Behind the Artist & Print Maker: Josh Daniels

08 Aug, 2016

Q: How did you get into printmaking?
I was always a creative kid and started sketching at a young age, mainly race cars, wrestling characters, and baseball stars. In high school, I taught myself how to screen print through experimentation and got involved in the DIY print scene. It began with punk band t-shirts. Back then you couldn't buy them online, you had to make them on your own in order to show support. I was amazed I could make them myself! 

Q: Who has been an influence on you?
Gosh, so many people, mainly local artists, but M.C. Esher is a famous one at the forefront of print making.

Q: Did you know you were going to do this as a career?
No. I actually majored in Geophysics for three years before I made the switch to Print Making. I guess I couldn't deny the artist inside. 

Q: How would you describe your artistic style?
It's loose freehand, quantity over quality - meaning: it's more about the idea than the finished product. The art is the concept; there's always room to work on the craft and hone in on the idea. The sketching process is very important; it's like brainstorming. I sketch all the time. 

Q: I hear you're quite the artist, what else are you involved in?
My artist name is Cole Lodge. I make and sell bookbound sketch books. I'm Art Director for a local SF record label called Death Records. I'm also a self produced musician. I'm a guitarist, singer, bassist... kind of do it all. But this is my first time designing for DODOcase, so I'm excited about that!

Q: What advice do you have for other artists?
Remember to enjoy it and not to over analyze!


MAKER MONDAY: Meet Jeff - DODOcase's Manufacturing Manager and Engineer

05 May, 2016

Tell us about yourself:
I was born and raised in San Francisco by two very traditional Chinese immigrants who showed me the importance of hard work without sacrificing love for family. I grew up reading comics, playing video games, and eventually having a passion for cars. That passion led me to pursue a mechanical engineering degree which I got at San Jose State University. After graduating and working as a Manufacturing engineer for a couple of years, a friend of mine asked if I'd be interested in taking over his position at DODOcase. I said yes and now I've been with the company just over 2 years.

1) What is your position at DODOcase and what do you do on a daily basis?
I'm the 
Engineer and Manufacturing Manager for the machine shop. As the Manufacturing Manager, every day I make sure that all machines are running and that all our products will be made on time through delegation of tasks to my team. As the Engineer, I'm heavily involved in the product development cycle of almost all the new DODOcase products.  I've also become the in-house IT guy, so troubleshooting computer and networking issues has made its way onto my plate. 

2) What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
That I have access to all the fun toys in the company such as the 3-D printer, the laser cutter, and all the machines in the wood shop. Every day I don't just sit in front of the computer. I'm either up to cut a laser, take parts out of the 3-D printer and get them ready for processing, or doing a test run on the CNC machine to see if a new tool path will provide a better tray out of the machine.

3) What are you passionate about?
This may sound corny, but I'm passionate about living a non-mediocre life while helping others around me.

4) What are your hobbies outside of work?
During the spring and summer seasons, I'm usually outdoor hiking, biking, or enjoying an afternoon doing archery. I also like to volunteer when I can. Every Thursday after work I spend my time volunteering at an after-school tutoring program for underprivileged kids in the city. Right now, I'm helping an autistic student with his English and Math skills and have fun doing it. It's very rewarding to watch him grasp the problems.

5) What's your favorite DODOcase? 
It's actually a new VR viewer that we're currently working on. Can't give out too many details, but I feel like it'll change the way people can access VR content in a big way and I'm very excited about it. Can't wait until we launch it!

Maker Monday: Meet Erika - DODOcase's Bindery Manager

05 May, 2016

1) How did you come to DODOcase? 
I'm originally from Tucson, Arizona though I've lived in the Bay Area for seven years now. I moved out here to go to school at San Francisco Art Institute to get my BFA in Printmaking, which was a really great experience. I had my first run-in with DODOcase back in 2011, when I was part of a small team of SF Center for the Book interns who got to make a collaborative DODOcase for SFCB! After that I always knew someone who was working at DODO (and I'd picked up a few days of work here and there), and when the position of Bindery Manager came up this year and it was offered to me, I felt I'd be up for the challenge! 

2) What is your position at DODOcase and what do you do on a daily basis?
I'm the Bindery Manager at DODOcase. I work with a small team to build all the stock and Customizer book-bound cases. I create the daily plan for the department, and I work to create and maintain an efficient system that can produce all the cases we need in a timely manner. We work with a lot of machinery on the daily, including an old Challenge guillotine, several pot devins (glue machines), a casemaker, two Kluge presses, and a Kwikprint and Kensol foil stamper. 

3) What do you like best about DODOcase?
I really enjoy the people I get to work with here at DODOcase. We've got a really wide range of people with totally diverse skill sets, and there's always something you can learn while you're working with them!

4) What are you passionate about?
Making things! There's always another technique out there to learn- right now I'm fascinated by block-printed wallpaper, it just blows my mind how many impressions need to be made in order to make one roll. Some prints have sixteen layers, and they only register using pins! It's fascinating.

5) What's your favorite DODOcase?
I like the look of the new BOOKcases, I think the brown leather makes every pattern and color of book cloth look good, and I like the sewn details.

6) What type of DODOcases are the most fun to make?
Any of the customizers with really outlandish combinations of prints and colors- I still find myself being surprised and cheered at the crazy things people choose to put together. 



MAKER MONDAY: Meet Josh - DODOcase's Screen Printer

05 May, 2016

Tell us about yourself:
I grew up all over California but mostly on the Monterey Bay Peninsula.  I moved to San Francisco right after high school in 2004, to attend San Francisco State University, initially as a Geology major but then switched to Printmaking. I eventually transferred to San Francisco Art Institute, where I mostly focused on etching and painting.  I've been screen printing since I was about nineteen, but my real printmaking career started when I was fifteen, bootlegging punk shirts with stencils and spray paint.

1) What is your position at DODOcase and what do you do on a daily basis?
I manage the printshop at DODOcase where my duties include screen printing book cloth patterns and custom logos, foil stamping cases, and monogramming custom names and initials.  I also help out in the bindery when they need me.  Printmaking and bookmaking are closely tied.

2 )What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
 I love working with my hands, and problem-solving.  Printmaking teaches you to come at the problem from many different angles and is also a lesson in patience and humility - just when I think I'm getting comfortable, there is always some new variable that I hadn't taken into account.

3) What are your hobbies outside of work?
Outside of work I play music and make a lot of art.  I have an album out on a local record label and have been playing shows pretty often. I also do a lot of screen printing for fellow bands and friends.

4) Tell us the most interesting fact about you?
I wrestled a bear when I was 12 years old.  My father said, "Son, you can't be a true man until you've pinned a grizzly and stared into its cold eyes."

5) What's your favorite DODOcase product?
I like the card and cash wallet. I've had one for a few years and get compliments on it all the time.

6) Best monogram you've ever gotten from a customer?
"stay gold ponyboy"


Meet the craftswoman behind our newest iPhone cases: Lorna & The CARDcase

05 May, 2016

Lorna's Background:

Lorna grew up in Burma. While studying Physics in college, she spent her spare time working as a sales rep for her parents' bean company.  After graduating, she decided she too wanted to work for herself and opened up a small beauty supply store. Unfortunately, under the oppression of the Burmese government and their mismanagement of the country's currency, Lorna had to close her store and flee to Japan in order to make money to support her family, which had grown to three small kids. Lorna spent four years working in Japan as a waitress while teaching herself how to speak Japanese. With great sadness, she returned to Burma due to the unfortunate passing of her oldest son. Thankfully, by that point, her husband's siblings, who were already living in the US, were able to successfully petition for Lorna and her family to come over to the US as well. Eager for a new beginning, She packed up her family and took off for the famous Land of Opportunity, the USA. 

Lorna arrived in California in 1998 with her husband, son, and daughter. She worked hard for 10 years doing data entry for West Coast Life Insurance. Unexpectedly she was laid off with dozens of other workers as the company moved jobs overseas to India. Lorna was crushed as she wasn't sure what she was going to do and couldn't afford to remain unemployed, luckily she found DODOcase through the Government Career Center. The job description sounded interesting so she walked into the DODOcase Dog Patch workshop with her resume in hand seeking a job. Lorna didn't know much about sewing or bookbinding, but she was willing to learn and work hard. She was excited to make things with her hands and learn a new craft and there began her career as a DODOcase Craftswoman. Today Lorna is an integral part of the team. She can help out in several different areas and is always thinking of new product ideas. Her daughter is currently studying at Brown University on a full scholarship and her son works as a manager at an international company in Japan.

Q&A With Lorna

1) How Long have you been working for DODOcase? I've been working for DODOcase for 3 years and 8 months.

2) Why do you like working for DODOcase? I love working for DODOcase because I believe in the company's values and philosophy.

3) When and why did you get into sewing? 2 years ago the Sewing department needed help, so I started working with them. I enjoyed it so much I asked to stay in that department.

4) What gave you the idea to make the phone case? I didn't like throwing away the extra leather scraps from the various DODOcase products, so I repurposed the extra leather for another design to reduce waste. I really wanted to make a case that fit the way I live my life. That's how I came up with The Lorna phone case. With the help of the DODOcase team, it really turned into something great!

5) What do you like to do for fun? I love to spend time with my family and friends. We mostly have parties and BBQ whenever we can. I also love to watch dramas and movies.

6) How did it feel when DODOcase went with your design? It was a big surprise!  I was very humbled to think that DODOcase believed in my design. I just wanted to make something that could fit into my lifestyle  and enjoy the way it looked.

7) How did it feel when DODOcase decided to name it after you? I never imagined anything would be named after me, so I can't even use words to describe how honored and happy I am about this opportunity.

8) What's your favorite part about being a person who makes beautiful products? I never really considered myself a very artistic person, so the fact that what I created can be beautiful, gives me a lot of hope and confidence in myself.