If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll remember my great friend, Eric Larson.
Eric and I met at the U of I and where he was getting his dual major in Industrial Design and Metals. He was even in one of the Metals classes I taught as a grad student and we both enrolled in one of the best classes I ever took in school, that covered welding (in the Agriculture Department). But we've been great friends ever since school and he is probably one of the people who I know directly that "really gets it" when it comes to work ethic, design, making, functional objects, etc. He's always been someone who I respect greatly for his talent, his heart, and his ability to learn. As some of you may know, he and I worked together for the first couple years when I first moved to Milwaukee as we both built some hot rod VW's and some Single Cab VW trucks. Over the years we have worked on several side projects and I can't even count the number of times that we got together to make something. I don't know what it is exactly, but Eric is a joy to work with. I can honestly say that I have had some of my most productive moments when we've been working together. As I said, "he just gets it".
Well anyway, Eric has worked in the Industrial Design field ever since graduation, and he has learned the ropes by working several years for DiMonte Group and growing in his design skills, Solidworks skills, and working as project manager for several big name clients. He has really developed into a great business man as well as continuing to grow as a designer and maker. I was stoked a few years ago when he said that he was going to make the leap and start his own business called Clear Irons. Eric has been killing it lately with his new business and consistent work with Paratech as well as wheelchair design work for ADI.
Eric recently hired a super talented guy (Robby Sachs) and they've been working on the new website as well as rolling out a line of products that you can purchase from their store. Eric recently launched the new website and he has several things happening over there that my blog readers will be interested in. You have to go check out the great work they have for sale in addition to their design and prototype work. Also, bookmark the site as you'll want to be sure and follow their work as they are utilizing CAM software to run their beautiful Haas CNC milling machine to make new tooling and prototypes. Make sure to follow Eric and Robby on Instagram as I know they will have frequent updates there.
Eric's been busting his tail to make the business happen so I'm thrilled to see the progress he's making. I haven't seen him as much as I used to, as life has just been speeding out of control for us both. I miss working with Eric out at the Seward Speed Shop or on The Farm; we most definitely miss Eric's family too, as his Mom and Dad have always been special to my immediate family. I miss our super awesome conversations and working together, but I love that I can always keep tabs on what Eric's up to and how he's using his skills to make a difference. Super inspiring to see him "making his way" too; I'm so proud to be able to call him a friend. Now go check out his site and buy a cool hand-stictched wallet or sketchbook cover