Zack Jacobson-Weaver

Zack Jacobson-Weaver's photo

A&D Studio Coordinator

Zack Jacobson-Weaver is the Materials Fabrication Studio Coordinator at A&D, a role he's been playing for the past 3.56 years. You can call him Mr. MFSC, sir! He did his undergraduate degree right here at A&D where he majored in sculpture (back when they had majors at this school). His interests include: Wife, dog-man Kenai, Mother Nature, Art, Design, the interface between high-tech and traditional ways of “making”, the future of human existence and the role of the artist in... DUN DUN DAAAAHH!

Posts by Zack Jacobson-Weaver



Here is all I've hoped you've gotten from me.  This is one of my favorite college professors.






Crazy Ideas?  Yes, please.

(bill & TED)


In case you've been living in a vacuum (I hope it's a Dyson) for the past couple months you should know about TEDxUofM: an event encouraging CRAZY ideas worth sharing. This one is being organized by students (lots from A&D), faculty, and a couple measly staffers who are bringing the format of the amazing TED talks to the Michigan Theatre on April, 8.  If you can't make the event (which is almost sold out), you can watch the live streaming version at several campus locations and on-line at the website.

My involvement grew out of a heavy addiction to TED injections from the past several years including talks by Ray Kurzweil, Theo Jansen and Mae Jemison.  So, naturally, when A&D undergrad Dylan Box sent out the open call for design team members, I signed up as fabricator for the students' crazy design ideas, including the Michigan-Daily-Frontpage-Stealing Diag Day...

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Rebel Spies Steal Plans


Remember when R2-D2 was carrying secret plans for the Death Star and shot that cute little image of Princess Leia into Luke's garage? No. Well...shit. This is no further along than any holography I've seen yet. Basically you still need a material substrate to project on. However, as "projection mapping" picks up popularity, people are doing some sweet stuff with it. Among the best I've seen:

Do this one with full audio cause it's a jam. Etienne De Crecy

This one's insane too

This is much subtler, but elegant and effective. Pablo Valbuena

How is it done?.......
Kind of like this...our first in-studio attempt with help from Mat Schwartz.



Robots Not Uprising, but Sitting


Hey y'all.  Just came across this crazy article about Rapid Prototyping with much less size limitation.  There is a question though.  How do people feel about robots taking over making stuff?  What is the artists role?  The designer?  Do you harbor irrational fears of robots.  Some say they cannot feel (Andre!).  Is a robot-made-object devoid of emotion?  Do robots get paid to do this?  If so, are we talking, like, 30k, 50k, what?  You tell me.  Let's use this a blog.


Endless from Dirk Vander Kooij on Vimeo.


Intuition?  This program simulates "phonesthesia", converting sounds into images.




Hallo-Hell Yeah!

Congratulations Roger! Heh Heh

People!  Way to pull together!  With little more than a week's notice A&D students rose from the grave to rock out the FIRST ANNUAL -SAS- A&D HALLOWEEN PARTY!  That's right!  Next year and forevermore it is upon you, the students, to uphold this awesome new tradition, make it bigger, make it better and get more people involved!

The dark night was haunted by tons of candy of course, boogers and dags, Dr Jekyll's mystery punch, a Hollywood quality fog machine, DJ-Auto Darkhorse, Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Trumpey/Banks/Krecic, and the horrificly bastardized A&D Costume Contest Trophy (nice work Steph!) dragged out of the bowels of Hell itself which was taken this year by....SEAN DARBY!!!  Sean, as seen below resurrected the eyeball kid, "Roger", from Paul Ruben's "Pee Wee's Playhouse".  Sean reportedly worked through the night Thursday to pull off one of the best homemade costumes...

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Halloween going to the Dogs


For three years my Halloweens have been going down hill.  Ironic considering I'm in the middle of a so called creative community.  Hmmm....what could I do about that?
Would the A&D community be willing to outfox these dogs and begin a new tradition?  Do you have the cajones to compete with your fellow dudes and chicks for the best bragging rights ever?  Should we have the city's best costume contest ever?
Give me some feedback.  I hear nothing, again I sit on my porch and hand out candy to the 3 kids that actually come to my house erstwhile devouring said candy and getting blocked arteries.  Don't block my arteries.  Who wansa potty?  RSVP...
We can beat this!



iPad rocks!

Touchdown Michigan

Cripes!  Sorry no updates from the studio for 3 weeks, but the truth is, we're too damn busy right now to stop and take pictures.  If anyone else has some, send 'em in.  Because slow, we are not.  The studio is re...diculous busy right now.  One thing I didn't miss was the esteemed Jeff Han of TED talks fame.  Jeff was brought in by TCAUP who also brought in a delicious rotisserie-ed goat today in a bacchanalian great-Friday feast.  Nice one Lone Star Kennedy!


Mr Han is famous for being one of the first developers of the multi-touch computer screen now almost made ubiquitous via iPhone and Droid.  Everyone was truly engaged in the presence of the source of their incessant IM-ing and F-booking.  Han definitely put on a show, nearly two hours, of his company's recent innovations on the now-expected interface.  For some of us, the highlight was the development of 3D...

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Spring What!?

John, Ringo...where's Paul and George? Florida?!

Can't really call it the student weekly.  Cannot call it "break".  Simply no rest for the wicked.  The mood was relaxed and energized.  Progress was made.  And Spring shone its lovely face, with temps exceeding 40º F!  F!  Here was the company this week...

John and guest star Ringo join us to move "Neo-Pastoral" pieces to Work Detroit gallery, opening March 13.

With two months before graduation, Isaac and Alex move too fast for the camera.  Hot wax, holes in their pants, and open-toed shoes.  All rules are off on Spring Break, you rebels.

Eric...uh......well.....Eric lives here.  No surprise to see him.

Erica unwraps bodies in the meat locker for the...

Cannibal Chili cook-off!  (Mine was voted "the worst" by one judge.  Did you hear the new's today?  I suck at making chili!  How can you suck at making chili?) Grand Prize goes to Jason Berryhill.

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IDEO, or “I, thee owe.”

"D"esign or "d"esign?

On Thursday representatives of IDEO, the venerated design consultancy company gave a presentation to a standing-room-only crowd in the Pierpont Commons, North Campus.  I attended as one interested in the direction of a multi-national design firm specifically addressing what they referred to as sustainable "Social Impact" projects.  What does a think-tank like IDEO do to help humanity?  I left thinking the answer to that question part-time.  

Part of what they showed is genuinely progressive, powerfully humanistic, and what I feel is the real potential of "big D" Design.  The rest was typical, status quo, profit-driven faux-altruism dressed up in a sweatshop t-shirt that say's "I'm Soooo Sustainable, Yo! © "  I'm sorry, I like making money too, but the poster didn't read "Shareholders Meeting", and anyone with any global sensibility could see holes in the "bad...

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Sculpt Weekly 2.22.10

Workin' It!

I relish in the moments to admit I was wrong.  It means that my workload may be reduced due to lack of faith in my ability, judgement, etc.  And I can start doing the work of one gorilla, rather than 10 gorillas.  This week I was proven wrong in thinking that, on average, our students can be tremendous SLACKERS!  Not true.  I was wrong, again.  Know how I know?  Because I feel like I got hit by a bus load of Spring Breakers heading for some warm watering hole.

This week was actually TOO BUSY TO DOCUMENT!  So if you're reading this, know you can help by sending in pictures, videos, etc.  Uh...I think that's the point of these bloggy, hopey, changey things.  Send MONEY!  So to speak.

Here are some highlights, with a notable addition: I'm posting images of DRAWINGS!  Why?  Because these particular drawings kick A.  And drawing, as you well know, is the cornerstone of any...

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Digital Ceramics!

We've recently been experimenting with how to combine our RP and SRP technologies with ceramics.  What's the draw? For starters, the amazing material properties of ceramics combined with freeform and rapid fabrication tech has potential too grand and various to innumerate.  How about a custom suit of fireproof dragon scales?  Rock!  Here's some of what we're up to now...

These lovely nugs were printed with the help of Shawn at the UM 3D Lab, right across the street from A&D.  This is a mixture of terra cotta, PVA and sugar; a recipe we got through a virtual collaboration with ME researchers at U-Dub, the University of Washington, Seattle. You can read about their work and get the recipe for yourself here:  

The pieces were printed in a Zcorp 3D printer with Zb60 binder.  The future? Firing...

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Sculpture Student Weekly

Getting Busy!

  One week before spring break!  The pace is seriously picking up.  Here's some crazy highlights:


Professor Lou Marinaro, looking very Blue Steel,  goes Jack Sparrow style for this week's bronze pour.

3rd year MFA J.D. sparks one up with three thin fellows. His favorite part of this day: the incredible talent of his assistants (sound right, John?)  Big feature story to follow!

Oleg, A&D's only enrolled vampire, works on his new formula for SPF 6000...OR...breathes through two Bic pens for an hour while me and Captain Leyland make a body cast.  What's the deal?

Let's just say, "The Iceman Cometh!"

Emily (a.k.a. Boba Fett)  explores alternative Spring Break: tanning a'la TIG welder while slaying a bronze dragon!

Meghan decides to resurrect the Dodo bird with something a bit more durable than Dodo bird, i.e. BRONZE!  Extinct this Mutha Naycha!  Here...

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Self-Healing Sculpture

 This bronze statue known as "The Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-Daro" is about 4500 years old.  Bronze has been used in sculpture for it's balance of  workability and durability.  Workability being relative.  Today we can cast a full size human figure in bronze in a matter of months.  It is known that bronze statues from antiquity (on a LARGE scale) took as many as  25 YEARS  to complete.  That's like a 124-credit class or something.  

HOWEVER, students from TU Delft ( ) in the Design/Engineering program may have beaten bronze with concrete!  Yea, concrete, the stuff that rips the tie-rods out of your car while bouncing through potholes in (ahem....sorry Mr. Steve) some place like Detroit.  How is that possible?  Self-healing concrete, duh!  Self-Healing sculpture: that's what I'm talkin' about.


Sounds like all of us will be outlived by...
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Student Weekly

What's really happening 'round hyah?

Here's the first of a weekly post topic entitiled "WHO ARTED".  I'll do my best to post some of the major (and not so major) happenings around the studio and anywhere else I see awesomeness ensuing.  Please feel free to send images along with the names of conspirators and accomplices in any creative projects from any local folks.  Here's the week of 2.1.10.  One month of butt kickin' down.  Mr. Sulu, warp 2!

Casey vs Steel Wire: Steel Wire 10, Casey 3: Hard fought battle.  Casey is a first year student undertaking the arduous task of life-size figure sculpture.  Lots of smash-mouth Iron-Woman torch-burning carnage.  NOT ALL OF THEM WILL SURVIVE! Those who do, will be able to make anything in the 3rd dimension.......and beyond.

The foundry is in full swing this semester.  Students in the bronze casting class rock it out here with Gort (at left) who is surprising...

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Notes from the Studio

University, what does it mean to me?  It means having kick a%* neighbors, for starters.  Like Mick from Architecture.  Mick Kennedy asked me and good pal John Leyland to participate in a review of his UG2 (2nd year undergrads) students' new work.  The pieces were inspired by various architectural icons and their sites.  Students had to analyze the sites and redesign their use of the Mound, Hearth, Screen, and Roof into a functioning lamp.

The atmosphere was so swanky, I suggested Kenny G.  But serious work deserves a serious review....and junk food.  Here's what we saw:

Nate Krueger (Stephen Holl office building)      


Brittany Roy (San Fran Federal Building)

Kevin Swanson (Yokohama Terminal)                 

Ed Burkhead (Holl office)

Jungmin Yoo (Holl office)                                        

Gian Tanamal and Anthony Soave (Beijing...

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Waste Not!

It's not hard to see at the end of the day that our practice is not exactly Al Gore's personal stretch Prius.  We generate A LOT of waste.  I do a bunch of extra work to salvage usable material and GIVE IT AWAY to starving students.  Plus, nothing bothers me more than sweat-shop T-shirts from Target that say " Green is the new..." whatever.  It's not a fad....I hope.

Yes. You.  Do it.



Zcorp is Dead!

I can regain my 20's!  Here's some great news.  As science and art continue some very hot fusion, our friends in med-research are one-upping Skynet with manufactured Natural-Intelligence.  Think about it...with your spare.


But what about brains?  Zombie fast food:
A whole new twist on figure sculpture.



Behold!  Sculpture!

more like...Dick Grayson

There’s a lot going on here, so try to keep up.  What I do is take a bunch of young excited artists behind the scenes of creating pretty much anything they can imagine in the third dimension.  Metal casting…check.  Metal fabrication…check.  Wood carving, carpentry, construction…check.  Rapid prototyping, CNC…check.  Figure modeling, kinetic, electronic…yup…cheeeyeck!

Oh and, you don’t just swing hammers, you learn about WHAT and WHY Art and Design is along the way.  Technique, history, theory…check.

We are here to have a conversation about that with anyone interested.  We can even disagree!  Type in all caps if you REALLY MEAN IT!  At least believe in what you say, because playing “artist”, faking “designer”, won’t cut it here.  This is the Sculpture Studio of A&D, The University of Michigan.  I am not Bruce Wayne, (crap!).  But sculpture Ninja?  Perhaps.  Zack, will...

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