Light Smithing

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” I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.”

-Austin Powers

Despite having been around since the 50’s, we as a culture have truly just begun to scratch the surface of what can be accomplished with a laser in the hands of a skilled artisan with a little bit of vision. One such contemporary Laser Artist who inspires us is local light-smith Christopher Short.

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profile-01 Christopher is a mixed media artist and incorporates graphic elements, laser engraving, and photography in his work. He creates surreal environments by juxtaposing prehistoric glyphs and flickering light projections, including video, strobes, flashlights, and custom laser hardware that he designs and builds. Christopher has exhibited in galleries in Glendale, Mesa, and Phoenix, Arizona, and in Santa Fe, New Mexico (the Museum of Contemporary Native Art) and sells his artwork at the Heard Museum Guild Indian Market in Phoenix, Prescott Indian Art Market, and Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival. In addition to working as an artist, Christopher teaches photography classes for other artists and produces videos for the Heard Museum and other Native American organizations. Christopher has won multiple ILDA awards (International Laser Display Association) for his laser artwork and is the only individual in the history of ILDA to sweep an awards category (Abstract Laser Shows).

The word laser started as an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. In 1957, Bell Labs, began a serious study of the infrared laser. Seperately, at a conference in 1959, Gordon Gould published the term LASER for the first time in his paper titled The Laser. Gould’s notes included possible applications for a laser, such as spectrometry, interferometry, radar, and nuclear fusion. He continued developing the idea, and filed a patent application in April 1959. The U.S. Patent Office denied his application, and awarded a patent to Bell Labs, provoking a twenty-eight-year lawsuit. Gould won his first minor patent in 1977, yet it was not until 1987 that he won the first significant patent lawsuit victory. The battle goes down in history as a tie for who deserves credit for discovering the laser. Despite the lengthly preamble, it wasn’t until May 16, 1960 that Theodore H. Maiman operated the first functioning laser, at Hughes Research Laboratories, Malibu, California ( once again, California proving to be lightyears ahead of the competition in the innovation department!)

It’s hard to believe that at one point, we had just one laser, which was used to engrave the aphorism onto the back of each Launch Box. As our team grew in expertise and skill sets, we eventually acquired the creativity and know-how to introduce additional lasers, and the the Laser Etch line of classic designs was born. Becoming ever more inspired by the potential of what lasers could do, we have taken every opportunity possible to build laser artistry and innovation into the fabric of who we are as a company.

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Currently, lasers etch the aphorisms on the box to assist in weaving our driving values intomagicflightlasers3 the day to day of our products, lasers etch the patent into each box to help ensure that you are purchasing the genuine launch box and not a counterfeit, lasers add unique flare, as well as creating precise cavities for inlaying stones into the wood and acrylic, as seen in the artisan collection Launch Boxes, they are used to create jigs that hold the boxes in place while being lasered, and create surface patterns and textures throughout our product line. Much of the Artisan Collection consists of these experimentations, and the possibilities for further innovative implementation truly are endless.

For some time now, we have been experimenting with moving lasers out from behind the veil of the manufacturing process, to where they can be enjoyed more directly by you, the end user. Enter the Magic-Flight Lava Module, a premium Muad-Dib (pronounced maw-deeb) Concentrate Box fitted with it’s own miniature laser!

This tiny-yet-powerful addition to our Classic Muad-Dib Box emits a fan-shaped red stream of laser light that doubles as an indicator light to tell you that power to the unit has been engaged. Laser light’s differential illumination highlights variations in the structure of your vapor as it forms in the chamber, creating a rolling, lava lamp typed effect not unlike that 70”s sky of fire effect introduced when lasers first hit the disco scene.