Category: Design + Features

Juggler Serge Flash

Joculare poster design of juggler Serge Flash
About Serge Flash Serge Flash (1905-1956), born Serge Fomitcheff, was a Russian-American juggler who performed with many props. After the death of Rastelli, it was said he was the only man in the world who juggled nine balls. But his specialty was stick and ball. In addition to technical proficiency, his flair and showmanship brought down the house. In a popular segment, he would catch balls on his mouth stick thrown by patrons in the balcony. He would perform with stick and ball while on unicycle Read More

Monthly Baby Photos

Last June I wrote a short tutorial on how to make a bad photo look good. The subject matter was a photo I took of my one-month-old baby girl. Since then I'm still using the same cheap camera and still need to do a fair amount of Photoshop work to get a result I'm happy with. Also, my wife and I continued to take a photo of our daughter for each month of her first year. The process included some consistent elements across all months: A baby A mattress with a chevron-patterned sheet A Read More

Juggler W.C. Fields

Joculare poster design of juggler W.C. Fields
About W.C. Fields Before his fame as an actor, writer and comedian, William Claude Dukenfield (1880-1946), better known as W. C. Fields, started his career as a juggler in Pennsylvania. At age fifteen he began performing in vaudeville acts as a tramp juggler, wearing a fake beard and tattered tuxedo. He later billed himself as "The Eccentric Juggler," quickly finding success at working comedy into the act. Props included tennis balls, canes and hats. Inspired by Jim Harrigan, he also worked with Read More

Juggler Rudy Cardenas

Joculare poster design of juggler Rudy Cardenas
About Rudy Cardenas In 1931, Mexican juggler Rudy Cardenas was born into the Circus Suarez family where he made his first appearance at the age of three. He performed throughout Latin America before going to the United Stated. He toured Paramount theaters throughout the country for five years, after that splitting his time between Vegas and Europe. Rudy was the first to execute a three ball spin—one on a mouth stick—while doing a back rollover. He also performed with billiard pockets, Read More

Juggler Francis Brunn

Joculare poster design of juggler Francis Brunn
About Francis Brunn Francis Brunn of Germany (1922-2004) remains an icon in the world of juggling and beyond, having masterfully combined athletics and beauty. He performed with his sister, Lottie, throughout Europe until the late 1940s, when they made the move to America with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. They worked the center ring for two seasons until Lottie left the act to pursue a solo career in 1951. Francis Brunn had speed and he had numbers (juggling up to ten rings), but Read More

Juggler Pierre Amoros

Joculare poster design of juggler Pierre Amoros
About Pierre Amoros Pierre Amoros performed in the early part of the 20th century along with his famous Amoros family. His acrobatic sisters, Josephine and Heloise, were billed as "Those French Girls." Pierre's aunt, Theresa, married Alfred Werner and the entire clan was billed as the Werner-Amoros Troupe. They played circuses for years, eventually touring the vaudeville circuit in the United States where their act included pantomime and comedic juggling. Pierre was famed for juggling nine billiard Read More

The Art of Juggling

Joculare: The Art of Juggling
About five years ago I developed a plan. As both a professional juggler and an artist, I noticed that the few pieces of juggling-based artwork I came across were either pretty cheesy, pretty lousy, or both. Occasionally someone offers a well-designed t-shirt, but in order to find that you need wade through a sea of rough illustrations, inside jokes, and bad "ball" puns. Jugglers seem to like that kind of stuff and that's fine. But at the same time, I think many would appreciate something beyond Read More

Handmade Signs and Pillows

A handmade wooden sign promoting handmade pillows
Everything is derivative. Anything I design is inspired by any number of other designs or objects of creation. Still, I avoid direct copying when there's an opportunity to exercise my own creativity. But when Christmas is rapidly approaching, you've been sick, and you're behind on everything…well, sometimes you copy. I knew I wanted to make a wooden sign for my mother's craft business—one that she could take along to craft shows and display at her table. When I sat down to design Read More

Animal Print Gift Wrapping

How to wrap gifts by cutting animal patterns
Of all the gift wrapping I've done over the years, this is the first time there was really no "wrapping" involved. I had a pretty elaborate theme planned for this year, but then I came down with the flu. It wasn't a bad flu, but it lingered and it put me behind on everything. So I shelved that plan until next Christmas and came up with a theme that was less time intensive—animal prints! The process is pretty straightforward—no special artistic skills necessary. You just need to Read More

Hand-Carved Toy Blocks

Hand-carved wooden toy blocks for children
Soon after discovering my wife was pregnant, I developed plans for carving animal figurines out of wood and assembling them into a mobile for above baby girl's crib. It was a beautiful picture in my head, but that's as far as that project went. Life happened and it's one of those plans I just never got around to. But I still had the desire to make something with my hands for my daughter. And what better time to do so than Christmas? Moving on from the mobile concept I decided to make toy blocks Read More