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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ryan Rutherford - brutherford.com - etc..







I am extrodinarily pleased to finally do a formal feature on Ryan Rutherford, (Pratt ID grad, 2001). I've kept up with Ryan over the years, and have presented him here, his blog, his iconic designs, awards, and so forth but never properly featured him in the rounded manner in which his work deserves.

Ryan is about to lauch his own storefront website: brutherford industries, www.brutherford.com

Join his blog, for his designs, his relentless humor, and fascinating insights: Bloggerford

Ryan is famous for his iconic design of the "CUZ" series dog toy. Most of us only dream about designing something like that, marketing like that, production like this!

I've been watching Ryan apply his production chops to his scuplture work over the years, and they payoff is now in - nearly in - with a growing series of production designed sculptures that are fantastic and destined to rule the design and sculpture world in no time. He's got his rotocaster working, his years.... I should just let him fill you in: Per a recent correspondence;

"brutherford industries (the website) will go live for sales hopefully before Christmas, I am actually heading to china for a few weeks so everything is going on pause until I get back. basically i have spent 10 years now working in design and manufacturing and I really thrive where the two overlap, I think I have a perspective on manufacturing that most designers don’t and vice versa.It’s really easy to get what you want in manufacturing as a designer if you understand the fine details of manufacturing… clearly there needs to be an understanding of materials but further it’s important to understand how molds are built, how your design affects the choice of machinery and to me the most important has become how you can design to be compassionate to the labor force that produces your product. On the flip side it’s important as a manufacturer to understand and care about why designers have made certain decisions and to know that there is always a discussion to be had about the value of any change that might be made and I find that if there is an open dialogue from the start of a project between designer and manufacturer that things usually work out the best. anyway… why am I rambling and telling you all of this?

Because that has led me to where I am now, I want to MAKE stuff… beautiful stuff, fun stuff.

I’ve been collecting machinery from tech schools and boarded up mold shops and assembled my own home-brew, punk-rock factory and I have a huge network of existing manufacturers that I know and trust both abroad and domestic. I really don’t know how to describe what I am doing but I think the current overview is that brutherford industries is going to be a collection of fun stuff that I am making and selling, sometimes made in my own facility (mostly made in my own facility to start) sometimes outsourced to people with better systems and machinery than I currently have. I have piles of my own designs, 7 of which are at a stage where the only thing left to do is build molds and then inventory plus I have a list of people lined up who want me to produce their goods. Each of my initial launches will be paired with some graphic element designed by one of a few amazing artist and designers I know, maybe it’s just packaging or a limited edition print. I think the unifying theme is that it’s going to be stuff that I think is fun or witty in some way and as much as possible produced in the US and with the most efficient systems as possible. I won’t claim that only domestic manufacturing, certified non toxic, recycled, post consumer… whatever is acceptable because I think those issues are far deeper than most people understand. But I will be conscious of every decision I make and material or process I choose. I’m not sure of my end goal or how big I hope to grow this… maybe this is the beginning of my EMPIRE!!!"

I do believe in this Empire. Ryan graduated the same year with Josh Longo, and they are looking to collaborate - combining forces, leashing their empires! So damned great!!

In addition to the great success of his commercial designs, sculptures, blog-world, and new website - (stay tuned for the launch) Ryan notes his development of mechanical processes - tooling and machining designs that allow for production of hitherto never-before-seen methods of fabrication and tooling - (potential confidentiality and intellectual property rights prevent me from noting specifics)!!

And to finish up, between the cars, the costumes, and the observations in his blog, Ryan has been keeping me on my toes with envy and admiration! Congratulations for the dawn of a new empire!