This month Home Truths talks with Jeff Sanders, software professional by day and Lego bender by night……
You’ve just sold your home, what are you going to miss most?
That’s a tough question. Sarah Jane and I will miss a lot of things. It was a great house on a great street, and it was the place where our kids really grew up. We left behind the spot where we marked our kids’ height over the last seven years! But in the end it was all about space (and not having enough of it) and it was time to move on. Someone else gets to enjoy it now, which makes us happy.
What are you most looking forward to in the next home you buy?
Space! (Have I mentioned space?) Our little family has grown a lot over the years, including the addition of Sarah’s parents emigrating from England. Our next house needs to accommodate our family plus grandparents in a way that allows us to maximize our separation while still having shared areas. We love Bob & Jean (my in-laws) and I can’t adequately express how great/amazing/helpful it has been having them with us to help manage our crazy busy family. ‘In-laws’ are notoriously difficult but I have to say that I won the lottery in this regard. It’s not always perfect, but I wouldn’t trade our situation for anything. However, making sure we all have enough space is tops on our priority list. That and a good neighborhood. No small challenge!
Where do you go to escape the heat during the summer months?
This summer has turned me into an HVAC engineer. I’ve organized several window AC units and a system for pulling the cold air down from the second floor to the mail level. It’s not perfect, but I’ve managed to keep our house fairly cool, and our upstairs like a meat locker. It’s amazing! I’m a homebody so having a house that I don’t need to escape from is very important. Having friends with pools is also a big plus. : )
Tell us about Brick Bending. What is it and where can we get the finished products?
Brick Bending is what I call my unique form of LEGO art. Being a LEGO artist puts you in a very exclusive niche of nerdom, which I’m very proud of. I have a background in mathematics, I think very visually, and really I’m just a big kid inside, so when you mix all that up with a quarter million pieces of LEGO you get a whole lot of amazing, unorthodox weirdness. I hadn’t touched LEGO in 20 years, but when my kids were old enough I decided to get them some of the toys that I loved as a kid. While we built together I discovered some very weird/exciting bending properties that you get when you string a lot of small pieces together. This allowed me to build smooth circles, elliptic and hyperbolic geometry, and all sorts of crazy geometrical designs. That led to a Kickstarter project, some national and international attention, and a small exhibit at OMSI. Since then I’ve been escalating, trying to build life-sized sculptures, and working on a plan for a full scale exhibit. My works aren’t currently for sale, but I do consider commissions. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. but if folks want sneak peeks of the craziest things I’m working on they can consider supporting me on Patreon for just $1—an amazing website that facilitates crowdfunding artists and creatives. https://www.patreon.com/brickbending
What is your favorite piece you ever built and designed, and why?
My favorite piece is called ‘Sphere III’. This was one of my early forays into three dimensional curves, and although the design was sound, the engineering side of putting it together was absolutely infuriating! A month of failed attempts (and the resulting explosions of LEGO flying everywhere) finally came together in a methodology for creating a sphere that’s under tremendous tension, but is in complete equilibrium once it’s put together. It still exists to this day although one big drop would blow it to pieces. I treat it very carefully, obviously.