Opposable Thumbs

We tackle a new creative challenge every two weeks and talk about our accomplishments, failures and lessons learned.

About the show

We (Taylor Hokanson and Rob Ray) assign ourselves (and a guest) a new creative challenge every two weeks. We then talk about our discoveries, problems, solutions, failures and successes and.... try to steer clear of catastrophic shop accidents.

Opposable Thumbs on social media

Episodes

  • Episode 66: Marathon

    November 7th, 2019  |  49 mins 6 secs
    array, art, backups, challenge, chicago, creativity, fail2ban, files, fip, htpc, los angeles, mdfind, media center, nas, qnap, raid, raspberry pi, rsync, shucking, spotlight, storage, tarpitting, vpn

    Rob and Taylor tackle the Marathon challenge! They dig into the complexities of data storage and archiving. We creative people who document our work in photos, videos, and text. It's a huge pile of digital stuff! We decided to converse three separate times as we tackled the worlds of atx, microatx, minitx, drive shucking, mdfind, RAID, NAS, DAS, VPN, and file recovery! Taylor got called a FIP.

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Wesley Ellis, Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs

  • Episode 65: Soil

    October 24th, 2019  |  59 mins 47 secs
    adobe illustrator, art, challenge, chicago, creativity, design, distortion, electronics, emoji. fly, los angeles, making, poop, sugar, turntablism

    Antonio Garcia is our guest! Chicago in tha house! Soil is our challenge! Thanks to Bamanya Brian for tha challenge!

    Taylor puts his Panteras on one NPN transistor at a time. Antonio pays tribute to 16-bit fart jokes most American's didn't get to enjoy in 1987. Rob has his patience tested by a very chill fly.

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Wesley Ellis, Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs

  • Episode 64: Vulnerability

    October 7th, 2019  |  53 mins 9 secs
    ants, art, challenge, chicago, creativity, electronic music, electronics, javascript, kampala, learning to code, los angeles, making, modular synthesizers, syllabus, techno, uganda

    Bamanya Brian is our guest! Kampala, Uganda in tha house! Vulnerability is our challenge! Thanks to Antonio Martinez for tha challenge!

    Taylor takes us on a chemically induced dive into surrealisms!
    Brian hacks the system with light and radio!
    Rob tackles function = toSyllabus(hangup, weeks, feedback) { //lots of work. }

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Wesley Ellis, Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs

  • Episode 63: Scale

    September 26th, 2019  |  53 mins 23 secs
    3d scanning, art, baking, being wrong, bonneville salt flats, cast iron, casting, challenge, chicago, creativity, los angeles, making, nutraloaf, outdated, photography, scale, seasoning, tintype, trains, wet plate collodion

    Antonio Martinez is our guest! Carbondale, IL in tha house! Scale is our challenge! Thanks to Deborah Maris Lader for tha challenge!

    Rob shows some lurve to tha curve. Antonio shows how to train your basement. Taylor may have formed a new industrial band.

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs

  • Episode 62: Capital

    September 12th, 2019  |  1 hr 2 mins
    art, casting, challenge, chicago, coins, collaboration, copper, creativity, electronics, group work, head, little free library, los angeles, making, money, printmaking, rhino, temporary services

    Deborah Lader, artist and founder/director of the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative is our guest this episode! Chicago in tha house!

    Capital is our challenge!
    Deborah, Taylor and Rob dive into the joys of music playing and project longevity. Chicago Printmakers just turned 30! We also talk about working in groups (Shout out to the art-making and publishing group Temporary Services) and the creative power of collectivity.

    Taylor adds value. Deborah dreams with the fishes. Rob might have the cable you're looking for.

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs

  • Episode 61: Summer Road Trip!

    August 5th, 2019  |  10 mins 52 secs
    art, challenge, chicago, creativity, duck duck go, los angeles, making, road trips, summer, warping, wood

    Summer Roadtrip! No guests or challenges this summer but we're well prepared for Back to School this fall! Taylor is headed to the Franconia Sculpture Park iron pouring residency in Minnesota. Rob is breaking his brain while building a vanity. We talk about Duck Duck Go, wood warpage and things going sideways.

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs

  • Episode 60: Five Questions

    June 28th, 2019  |  48 mins 1 sec
    art, baking, challenge, chicago, cooking, creativity, eating, gamedev, history, ideation, iron pouring, isometric, learning, los angeles, making, mapeditor, minecraft, new things, practice, questions, sade, sweden, technology, themes, tiled

    Taylor and Rob ask each other five questions.

    And they talk about the end, and maybe return of, artisanal desktop software. Finding and having your community really helps.

    Also a shout out to Vance Maker, Tim Sway and the Reclaimed Audio podcast.

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs

  • Episode 59: Liberation

    June 7th, 2019  |  57 mins 46 secs
    adobe illustrator, art, challenge, chicago, chicago river, creativity, design, fair use, fashion, femdom, hannah arendt, los angeles, magnet fishing, making, maps, new models podcast, photography, sumptuary code, the great british baking show, workers cooperatives, zozo

    Liberation is our challenge this episode! Thanks to Erin O'Brien for the challenge! Abigail Glaum-Lathbury is our guest this episode! Chicago in tha house! For nearly a decade Abigail produced a women’s ready to wear collection that showed during New York Market week and sold national ly and internationally. Her recent work takes the form of a counter-practice within the emergent field of critical fashion.

    We learn about Abigail's educational platform and free online pattern library called Genuine Unauthorized Clothing Clone Institute, (Project G.U.C.C.I.). Abigail also shares many great aspects of digital printing on cloth.

    Rob puts liberation on the map or... maybe... the map on liberation?Abigail decouples us from failed business models. Taylor conjures the energies of chance and the rare-earths.

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs

  • Episode 58: Hashtag

    May 24th, 2019  |  44 mins 38 secs
    art, challenge, chicago, creativity, dance, dance movement therapy, federico tobon, hashtags, instagram, kickstarter, libra pondo, los angeles, making, rabbit holes, robocop, scifi, tantric sex, the great british baking show, unnamed reverse engineering podcast

    Hashtag is our challenge this episode! Thanks to Federico Tobon for the challenge! We have no guest this episode. Just Taylor and Rob #putting #pound #signs #in #front #of #everything.

    Taylor digs into dance movement therapy! Pretty cool stuff! Good job body!

    Taylor pulls together the topics of USAmerican football to telephones to twitter in a way that no hashtag can.
    Rob applies "social media strategy" to what he makes and it felt pretty meh. But #colorfulfashion IS pretty cool.

    Instagram is weird. Jorge, Deb Chachra, Molly Allis and Erin O'Brien are awesome.

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs

  • Episode 57: Balancing Act

    May 10th, 2019  |  58 mins 30 secs
    art, bench dogs, challenge, chicago, chopsaws, creativity, diegetic, dinosaurs, epoxy, figma, github, glue scrapers, glue up, john malecki, kevin kelly, knifemaking, kt boundary, lid, los angeles, making, pot, self publishing, star citizen, vaporware, weed, woodshop, workbenches

    Balancing Act is our challenge this episode! Thanks to Emily Kuehn for the challenge! We have no guest this episode. Just Taylor and Rob left alone with the cavernous echoes of their own thoughts.

    Rob talks about getting duped by an Instagram ad. Maybe. Or maybe he just duped himself. They also talk about the very vaporware-y Star Citizen game and the pitfalls of crowdfunded things. Rob is pretty into the word "diegetic."We also talk about listmaking, productivity, the ever-fascinating KT boundary and the poetry of iPhone file name sequences. Also chop saws, bench dogs and glue scrapers, Figma and GitHub. We also remind ourselves to not dig into our opinions too deeply. Things change.

    Rob get's right to the point. The guilt was too much to bear. Taylor was on the skids but ended up putting the glow up in his glue up!

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs

  • Episode 56: Anonymous

    April 26th, 2019  |  55 mins 15 secs
    art, cable television, challenge, chicago, creativity, data, drum machines, facebook, ken nordine, kids, los angeles, making, mark zuckerberg, parenting, star trek, swing, time, unity3d, violin

    Emily Kuehn is our guest this episode! Chicago in tha house!

    We talk about The Black Egg and kid feelings. Taylor's Sledgehammer Keyboard brought Taylor, Emily and Rob all together before so this feels a bit like a reunion... without all that face pain stuff. We also talk about time management for art-making. It pretty much sucks.

    Taylor has a Ken Nordine moment and "puts the mask on now." Emily makes an awesomely weird app. Rob puts a lot of work into ping pong balls.

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs

  • Episode 55: Citizen Science

    April 12th, 2019  |  45 mins 50 secs
    akira, art, beastie boys, bosozoku, challenge, chicago, creativity, cultural appropriation, demons, dog poop, esp8266, florida man, frys, godspeed! you black emperor, iot, kt boundary, lil jon, los angeles, magnetic fields, making, marlon james, microcenter, rap, smtp, smtp2go, third bass, white guys

    Citizen Science is our challenge! Thanks to Vanessa Rey and Ariel Lynne for the challenge! We have no guest this episode, except you dear listener! Taylor and Rob wade hip deep into the challenge with their phasers set to stun.

    Rob wonders if his dog is impacted by the earth's magnetic fields. Taylor logs onto the Internet of Sewage Holes.

    They also talk about sewer gas, Bosozoku culture, and try to tease apart differences between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. And they talk about dinosaur death (yikes!) and the band "Godspeed! You Black Emperor" whose name comes from "The Black Emperors," a Japanese biker gang. Serendipitously, they would also craft a pretty great soundtrack for the destruction of the Earth's atmosphere.

    Also, a shoutout to the Paper Boys Podcast. Check em out! Charlie and James unravel the actual journal papers behind these latest headlines in science news, breaking down complicated topics and calling out misinformation in the media. (http://http://paperboyspodcast.com)

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs

  • Episode 54: Chemistry

    March 29th, 2019  |  1 hr 2 mins
    3dhubs, 99% invisible, analytical chemistry, art, bedo's leatherworks, biochemistry. 3d printing, bioplastic, challenge, chicago, chris reilly, composting, creativity, dd-wrt, diylilcnc, dungeons and dragons, fusion 360, glass, inorganic chemistry, kickstarter, los angeles, makerbot, making, materials science, monarch wellness fair, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, recycling, shapeways, trophies

    Vanessa Rey and Ariel Lynne are our guests this episode! Chicago in tha house!

    We talk about the beauty and fun of bioplastics, product design and the challenges of Kickstarter! We also nerd out about Dungeons and Dragons, 99% Invisible, Bedo's Leatherworks, DD-WRT and the Monarch Wellness Fair. Yep, you've found your people!

    Tayler gets his molecules on track. Vanessa whips up a prize winning prize (we're stoked and humbled!). Ariel is inspired by the 5 branches. Rob has the power!

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs

  • Episode 53: Periscope

    March 12th, 2019  |  57 mins 34 secs
    ab dick, arduino, art, bookbinding, bookmaking, challenge, chemistry, chicago, co-op, creativity, demon core, design, dimethylmercury, drill, flipbooks, friendship, graphic design, grasshopper, ichat, karen wetterhahn, letterpress, los angeles, making, making your own clothes, mirages, motorcycle jack, ombré effect, papermaking, prince, printmaking, prints, seawitches, sewing machines, tables, tickling the dragon's tail, vandercook

    Printmaker Amy Leners is our guest this episode! Chicago in tha house! "Periscope" is our challenge! Thanks Ranjit Bhatnagar for the challenge!

    Taylor slices... he dices.... And then he is bitten by a grasshopper.
    Amy makes a book and Taylor and Rob flip for it! Ombré!
    Rob pursues powerlifting for people who sew.

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs

  • Episode 52: Camouflage

    February 26th, 2019  |  47 mins 39 secs
    arduino, art, bruce nauman, caa, casting, challenge, chicago, creativity, grafitti, los angeles, making, manhattan, moldmaking, moldmax 60, motor controller, neon, pololu, sharenting, silicone, whale guts, youtube

    No guest this week! Just Rob and Taylor excited to be talking to one another.
    Rob and Taylor dive in on projects!
    Rob jiggles it... just a little bit.
    Taylor puts the imp in imposter.

    Taylor also discovers "sharenting." Yowch. Bruce Nauman is a wacky dude. Roger Corman is too.

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs

  • Episode 51: Backwards Safety Dance

    February 13th, 2019  |  43 mins 46 secs
    555, apc, art, atari punk console, attiny, augmented reality glasses, bacon, badge life, bose, breadboarding, challenge, chicago, creativity, electronics, fiberglass, flux, forrest mims, fr4tg130, henry rollins, knolling, leadfree, los angeles, magica voxel, making, oshpark, r kelly, solder paste, soldering, sound, stepped tone generator, surface mount

    No guest this week! Just Rob and Taylor going big and then also going home.

    Rob and Taylor dive in on relational aesthetics, branding and wanting to think the person whose art you like isn't a giant butthole. R. Kelly, Carl Andre and Henry Rollins walk into a bar... Which person's art do choose to like? And then we deep dive into electronics.

    Taylor reaches the melting point!
    Rob conjures triple five soulessness

    Go see Taylor at the Hilton Bar in Manhattan! Whew! That was a lot of talking about electronics!

    You can check out our projects at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com

    Props to Blondihacks, Nik Kantar, Walter Kitundu, Federico Tobon, Kelly Martin, Luke Noonan, Mike Tully, Adam Mayer, David Bellhorn, Tim Sway and Charlene McBride! They're our top Patreon supporters! Join 'em at: https://www.patreon.com/opposablethumbs