Welcome to Widdershins Way.
I void warranties...
I was one of those kids who would bust open every toy I got. It drove my parents nuts. I found fun exploring the toy's inner gubbins after the superficial play value had worn thin. Luckily, I didn't grow up to be a psychopath or amateur surgeon.
Like some stone age hominid cracking nuts, I'd split toys open with a half-brick. Later I learned to use less destructive methods. In time by accident, I formed a basic understanding of how toys worked and were constructed. It wasn't long before I started modifying my toys. From improving and hybridizing my toys, I developed a broader interest in mechanics and electronics. One day at school, I swapped an ice-cream container with a few small mud crabs I'd got from the beach, for a handful of Lego-technic. The crabs soon died but the Lego got me started designing simple machines. My Mum later bought me more Lego as I needed it. My Dad who was always tinkering with interesting things in his shed, gave me electric motors, light bulbs and other bits and pieces.
I had a lot of fun creating my own "franken-gadgets" from pieces of Lego glued, sticky-taped and blu-tacked to other junk. I built remote controlled robots, LED dragons, pop stick fans, rubber-band helicopters and vibrating autonomous machines, all created from whatever I could lay my hands on. When I wasn't wreaking havoc on my toys, I would spend hours drawing robots, highly detailed spacecraft and just about anything science-fictiony and cool.
After high school some time was spent as a house painter and landscape gardener, but neither of those really meshed and I was easily bored.
Eventually, I went back to school and wound up at Curtin University, studying Design. At the time the course was divided into two streams; 2D studies and 3D studies, 3D being further divided into Product Design and Human-environment Design. After first year, trying a bit of everything, I homed in on Product Design.
It's hard to summarize my Uni' experience. I enjoyed it a LOT! Working in an environment where new ideas are actively encouraged and further developed... In my final year I discovered the seemingly limitless energy having passion for a subject can give a student. I went on to build a full-sized science fiction prop set as my final project. It included a working (non-lethal) mini-gun, a full suit of cyber-armor, a burrowing grenade, a switchblade dagger and a hip mounted GPS/sat-nav. I spent around 400 hours on that project, every morning I would wake up with a silly smile on my face, I couldn't wait to get into the workshop and get building.
After Uni', I almost immediately went on to start my professional career with a small toy design company (LPP), designing toys for the 0-6 age group. It was a real kick the first time I saw my products on the shelves at Target and Kmart. My Uni' Product Design lecturer got me that job, thanks Steve!
Here then, is a collection of my professional & personal projects, hobbies and other fun stuff I've worked on over the years.