortune creates custom Jewish ritual objects. She uses the laser cut machine as a way to create cutting edge designs while still preserving tradition.
Currently, Fortune spends much of her time creating leather challah covers. A challah cover is a Jewish ritual piece that is traditionally used at the Sabbath table to cover the bread. She develops her designs on the computer, then laser cuts them and has them sewn.
You can see more of Fortune's work on Instagram:
Christopher is a full time I.T. Manager for a New York tech start up, photographer and ceramic artist living in Brooklyn. He has a passion for creating things with his hands and is fascinated by what's possible with digital fabrication. Christopher's work is an exploration on how those two things can compliment each other.
Christopher has been working on a series in which he utilizes the digital fabrication process to design and create support structures for his hand crafted ceramic work. He uses the Ultimaker printers at fcfl to prototype his designs and then cut or mill out parts with the laser and CNC machine. He has also loaned the lab his professional studio lighting kit for any members interested in photographing their work.
See more of Christopher's work on his website: