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 77: Start a Sketchbook

    March 27th, 2020  |  20 mins 12 secs
    art, challenge, chicago, chicago politics, covid, creativity, los angeles, making, pritzker, rumble strip, vermont

    Start a sketchbook! If you already have one, show us what you've got!
    Post what your sketches to #opposable_thumbs hashtag.

    We talk about the Bahn Mi, solar bikes with ham radio rigs, The Clockwork Orange, and boulder traps. We also adore the Rumble Strip podcast! Contribute an audio file to Erica's "Our Show" episode!

    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 76: Boat (2 of 2)

    March 23rd, 2020  |  29 mins 4 secs
    art, boat, challenge, chicago, creativity, instagram, los angeles, making, opposableboat

    We continue the #boat challenge! Make a thing and send it to us! Use the hashtag #opposableboat or just email it to us!

    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

    art, challenge, chicago, creativity, los angeles, making

  • Episode 75: Boat (Jump in our new, shorter and more frequent boat!)

    March 19th, 2020  |  18 mins 31 secs
    art, boat, brazil, challenge, chicago, creativity, los angeles, mad max, making

    Everything else in our lives is changing. So we're changing the podcast format along with it. We (Taylor and Rob) needed quicker and more frequent blasts of creativity. So we're adjusting to podcast to help. Join us! Make a project with the topic boat! Or jump in a boat and make any project! Make your pirate ship flag! Jumble the letters of boat into otab and greet every person you see from 20 feet away with this new non-touching greeting! "Otab!" "Otab to you!" "And a fine Otab to you too!"

    Post what you make to Instagram, Twitter, FB etc with the #opposableboat hashtag! Or just email it to us!

    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 74: The Trolley Problem

    March 9th, 2020  |  47 mins 29 secs
    art, art+music+tech podcast, challenge, chicago, creativity, drawing, i'm sorry john, ipad, ryobi battery, the trolley problem. procreate

    No guest this episode! Just Taylor and Rob talking about stealing, smoking, and physical altercations. Oh, and Key and Peele, too. And Goop.

    Call us with your New Media Support Problems! Call 775-235-2535!

    Rob is on camera. Taylor goes deep on going off the deep end.

    Thanks to Tim Sway for the challenge!

    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

    Rob was on the art+music+tech podcast! Thanks Darwin! Check it: http://artmusictech.libsyn.com/podcast-299-rob-ray-deadtech

  • Episode 73: Brevity also Need Art Support? Call (775) 235-2535

    February 20th, 2020  |  48 mins 4 secs
    art, challenge, chicago, creativity, death clock, huion, instagram, los angeles, lots of small things, making, push sticks, raspberry pi, standing desk, tablet, tara donovan, the trolley problem, touchscreen

    No guest this episode! Just Taylor and Rob talking about Instagram Stories, trying more (and throwing away more) ideas, Tara Donovan, multiples, and push sticks.

    Call us with your New Media Support Problems! Call 775-235-2535!

    Taylor stands in the place where he cooks.
    Rob counts the final countdown.

    Sean, you are missed.

    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 72: Preservation

    February 2nd, 2020  |  41 mins 11 secs
    art, bandersnatch, broken bones, challenge, chicago, creativity, cycling, d3, harry potter, hogwarts house, los angeles, magnet fishing, making, personality tests, photogrammetry, prostate cancer

    No guest this episode! Just Taylor and Rob talking about injuries, personality tests, the Hogwarts House test, Bandersnatch, Instagram Stories, colmap, meshlab, magnet fishing and running over screws with your car.

    Taylor hangs with a bad Hippo.
    Rob resting witch face is so refreshing!

    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 71: Retrograde

    January 11th, 2020  |  53 mins 36 secs
    art, challenge, chicago, creativity, dungeons and dragons, homeless, houseless, industrial culuture handbook, las vegas, los angeles, making, manga, obamaphone, over the garden wall, performance, spk, srl

    Ross Takehashi is our guest! Las Vegas in tha house! Ross is an an sculpture artist and art educator working in cast metals.

    We talk about underappreciated art communities, houseless art makers, casting worms in bronze, animal preservation, taxidermy, cicada shell gundam models and lost sketchbooks.

    Taylor pounds the pixels. Ross presses the FISH button. Rob rolls for damage to the

    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 70: Happy New Year 2020!

    January 2nd, 2020  |  18 mins 36 secs
    art, baby yoda, challenge, chicago, creativity, dawn song, fusion 360, javascript, linkedin learning, los angeles, making, star wars, white fragility

    Happy New Year 2020!!!!

    Thanks to all of our listeners and guests! No challenge this episode. Just a short thank you!

    You say Nevada, I say NevAHda. Taylor is tuning up his Fusion 360 LinkedIn Learning Class. We also talk about Dungeons & Dragons, white fragility, and pacing ourselves--even when trying to learn a new thing.

    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 69: Breathing

    December 20th, 2019  |  57 mins 42 secs
    3d printing, angela sheehan, art, breathing, casting, challenge, chicago, creativity, drumming, expanded notation, franconia sculpture park, iron pouring, kay dartt, los angeles, making, music notation, retrograde, snork, snorks, tesla one way valve, whistle, wood

    Kay Dartt is our guest this episode! West Virginia in tha house! Kay is a 3D fabrication badass so we're really excited to hear more about her work and see what she's created!

    Rob puts the idle in paradiddle. Kay makes our weird bodies even weirder. Taylor toots his own horn.

    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 68: Future Nostalgia

    December 7th, 2019  |  58 mins 47 secs
    adobe spark, art, canned content, challenge, chicago, creativity, drill, interpretation, jen hofer, los angeles, making, motor driver, mystery, mystery guest, photography, poetry, sewing machines, translation

    Jen Hofer is our guest this episode! Los Angeles in the house!

    Taylor fondly reflects on future millennial-turned-boomer maladies. Remember back when our insect protein crumbs would get stuck in the keys of our keyboards?
    Jen asks Taylor and Rob to make connections and draw conclusions.
    Rob stitches 1846 to 2019.

    Thanks to David Picciuto for the Future Nostalgia challenge!

    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 67: Gridlock

    November 19th, 2019  |  1 hr 3 mins
    art, bats, batteries, caves, challenge, checkers, chicago, creativity, exotic woods, jokamm, local business, los angeles, making, omer, radio, rf, sand, stand in the place where you live, utah, woodworking

    David Picciuto is our guest! Toledo, Ohio in tha house! Gridlock is our challenge! Thanks to Liz from Blitz City DIY for tha challenge! We talk about about local businesses, making something through making mistakes, and "Art" (We sipped wine and held our pinky fingers in the air during this part of the discussion.). We got David's rule #6! We also sand in the place where we live.

    Rob takes a trip down guano lane. Yikes. That sounds horrible. David's finishing moves are both infinite and... non-existant. Dude... Taylor puts the Living in living hinge.

    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 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